Rings Runs 4K Rings Round Dragon

Despite being the biggest launch on Neon, NZ fans of House of the Dragon who want to view it in 4K will have to stream or download it from international sources.

Sky’s inability to offer 4K streaming of the world’s most-watched programme coincides with Prime Video streaming The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power here in 4K HDR from today while owners of Samsung 8K TVs will be able to watch bonus highlights in 8K.

A collaboration between Prime Video and Samsung will offer “series content in 8K resolution through a custom sneak peek with exclusive scenes,” reads the vague press release.

“Viewers will have the opportunity to experience the epic journey in unimaginable depth and detail on Samsung Neo QLED 8K TVs and The Wall 8K Micro LED displays. Opportunities for fans to access the exclusive 8K trailer will be announced soon.”

Okay, so it’s a value-added gimmick to push sales of a TV technology that’s struggling to gain traction because of a lack of 8K content.

But it still stands in “stark” contrast to the HD limitations of Sky’s platforms for showcasing House of the Dragon in its native resolution.

Given how the Game of Thrones prequel has broken viewing records internationally, I asked Sky if it could provide any data and if, with the launch of the new Sky box, we could expect to stream or view it in 4K eventually. The response:

We’re delighted with the launch of House of the Dragon across Sky and Neon. The first episode achieved the highest viewership numbers for a premiere episode on Neon since the merger with Lightbox, a record previously held by The Handmaid’s Tale.

Our new Sky box is 4K (UHD) ready and you will be able to stream 4K content from any subscription apps you have as long as you also have a 4K TV. Sky and Neon content is currently available in HD and SD.

In other words, NZ will be stuck in the Dark Ages for Dragon (and other 4K HBO content) while fans in the UK, US and even Australia already can stream it in 4K.

An Australian reviewer appraising Samsung’s first OLED TV used Dragon to test the TV’s prowess:

It’s also been shot using the latest 4K Dolby Vision HDR with Dolby Atmos virtual and surround soundtracks which is why the sound really dragged you into the action on the screen.

The sharpness of the OLED display which is being delivered by 8.3 million specially engineered ultra-fast switching tiny lights built into this display was clearly visible across multiple parts of the new House of Dragon content.

No more so than in dark scenes where the creators are building suspense right through to the action scenes shot both inside and outside where the light changes. Every scene was crisp, sharp, and as good as what you see in a cinema.

If you’re struggling to make out the dark scenes in Dragon on Neon or Sky because of the lower resolution, C|Net has published this guide to optimise your TV’s settings.

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7 Responses to “Rings Runs 4K Rings Round Dragon”

  1. Warning: preg_replace(): Unknown modifier '/' in /home/customer/www/screenscribe.net/public_html/wp-content/themes/headlines/includes/theme-comments.php on line 66
    September 2, 2022 at 1:12 pm

    The issues where people can’t see dark scenes is that they’re watching in daytime sunshine out and open curtains. This deserves nighttime viewing or in a darkened room with the curtains/blinds closed. Sky’s response also indicated no commitments whatsoever toward any 4K content availability. Not now or any time in the future.

  2. As much as I agree Neon needs to be upgraded to 4K, that’s the only advantage Amazon has. Content-wise Sky/Neon is way ahead. On a side note, I fell asleep through the first episode of LOTR:TRoP and I started the episode again and didn’t make it to the end, yeah it’s stunning visually, but the dialogue and acting were very poor and in my opinion almost amateur dramatics.

  3. Streaming is never going to test a modern TV. For that you need to play the best physical media consumers can access – the 4K UHD disc. The picture quality on a good disc is un-matched by any streamed source.

  4. I find it annoying that Prime Video are advertising Spider-Man: No Way Home when it’s not on Prime Video in New Zealand. I’m assuming it got pushed back because of The Rings of Power ?

  5. Good point, Trevor, I’ll check to see when it’s due …

  6. Thanks, Philip, I think it’s the 16th going by an e-mail I received. It worked anyway as Rings of Power is number 1 in New Zealand ?

  7. Prime Video’s just confirmed September 16 for Spider-Man: No Way Home. The original date was a scheduling mistake. Thanks for pointing it out, Trevor.

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