Amazon’s X-Ray for Movies and TV Shows – the feature that brings additional content, like actor bios and other background information – is now available on Amazon Video and Prime Video on the web. HTML5 was actually one of the few major platforms Amazon had yet to address with this version of X-Ray, as support is already available on iOS and Android and other Amazon platforms including Fire tablets, Fire TV and Fire TV Sticks.
Amazon Video’s HTML5 player launched in June on Chrome, and later expanded to Internet Explorer 11, Edge and Opera browsers. The Chrome version also runs on ChromeOS and Linux, while the player itself offers other features like ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) for instant playback, Trick Play for easy navigation by offering visual feedback when you fast forward and rewind, auto-play, and support for up to 1080p HD video.
At the time of its debut, Amazon was one of many companies moving away from technologies like Flash or Microsoft’s Silverlight in order to focus on HTML5 instead. Around the same time, Twitch also left Flash for HTML5 and before that, YouTube began defaulting to HTML5 in most browsers.
However, Amazon’s HTML5 video player had not been feature complete, when compared with video playback on its Fire devices. Support for X-Ray will help to improve things in that area.
With the addition of X-Ray, those who watch online will be able to access information sourced from Amazon-owned IMDb, allowing you to look up other shows or movies the actors have been in, read more about the show or its main characters, or even view trivia information about what’s on the screen.
Though a minor addition in the grand scheme of things, Amazon’s X-Ray is something unique to its platform thanks to its acquisition of IMDb many years ago – and that offers it a competitive advantage in the growing streaming video market where it’s trying to take on services like Netflix and Hulu, among others.