Apple TV finally gets X-Ray support for Amazon Prime Video

Apple TV: Westworld on Amazon Prime Video
Credit: Apple

Apple TV is bringing more context to your TV shows and movies - on Amazon Prime Video, at least. 

Apple's media player now supports X-Ray on the Amazon Prime Video app, which mines IMDb's production database to give you more information about your favorite TV shows and films.

X-Ray effectively fills viewers in on what actor is onscreen at any one moment, meaning you don't need to pause the action and Google the cast members every time you half-recognise an actor's face. You can also see information on the soundtrack currently playing, or just general tidbits about the show.

It's not a new feature by any means, but seeing it come to Apple TV means it reaches a wider audience.

Not every title on Amazon's streaming service has X-Ray information available, but those that do will bring up the info pane whenever you pause playback, with the option to turn off the feature by clicking on the X-Ray logo.

Movies for all

Amazon's purchase of Internet Movie Database (IMDb) back in 1998 was designed to allow Amazon to integrate the information into its own online streaming service.

In January 2019, the partnership went a step further with the launch of IMDb's Freedive: an ad-supported streaming service of a small catalogue of IMDb-listed films and TV shows. 

While it might look odd to launch a competing streaming service - available on your browser as well as Fire TV devices - we're likely to see more integration down the line as Amazon strengthens its foothold in the streaming market.

There are only a couple of hundred titles available on Freedive so far, and only in the US at the time of writing - but if we know anything about Amazon, it's that the company will be looking to scale that up pretty quickly.

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.