Jeremy Clarkson confirms new post-Top Gear Amazon Prime show will be in 4K

“Jeremy Clarkson, the former star of the BBC blockbuster car show Top Gear, confirmed yesterday that his new show for Amazon Prime will be shot and broadcast in ultra-fine detail 4K resolution,” The Week reports.

“Broadcasting in 4K will mark a shift for Clarkson and his co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond, who began filming Top Gear in the lesser standard of ‘high-definition’ in July 2007,” The Week reports. “After he was dropped by the BBC for punching his producer, Clarkson signed a contract with Amazon Prime thought to be worth £160 million to produce three seasons of a new motoring show.”

The Week reports, “So far, little is known about the new show’s format, but filming began on the show two weeks ago when Clarkson, Hammond and May descended on the Algarve International Circuit in Portimao, Portugal, to race three of the world’s most expensive supercars. The new Amazon show is expected to begin screening in the middle of next year.”

MacDailyNews Note: Judging by the number of links we’ve received in the past about “Top Gear” and regarding this latest article, “Top Gear” was, and this new Amazon prime show promises to be, an immensely popular show with MacDailyNews readers.

“In a new advertisement for Amazon Prime that was first broadcast during the Rugby World Cup final at the weekend, Clarkson took another cheeky swipe at his former employer, the BBC, leaving many pundits wondering whether the ad is a sign of things to come,” The Week reports.

“In the advertisement, Clarkson is seen drifting around a large house on a Segway explaining: “Back in the spring as you probably remember I suddenly became unbusy. And that was ok because I had one of these” – he indicates an Amazon TV product,” The Week reports. “It includes ‘everything you could possibly want’ he says, scrolling through options. ‘Demand 5, Netflix’ and then as he scrolls past the BBC iPlayer app, he curls his lip and adds: ‘that.'”

“There will be 36 episodes,” The Week reports. “Former Top Gear producer Andy Wilman, who is still working with Clarkson, told Broadcast magazine there will be three series of 12 episodes… which will not be released together. Unlike many series made for online broadcasters, such as Netflix, the new motoring show will be released once a week, episode by episode.”

“The show will not have ad breaks,” The Week reports. “Clarkson wrote in his Sun column that he is delighted the show will have no commercial breaks and ‘no editorial pressure from on high.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Good thing Amazon Prime isn’t on the new Apple TV or the lack 4K on Apple’s new device might be as glaring as it is on the Netflix app vs. the 4K-capable Netflix app built into our our 65-inch Sony 4K Ultra HDs which also has a 4K-capable Amazon Prime app waiting and ready for Clarkson’s, May’s, and Hammond’s new series.

Oh, well, maybe next year Apple TV will, you know, get with the program.

(What Apple should have done is make an Apple TV that is 4K-capable, clearly stating that salient fact in the specs and marketing materials, with a simple “coming soon” regarding the content. They could have easily gotten away with offering a smattering of 4K content à la Netflix and Amazon Prime and they would today be able to sell boxes to those who look at the new Apple TV and its lack of 4K future-proofing and immediately think “this smacks of planned obsolescence, so we’ll wait until next year, thanks.”)

Apple made ‘audacious bid’ for Top Gear trio of Clarkson, Hammond and May, but lost out to Bezos’ Amazon – September 1, 2015
Apple’s move into content creation could devastate Netflix and Amazon
Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Why would Apple want to make their own movies and TV shows? – September 1, 2015
Apple exploring entry into original entertainment production – August 31, 2015
Top Gear’s Clarkson, Hammond and May sign with Amazon Prime for new show to debut in 2016 – July 30, 2015

Why Apple TV doesn’t need 4K Ultra HD video – November 12, 2015
Apple TV and the 4K Ultra HD conundrum – October 8, 2015
Amazon embarrasses Apple with new 4K Fire TV box or something – September 17, 2015
Amazon unveils $100 Fire TV box 4K video support, Alexa voice control – September 17, 2015
With the all-new Apple TV, Apple changes the game, yet again – September 14, 2015
Analyst: Apple TV streaming service on the way, could cost at least $40 a month – September 14, 2015
Local media streaming app Plex coming to Apple TV – September 14, 2015
What Apple got right in Apple TV’s user interface – and what needs work – September 11, 2015
New Apple TV has the potential to do for television what iPhone did for mobile phones – September 11, 2015
Apple preps to conquer living room with all-new Apple TV – September 11, 2015
Hands-on with the all-new Apple TV – September 10, 2015
Gruber: Apple TV will define how all TVs will work in a few years – September 10, 2015
Here’s how much RAM is inside Apple’s iPhone 6s/Plus, iPad Pro and new Apple TV – September 10, 2015
New Apple TV sounds great, but where’s the 4K? – September 10, 2015

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]


  1. As an avid car nut, and a huge fan of Top Gear and the presenters, I cannot wait to see this new program. It will be the reason I get Amazon Prime. Likely the only reason.

    Sick of the Top Gear reruns on BBC America. I’ve seen them all. I own the DVDs. I NEED NEW PROGRAMMING!!!!!!

  2. MDN take is too true. I was going to buy Apple tvs as Christmas gifts for my family members to replace the ATV3’s I bought a few years ago, but with almost every tv now for sale being 4K, I think I’ll wait til next year.

  3. 4K is irrelevant. Great as a recording medium for cropping, etc, not for much else.

    TV manufacturers are trying to get early adopters excited about 4K so they can sell more kit, that’s what all the noise is about really.

    1080p tv is fine for normal people. There is no easy channel for delivering 4K. All satellite HD is still 720p. Only bluray is 1080p, no one I know buys disks… Streaming 4K will just take too long 🙂 I will stick with my large screen 1080p telly for years until it breaks, all it is is a monitor for the small computer that feeds it loads of media from a 16tb raid drive. No need at all for 4K, ever.

  4. So sad, Apple. Ya coulda been a contenda.

    Apple TV apologizers can claim up one side and down the other why they don’t think anyone needs 4K resolution, but the writing is on the wall.

    The iPhone, not to mention numerous superior video recorders, captures 4K video.
    Every decent large TV on the market displays in 4K and upconverts 1080p content to fill the screen more beautifully than ever (it’s not just resolution).
    Several major video electronics manufacturers offer a 4K BluRay or 4K streaming box, most of them LESS EXPENSIVE than the new Apple TV.
    Leading distributors like Netflix, Youtube, and Amazon Prime push 4K content onto your Macs, and have for quite some time.
    Apple sells a 5K resolution iMac.
    People are cutting their cable cords not just because of cost, but also because many the internet video services allow a-la-carte purchasing of 4K content.

    So like it or not, the affluent market that Apple normally serves is already adopting UHD video in a big way. This holiday season, the tide will clearly turn.

    Apple has chosen to be a leader in iOS portable gadgets and be a laggard in desktop and home theatre. With the resources that Apple has, it’s a puzzling business decision. The competition will do well in the rapidly growing 4K market. But one would have to be truly confused to buy a clunky Apple TV today when the competitors offer so much better future-proofing, connectivity, and content at better price points.

    We will be enjoying Top Gear in 4K resolution wither using a Mac laptop and/or Roku 4. Probably the latter since our current Macs don’t have connectivity options up to spec.

  5. The problem with 4K is bandwidth. Even if you had 120 megabits of bandwidth, it would still take 2 hours to download an hour of 4K content. The infrastructure just isn’t there. It’ll probably take another 5-10 years for the existing ISP/cable infrastructure to be made suitable for 4K content. Besides, 4K content takes up 100 gigabytes per hour. If your DVR has a 500 gigabyte hard drive, you’ll you be able to record 5-10 4K shows on it. And in a recession, I really don’t think mod cable companies are going to be upgrading their infrastructure. And despite reports of recovery, there really hasn’t been much recovery, and the situation has been worsened by non-competition agreements being required for many low-level jobs.

    1. A couple points:

      First, you seem to be making assumptions about video file format, compressibility, and so forth. And you’re assuming current levels of performance for typical HD video equipment.

      Ultra-High Definition (4K) is newer and different. 4K video, at least on UHD Blu Ray, uses a different compression codec than DVD, HD Blu Ray, and current HD streaming video.

      Secondly — processors are faster now. They can unpack files faster than ever.

      Finally, how much buffer do you think one needs to watch a film? As long as you can download at a rate faster than realtime viewing, then you won’t notice any buffering whatsoever during normal playback.

      Nobody is forcing you to buy into 4K, but it’s here, it works, and it’s better that prior standards. I honestly don’t understand how anyone can demand superior Apple quality in a laptop or whatever, and then turn around and tell videophiles that they don’t need to enjoy 4K.

      Millions of people are going to enjoy 4K, and if Apple misses the boat, that’s their lost revenue. I think Cook made another bad decision to be slow to support the UHD market.

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