The use of streaming video for home entertainment has been on the rise within the last few years with video streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, and others popping up in high numbers online. Recently, Amazon joined the streaming video craze with the release of Amazon on Demand and Amazon Prime Streaming which is Amazon’s versions of streaming video services.
If you are familiar with Amazon on Demand which is Amazon’s original streaming service then the Amazon Prime service is a paid subscription service which brings immediate streaming of videos in addition to other services. This means that Amazon Prime subscribers receive Amazon on Demand video streaming as a bonus along with other services and privileges.
What exactly is Amazon Prime Streaming?
Amazon Prime is actually a subscription-based service which offers fast shipping, access to borrowing of Kindle books, and unlimited order size on thousands of products. The video streaming service is a bonus which provides you with unlimited access to instant streaming services for thousands of videos and TV shows.
You can try Amazon Prime free for 30-days and after that the subscription is $79 per year. If you engage in a lot of video streaming and make a lot of purchases from Amazon this is not a bad deal. You also get free two-day shipping with no minimum order on any products you order from the Amazon marketplace.
This provides you with the opportunity for a one-stop shop location for many different products including groceries which are shipped to your doorstep. Amazon then sweetens the deal by adding Amazon Prime Streaming Instant video to attract more people to an Amazon Prime subscription.
Amazon Prime Streaming Features
When you receive video streaming with your Amazon Prime membership you can enjoy programming instantly on your PC or any of your home entertainment devices such as a smart TV, Blu-ray player, or any set-top box which is compatible with Amazon video streaming services.
With Amazon Prime streaming you can access videos instantly using a Windows-based PC or Mac in addition to hundreds of different types of TVs with Internet connectivity and certain models of video streaming devices such as the Roku. You can also download programming to your Kindle Fire if you own one or any smartphone which runs on the Android operating system. All you have to do is list the device with your Amazon Prime account and then you can start instantly streaming videos to each device you list.
Amazon also allows you to configure the search settings so you only see the video titles which are available to Amazon Prime members. Then you simply choose a program and press Play to start enjoying your favorite movies and TV programs.
In terms of content, the selection for Amazon Prime members is not as broad as other video streaming services such as Netflix, but it is still a decent bonus with access to several thousand shows and movies that you can stream instantly and without commercial interruptions. High definition programs are still somewhat limited as is the case with other services however, this will likely change in the near future with the increased availability of high definition and 3D programming.
How to Get Access to Amazon Prime Streaming
In order to access Amazon Prime streaming you must obtain an Amazon Prime subscription. If you already have an Amazon account you can go to the Amazon Prime web page and sign in with your current username and password. If you do not have an Amazon account you can set up a free trial from the same web page.
Amazon Prime subscriptions are limited to the United States with the video streaming service as a bonus. You can watch program selections as many times as you would like with the limitation of watching two different programs simultaneously on different devices.
Adding Devices to Your Amazon Prime Account
Amazon Prime streaming is compatible with a wide variety of different brands of devices and device models. Once you establish an account Amazon will provide you with a complete list of compatible devices along with search tool for finding the appropriate make and model for the device you want to register.
The search tool allows you to browse through a list of device categories which include mobile devices, game consoles, HDTVs, set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, DVRs, and A/V receivers in addition to being able to browse by manufacturer name. The list is quite comprehensive and once you locate the brand name and model of the device you want to add to your account, you simply click the Register button to register the device to your video streaming account.
The main purpose of registering your devices in your Amazon Prime account is not only to watch programming on those devices but to make browsing content easier to achieve. For example, if you register a Kindle Fire you can access videos simply by tapping the icon on the desktop.
When you register a device which is a member of your home entertainment center you can access a menu which includes an icon for Amazon Prime videos and allows you to browse and search for movies and TV programming. You can also use the menu to choose programming to watch from any device you have registered in your account.
If you are using Amazon Prime streaming with your PC, you can browse and search videos and TV programming by using the toolbar on the Amazon Prime Instant Video website. You can also choose to click directly on the video title you are browsing to learn more about the program and to stream the video to your PC.
It is also important to mention if you use the video streaming service with Amazon Prime you cannot download the video to your device. Instead, you can only stream the video however; you can still view the program for an unlimited number of times. If you want the video for download you must rent it separately or purchase from the Amazon Instant Video Store.