Watching Stuff on Amazon - Do you? Are you happy with the experience?

I haven’t streamed much of anything from Amazon and I’m curious about how it all works.
Those of you who do, do you like it? Can you answer some of my basic questions?
I don’t watch T.V. or movies on my computer. The screen’s small, the speakers are terrible, and I don’t have a comfy chair- my desk chair’s no good for relaxing. I throw all my streaming content to my T.V. via a Chromecast.

I’m fairly happy with the Chromecast. It wasn’t expensive and it gets the job done. It requires using either my phone or my tablet as a remote control and this is not always reliable- it’s my biggest complaint, but it only really gives me trouble once in a while so I’m fairly content.

Chromecast is not compatible with Amazon, so I haven’t really explored Amazon’s screening services much. I once rented a movie that I couldn’t find elsewhere. Chromecast isn’t properly compatible with Amazon but Chromecast does have a feature called “Screen Cast” that lets you just throw anything only your tablet up onto your T.V. The feature does warn you that Screen Cast may result in poor quality picture and audio. Well, that warning proved to be true for the one time I used it to put Amazon screening content onto my T.V. It looked completely terrible and the sound was often out of sync.

So, question one, what do you use to put Amazon content onto your T.V.?
Roku? Fire Stick? What do you prefer about one over the other/are there additional options I’m unaware of?

Do I lose anything that I get with my Chromecast if I switch to a Fire Stick or a Roku? I use Chromecast for Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu mostly. There are a few other apps for specific channels that I sometimes use (ABC, Comedy Central). Chromecast also has a feature that puts a Chromecast icon on any video embedded on any website (when browsing with Chrome) so that the video can be cast to my T.V.

Another important question: How does the experience of Amazon’s screening services compare depending on whether or not you’re signed up for Amazon Prime? Is there significantly less content available if you’re not Prime? Or, at least, less content that is available for free?

If there’s a significant amount that is free with Prime then I might consider signing up for Prime- certainly if I’m viewing as much free (with membership) content as I do with Netflix. The $99 per year isn’t so bad when broken down monthly especially considering the shipping benefits. It’s just really tough that they make you pay the full $99 all at once. If they offered a membership at $9 per month, billed monthly, I’d probably have signed up by now. $99 all at once is really rough.

So, in summary:
What device to use to get it onto my T.V.?
Do any of the available devices mean I lose some of the function of my Chromecast?
How much free content without Prime?
How much free content with Prime?


I only watch Amazon streaming content when I am watching on my father’s TV, because he has a Blu-Ray player that has an app for Amazon (as well as Netflix, Hulu, etc. and a USB port.) The model is Sony BDP-3100. It looks like thisis the latest model.

I don’t use the service at home because I have Apple TV and that does not have an Amazon app. I really wish Apple TV had Amazon, because that has apps for pretty much every other streaming service, HBO, Showtime, even PBS!

I have Prime, and there’s a large amount of free content. I’ve found it great for TV shows and recent movies. I don’t think there *is *free streaming without Prime?

My new TV has an app for Amazon Prime that works well. Before that, I rarely payed attention to it, because of the Chromecast issue. I did, on some occasions, hook my laptop directly to my TV to stream Amazon or WWE or other streams not compatible with Chromecast. That works suitably well too, but you can’t do anything else while streaming.

What device to use to get it onto my T.V.?
Do any of the available devices mean I lose some of the function of my Chromecast?
How much free content without Prime?
How much free content with Prime?

  1. I use and love the Roku 2.
  2. Not as far as I know. I can get everything I’ve tried to get on my Roku, including YouTube.
  3. I don’t know if anything is free without Prime, but I’ve had Prime forever and a day and I love it. Well worth it.
  4. Lots and lots. There are Amazon created series, which can be very good, along with new episodes of current tv (not free), new movies (generally not free) and tons of older stuff.

Between Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, pretty much all of my streaming needs are covered.

I use a Roku and Amazon streaming works great. I like having a Roku since it seems to be the default platform for most services. The Apple and Amazon devices are probably good if you’re tied to those platforms already, but for more general cases the Roku is probably the better choice (but only slightly since they all pretty much do the same thing).

Using a chromecast is independent of any other device. You just lose an HDMI port. I have both a roku and chromecast and prefer using the roku for most streaming since it’s a more TV-like experience. The Chromecast works okay, but it’s another device to get working and there seems to be a few more glitches.

Without Prime, I don’t think there’s any free content on Amazon. It’s all rental or purchase other than trailers or free previews where maybe you get the first episode for free. There seems to be a good amount of Prime supported content similar to Netflix. You can add the Amazon channel and see for yourself. They have a Prime category.

If you don’t mind commercials, there are other streaming options on the Roku (and other devices) for shows and movies. Crackle is one I know of which has commercial-supported streaming shows and movies.

There’s an Amazon app on my blu ray player, I picked that particular blu ray player because of the app. I also watch on my iPad. I’d say the content isn’t as strong as Netflix, recently I have mainly used to watch documentaries. They also have some quirky old shows such as Talking Baseball and old episodes of Firing Line. I’ll put these on the iPad since they don’t have a lot of visual content.

If your tablet or phone has a way of connecting to a TV via an HDMI cable, that’d be an option.

And yes, there’s a significant amount of content (movies, TV shows, original content) that’s available free with Prime. You should be able to see what’s available by browsing Amazon’s website. Just be aware that what is and is not available can change: I’ve had the experience of being in the middle of watching a TV show (an episode every so often) and having the series go “off Prime” before I was finished.

I have a FireTV Stick* and sort of watch stuff from Amazon Prime on it. Mainly their TV series. I also occasionally get old movies via this and watch them later in semi-FF mode on my DVR. (FF mode viewing is terrible for streaming services.)

These movies are “classic” exploitation, notoriously badly made, etc. (Think of stuff like Doris Wishman’s Bad Girls Go To Hell.) I just want to see what’s what with them. After the binge is over, I don’t need anymore for several months.

Once in a very long while I’ll come across an old movie that’s on Prime Video that I actually want to watch. It’s rare.

There is now a new option on some movies to download to a device and watch later. Haven’t tried that yet. Just got their $50 tablet when it was on sale and I’ll be trying stuff out on that.

The free Prime movie assortment for recent years is terrible.

No way am I going to pay $4+ to “rent” a movie from them. They do sometimes give me freebies, like Kung Fu Panda 2. Wow, I am so thrilled with that.:dubious:

Note that hooking up a tablet or some such to a TV via HDMI officially shouldn’t work in many cases. But “officially” is sort of an abstraction. I don’t worry about it.

  • The new OS5 for FireTV devices is rootable. I’ll be rooting my Stick later today.:):):D:D

I’ve rented a few things and bought a couple TV episodes at Amazon. I think the best thing about their service is that they’ll refund a rental if they detect connection problems though I’ve only encountered it once.

I’ve watched my Amazon streaming on my Kindle, my computer, and my TV and while I wouldn’t call the experience perfect I’ve been satisfied with it.

My Kindle lets me flop on the couch or bed to watch in whatever position I find comfortable, but the screen is small, the speaker meh, and it drains the battery so usually I keep it plugged in when I do that.

My computer has a larger screen and better speakers, but I have to sit at my desk which, while fine for short periods, it’s comfortable for longer periods.

I can, using HDMI cables, use my TV as a computer monitor. That, combined with the speakers on the “home entertainment center”, is the best experience when combined with couch flopping, but it’s a bit of a bother to hook everything up.

I don’t do it.

Yeah, I use the RedBox kiosk at my local supermarket and can rent a Bluray for, what is it now, $1.50? Amazon’s rental prices seem ridiculous to me. Redbox has to actually provide a physical product + a dude to stock and service the kiosks + the cost of their website and app that let me browse from home and find out which of my various local kiosks has the movie I want allowing me to reserve it for pick up. And they do it for about half the price Amazon wants for a one time stream.

I suppose that’s good to know. One reason I’m wary to rent a stream is that I find I’m more likely to have viewing problems compared to a disc. Having occasional problems on Netflix or Hulu isn’t so bad because I’m satisfied with the overall content that I get for the reasonable monthly fee. If I had problems with a $2.99 stream, however, I’d be pissed.

I can get new movies from RedBox. I can get current T.V. from Hulu (not everything but a lot). I can get older T.V. shows from Netflix.

I suppose what I’d really love to know is how Amazon’s selection of older movies would compare to adding Netflix discs-by-mail. This would take a helluva lot of research, I suppose.

I don’t think anything would beat Netflix DVDs. Don’t they have just about everything?

I watch Amazon on the Roku stick. Also have a Sony blueray, PS4, and Xbox to watch on. Rarely use the bluray. Seems slower and lower quality, maybe because it it sent through the Sony servers first? Kids use the gaming systems so I don’t know. Roku stick works pretty good. I watch more Amazon than Hulu. Kids are the opposite. Amazon for more movies and Hulu for the shows. We dropped Netflix when they split the DVD’s off the streaming account. Watched all the streaming movies they had that interested me in a few months. Had Prime for shipping and music before they started streaming. Also not sure if it is anymore but not long ago, different shows could be streamed to a PC based rather than TV based devices. Something about how Netflix / Hulu / Amazon acquired the viewing rights.

They really seem to. If I had to pick Netflix streaming and DVD vs. Amazon Prime, I couldn’t choose Netflix fast enough. Heck, I’d choose Netflix without the DVDs.

bienville, Amazon has a trial period for Prime, although I don’t see how long it is:

I have Prime and I love it for the free two-day shipping and the streaming music. And hey, I got Kung Fu Panda for free, too. :smiley: :rolleyes: But for streaming, I almost never watch Prime. It’s always Netflix.

I do occasionally encounter oddball and/or obscure movies that are only available via streaming. It’s infrequent, but it does happen.

Also, I’ve noticed that studios are making some of their older, back-catalog stuff available via manufactured-on-demand DVD-Rs (here is an example). As far as I can tell, Netflix has none of these.

But I’d agree with your “just about everything” assessment. It’s not 100 percent comprehensive, but it’s much closer to that than any streaming service.

I briefly had an Amazon Prime membership and cancelled it. To my amazement, I was offered a monthly-payment deal when I cancelled.

I’m not saying that this will work for you, but you could give it a try. You can get a full refund if you cancel within three days and haven’t used any free shipping.

Do you have an iOS device or Mac? You can stream Amazon Video to your Apple TV from one of those.

Some of my TVs have Amazon apps. I also have cable, which has it. And I think my son’s Xbox has it. So all my TVs have multiple ways to access that, Netflix and other services. But I mostly just watch on my 24" computer monitor. Since I work at home for myself, my office/desk area is comfortable enough and I’m lazy. I just watched an entire TV series on it over the past couple weeks, during work breaks.

That’s all “free” stuff. I have bought some movies off Amazon when they weren’t really available in any other format, but not many. I seem to get a lot of coupons and discount offers from them, and they regularly refund the price of rentals retroactively if they detect any playback issues.

I’m surprised to learn that Chromecast doesn’t support Amazon viewing. I thought it did.

I have a Samsung TV and a Samsung BD/DVD player. Each has SmartHub, which allows for apps like Amazon, Hulu, Youtube and Netflix to operate seamlessly. I also have one of the oldest Roku devices for the TV in the exercise room, and it also works, but it’s clunky. I looked into getting a Chromecast, but it doesn’t really offer anything I want that I don’t already have.

As for Amazon content, IMHO there’s very little that’s really worthwhile, aside from Man in the High Castle (for Prime users). I wouldn’t get Prime just for that - instead, sign up for the free trial and you should be able to watch everything Prime has that’s worth watching in that time. You could probably tolerate watching via the computer for that length of time, saving yourself the annoyance of figuring out how to get the content to your TV.

BTW, I have Prime, but we order stuff from Amazon all the time. I almost never watch anything from Amazon. Non-prime Amazon has so little content of interest to me that I had forgotten it even existed until I saw the thread.

Of course, YMMV, but for my (pretty broad) tastes, Amazon doesn’t compare well to the other options available.