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Amazon Movies Now Streaming Free

Discussion in 'More News from Your Google TV News Team' started by Rickaren, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. Rickaren

    Rickaren New Member Staff Member

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    Amazon Prime Instant Video Now Streaming Free To Prime Subscribers


    by Matt Burns on February 22, 2011




    [​IMG]
    The rumor mill got one right. Amazon just launched the instant streaming service for Prime subs. The service opens up “5,000 movies and TV show at no additional cost” to those who pay for the Amazon Prime membership. Yep, if you happen to have a free or even trial account, the content isn’t available for you. Sorry, fellow freeloaders, it’s time for us to pony up the $79.99 a year for access to the shows and 2-day shipping on your Amazon orders.

    The service rolled out this morning and seems to work as advertised. Click the button and it starts playing. However, I can’t seem to dig up if the new Prime free streaming content is available on 3rd party boxes. It doesn’t show up on my TiVo or Roku yet. Chances are though these devices haven’t got the memo yet and an update will open the gate to the free garden.

    So let’s do the math: Amazon Prime is $79.99 a year, which nets you 2-day shipping on Amazon orders and access to at least 5,000 streaming titles. That works out to $6.64 a month — or $1.35 less each month than Netflix.

    Of course Netflix trumps Amazon on platform support, but Amazon is on major devices: Roku, TiVo, Google TV, many Blu-ray players and HDTVs from Vizio, Samsung and Panasonic. As long as these devices get access to the Prime content — and there’s really no reason to think they won’t eventually — Amazon Instant Video might be a good alternative to Netflix for many consumers. Is it a Netflix killer? Nope, but a content war is no doubt looming as the two companies ready their arms for all out war.

    Update: Roku just sent over a note indicating that the service is in fact live on their boxes. Good news, but I still don’t see it. It’s probably my fault somehow… Press release below.
    Roku Launches Just Announced Amazon Prime Instant Video Service
    Roku customers who are also Amazon Prime Members can now enjoy unlimited, commercial free instant streaming of more than 5,000 movies and TV shows at no additional cost!

    On Tuesday, February 22, 2011, Roku, Inc., maker of the top-selling and award-winning Roku streaming player, announced that Amazon’s just launched Prime Instant Video service, which gives Amazon Prime customers access to over 5,000 movies and TV shows for free, is now available as part of the Amazon Instant Video channel on Roku. Customers can learn more about an Amazon Prime one-month free trial and start watching instantly at Amazon.com: FREE Two-Day Shipping, No Minimum Purchase with Amazon Prime.

    What:
    Amazon Prime members now have access to unlimited, commercial-free, instant streaming of more than 5,000 movies and TV shows via the Amazon Instant Video channel on Roku. This new Amazon Prime benefit is being added at no additional cost — Amazon Prime membership will continue to be $79 per year. The Prime Instant Video Service is part of the Amazon Instant Video channel already installed on all Roku players today. Simply click on the Amazon Instant Video channel on Roku and look for the Prime Instant Video tile. Follow the prompts to start enjoying free, unlimited streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows right on your TV via Roku.

    The selection of videos available for instant streaming currently includes movies such as “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” trilogy, “Amadeus,” “Syriana,” and “Chariots of Fire,” noted documentaries such as “Food Inc.,” “March of the Penguins” and “Ken Burns’ National Parks,” plus TV shows, such as “Doctor Who,” “Farscape,” “Fawlty Towers” and children’s shows, such as “Arthur,” “Caillou,” “Super Why!” and “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

    When:
    This new service is available today and will automatically appear inside the Amazon Instant Video channel already available on Roku.

    Why:

    Roku has a commitment to its customers to deliver the very best in value and content. Amazon is giving both its Amazon Prime customers and subsequently Roku customers tremendous added value with the new Prime Instant Video service and Roku couldn’t be more pleased to be offering this exciting new service on the day it is launched.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011
  2. Rickaren

    Rickaren New Member Staff Member

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    . Amazon Prime Instant Video hands-on

    By Tim Stevens 02/22/2011





    [​IMG]

    Amazon has just its Prime Instant Video service, letting paid Prime subscribers (sorry, students) in the US (sorry, foreigners) stream any of 5,000 movies and TV shows directly to their machines free of charge -- well, free beyond the $79 Primers already pay. Jeff Bezos has confirmed that there will be no extra charge going forward for this service and that Prime itself will not be getting more expensive to pay for all these bits and bytes. Right now the selection is limited, particularly if you already have a Netflix subscription, but we just had to try it out. Click on through for our impressions on a variety of devices.

    Naturally our first stop was to try it out in a browser, and there these instantly viewable titles interface nicely with Amazon's already existing selection of instant titles. However, now above the "3 day rental" and "Buy movie" buttons (which are still there, if you want to pay for downloadable versions) is a "Watch now unlimited streaming" button, with a quite appealing price of $0.00 driving home the idea that, indeed, there's no charge here. Just in case you had any last doubts.

    [​IMG]
    Click on to get things rolling and the streaming starts impressively quickly, about three seconds on average on the PC we tested this with. Skipping ahead was similarly quick, buffering taking virtually no time at all.

    :):):)We then moved on to other devices, first aLogitech Revue Google TV box. We were pleasantly surprised to find that Amazon has not (at least not yet) blocked streaming on this box, and everything played perfectly.

    Next up was an Android device running Flash and, sure enough, it worked on there too -- well, the video plays. How well it plays will largely depend on your phone's processor and your current connection. Content ranged from slideshow to acceptable on the first-gen Droid we spun it up on. We also have confirmation that this service works on the Amazon Instant Channel on Roku and we're guessing just about anything else that'll do Amazon Instant is good to go.

    To check quality we loaded up a few films that are streaming both on Netflix and here (not difficult to find) and compared them back-to-back. Ultimately the Amazon quality is good, but not great. In Man on Wire the applied film grain effect shown for flashbacks played havoc on the presumably lower bitrate from Amazon. It looked noticeably better on Netflix. Additionally, there was some detail lacking in the skin on the faces of the speakers in the film.

    We also got Red Cliff going to see how Cao Cao would fare in conquering this new service. This film showed a bit more dithering in the scenery shots and the subtitles looked less crisp. So, there's definitely a difference if you're looking for it, but the Amazon content certainly doesn't look bad. And, we really like that Amazon gives the option in many foreign films to choose between dubbed and subtitled. It's also worth noting that you can watch up to two videos simultaneously on two different devices, so if you like the subtitles but your spouse prefers those awful dubs, you can each watch your preferred version together -- if you have enough devices.

    [​IMG]
    Ultimately you can't be too harsh on a service that comes for "free" and just makes an already tempting offering even more appealing, but ultimately Prime Instant Videos is actually quite good. No, the quality isn't quite as good as Netflix and you're going to have a hard time finding anything here that hasn't already been served up there, but now Amazon has another nice bonus to go along with all that two-day shipping.

     
  3. Rickaren

    Rickaren New Member Staff Member

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    As a Prime Member already, YES free (no extra charge) movie streaming!!! Just checked but movie I wanted was still not available in HD, but said "Coming soon in HD to Google TV". (SD was FREE however)

    This is a big deal:):):):)
     
  4. Vumes

    Vumes New Member

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    So can you view EVERYTHING that Amazon has on their video service? Or is it just selected items?
     
  5. Rickaren

    Rickaren New Member Staff Member

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    [​IMG]
    One of Amazon's best values is its Prime service, which costs $79 a year. For that fee, buyers get free two-day shipping or overnight packages for $3.99 per item.



    Today, Amazon added something more: free streaming of 5,000 movies or TV shows. Or so the retailer claims. I only see 1,688 movies and 484 TV shows currently available on Amazon Instant Video.


    Amazon offers a surpringly good selection, too; that is sure to give Netflix some unexpected and needed competition in the streaming market, and Prime is a better value. Netflix charges $7.99 per month (before taxes) for movie and TV show streaming, or minimum $95.88 a year. Not only does Prime cost less but it offers more in the aforementioned shipping costs -- and there's something else: Amazon allows the sharing of Prime among four accounts in the household. If, say, you're a college student with roomies sharing Primes, the value just got whole lots better.


    I started subscribing to Netflix in February 1999 and began using Amazon Prime in June 2007. If I had to choose one, I'd dump Netflix, even with the sentimental value it holds for my being an early subscriber. That's my question to other Amazon Prime and Netflix subscribers, would you choose one over the other? Or if a Netflix subscriber only, would you dump the service and sign up for Prime? Please respond in comments.
    One Netflix advantage is its distribution relationship with Starz, which keeps a fresh cycle of movies moving through. Amazon is offering a month of free Prime to new subscribers. That's right, not 7 days or two weeks but 30 days free. That's helluva an offer. Both services offer content commercial free.


    In January, US Internet users watched an average 14.5 hours of online video -- or 4.9 billion viewing sessions, according to ComScore. Google sites and music streaming service VEVO topped all others. Hulu, which offers movies and TV shows, ranked tenth. Hulu Plus also competes with Amazon Prime and Netflix, and it costs $7.99 per month. I'm near to canceling my Hulu Plus subscription since I can't get it on Google TV. Amazon and Netflix streaming are both available.


    SOURCE
     
  6. JohnDroid

    JohnDroid Administrator Staff Member

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    Anyone test it out, how well is it working?
     
  7. joker

    joker Guest

    The newer movies like "RED", "EXPENDIBLES", "UNSTOPPABLE", "SALT", etc. are not available yet. Wonder how long after they are available for a fee will they be available for free?
     
  8. Vumes

    Vumes New Member

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    Yeah, I saw that too. I also looked at shows that my girlfriend watches such as Vampire Diaries Season 2, and that is not free either....
     
  9. Vumes

    Vumes New Member

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    I was all for getting this until I found out you can't get everything... Hmm...
     
  10. joker

    joker Guest

    yeah, i think i'll wait & see how long it takes to give us the new ones for free. i'm paying netflix & i like that set up, so i guess i won't upgrade my free prime membership just yet. then, whichever service gives us the new ones first, will get my money.
     
  11. harley man

    harley man New Member

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    Wow that sucks it dose not also inc the new stuff what a deal that would have been
     
  12. Rickaren

    Rickaren New Member Staff Member

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    February 23, 2011

    Amazon streaming: What works, what doesn't

    by Don Reisinger



    [​IMG]


    Amazon.com's new video plan launched yesterday, enabling Prime customers to stream content to a Mac, PC, and a number of set-top boxes, HDTVs, and other devices that consumers may have in their living rooms.



    The question is, which products are supported and which are not?
    The official Amazon word on Prime streaming is that it works with "more than 200 devices." The company also has a page on its site where people can see which products are supported.



    However, that list isn't entirely correct.


    According to Amazon's list of "compatible set-top boxes and DVRs," TiVo owners will be able to access the company's streaming service. TiVo support is not, in fact, offered with Amazon's Instant Video service. And when pressed for when streaming will be coming to TiVo, Amazon wouldn't comment.


    But even if TiVo owners can't stream Amazon's selection of 5,000 films and TV shows, owners of several brands of HDTVs, including Samsung, Panasonic, and Vizio, as well as Roku set-top box owners, can access the service.


    But based on the fact that Amazon's listing of supported devices included the TiVo, we decided to check that list against the products in-house at the CNET Reviews office and in my own home where I have a few compatible products. Along the way, we found several devices that streamed Amazon content. We also tested picture quality. We even examined the two main ways that people can access the content from their respective set-top boxes.
    Hands-on with Amazon streaming

    CNET's David Katzmaier was able to get Amazon's streaming service up and running on several HDTVs, including the Panasonic TC-65VT25, Vizio's XVT553SV, the Samsung UNC46C6500, and theSony KDL-52NX800.



    I was able to stream content with the Samsung UN55C8000, as well as through the Roku HD XR.

    [​IMG] Amazon streaming works on the Samsung UN55C8000.


    In all of our cases, we used the free "Walking Dead" HD preview to see how picture quality fared across the many devices. Katzmaier's devices connected to the Internet via Ethernet, while my Samsung set and the Roku were connected to my home network via Wi-Fi.


    In order to get Amazon's streaming service running, the app must be linked to a person's Amazon Prime account. On the Roku, for example, customers must surf to a specific Amazon Roku page and input a code displayed in the app running on the set-top box.

    [​IMG] Amazon's app must be activated.




    It's worth noting that the Panasonic TC-65VT25, the Sony KDL-52NX800, and the Roku set-top box have native Amazon Instant Video applications available to customers. The Vizio set, along with the two Samsung HDTVs, require people to employ a Yahoo widget to access Amazon's streaming service.


    I wasn't too pleased with the Yahoo Widget integration. The menu system is too difficult to maneuver and it was much slower than the native application on the Roku set-top box. The service delivers a far more appealing experience when built-in apps are available.
    [​IMG] The Samsung UN55C8000 requires users to access Yahoo widgets to stream Amazon content.


    Once a Prime account is linked to Instant Video, Amazon's streaming service works much like Netflix. Simply choose a movie or television show to watch, and start streaming. Videos come up quickly, though finding content on the Roku, which has a native app, was a bit easier than working around Yahoo widget integrations of the service.
    [​IMG] Roku has a native application available.


    In his testing, Katzmaier was quite pleased with Amazon's video quality, describing it as "very good on the HD stream." He also pointed out that the stream was "comparable to Netflix HD."
    I'd have to agree. In my time with both the Samsung UN55C8000 and the Roku XR, picture quality was quite good across the board. I didn't deal with any buffering problems after the video started and there wasn't any degradation in quality at any point during the stream. It was solid throughout.


    However, it should be noted that picture quality through any of these devices can vary depending on bandwidth in a person's home.


    Also, the movies and shows are free, but Prime membership costs $79 annually. The membership also includes two-day free shipping on all Amazon purchases.



    All in all, Amazon's new streaming plan works quite well. Amazon's library isn't as deep as Netflix's, but with 5,000 pieces of content already, there is plenty to choose from. If Amazon adds more content over the coming months, its streaming service might just cement itself as a worthwhile competitor to Netflix in the booming streaming market.


    SOURCE
     
  13. alphawave7

    alphawave7 Moderator Staff Member

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    Recall that content owners give specific streaming rights to providers (Amazon, Netflix,etc.) so one service may have a specific title while others don't, and then only for a specific time period. My Netflix queue, for example, has shows that regularly move 'off' and back 'on' to my queue as time passes. Amazon/Netflix WANT to bring us this content, but they have rules/licenses to follow. :)
     
  14. ctgtvuser

    ctgtvuser New Member

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    So ... you're paying $10/mo for Netflix at $120/yr? Amazon is 79.99? What is the principle difference and should I ditch Netflix and go for Amazon. Btw ... Amazon, Google, ... they are the pioneers. Please let me know ... I'm really interested what you all think.
     
  15. alphawave7

    alphawave7 Moderator Staff Member

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    I admit to loving Netflix ($7.99/mo streaming). Not so much for the movies (which are fine) but for the episodic dramas, comedies etc. (Showtime, BBC, etc.). It's even better than having a dvr, as there are no commercials to advance through, unlike HULU+, which I have to sit through. I'm very close to killing HULU+. I'm only now getting into Amazon, since I never felt compulsion to buy content by-the-view...I enjoy the ala carte model, but not purchase-to-view. With this free streaming, I'll visit AMZ a LOT more now, which I think they want. :D
     
  16. joker

    joker Guest

    Netflix costs me $96.00 per year.( $7.99 per month), and for now, I'm sticking with them. They seem to get newer movies sooner than Amazon does & to me, that's worth the extra $17.00. I spent half an hour the other night looking at Amazon's prime movies & didn't really find anything I wanted. Most were quite old & I had already seen them. Found 4 newer releases on Netflix that weren't available at Amazon. (Karate Kid, My Girlsfriends Boyfriend, Prince of Persia, & My Name Is Khan). Not interested in them, but they are newer & Amazon didn't have them on the "Prime" yet.
     
  17. Rickaren

    Rickaren New Member Staff Member

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    Amazon Instant Streaming

    02/25/2011

    This week Amazon announced that Amazon Prime members will get instant streaming of 5,000 movies and TV shows. We are big fans of Amazon Prime. You get free two day shipping on almost anything Amazon sells. But with free unlimited streaming of 5,000 movies its a no brainer…or is it?

    First off if you are already an Amazon Prime member this is a good thing. But if you are joining solely for the reason to stream movies read on before you plunk down your hard earned cash.

    5,000 Titles

    Amazon states that they have 5,000 movies and TV shows but that number is a bit deceptive. We found 1,704 movies and 484 TV shows that were prime eligible.
    The way Amazon (and Netflix by the way) inflate the numbers is to count each episode of a TV show as a new title. Five thousand is definitely better than 2,188!


    Studios

    There are just over 50 studios offering movies for the streaming service. Many of which you have never heard of. Here is a partial list:

    • Sony Pictures – 142
    • Columbia Pictures – 6
    • Magnolia – 163
    • Reel Enterprises – 293
    • Egami – 279

    As far as TV goes there are 25 studios. Missing from the list are ABC, CBS, NBC, CW, and Fox. What you do get is:

    • BBC America – 132
    • BBC – 102
    • PBS – 70
    • National Geographic – 43

    Content


    The content is not too compelling. With the exception of Sony Pictures there isn’t too much main stream stuff to choose from. If you like independent or real old movies you may find something here.

    HD and 5.1 Audio

    Forget about it! We could not find a title that was 5.1 audio for streaming. Now we didn’t check the entire list but the movies we did check were stereo. As far as HD goes, there are HD titles but the quality is nothing we’d call HD. In fact we’ve seen DVDs that looked better. In general video quality ranged from pretty bad to decent. The newer the content the better the quality is what we found.


    Final Thoughts

    Again we want to state that we love Amazon Prime for buying everything from HDTVs to toothpaste. Should you sign-up for the service just for the free streaming? Quite simply put, No. We are sure the selection will improve over time and we’ll reevaluate then. Also, if you have a free Amazon Prime account because you are a student or a new mother you will not be eligible for the service.


    SOURCE
     
  18. Rickaren

    Rickaren New Member Staff Member

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    Netflix, Amazon Shares Slump After Latter Launches Streaming Service

    2/28/2011 by Paul Bond


    After the online retailer's unlimited streaming began last week, Netflix shares dropped 12% due to worries about the new competition. But Amazon's stock is also down 7%.

    Netflix shareholders obviously weren't happy about Amazon.com's move to give away streaming movies and TV shows for free to members of its Prime shipping discount service. But Amazon shareholders don't seem particularly thrilled about the initiative, either.


    Since Amazon's announcement a week ago, Netflix shares have slumped 12% on worries that a big, new competitor is suddenly in the business of streaming content to subscribers. But Amazon's stock since then is also down, to the tune of 7%.
    On Monday, UBS analyst Brian Pitz lowered his opinion of Amazon stock to "neutral," citing the need for the company to spend lots of money to acquire content in order to beef up its streaming offerings.


    His financial estimates for the second half of 2011 might be too high, he said, because "free subscription streaming was not included in guidance."


    Meanwhile, analyst Tony Wible of Janney Capital Markets opined that others, like Apple and Google, might also try to undercut Netflix by offering versions of streaming subscription services.
    "The new round of players in the landscape may care less about running an entertainment business and more about using media to grow or protect their core businesses," Wible wrote in a research report Monday.


    While Netflix, Amazon and others all jockey for a position, those with movies and TV shows to sell are reaping the rewards.
    "This dynamic is positive for content owners and a negative for established players like Netflix," Wible wrote.


    Another established player is Hulu, which said Monday that it has struck a deal with TEDTalks for 50 videos that are available on demand.


    TED (technology, entertainment, design) is a nonprofit "devoted to ideas worth spreading." Some of the TED videos Hulu was pitching Monday included Bill Gates speaking about malaria and mosquitoes, J.J. Abrams talking about his love of mysteries, and David Blaine explaining how he held his breath underwater for a record 17 minutes.


    SOURCE
     
  19. 521BJ

    521BJ New Member

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    i'm paying netflix & i like that set up, so i guess i won't upgrade my free prime membership just yet.
     
  20. djangofan

    djangofan New Member

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    I have the Sony NSZ-GT1, and when I browse to Amazon.com Instant Video: Watch Movies and TV Shows Instantly I am unable to login. I am unable to login from the link at the top middle of the page or via the alternative login at the upper right. I am 100% sure that my password and my login name (email address) are correct.

    I get a error messsage that says something like "Your username password combination didnt work"

    Is there a trick to this or does it just plain not work?
     

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