February 03, 2015

Amazon Instant Video

I've signed up to Amazon Prime for the free 30 days and have been impressed with the line up of programmes and films on the service compared with Netflix. I'm playing it through my Sony smart TV and iPhone - the former is poor and stutters at peak times, the latter is faultless*.
I've found Netflix's line up weaker of late (see previous post), so finding the following all available in Amazon Prime, in HD and sometimes 1080p, is quite heartening and certainly worth signing up for the month's trial. I'm currently watching the third season of Ripper Street and there's plenty of good TV series on Amazon that aren't on UK Netflix, including West Wing, Lost, Mad Men and The Walking Dead.
But it's the films where Amazon appears to be ahead of Netflix. Recent films include 12 Years a Slave, Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Argo, Prometheus, Prisoners, Rush, Alan Partridge, Mud and last year's Under the Skin. It's impressive.
What I'd really like to see is the service available via my TiVo boxes. It's a broader service though than Netflix and you can buy or rent On Demand movies at lower prices than Virgin Movies, so maybe Virgin won't be offering it to UK customers any time soon.

* Does anyone else experience problems with Amazon Instant Video on Sony TV or Playstation? If so, any idea if Sony is doing anything about it? Netflix through the TV is stunning so I think it's the app rather than a broadband or service issue, as playing it via my iPhone or iPad is fine.


Humour Hive said...

The issue that I have with Amazon Prime is that here in the UK it is something like £79 a year subscription, but in Italy it is just £7.50 a year! How is it that Amazon can profitably run a service in Italy for that little amount and then find the need to make customers pay 10 times that amount in the UK.
It is also worth noting that some of the products that you can purchase with free delivery are actually priced higher than a regular customer who has to pay delivery charges, although this seems to be more of an USA issue and is being looked into by their watchdog.

tassiekev said...

Not keen on Prime because of the lack of 5.1 sound - Amazon don't seem to want to talk about this but if you buy/rent a program which is avaiable on Prime as part of your subscription you'll get stereo on Prime and 5.1 paid for.

Where 5.1 is available on Netflix, that's what you get. Example is Crossing Lines - available on Prime (in stereo), also available on Netflix US (via VPN) with 5.1.

In spite of your comments, I'm not convinced about Prime's PQ either.

Jez24 said...

I get Dolby Digital as normal on Prime. I don't know why you should have a problem. It obviously depends on what piece of kit you are using to get it.

As you say, I think it's got the edge on Netflix now after a shaky start.

David Hill said...

I get 5.1 through Amazon Prime too. I access it through my Samsung smart TV and have had no problems with playback.

tassiekev said...

Thanks for the response on the 5.1 issue, wonder f you could point me at a particularshow you watched so I can test again. I'm using an LG Bluray player (BD645) which gives me 5.1 on both Netflix and iPlayer (where available) but I can't get a bloody thing out of Prime. Its not just on this box either. A guy (name escapes me) who did a review of Prime on Pocketlink thought he was getting 5.1 until he checked again, his AV was showing 5.1 but he wasn't getting anything out of his rear speakers.


Jaybee said...

It's also possible that those who are getting 5.1 are actually upmixing stereo without realising it. I've often seen friends setup who weren't even away that it wasn't a real 5.1 surround they were listening to

tassiekev said...

Agreed, if you Google "5.1 sound on Amazon Prime" or similar there are many thousands of comments on this subject. I think its about time Amazon started to use ethics in their management/marketing and let people know exactly what they're getting.