Amazon Prime members have full access to the Amazon Prime Video video streaming service, which offers unlimited on-demand streaming of a wide selection of movies and TV shows. But how can you watch Amazon Prime Video on your TV, smart or otherwise?
The Amazon Prime Video streaming service (known in the distant past as Lovefilm Instant and then Amazon Prime Instant Video) allows you to watch movies and shows online, via your PC or Mac. You can also enjoy the service on your mobile devices, including iOS handsets and tablets, Kindle tablets and - finally - on other, non-Amazon branded Android devices too.
But streaming the service on your TV is another matter. While many smart TVs come with plenty of Amazon apps installed, getting Prime Video on your TV isn't immediately obvious. And what about if you don't own a smart TV just yet? Our in-depth guide shows you just how to stream Prime Video on your home telly.
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How much is Amazon Prime Video and do I need to be a full Prime member?
At the time of writing, only Prime members can access Prime Video content. The annual membership fee for Amazon Prime is £79 and comes with a 30 day free trial, so you can test it out and see if the video streaming is a worthy feature.
Why is Amazon Prime Video so good, compared with Netflix and other video streaming services?
Amazon's Prime Video library offers up tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes, just like rivals such as Netflix. And like Netflix, there's plenty of exclusive content on there. This includes The Grand Tour, Black Sails, Vikings and Mozart in the Jungle, along with dozens of other series and feature-length films. We've compiled a list of our favourites, so check it out.
Read next: Will The Grand Tour ever air on TV?
Amazon Prime Video used to be one of the few services to offer digital downloads. In other words, you can download a copy of most of the videos on offer, to enjoy on the move when your device is offline. Netflix just started offering this service too, but at the time of writing, there wasn't much content available via Netflix. Amazon still has the upper hand here.
Of course, Prime membership bags you more than just a subscription to the video library. You get Amazon's free one day delivery service, as well as extra goodies like unlimited photo storage in Amazon Cloud Drive and Amazon Prime Music, Amazon’s Spotify/Apple Music/Tidal rival.
What is Amazon Video?
If you don’t have (or don’t want) a Prime subscription, you instead have the option to rent and buy content from Amazon Video, Amazon’s pay-per-view iTunes-battling effort.
Prices for titles vary, but generally speaking you can rent digital copies of films from £3.49 in SD £4.49 in HD. You can also buy digital copies of movies from around £9.99 (SD) and £13.99 (HD).
Can I get Amazon Prime Video on my Smart TV?
You can watch Amazon Prime on most Smart TV’s available in the UK, from Samsung, LG, Sony, Vizio and Panasonic. The steps to setup your account is basically the same, with a few small variations from manufacturer to manufacturer.
You first need to download the Amazon Prime Video app, if it’s not already pre-installed on your TV (in other words, you can't see it when you head to the apps section).
For instance, for a Samsung smart TV you need to visit the Samsung Smart Hub and click on the Amazon Instant Video icon. If you can’t spot the app there, then you’ll need to download it from the Samsung apps store.
After downloading the app, launch the app and click on ‘Register your device’. Simply follow the instructions to get the registration code to connect the device.
You can check instructions for your specific smart TV set-up here.
Can I get Amazon Prime Video on my Amazon Fire TV?
Not only do these little mini streamers make it easy to get a smart TV experience on an older, dumb TV, they boast a clean and simple UI that’s miles ahead of most smart TV interfaces (and even Amazon’s own desktop player).
The process of set up is pretty easy as well. All you need to do is register your Amazon Fire TV to your Amazon account by visiting ‘settings’ and then selecting ‘My Account’ to link the device.
After the device is registered you can start enjoying the unlimited stream of movies and TV show by navigating to the "Video" section of your Amazon Fire TV. And the latest Fire TV Stick even has built-in support for Alexa, so you can perform smart searches on pretty much anything using the bundled remote.
Can I get Amazon Prime Video on my Apple TV?
At WWDC 2017, Tim Cook announced that Amazon Prime Video would indeed be coming to the Apple TV in a future update. Stay tuned for more information on when this update will hit your Apple TV.
Can I get Amazon Prime Video on Roku?
Yes. Amazon Prime and Amazon Video apps are now available to download from the Roku Channel Store. Simply search for the Amazon apps in the Store and install as normal.
As with Amazon’s own Fire TV devices, Roku devices like the Roku 3 and Streaming Stick will let you search by title, actor and director.
Can I get Amazon Prime Video on Chromecast via web?
Unfortunately Amazon Prime cannot be accessed directly yet, since the company does not support Google’s Chromecast API.
Even with Chromecast mirroring on Android phones (an inelegant workaround at the best of times) we’ve been unable to get Prime Instant Video playing on our TVs via Chromecast.
However, if you need to Chromecast Amazon Prime videos, you will have to download and install Google Chrome web browser and the Google Cast extension and then beam your browser to your TV.
Make sure that you've enabled Adobe Flash in your Amazon Prime settings and are streaming videos through that and not Microsoft Silverlight for a smooth and uninterrupted movie experience.
Can I get Amazon Prime Video on my Blu-ray Player?
Blu-ray players are also compatible with Amazon Prime. After downloading or opening the Amazon Instant Video app, sign in to your Amazon account directly on your device, or go to www.amazon.com/mytv and use the registration code provided to connect the device to the account.
You can check out the list of Amazon instant video compatible devices to get more information.
How can I watch Amazon Prime Video in UHD 4K?
Now that Amazon has begun offering video content in all the glory of 4K Ultra High Definition, you need to know how to access it.
First off, you’ll obviously need a 4K resolution TV. Without that don’t even bother trying. Check out our guide to the best budget 4K TVs you can buy in 2017 if you need inspiration. Most new 4K TVs will feature an app store where you can find the Amazon Prime Video app. These, being native to the TV, will be able to offer the maximum quality the stream provides.
Of course, you also need to make sure your home is setup for 4K video streaming. You’ll need a suitable internet connection to support that high quality, as well as a solid WiFi network. Check out our guide on streaming 4K video for more info.
If your 4K TV doesn't support Amazon Prime Video through an app, don't worry. There are also 4K UHD streamers that can play Prime content. We personally really like the Nvidia Shield TV, which offers full UHD streaming as well as game streaming and plenty more excellent features.
Options also include Amazon’s own 4K Fire TV, Roku Premiere+ and Google Chromecast Ultra. Check out our guide to these at the link below.