Amazon has just announced that with an Amazon Prime annual membership, you get access to more than 5,000 streaming shows and movies. According to some sources, there are currently less than half that many available as free Prime Instant Videos...hopefully our beloved Amazon will rectify that quickly.
As an Amazon Prime member, this was definitely a great marketing ploy to introduce you and I to Amazon's Video Service...as a long time Netflix and iTunes customer, I was glad to check it out. I decided that I wanted to watch the pilot for Glee and it was definitely not part of their Prime Instant Videos. The selection of Prime Videos is similar to what you find on Netflix...not a much available that is new. But, looks like a battle has begun which means we win! Netflix is already fighting back and will offer streaming of the CBS library - still mainly older shows, but hey, we're making progress.
The Roku is going to gain some momentum from this Prime deal. Setting up the new Roku HD, Roku XD, or Roku XDS to stream your Amazon Instant Videos is easy...just as easy as setting up your Netflix account on your Roku. Login to Amazon from a computer, access the Amazon Instant Video app from your Roku, enter the code and voila, you're ready to stream. The quality is excellent - if you have a solid internet connection, you won't experience any buffering and the HD streaming clarity is just as good as your HD cable television quality.
Here's where Amazon needs to step it up...they did great in partnering with Roku, their player really is awesome. However, many of us also have other devices or only have other devices. Yes, they have a list of compatible TVs, Blu Ray Players and a few other set-top boxes like TiVo Digital Video Players. But...Amazon's VOD is not compatible with the Apple TV, Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox, nor Sony PlayStation - though it is compatible with some Sony Bravia LCDs, Sony Bravia Internet Video Link and Sony Blu-Ray players. Maybe the PlayStation will soon be able to stream Amazon Videos? What about the others? Will Apple allow Amazon on their device and vice versa?
Nice start Amazon...keep working on catching up to Netflix. Netflix...what else have you got? Battle on!