A stable video streaming service with an pleasant roster of unique content material and an enormous library. It’s A/V efficiency is passable, however Prime Video nonetheless feels a bit clunky and the quantity of content material obtainable is overwhelming. This service may benefit from being trimmer and extra streamlined.
- Huge library
- Will get newer releases faster than Netflix
- Satisfying AV efficiency
- Reside sports activities programming
- Extensive platform assist
- A lot of content material behind paywalls
- Dense interface
- Unique content material not essentially the most frequent
- Curation doesn’t really feel too private
Full HDR assistHDR10+, Dolby Imaginative and prescient, and Filmmaker mode included
30-day free trialReap the benefits of a free trial to check out the service
Reside sports activitiesTennis and Premier League sports activities
They are saying it’s been a golden age for TV exhibits, and the streaming increase has made it simpler to seek out our favorite collection on demand.
One main participant is Amazon with Prime Video. It launched in 2006, making the jump over to UK shores in 2014 when it devoured up LoveFilm Instantaneous.
Since then, it’s develop into a longtime participant within the UK market alongside iPlayer, and regardless of not getting as a lot consideration as Netflix and Disney+, it arguably has the widest breath of content material; a library with entry to classics and worldwide options, in addition to a line-up of unique content material and sports activities in 4K HDR.
How good is Prime Video? Let’s discover out.
Like Netflix, Prime Video has large availability. It’s on Amazon’s personal gadgets within the Hearth TV, Hearth TV Stick, Echo, and Hearth Tablets. Different streaming gamers embody Chromecast, Nvidia Protect, Roku, Apple TV, Xiaomi, Robust, Sky Stream, and NOW amongst others, in addition to set-top bins from TiVO, Virgin Media, Sky Q and Humax.
Push past the Amazon ecosystem and there are Blu-ray gamers from LG, Panasonic, and Sony.
All the most important TV manufacturers carry the app in addition to smaller ones whether or not it’s Hisense, LG, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sony, Skyworth, Sky Glass, Toshiba, Vizio, TCL, JVC, Sharp and Grundig.
Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, and Opera are lined for browsers, together with Android, iOS, and Home windows platforms. Sony sport consoles from the PS3 to the PS5 are supported, whereas for Xbox it’s the Collection X/S consoles again to the Xbox One.
- Visually higher than earlier than
- A lot content material to wade via
Prime Video’s revamp of its interface in the summertime of 2022 made it simpler to navigate and visually higher. Points stay, however this can be a higher effort.
It mirrors the Hearth TV interface with a carousel that cycles via content material from Prime and partnered channels. The ten slots embody new and fashionable titles in addition to ads for different channels (comparable to Freevee and Lionsgate+). Weirdly, it cycles via the titles as soon as after which stops.
Beneath are 5 sections: All, Motion pictures, TV exhibits, Sports activities and Household. Keep on the primary web page and the primary row is a floating one, typically it’s a row of prompt motion pictures, different occasions it’s the UK prime ten. Then it’s adopted by unique/unique content material, and subscriptions to different channels, which has pushed the Proceed Watching bar down the web page.
Personally, I’d desire the ‘Proceed…’ bar to be stationed increased – extra like Apple TV+. I imagine streaming providers ought to encourage you to complete what you’ve began relatively than chuck extra stuff at you.
Should you’re utilizing the TV interface, the auto play trailers when hovering on a title can get tiring. It may be turned off within the settings.
Press the inexperienced button on the TV distant and you’ll add a title to your watchlist, take away it or disguise it from view, the latter helpful for programmes which have switched from streaming to lease/purchase that you simply don’t need to see anymore.
There’s additionally a row for titles leaving the service, which is a helpful reminder. The variety of titles in every row varies – High ten is clearly simply ten – however the ‘leaving’ row had over 100, whereas I ended relying on the ‘new motion pictures’ row after I hit 200. That quantity encourages countless idle scrolling, and suggests a streaming service extra about amount than being succinct.
Then there are legions of rows comparable to ‘Not too long ago added motion pictures’, stay and upcoming occasions (often sports activities however typically music), ones that target a style (Horror, Thriller, Romantic, Westerns); prompt titles (since you watched…), themed rows (Main girls, Motion pictures by Warner Bros., LGBTQ+ motion pictures), content material from Prime Video Channels – and on and on. Perusing the interface feels so long as a Rings of Energy episode.
- Full HDR assist
- Helps as much as six profiles
- Group watching attainable
Prime Video helps as much as six profiles (together with youngsters profiles), and there are parental controls to set restrictions for what may be seen or purchased within the retailer.
Like different streaming providers, Prime Video scales the A/V efficiency based mostly in your gear. Presently, there are not any subscription tiers, however that’ll change when ads arrive in 2024. Should you don’t need to see advertisements, you’ll need to pay additional.
There’s the IMDb X-Ray characteristic, which I feel is Prime Video’s secret sauce for movie and TV nerds that goes into the small print of the solid, and presents trivia and information. I like this characteristic loads, helpful whenever you see an actor and have their identify on the tip of your tongue.
A/V assist contains HDR10+ and Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR, together with Filmmaker mode that’s mechanically activated on Samsung and LG TVs. When it comes to audio there’s Dolby Atmos, 5.1 or stereo. Subtitles, audio descriptions, and different languages are supported too.
A giant problem, although, is Prime Video’s tagging of 4K HDR content material, which is commonly incorrect. Dune (2021) claims to be a UHD title nevertheless it’s really in HD, and the identical is true for Marvel Girl 1984, Patriots Day, Bombshell. A Quiet Place, and La La Land. The stream by no means masses in UHD or HDR.
Prime Video additionally helps group viewing with its Watch Celebration. As much as 100 contributors can be a part of a session, however they have to reside in your nation. Watch Celebration is appropriate with any Prime Video Channel or Freevee.
- A number of suggestive rows
- Doesn’t really feel explicit private
Prime Video doesn’t reveal a lot about its curation – the truth is, there’s nothing I can discover on-line, so it’s onerous to know what foundation the algorithm is feeding you titles.
There are rows of flicks/TV exhibits Prime Video thinks you’ll like. On the touchdown web page for every title, there’s a row of content material different prospects have watched to spur some inspiration for locating one thing new. There are additionally rows with recommendations based mostly in your watch historical past. Having seen Catching Hearth the listing began filtering younger grownup movies like Allegiant and The Mortal Devices.
There’s a facility to price titles like Netflix’s thumbs up/thumbs down, however all that actually does is change the titles within the ‘since you like…’ row – it doesn’t seem to have an effect on the rest. Should you ‘favored’ one thing else afterwards, it’ll instantly change that row once more, so all of the titles that had been beforehand there disappear.
Curiously, after I favored Amelie, that row prompt Amelie once more, together with Manchester by the Sea (!), Annie Corridor, Birdman, and Sound of Steel. Should you give a title the thumbs down, it removes it from view.
It quantities to recommendations that don’t really feel private and extra like new content material Prime needs to place in entrance of your eyeballs. There are presently loads of Tom Cruise movies (maybe a primer for Lifeless Reckoning’s residence video launch), in addition to the Transformers collection however I don’t keep in mind watching something associated to these movies.
Total, curation feels by the numbers. As a result of I watched Dune the service really helpful Catherine Referred to as Birdy? I don’t see a lot of a connection between the 2.
- Huge library
- Reside sports activities programming
- Will get newer titles quicker than Netflix
After all, Prime Video licenses an unlimited quantity content material from studios, whereas Netflix focuses on its unique content material (with a bit assist from Sony Footage). The place Prime Video betters Netflix is that it will get ‘greater’ movies faster. By faster I don’t imply prompt – often lower than two years – however newer titles appear to pop up faster than on Netflix.
As of September 2023, The Suicide Squad (2021) was obtainable, as was The Matrix Resurrections (2021), King Richard (2021), In The Heights (2021), all Warner Bros.’ titles, by the way. And there are smaller titles comparable to Until (2023), Girls Speaking (2023) and Alice, Darling (2023).
It’s additionally higher when it comes to older, cult movies just like the 80s model of Dune, 1984, Some Like It Sizzling, Heaven’s Gate, The Misfits, The Bishop’s Spouse, Django, and The Killing (Kubrick model). Should you’re searching for one thing from the previous, Prime Video is kind of first rate, although it’s not too straightforward to seek out them.
As a service, Prime Video has a behavior of blending streaming titles with content material you’ll be able to lease, purchase, or pattern with a free trial by way of Prime Video Channels. Prime Video capabilities extra like Apple TV in that it’s each a streaming service and a retailer. At the least Apple TV (largely) separates its retailer and streaming providers – Amazon has its cake and eats with each a retailer part and a streaming part with content material you’ll be able to lease and purchase. It’s inescapable.
Unique content material is an space Amazon hasn’t been as sturdy as its rivals. Apple TV+ is healthier regardless of launching a lot later. The problem isn’t essentially high quality – I’d say Prime Video’s roster of originals is sweet – however the frequency of titles doesn’t really feel as common as its rivals.
The Terminal Checklist, Daisy Jones & the Six, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, The Peripheral, A League of Their Personal, Invincible, and The Boys all vary from good to excellent (let’s ignore Citadel); and there may be the sports-focused All or Nothing collection, that’s good leisure, although Netflix is catching up with Drive to Survive and Break Level.
Prime Video additionally has exclusives like Star Trek: Decrease Decks, Vikings, and You Damage My Emotions however these are likely to lapse. Halt and Catch Hearth and Mr Robotic are now not obtainable, regardless of the poster artwork nonetheless saying ‘Amazon Unique’ regardless that Mr Robotic is now on ITVX and Halt and Catch Hearth is on Channel 4 (each are glorious by the best way).
The unique titles I listed don’t create as a lot buzz as a lot because the Disney+ MCU and Star Wars collection (no matter it’s possible you’ll consider them), or its FX titles (The Bear, Welcome to Wrexham). Apple TV+ has Ted Lasso, but additionally The Morning Present, Silo, Basis, Hijack, For All Mankind, and Sluggish Horses. When was the final time you considered watching an Amazon Unique?
There are stay sports activities, whether or not it’s ATP tennis tour or Premier League soccer, so in the event you like tennis, Prime is the service to subscribe to. There’s additionally an array of worldwide titles on the service, content material from India, Korea, anime, in addition to Spanish language titles from South America.
There’s numerous content material on Prime Video, although the caveat is that not all of it’s obtainable via Prime streaming. Amount is successful the battle over high quality in some facets of Prime Video’s efficiency.
- Passable AV efficiency
- Not the widest Atmos assist
Efficiency is determined by the TV and sound system you have got, however the efficiency is reliably good. Prime Video has sufficient content material to make the most of UHD decision, HDR and Extensive Color Gamut.
Watching Daisy Jones on an LG and Samsung TV, and I most well-liked the Dolby Imaginative and prescient model. You’ll be able to’t flip HDR off (or select which one you need), however just a few titles assist each HDR10+ and Dolby Imaginative and prescient. From reminiscence, Dolby Imaginative and prescient is prioritised, which is a slight shock given Amazon was one of many early backers of HDR10+. Not too long ago it’s added extra titles in Dolby Imaginative and prescient, which is sweet to see given it’s the extra frequent HDR format.
I wouldn’t class it as wanting higher than Apple TV+, which advantages from slicker manufacturing values (and nearly actually increased bit-rates). Filmmaker mode is determined by your TV, and a premium OLED or Mini LED would deliver out the very best picture high quality; a less expensive LED set that doesn’t supply the very best distinction, brightness of color replica and a present like The Rings of Energy can find yourself wanting very mundane.
The sound high quality is sweet, although Dolby Atmos assist isn’t as large as I’d hoped, even on Amazon’s Originals. You’d wish to assume each unique programme is in Atmos, nevertheless it varies – The Terminal Checklist doesn’t have it, however Rings of Energy does. That’s a disappointment, particularly when you’ve got an Atmos succesful encompass system.
Must you purchase it?
Should you’re a Prime subscriber
Prime Video comes a part of an annual Prime sub, which implies you get it as a part of your subscription at no additional value
If you need a streamlined service
You’ll be able to stream, you should buy, you’ll be able to lease; Amazon is completely satisfied no matter you do, however the quantity of selection is overwhelming, not helped by content material being behind paywalls both.
Prime Video is a stable service, with good AV credentials and an enormous library, nevertheless it additionally presents an awesome quantity of selection.
The interface is healthier, however curation doesn’t really feel too private; its roster of unique programming is sweet, however others are stronger. It’s comparatively one of many extra inexpensive choices, however with a worth hike set for 2024, you’ll have to pay extra to keep away from advertisements. That relatively sums up Prime Video’s present state – the nice factors are shortly adopted by caveats.
Prime Video is a video streaming service that’s good to have however not but important for many who aren’t subscribers to Amazon Prime.
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Examined over a number of months
Examined with actual world use
Examined on a number of gadgets
Sure, you’ll be able to pattern the service with a beneficiant 30-day free trial, and as soon as that’s finished, it’ll auto-renew at £8.99/month.
Amazon Prime Video
Dolby Audio, Dolby Atmos
As much as 4K Extremely HD
Over 12000 titles
Amazon Hearth TV, Hearth TV Stick, Echo, and Hearth Tablets.