Amazon Prime Video UK 2021 Review | Is it worth it?
By Phil Wilkinson-Jones | Monday, May 10, 2021
Amazon Prime Video has been available in the UK since 2014, but doesn’t enjoy the same place in popular culture as Netflix, nor does it gain attention with movie premieres the way Sky Cinema does (and therefore NOW TV) manages. So how does Amazon Prime Video compare and, frankly, is it any good?
|Canals||TV subscription on demand|
|Can bundle with broadband?||No|
|Digital decoder||Fire TV Stick|
|Price from||£ 5.99 per month|
Amazon Prime Video is a streaming service and therefore for most subscribers it is on-demand content such as American Gods, The Grand Tour, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, and Good Omens. Amazon’s content offering is dominated by its original films and series, which are complemented by a number of other new films, box sets, documentaries and children’s programming.
Unlike Netflix or NOW TV, Amazon Prime Video also lets you add subscriptions to a wide range of channels, which contain a mix of on-demand content and traditional “live” channels. Some channels are included in your Prime subscription, others come with a monthly subscription that is added to your bill.
Sport and fitness
Amazon itself is streaming a growing amount of sports live, including Premier League football and the ATP tennis tour, and has a number of sports documentaries, most notably its All or Nothing series. You can also add Eurosport Player to your subscription as well as a number of more specialty channels including La Liga TV, Motortrend, TheSurfNetwork, Echoboom Sports, The Nautical Channel and Horse and Country.
If you’re looking for help getting back into shape, there are Acacia TV, BeFit, and DailyBurn to choose from, all of which offer a range of yoga, Pilates, Qi Gong, and cardio classes to keep you going. form.
Amazon is acquiring a decent number of new movies, although it can’t quite compete with Sky Cinema in this regard. He complements that with a selection of older films and with his Prime originals.
You can also add many movie channels to your subscription including Icon Film, Starzplay, Arrow Video, Sundance Now, Mubi, Shudder, Hallmark TV, Fandor, BFI Player, FilmBox Live, Shout TV, and MGM.
There are plenty of sets to keep you entertained on Amazon Prime Video, including the original Prime series and old favorites. Additional channels include Acorn TV, Gaia, StarzPlay, Next Up, Motorland, Hayu, Arrow TV, Shout Factory TV, TV Hub, Dekkoo, and Here TV.
Asian channels on Amazon Prime Video include Alchemiya TV, B4U, Pinoy Box Office, and Eros Now.
There are plenty of documentary channels catering to all kinds of interests on Amazon, including PBS America On Demand, History Play, CuriosityStream, Discovery Channel, All Warrior Network, Doccom TV, The Great Courses, and Docsville.
Children’s channels on Amazon include Noggin, Okidoki, Pash, Hopster Learning, Pokemon, and Discovery Kids.
A selection of music channels are available, including Stingray Classica, Qello Concerts and Stingray Djazz.
Start your 30-day free trial
There are other ways to watch Amazon Prime Video, including through a YouView box if you are a BT TV customer, on a Roku stick, or by downloading the Prime Video app on your mobile phone or tablet. But let’s take a look at Amazon’s own hardware.
Amazon Fire TV Cube with Alexa Voice Remote
Amazon’s premium technology for streaming is the Fire TV Cube. This sleek little black box has the Prime Video app preinstalled as well as access to a host of other apps including iPlayer, Netflix, Disney +, and YouTube. Amazon says NOW TV will be available on the Fire TV Cube at some point in 2021. The Fire TV Cube also offers voice control with Alexa and Dolby Atmos Audio. It’s 4K Ultra HD compatible and comes with 16GB of storage, which is double that of the Fire Stick.
Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote
The Fire TV Stick comes preinstalled with the Prime Video app but also lets you watch all the usual apps: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, YouTube, All 4, Hayu, Disney + and more. The device plugs into the HDMI socket on your television and must also be plugged into a mains socket. The standard Fire TV Stick gives you HD (1080p) and Dolby Audio picture quality.
The addition of the Alexa Voice Remote lets you press a button and ask to find your favorite movies, TV episodes and more. The Fire TV Stick also has a power button and volume controls – all of the features missing from the otherwise similar Roku Streaming Stick.
You will need a broadband connection to use the Amazon Fire TV Stick, which connects wirelessly to your wifi network.
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Ultra HD with Alexa Voice Remote
As the name suggests, this is a 4K version of the Fire TV Stick. It is a bit larger than the standard version with a length of 108mm versus 85.9mm, but still plugs into your TV’s HDMI socket. And it costs about a ten more.
The most obvious difference between the two devices is that the 4K dongle allows streaming in Ultra HD, with High Dynamic Range and Dolby Vision. It also supports Dolby Atmos sound (on some titles) and has a bigger processor than the standard Fire TV Stick – a 1.7 GHz Quad-core processor to be exact compared to a Quad-core 1, 3 GHz – but the same 8 GB memory.
In addition to the channels that can be added to a standard Amazon Prime Video subscription, there are also thousands of movies and TV shows that you can buy or rent. It’s a quirk of the Prime Video interface that you’re shown movies that are only available to rent or purchase with those included in your Prime membership, although you can filter them out if you wish.
Packages and packages
Amazon does not offer broadband service, although there has been talk of the company becoming an internet service provider at some point in the future. You will need internet access to watch Amazon Prime Video, as it is streamed over the internet, and you can find our best broadband deals here.
the TV all alone
There are choices to be made when signing up for Amazon Prime Video. First, you can choose to go for the full Amazon Prime membership, which includes music streaming, free next day delivery on thousands of items and more, or save a few dollars a month by opting for a Prime Video subscription, which does not include these additional benefits.
There’s a 30-day free trial, after which you either pay a monthly fee or prepay for the year, which is cheaper over 12 months but obviously binds you to a contract. It’s up to you to decide whether you prefer to save the money or have the flexibility of being able to leave whenever you want.
Our final verdict
- Prime Originals and exclusives
- Excellent value
- Wide range of channel options
- Adding multiple channels can get expensive
- Fire Stick cannot record TV
- No live Freeview channels
If you consider that an Amazon Prime membership is going to cost you roughly the same price each month as Netflix or NOW TV, but that it offers a lot of additional benefits, then it starts to look like incredible value very quickly. As always with these things, it depends on how often you use the various Prime services, but surely there is something for everyone here.
The downsides we found are really picky, as Amazon’s Fire Stick isn’t designed to compete with Virgin Media’s Sky Q or 360 cases. This can be a real alternative if you don’t care too much about live TV, although it is available through apps like iPlayer and ITV Hub, or it can be a useful addition to your overall TV viewing experience.
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