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Amazon Prime Instant Video - Page 23

post #661 of 1235
Fairly new to Amazon Prime IV and wondering what the simplest way to stream it through your HTPC is. I'm running WMC and MB. Tried XMBC's Amazon plug-in, but it's a no go.

I suppose I could just launch a browser and navigate that way, but that's not ideal or easy for other members of the household.
post #662 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by PartyRunner View Post

Fairly new to Amazon Prime IV and wondering what the simplest way to stream it through your HTPC is. I'm running WMC and MB. Tried XMBC's Amazon plug-in, but it's a no go.

I suppose I could just launch a browser and navigate that way, but that's not ideal or easy for other members of the household.

Forget about your HTPC and buy a $50 Roku box, it's just SO easy.
post #663 of 1235
What is Amazon Prime IV?
post #664 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckeye911 View Post

Forget about your HTPC and buy a $50 Roku box, it's just SO easy.

Still keeping my HTPC I stream DVD's/TV Shows, Music from my server.

Which Roku is recommended to play the highest quality? I see quite a few listed.
I see the majority are wireless, since I already have a bridge for the HPTC, Ethernet connection would be better.

Edit:
Ok, looks like this is the only that fits the description, too bad the model below it doesnt have wired ethernet.
http://www.amazon.com/Roku-XS-1080p-...1684214&sr=8-4
post #665 of 1235
The Roku 2 XD and Roku 2 XS are the 1080p boxes. The XS also adds an ethernet port.

edit: The Sony SMP-N100 also streams Amazon, has an ethernet port, and can be had for cheap on eBay.
post #666 of 1235
Well this is a bit disappointing. The Roku isn't DLNA compliant and can't strem media from my personal server.
post #667 of 1235
The Sony SMP-N100 is DLNA compliant.
post #668 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

The Sony SMP-N100 is DLNA compliant.

I'll check it out, wish they would just make a WMC/XBMC plugin.
post #669 of 1235
Amazon streams to computers only in standard definition, so something like a Roku is the only way to get high def.

Amazon streams at 720p with quality that varies depending on the show involved. If the original was low quality SD, you'll get low quality SD on a 720p stream. Farscape fits that description.

On the other hand, if the original was good, so is Amazon's stream. Amazon's showcase for high-quality video and Dolby Digital 5.1 is Firefly, which looks very close to Blu-ray in quality. Pushing Daisies is also very good.

Amazon streams most movies in 5.1 but only a few TV shows.

Since my AVR is pre-HDMI, I had to go with a Roku XDS to get an optical output for surround sound, as the current generation of Roku boxes have dropped the optical jack.

The trade-off is that only the newer boxes can get Netflix in 1080 and surround - but make sure that your AVR not only has HDMI but supports Dolby Digital Plus. Netflix may be the first time that audio codec has gotten heavy use, so not all AVRs support it.

My two cents on optimizing is that no one device will do it all - the box that's best for one purpose may not be best for another. Fortunately, these little boxes are relatively inexpensive, so you can have a few.
post #670 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philnick View Post

Amazon streams to computers only in standard definition, so something like a Roku is the only way to get high def.

It should be noted that you can download titles in files from Amazon to your PC, which will be in high definition with 5.1 sound (if either is available).
Quote:
Amazon streams most movies in 5.1 but only a few TV shows.

648 out of 9542 (6.8%) of all Amazon Instant Video movies have 5.1 sound (428 out of 2472 Prime Instant Video movie titles, 17.3%) so "most" isn't accurate. 739 of 4146 Instant Video television series titles (17.8%) have 5.1 sound (117 of 915 Prime television titles, 12.8%).

You can view a list of the 545 (as I write this) Amazon Prime Instant Video titles with 5.1 sound here, at TVandMoviesNow.com (movies + TV series, which each season counting as a title). This site is my source for all of those numbers above .
Quote:
...make sure that your AVR not only has HDMI but supports Dolby Digital Plus. Netflix may be the first time that audio codec has gotten heavy use, so not all AVRs support it.

Having an AVR with DD+ decoding is the only way that you'll get 5.1 sound out of the Roku 2's Netflix player, since it cannot decode or convert DD+ into anything else.
Quote:
My two cents on optimizing is that no one device will do it all - the box that's best for one purpose may not be best for another. Fortunately, these little boxes are relatively inexpensive, so you can have a few.

I may have found one streamer to suit all of my needs in the 2012 Sony BD players. They feature Netflix with 1080p/DD+ 5.1/CC+subtitle support, VUDU and Amazon w/5.1 sound. Those are the three streaming video services which I use the most (more or less the only ones I use) so having one device with full-featured versions of all will be very cool (it also has players for the popular Hulu Plus and many other things). I ordered the BDP-S590 from Sony's "Rewards" site on Friday but they haven't shipped it yet. There's a BDP-S390 as well (not 3D, smaller enclosure with no external display and 1 versus 2 USB connection but otherwise identical to the S590).
post #671 of 1235
So, is Firefly on Amazon > Netflix?
post #672 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by EJ View Post

So, is Firefly on Amazon > Netflix?

Yes, it is. I just looked it up on TVandMoviesNow.com and it shows that Firefly is in HD with 5.1 sound on Amazon and is neither on Netflix (though it does have CC on Netflix). It's also Prime on Amazon, available for no extra charge for Amazon Prime members.

The sad thing about Amazon is that they still don't have a queue system, so you have to enter a search for Firefly in order to see it.
post #673 of 1235
Sorry about the overstatement on Amazon movies - I mainly stream old sci-fi tv shows!

Do the 2012 Sony BD players decode all the codecs internally or do they just bitstream them to an AVR? Do any of them have multichannel analog outputs?

I use a Panny BD50 because it was the first BD player able to decode all the codecs found on disk and send it as LPCM over HDMI (in up to 7.1) and out a set of 5.1 analog RCA jacks, which is what I use with my pre-HDMI 5.1 AVR.

The BD50 is not a streamer - that didn't start to get built into BD players until several years later. If I were buying a BD player now, however, I'd get an Oppo BDP-93 because of the quality of its audio. (Note: while it streams Netflix - in SD stereo - and probably Vudu, the Oppo does not have Amazon at all.)

"The best" is a moving target - no one device will be best-in-class for all purposes for very long.
post #674 of 1235
I personally don't find having to search that big a handicap, since it has a history list for prior search strings. I just showed the entire 14-episode run of Firefly to a friend over several weeks - I just left the Roku on the last episode we'd watched. (Guess that shows how little I use it!)
post #675 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philnick View Post

"The best" is a moving target - no one device will be best-in-class for all purposes for very long.

I have the Popcorn Hour and Google TV in one setup with the new Apple TV player coming Friday. Does everything I want at reasonable cost.
post #676 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philnick View Post

Do the 2012 Sony BD players decode all the codecs internally or do they just bitstream them to an AVR? Do any of them have multichannel analog outputs?

I don't have mine yet, but I assume that it does. My Panasonic DMP-BDT220 does it and can also bitstream it, following the settings which control BD sound processing (the BDT220 will be going back if the BDP-S590 checks out). There's no reason for a BD player not to, since it has to do it for BD playback. My guess is that the Roku 2 can't decode it to avoid licensing any Dolby tech--it gets DD or DD+ from a streaming service and just passes it through without touching it. That's cool for basic DD, since just about any TV or AVR with HDMI and/or S/PDIF inputs can decode that, but that's not true for DD+, so the Roku 2 can't make it the default if it's available.

The 590 does not have multichannel analog audio outs--it's possible that the 790 will, but it's not out yet and its specs are not fully known, other than an ability to upscale video to 4K resolution. Panasonic's DMP-BDT500, which is scheduled to ship in May, will have 7.1 channel analog audio output.
Quote:


"The best" is a moving target - no one device will be best-in-class for all purposes for very long.

That's certainly true as is the fact that what's best for you isn't necessarily best for me. But there's been a search in these forums by some of us for a device which has full-featured VUDU, Netflix and Amazon players, which could be accurately referred to as "the big 3" . Some devices have full-featured players but don't have all three (the Roku 2); some have all three but not all are full featured (last year's Panasonic DMP-BDTx10 BD players). The 2012 Sony BD players may be the first that we've come across which qualify.
post #677 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

It should be noted that you can download titles in files from Amazon to your PC, which will be in high definition with 5.1 sound (if either is available).

Also note that downloaded movies are not Mac-compatible--although I guess play can be attempted if you run Windows on your OS-X Mac.
post #678 of 1235
Amazon app Rolliing out for the PS3, finally.

http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/03/a...ubscription-a/
post #679 of 1235
Just tried it--pretty nice UI, well thought out, attractive and easy to use. It also starts stream playback quickly, in 4 or 5 seconds and doesn't perform a network speed test every time. For some odd reason they've chosen to present the UI in 720p, but I suppose that's the highest resolution of any of the videos anyway.

Be aware that it's just appeared in the TV/Video Services XMB column; it will download and install when you choose it.

I'd be tempted to use it, except that the Roku 2's most recent Amazon player is nearly as nice and fast and the Roku burns about 1% the power in operation that my old launch model PS3 does. It also renders 5.1 sound as multichannel LPCM instead of bitstreamed DD (ala the Roku and my BD player)--what's up with that?
post #680 of 1235
BTW, while playing with the PS3 player I just noticed that Amazon Prime Instant Video now has the entirety of Monty Python's Flying Circus, all four seasons, 45 episodes.
post #681 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

Just tried it--pretty nice UI, well thought out, attractive and easy to use. It also starts stream playback quickly, in 4 or 5 seconds and doesn't perform a network speed test every time. For some odd reason they've chosen to present the UI in 720p, but I suppose that's the highest resolution of any of the videos anyway.

Be aware that it's just appeared in the TV/Video Services XMB column; it will download and install when you choose it.

I'd be tempted to use it, except that the Roku 2's most recent Amazon player is nearly as nice and fast and the Roku burns about 1% the power in operation that my old launch model PS3 does. It also renders 5.1 sound as multichannel LPCM instead of bitstreamed DD (ala the Roku and my BD player)--what's up with that?

Yes, I like the UI too. I really like the "Recently Watched" feature which I haven't seen on other implementations of Amazon Instant.

Also, I've noticed some problems with video pull down; it doesn't appear to be converting a title encoded at 24 fps to 30 fps properly. I noticed it while watching Sons of Anarchy. Didn't see it with other TV series. However, I know Sons of Anarchy is encoded at 24 fps since it plays that way on the TiVo Premiere.
post #682 of 1235
Also, Amazon is offering the first episode free from a hundred TV series for the next week. You don't need to be a Prime member. Gotta love this URL:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.htm...pf_rd_i=507846
post #683 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper View Post

Amazon app Rolliing out for the PS3, finally.

http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/03/a...ubscription-a/

Awesome, thanks for sharing this.
post #684 of 1235
So surround sound in PCM for the PS3 app? Oh well. I bet if you turn off PCM in the control panel it will work fine. But it doesn't matter, just as long as it streams in true 5.1 surround (are you sure it's streaming in surround and not 2.0 PCM?).

The real question I have- Is it worth buying into Amazon Prime if I already have Netflix?
post #685 of 1235
I got DD just fine. However no subtitles is irritating. iTunes does have all that, which keeps it the most attractive for me with movie rentals. I rented Idea of March though and quality looked great and app UI is nice.
post #686 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveFi View Post

So surround sound in PCM for the PS3 app? Oh well. I bet if you turn off PCM in the control panel it will work fine. But it doesn't matter, just as long as it streams in true 5.1 surround (are you sure it's streaming in surround and not 2.0 PCM?).

Personally it makes me suspicious. The PS3 Netflix app was supposed to be presenting surround sound as multichannel LPCM and it was discovered that it was never more than stereo. Now it converts Netflix's DD+ to basic DD and it's true surround now. I can see no reason that Amazon's basic DD isn't always bitstreamed--almost anything these days, television or AVR, can handle basic DD.

However, I just played with it some more and it is truly a thing of beauty (and the 5.1 tracks sound quite good). I may use it despite the large power draw of the PS3.
post #687 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by xcrunner529 View Post

I got DD just fine.

I wonder why? What model PS3 are you using? I tried to turn off LPCM as an audio choice and there are only a handful of the many LPCM which can be turned off and 5.1 channel 48KHz ain't one of them.
post #688 of 1235
No DD for me either (Slim here). Fooling around with the freebies- it's forcing PCM to 7 channel output. Not good. That's exactly the same problem that Vudu had before they fixed it. Apparently Sony doesn't care enough to get the sound right.

I also found a bug (at least on my setup with the harmony remote/receiver)- If I press stop it bring up the info/play bar and then I'm locked out, none of the other buttons work. I have to quit the app to get functionality back. Ouch. Big problem there.
post #689 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltscott View Post

I wonder why? What model PS3 are you using? I tried to turn off LPCM as an audio choice and there are only a handful of the many LPCM which can be turned off and 5.1 channel 48KHz ain't one of them.

Fattie. It is going through optical and not HDMI though. Maybe that matters?
post #690 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by xcrunner529 View Post

Fattie. It is going through optical and not HDMI though. Maybe that matters?

That makes sense--DD is the only way it could transmit surround through S/PDIF. Why it prefers to decode and render 7.1 channel LPCM over HDMI is a mystery. It sounds pretty good, so it seems to be doing a good job.
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