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Amazon prime "HD" (ie 720p) plays in 480p even with full bars after trial ended. Feel ripped off.

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Showing 1-24 of 24 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 5, 2012 1:53:29 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 5, 2012 1:54:49 AM PST
C. Smith says:
I was getting 720p resolution instant streams when my month free trial was going, but now that I'm an paying member I only get 480p in HD mode even when the connection bars are full. I just went to Hulu and it streamed 720p perfectly, and it also allowed me to manually select 720p and not change it to 480p when it's in 720p mode, unlike Amazon Prime.

Why is it doing this and why don't they allow users to select 720p to see how it will play? I hate it choosing for me. I get the same resolution in standard mode or HD mode. It's BS. I feel like they are ripping me off with bandwith now that I am paying and they no longer have to impress me. Something has to be up with this. It's very odd.

Posted on Mar 5, 2012 8:01:27 AM PST
Glenn says:
I also have this question. I am happy and willing to pay for 720p videos (480p is not worth it to me). How can I tell what quality (bitrate) the video will play at before purchasing it?

Posted on Apr 17, 2012 12:52:31 PM PDT
Same here. I want to know what a video is going to play at. It's kinda pissing me off. I purchased FUR, but it's only playing in 480. My bandwidth isn't the problem as I have 55mb (33mb constant) down and 13mb up.

Posted on Aug 26, 2012 11:40:03 AM PDT
I have the same problem. Paid for HD version of Amazon Prime movie, but movie comes through at only 480p even though I have 35-megabit download speed and even though Netflix HD streams just fine.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 11, 2012 8:33:36 AM PDT
J. Wagner says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 11, 2012 4:01:41 PM PDT
Okay, but this was streaming to a Sony Blu-Ray player. Netflix and all the other video streaming services have no problem streaming HD to this device. The only one that drops down to 480p is Amazon.

Posted on Sep 15, 2012 10:14:34 AM PDT
HD movies on Amazon instant videos are in .vp8 format which can only be played on the below list of devices only:
TiVo Series 3, HD, Premiere & XL
-- Roku 2HD, 2XD, 2XS, LT, XD, HD-Streaming, HD Player
-- Xbox 360
-- PlayStation 3
-- Kindle Fire HD models
-- Certain models of TVs and Blu Ray players from LG, Samsung, Vizio, Panasonic, and Sony
.vp8 format is not supported in Mac or PC.

Posted on Sep 15, 2012 10:43:43 AM PDT
Yet browsers support the format... If they know why they aren't talking. Hopefully they'll have a solution soon.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 15, 2012 1:48:43 PM PDT
What Tyrone says makes sense, but I have a Sony BDP-S570 Blu-ray player, a recent, high-end model that plays every other provider's movies in HD. I'd be shocked if it wasn't supposed to play Amazon HD in HD. It certainly didn't mind letting me PAY extra for the HD version of the movie.

Posted on Nov 3, 2012 6:36:12 AM PDT
JeanneDes says:
Well, we just tried Amazon Prime trial last night, Verizon FiOS being our service. After registering was completed( we had to delete then re-install the Amazon channel to our Roku HD), we ordered The Mentalist tv show, the HD version. We were charged $2.99. Didn't expect that! And the next unpleasant part was the hesitations in running the video. We paused each time, thinking there must be some buffering going on. But the delays were significant.

Was it the HD? Should we expect the same in SD? Is Amazon Prime only for SD?

Posted on Nov 3, 2012 10:41:10 PM PDT
I wish they didn't only have HD offered, my connection is slow and I ant watch the movies. If it was regular I could stream the movies. So my only option is to buy each movie. So much for saving money with prime video.

Posted on Nov 4, 2012 6:44:19 AM PST
Same problem here. I'm watching on my Xbox 360. shows 17 mbps speed, which is several times what's needed to stream HD, but I can only get 480p streams.

Posted on Dec 1, 2012 5:47:58 PM PST
Steve Katz says:
My connection speed is way more than adequate and Netflix HD streams just fine. Something is wrong with Amazon streaming. Maybe one in ten HD videos are higher than 480p. I have Prime, but the streaming service is worthless to me at 480p.

Posted on Dec 22, 2012 9:00:59 PM PST
I dont want Amazon prime if they cant stream HD to my pc, that's ludicrous.

Posted on Jan 26, 2013 2:44:26 AM PST
Dean Cripps says:
This is ludicrous. There's gotta be some justification that makes sense. Because bandwidth and processing power, most computer have plenty of.

Posted on Jan 26, 2013 2:16:26 PM PST
RavenTN says:
I am very frustrated with the instant videos that Amazon offers. I also have a great connection via comcast at 33mbps download and 11mbps upload but sometimes it will play 720p and then buffer for a second and then switch to 480p. Sometimes the connection bar will go down to 1 bar and the picture becomes very grainy and low quality.

I believe that Amazon doesn't have a big enough server to support all the customers streaming videos at peak hours and that is why the quality goes down.

I wish an Amazon employee would chime in and explain to us what the deal is and work to resolve these issues!

Posted on Jan 26, 2013 8:12:50 PM PST
Dr. Monkey says:
Is this ultimately a licensing/DRM, technological, or corporate policy issue? If it's the first, then PC users are screwed. If it's the latter two, then we might be able to pressure Amazon into enabling HD for PCs.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2013 6:14:33 PM PST
J. Wagner says:
It's the content providers that don't allow HD streaming to PCs, they are afraid of piracy (which is stupid since all their movies are already accessible in HD via pirate sites.)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 29, 2013 3:13:03 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 29, 2013 3:41:58 PM PST
Dr. Monkey says:
Interesting, but if true, why are other services like Netflix and Hulu still offering HD on PCs? Is it a difference in the digital platform?

UPDATED: Okay, I looked it up and both Netflix and Hulu are Silverlight based while Amazon is Flash based. If I'm not mistaken, Silverlight has stronger DRM control; this may account for the difference between the services. If so, then the decision may be out of Amazon's hands.

Posted on Mar 8, 2013 9:50:03 AM PST
Anonymous says:
I'm glad to see a discussion on this. I'm new to this and was taking a look at ditching cable tv all together and going with only Prime. However, that was only if it was 1080. So to find out it's not even in 720 sometimes, or most of the time, is a deal breaker. Disappointing.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2013 5:43:55 PM PDT
Matt561 says:
Oh you can, just not on Amazon.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2013 9:30:18 PM PDT
Rick Deckard says:
That is completely irrelevant to his post. Netflix streams on many devices. Most people stream it on a Roku. Anyway, he never mentioned a PC.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2013 3:04:43 PM PDT
Steve says:
Then Amazon should go Silverlight based.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2014 10:23:23 AM PST
xephael says:
Bull, if you have an HDCP output it'll play HD content.
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Participants:  19
Total posts:  24
Initial post:  Feb 5, 2012
Latest post:  Feb 12, 2014

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