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Customer Discussions > Amazon Instant Video forum

The end of HD streaming for MAC/PCs?

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Showing 1-25 of 289 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 13, 2012 9:17:58 AM PDT
Dave V says:
Amazon's statement "HD movie playback is currently limited to Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Roku or other Amazon Instant Video HD compatible devices." Vudu's statement "Due to studio restrictions, HD and HDX videos are delivered at SD quality when you watch them through a computer." Google Play "This title is only available in High Definition (HD). Web playback and older devices may only support playback in Standard definition (SD)." I have a nice 32" PC Monitor and a TV tuner card. My PC is better than most of the "compatible devices" I don't understand this new anti-MAC/PC policy and I don't like it. There are no labels letting us know what will and what wont stream in HD till we try to purchase. Want to rant about it to or due you have a suggestion to help add to the topic please post away.

Posted on Oct 29, 2012 1:09:46 PM PDT
dg says:
I concur... this policy does not make sense. I can stream few TV shows in HD, but not movies. My notebook screen is 1920x1080 which is better that several of the "HD" kindles, etc. This is my primary device... and this policy just does not make sense...

Posted on Oct 30, 2012 6:28:27 AM PDT
Danyboy says:
I think we deserve a formal explanation for why they removed an important feature for PC/Mac users. My PC is far more capable than a kindle or roku and is my preferred viewing device. It seems like they want to restrict premium features to license paying devices. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth and virtually ensures that I will not renew my Prime membership...

Posted on Oct 30, 2012 8:14:48 AM PDT
A.A. says:
I noticed this last night when I tried to resume an HD movie (on my HTPC - Home Theater PC) from the previous night. Suddenly, it was only available in SD (standard def). I am extremely unhappy with the removal of HD media from the PC audience. As stated above, our hardware is more than sufficient for playing these streams. This is obviously a digital rights / $$$ issue... :/ This will definitely affect my decision to continue paying for Amazon Prime.

Posted on Oct 31, 2012 9:15:13 PM PDT
HighwayMan says:
I don't expect a real explanation. I'm guessing they would prefer to have their content accessed through more closed easier to control platforms rather than something so open as a PC. It is stupid and I'm sure if they do ever try to explain it, all it would probably be is the blanket excuse for any restrictive content policy: piracy. This policy is dumb. They just want us to buy into tablets/smart tvs/rokus type devices and whatever else.

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 7:38:36 PM PST
This is a shame because the more Amazon Prime made HD movies available there service was becoming compatible with other HD streaming services like Netflix and others.. I would imagine that this division is not funded for the future.

Posted on Dec 7, 2012 11:19:09 PM PST
Digger says:
@Peter, I agree. I have a Sony NSZ-GT1 I have paid for HD in previous purchases. Walking Dead season 2, Pans Labyrinth, Prometheus, etc...

I have started chat sessions, after chat, after phone call, and after call, asking why my movies are not streaming in HD? Amazon is quick to give a refund and I wish most retailers would follow.

I have finally gotten to the bottom of the issue, I am not sure it is realated to all devices? I get the error.

"You can not playback this HD movie via the website.

HD movie playback is limited to Kindle Fire HD, Xbox 360, PS3, Roku, TIVO, or other Amazon Instant Video <link_1>HD compatible devices.</link_1>

Would you like to <link_2>watch the Standard Definition version instead?</link_2>"

The 1st link leads to a list of HD compatible devices, the Sony NSZ-GT1 is on the list. WTF?!?!

The explanation I am given is that my device will only playback "TV shows in HD and not movies". Good old closed source excuse, "sorry we did not document that very well".

Posted on Dec 10, 2012 12:41:56 AM PST
Michael says:
It's not clear to me how much of the policy decisions about online media content (non)availability are the result of the online streaming service providers vs the film/tv industry. The inconsistencies and fluctuations about what shows can be watched in what quality on what device types thru what services continues to be frustrating, but it has been marching towards generally greater availability online.

Although, this move to make traditional desktop/notebook computers second class citizens in the online world when it comes to HD video content is troubling. I primarily signed up for Amazon Prime for the streaming video service. To have HD quality movies not accessible on my device (a PC) is a rip off. Probably worth cancelling my Prime subscription considering I don't own a "compatible device".

Additionally, it's pretty obnoxious that there are no Android tablets on the "compatible device" list aside from the Kindle Fires. That's clearly an Amazon policy decision.

Posted on Dec 10, 2012 4:02:02 PM PST
Zack says:
so dumb.

Posted on Dec 12, 2012 11:58:00 AM PST
This is silly.

How much does it cost to watch The Dark Knight Rises in HD on my PC?

Amazon: Sorry, no can do! I can let you watch it in SD, that'll be $3.99.

Torrent: Oh, that's free! Would you prefer 720p or 1080p?

Posted on Dec 15, 2012 8:58:03 PM PST
BeccaB says:
I don't watch to many things using prime, but when I tried this evening and discovered my pc could no longer watch HD movies I was (and continue to be) pissed off. I think they should refund some of my prime subscription.

Posted on Dec 25, 2012 9:46:08 PM PST
This Amazon policy does not make sense. Why would I want to watch an HD movie on a tiny little device instead of my 32" computer monitor? Very frustrating and also considering canceling my Amazon Prime subscription. There are more and more options everyday.

Posted on Dec 26, 2012 11:49:25 AM PST
As a long time customer, Prime member and stockholder I'm VERY DISAPPOINTED and frankly ANGRY that Amazon will no longer provide movies in HD via my PC. My PC is directly connected to my 58" Samsung Plasma (purchased via Amazon). All of the media I watch streams from and/or through the PC. Everything about using the PC is superior to apps, widgets and other clumsy approximations of the capabilities of a real computer. How could Amazon be so stupid as to take away the ability to view HD content via a PC!? I am not going to use my kindle fire or Samsung apps; that's just stupid when I can stream right from a PC where I have 7 channel optical digital surround sound with DSP, full search capabilities and much more. As a long time Prime member I am also Angry that I cannot use a service that I PAYED FOR! I am hardly alone in this (obviously). Rest assured that I will be active in forums and other social venues to make my opinion known. This foolish move greatly devalues your service. As a stockholder I cannot comprehend of why Amazon would deliberately SHRINK it's potential market by millions, if not billions, of people. WTF!?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 26, 2012 12:09:55 PM PST
Beverly says:
You mean this is a NEW policy? Even worse! I bought my wonderful new Macbook Pro retina display precisely so I could watch movies on a great screen. And the computer was purchased from Amazon. Why would I want to watch such on a Kindle or other small screen device?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 26, 2012 2:27:46 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 26, 2012 2:30:55 PM PST
It's incomprehensible to me why in such a competitive market, Amazon would actually take steps to make their product LESS appealing, LESS marketable and drastically SHRINK their pool of potential customers. I'm not surprised that Analysts have downgraded Amazon and their stock fell 4% today. I had high hopes for that service, but frankly this would seem to send the message that Amazon is looking to exit the online video market. Streaming HD movies on my PC with my 58" Plasma as the second Monitor worked flawlessly; the surround sound was wonderful. I canceled my Netflix account. Who needed it? Now HD content is being down-converted to 480p as Amazon pursues the lucrative niche market of people who are still using their 640x480 tube monitors from 1992. What's next, back and white?

Posted on Jan 1, 2013 10:19:29 PM PST
Wallander BBC series can still played in HD. I don't understand why others can't.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2013 10:42:59 PM PST
Good question.

Posted on Jan 3, 2013 2:26:46 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 3, 2013 2:31:06 AM PST
timmyisme22 says:
Posting up my recent chat asking about why HD movies are not available, yet TV shows are. No real help so far, but maybe in the next few days we'll get an actual corporate posting. Also, I come out pretty strong in my approach, but I do that because I lose track of myself in the long-run and it's easier to just get it out front and center. Also, I meant 1080i, not pi as streaming is usually using a technique that is not technically 1080p (or whatever HD resolution is streamed).

You are now connected to "ASSOCIATE" from
Me:I would like any information on why I cannot stream movies in HD via my computers.2:08:13 AM
Associate:Hello, my name's Naz. Due to the vast number of configurations available on the PC it is not currently supported. 2:09:01 AM
Me:But why? A bit of data is a bit of data (literal bit).2:09:20 AM
Me:It doesn't matter upon which device it is recieved as it is the same data.2:09:44 AM
Me:A standard netbook for $300 USD can run 1080pi HD streams no problem.2:10:14 AM
Me:I jsut want some sort of information as to why it is restricted and yet TV shows are allowed2:10:49 AM
Associate:I appreciate the feedback and your comments and I'd be happy to pass this along for you. 2:14:18 AM
Associate:I do not want to speculate at this point as to why it is not supported.2:14:30 AM
Associate:I'd be happy to do some research for you to find some clarity2:14:48 AM
Me:HD is already allowed and I'd like information now as it's a complication on the customer to not have access to the information as to why it isn't allowed.2:14:49 AM
Me:But not for movie. It's allowed for TV shows which means that it's not based on the configuration of PC's.2:15:12 AM
Me:I'd like some research done, but someone should have the information in order to inform customers as to why.2:15:52 AM
Associate:I'll definitely be able to look into this for you, as soon as I receive some feedback, I can get back in touch with you via email. Is that okay?2:17:20 AM
Me:Fine. How long do you believe it would take?2:17:39 AM
Associate:I'll do some checks for you, i can get back to you within the next 24 hours maximum. Is that fine? 2:18:44 AM
Me:That's fine.2:18:52 AM
Associate:Do you perhaps want to download the HD content?2:18:53 AM
Associate:Okay perfect, sorry for the trouble. 2:19:40 AM
Me:No, as it's part of the Prime Membership usage. Last time I tried to download a movie, it also restricted me to 480p upon the download finishing.2:20:30 AM
Me:Mind you, that download was a good long while back.2:20:44 AM
Associate:I see. Okay no problem. I'll check for you and I'll pass along your comments. 2:21:13 AM
Me:Thank you.2:21:50 AM
Associate:You're welcome. Anything else that I can check for you in the meanwhile?2:22:09 AM
Me:No, that's it.2:22:19 AM
Me:Sorry for coming out strong, but I tend to do that to focus my thoughts2:22:34 AM
Associate:No that's okay. That's why we're here, to help. I want to find the answers for you so that it's clear :)


Possibly more tomorrow.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 3, 2013 6:38:00 AM PST
Beverly says:
And that's exactly where my chat with an associate lies. Only mine allowed as how he'd LOVE to stream movies on his laptop. He'd find out and get back to me. So far, nothing.

All I can see is that the info of which devices can show HD seem a bit more prominent. No real 'ALERT' or 'WARNING'. I bought a retina display MacBook primarily to watch HD movies up close and personal because our home screens aren't big enough to appreciate the depth.

Amazon should issue a formal explanation that makes sense to all of you who actually understand how the guts work.

Posted on Jan 3, 2013 7:17:28 AM PST
Hardy Macia says:
Makes no sense... I'm willing to pay for Amazon Instant Video to get HD movies, but if I can't then canceling AIV and torrenting them is the other option and is free.

Posted on Jan 3, 2013 6:54:07 PM PST
I got a refund on a movie from Amazon when I found this out. Then I just spent my money to rent the same movie in HD from itunes. Worked like a charm. So, all my HD rental budget now goes to Apple instead of Amazon. It's a shame since I am an Amazon Prime member.

Posted on Jan 6, 2013 3:55:38 AM PST
This is rotten. I am going to stop using prime video service. It's unfair and inadequate.

Posted on Jan 20, 2013 7:09:10 PM PST
bkboom says:
Found this out today, will stop using Prime as soon as it expires. I rather wait few extra days to receive my items that I rarely order, and find a service that gives me HD content..

Posted on Jan 21, 2013 2:44:36 PM PST
T. White says:
It's to discourage screen-captures of HD movies. This is nothing more than an anti-piracy scheme, that winds up screwing 90% of Prime members. Great job, Amazon; you have successfully endangered your instant-streaming business. See you all on the Netflix boards! ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 21, 2013 10:57:29 PM PST
I got a better idea. Don't show video at all to prevent any piracy.
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Participants:  190
Total posts:  289
Initial post:  Oct 13, 2012
Latest post:  9 hours ago

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