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Once upon a time, Canadians used to struggle with limited entertainment options. That’s no longer the case, since cord cutters now have plenty of choice when it comes to streaming platforms. So much so that deciding which one to get can be difficult.
However, Amazon Video has one important thing going for it: it’s free with a Prime subscription. That means that on top of fun perks like fast shipping, Prime subscribers also get access to a generous library of original productions from Jack Ryan to the highly-anticipated The Romanoffs.
Amazon Prime Video is a subscription video on demand service developed and operated by Amazon. Similar to Netflix, it allows you to stream an unlimited number of TV shows and movies from its content library for a monthly fee.
The service launched in the US back in 2006 under the name Amazon Unbox, but was renamed two years later to Amazon Prime Video. It’s been available in Canada since late 2016.
The platform offers an appealing library of both TV shows and movies. Its collection is smaller than some of its competitors, but Prime Video compensates with quality original productions.
The service used to allow users to vote on which new shows they should order based on pilot episodes, a revolutionary approach that made the show creation process much more… democratic. Viewers watched the pilots and gave Amazon feedback on which series they are interested in. Amazon would then choose which shows to pick up for additional episodes taking into account fan reactions.
Sadly, that’s no longer the case. Moving forward, Amazon is reportedly focusing on more traditional metrics to gauge a show’s viability.
Don’t worry – you can still look forward to watching plenty of exciting fresh content. The list includes a TV series based on The Lord of the Rings novels, an adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s beloved novel Good Omens and a fantasy series starring Cara Delevingne and Orlando Bloom titled Carnival Row.
Until December 2016, Amazon Video was only available the US, the UK, Germany, Austria and Japan. All that changed with the release of The Grand Tour, the original series that Amazon decided to stream globally.
Amazon Video is now available in more than 200 countries including Canada, where you can get it free with an annual Prime subscription. No more VPNs required.
Consequently, Amazon Video kept expanding its content library following the global expansion, positioning itself in direct competition with Netflix. While it initially only offered both movies and TV shows in limited number, Canadian subscribers currently have a much more generous catalogue to choose from. There’s literally something for everyone.
Canadians get access to the Prime Video platform for free with an Amazon Prime membership. A subscription costs $79/year but you benefit from a 30-days trial to figure out if it’s worth your money. Quebec residents receive an initial membership of 13 months for $79 instead of a free trial.
Besides access to Amazon Video, Prime memberships come with several perks for avid shoppers. You get free two-day shipping or even same-day or one-day delivery to select areas.
Subscribers also get early access to deals and promotions, unlimited photo storage, and access to Twitch Prime. In other words, if you purchase products from Amazon often enough, a Prime membership is worth the investment. Free access to the streaming platform is an appealing plus.
Movies also vary from Forrest Gump to Mean Girls and from Grease to 8 Mile. Depending on mood, it’s likely you’ll stumble upon something for every occasion.
However, where Amazon Prime Video really shines is with its impressive collection of original productions. You can stream The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which recently won several Emmy and Golden Globe awards. Or, you can relax with engaging hidden gems like Sneaky Pete and Forever.
Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner delivers the anthology series The Romanoffs which follows the descendants of the late Russian royal family, available for streaming in October. In November, tune in for Homecoming, a psychological thriller series starring Julia Roberts. Amazon’s streaming future is looking bright, so you won’t run out of content to watch anytime soon.
Titles from Amazon’s library are available in formats ranging from standard quality (SD) to UHD and HDR. How much data you’ll use while streaming TV shows and movies will depend on the quality you’re using to watch programming. The platform doesn’t release official information about data usage.
However, we estimate that you will burn around 900MB per hour for SD playback, 2GB per hour for HD playback and around 5.8GB per hour of UHD content. As it’s generally the case with streaming, this can impact your data allowance, so we recommend a broadband plan with unlimited data if you plan to watch a series or a lot of movies.
On mobile, Amazon Prime Video allows users to download selected titles to watch later. That means you can download a TV episode when connected to Wi-Fi and watch it whenever you want without additional data charges.
When watching on a mobile network, keep in mind that the amount of data you use may incur extra charges from your mobile carrier. If you have a small monthly allowance, we suggest going to Settings in your Amazon Prime Video app and selecting the “Wi-Fi only” option, so you don’t accidentally start streaming videos when on mobile data. Otherwise, streaming on data will burn on average 270MB/hour on Android and 1.3GB/hour on iOS.
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