In the times of mobile access to streaming services and apps which make this access instantaneous and uninterrupted, it is hard to imagine the situation in which you cannot, for some reason, have access to one of the biggest video libraries in the world with an app from one of the biggest streaming hardware providers in the world. Unthinkable? Well, not really…
A little stream war
If you are a happy user of the iOS device (iPhone, iPad or iPod touch), you can download and install an Amazon Video App and use it for streaming. Mac OS users can also enjoy watching the content from one of the biggest video libraries in the world. One more Apple’s child remains – Apple TV. You fire it up and? No Amazon Video app available… And due to a bit of business rivalry between the two giants, we probably won’t see one in the near future. So, can you watch Amazon Prime on Apple TV? Theoretically, no. There’s no app to support this. Practically – yes, of course! Here’s how to do it.
What you need
First of all, you need any iOS device (iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch) or a Mac running Mac OS X 10.11 or later. You obviously need an Amazon Prime account and the Amazon Prime Instant Video app for your iOS/Mac OS device. If you do not have one – download it for free from the App Store. You are now ready to watch the Amazon Video content using your Apple TV.
iOS – ATV – TV
Once you sign in with your Amazon ID, you can browse, watch and rent everything that a vast catalog of video content contains. Obviously, you can stream it using your iOS device but if you want to watch it through your Apple TV, you will need to use one of the most useful content sharing features of Apple – AirPlay.
The idea is actually quite simple – you just mirror what you have on your iOS device on Apple TV. Theoretically, you would need both your iOS device and your Apple TV on the same Wi-Fi network. In reality, the latest iOS devices can stream content to Apple TV (3rd or 4th generation) without being on the same Wi-Fi network. As long as:
your device runs on iOS 8 or later
it has Bluetooth enabled
and your device is:
iPhone 5 or later
iPad mini or iPad (4th generation or later)
iPod touch (5th generation or later)
you do not need to bother about the same Wi-Fi network. Either way, you do need to use AirPlay to stream content to your Apple TV.
When you log into your Amazon Prime account and find the desired video, start playing it. Then look for the AirPlay button (an upward pointing triangle with the rectangle above that looks like a tiny television set). If it is not visible in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, swipe upwards from the bottom of your iOS device to access Control Center and find the button. Tap it. Now choose the Apple TV you want to stream the content to and tap its name in the dialog box.
The movie should now be playing through your Apple TV on the TV screen that is attached to it. Since the TV screen mirrors the orientation and aspect ratio of your device, some adjustments of your TV’s aspect ratio or zoom settings may be required. Note that you can lock your iOS device and the video will still play. It may be important in terms of preserving your device’s battery life if you do not have access to the power supply.
Mac OS X – ATV – TV
You can also stream Amazon video directly from your Mac browser via Apple TV. Obviously, you need an active Amazon Prime account and you need to log into it before trying anything that follows.
Technically, you can do it in the old-fashioned HDMI way without the need of Apple TV. Simply, connect your Mac directly to the TV with the HDMI cable and play it on the big screen. However, if you would like to stream the content via Apple VT box, you also need to use AirPlay. Here’s how to do it.
Open your browser on your Mac. Go to Amazon website and log into your Prime account
Find the video that you want to play
AirPlay can be used in two ways:
Open Preferences on your Mac, tap Displays and select your Apple TV from the AirPlay Display drop-down list near the bottom of the screen
OR, on the very top menu bar of your Mac, close to your day and time and battery icon, you’ll find the AirPlay icon. Just click it and select your Apple TV from the menu that drops down.
Back on your Mac, you will be asked to enter the Apple TV AirPlay code which is generated each time and appears on the Apple TV screen. Enter the code.
Now you can play your favorite Amazon Prime video using the Apple TV!
Both methods are not perfect but they work. Unfortunately, due to the competition between Amazon and Apple (not so much in devices but more in selling and streaming media), it seems that we will still have to wait before the two giants work things out. Until that happens, the AirPlay trick will have to suffice.
Jeff Bezos’s giant the activities of which range from selling clothes and home appliances to testing massive Avatar-style exoskeletal 13-foot robot suit by the CEO himself and investing in space science is in the first five of the most valuable publicly traded corporations in the company of Apple Inc., Alphabet conglomerate, Microsoft and Exxon Mobil.
With estimated 65 million users by the beginning of 2017, millions of audio tracks, unlimited photo storage and Kindle books, as well as the video library which is four times larger than the one of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video is a huge player in the streaming media market with the best organized commercial network reaching practically every corner of the world.
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