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Old 01-24-2013, 01:20 PM
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: The Mitt
Posts: 14,070
Amazon Prime Instant Video... GTFO! (You had me at refund)

Recuperating from the flu, I decided to rent a movie from Amazon Prime (just becoming a new customer) to view through the Wii U; which due to the tablet-esque controller, I must say, is a fantastic way to stream and control a movie on your TV.

I rented Taken 2 in HD and it scratched the boredom itch I had that night.

It streamed wonderfully, and better if on par with my experience from NetFlix, AppleTV and Xfinity OnDemand. There were maybe a couple times where the HD dropped to standard to rebuff a little for a couple seconds, but hardly a big deal, and usually only after I paused and restarted the movie.

I just received an unprompted refund from Amazon, because their automatic monitoring of bandwidth fell under some QA standard in streaming. It was aces by me, but whatever, I'll take it!

Anyone else experience this?

I'm beginning to like you more than ever, Amazon...

Here's the email, FWIW:
Originally Posted by Amazon Instant Watch email

We noticed that you experienced poor video playback while watching the following rental(s) on Amazon Video On Demand:

Taken 2 [HD]

We're sorry for the inconvenience and have issued you a refund for the following amount(s):


While Amazon Video On Demand transactions are typically not refundable, we are happy to make an exception in this case. This refund should be processed within the next 2 to 3 business days and will appear on your next billing statement for the same credit card used to purchase this item.

[snip — blah blah blah]

We hope to see you again soon.

Amazon Video On Demand Team
ETA: Doesn't seem like Prime membership was even a factor, anyhow.

Last edited by cmyk; 01-24-2013 at 01:22 PM.
Old 01-24-2013, 01:21 PM
Just Lovely and Delicious
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 23,765
Yeah my friend posted on Facebook the other day: "Over the weekend we rented a movie on Amazon. We watched it and really enjoyed it and Amazon has now refunded the money for no reason.. Hmm how weird. Thanks for the free movie!"
Old 01-24-2013, 01:23 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,932
Are you guys serious? My connection rebuffers 2-3 times in every movie I rent from there and they've never given me squat.
Old 01-24-2013, 01:29 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 27,217
I love Amazon. I've done reviews for many of my purchases, and have agreed to answer product questions. Amazon has given me several thank-you certificates for my work.
Old 01-24-2013, 01:40 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: KC MO or there abouts
Posts: 5,477
I have both Netflix and Prime.

Netflix always seemed to perform better. In fact, one time I rented a standard video on Prime and the picture quality was so bad that I stopped the movie 5 minutes in to it and rented the HD version. Of course most of the video dropped to standard but it was much better than the first try. I was hoping that Amazon would figure it out but they went and charged me for two rentals of the same video even though I cut off the standard movie stream. The HD movie paused about 20 times to buffer. I've had sporadic rebuffers on Netflix in the past but not as bad as the Prime.

I suspect that the problem wasn't just Prime but possibly how my wireless networking operated with the stream. Some research told me that wireless streaming sometimes messes up with some Time Warner gateways and has also been known to lock up an occasional wireless router.

One thing I did to improve my situation was I ended up running a network cable to my TV. I haven't had enough content come through to form an opinion on the results. So far I it seems to avoid buffering.
Old 01-24-2013, 02:01 PM
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: The Mitt
Posts: 14,070
Originally Posted by ReticulatingSplines View Post
Are you guys serious? My connection rebuffers 2-3 times in every movie I rent from there and they've never given me squat.
It's worth a shot just to send them an email about it. Who knows, maybe they're on a refund kick and might even credit your acct.?

Must be all that Kindle Fire money they've been raking in since Christmas.
Old 01-25-2013, 03:49 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Virginia
Posts: 12,117
On my 1.5 megabit DSL connection, Netflix does better generally, but it varies. It partly depends on what device I'm watching it on. Roku is generally smoothest for both navigation and watching, followed by PS3. On the PS3 Amazon always pauses at the beginning of playback, and gets blocky at times.

I know my connection is marginal though. I wonder how Amazon really knows whether the connection issues are due to them or your connection? Also, if other people on your same network or streaming or downloading, that would certainly affect your video playback.
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