Stream Amazon Video from computer

The simpliest way to stream Amazon Instant Videos would be to just watch them on your computer monitor.  Or, if your computer has an HDMI output, make viewing a little more enjoyable by connecting the computers HDMI output to an HDMI input on your TV.  Unfortunately it will not be that easy to control from the couch.

Watching Amazon Instant Videos on the computer would not always be the most comfortable experience.  Recently many set top boxes have come out that support streaming Amazon Instant Video and other services straight to the TV.

Many new TVs may even have the capabilities built into them.  This is really only relavent though if you are planning to buy a new TV.

Use a set top box

There are several set top boxes now that will stream Amazon Instant Video along with several other video sources.


Roku 2 XS 1080p

Western Digital WD TV Live Streaming Media Player

Sony SMP-N100 Streaming Player with Wi-Fi

Amazon Instant Video Yes  No Yes
Netflix Yes Yes  Yes 
YouTube No Yes Yes
HuLu Plus Yes Yes Yes
Pandora Yes Yes Yes
Blockbuster On Demand No Yes No

This is just a short list of the services that each of these three set top streaming boxes support.  Over all the Roku has the most supported services, including the popular game Angry Birds.  I included the Western Digital streaming device on the above chart to specifically show that it DOES NOT do Amazon Instant Video (at least not that I could determine at the time of this writing).  The Roku and the Sony both support Amazon Instant Video.

All three boxes support Netflix and HuLu Plus, two other common premium streaming video sources.  The Western Digital streaming media player is the only one of the three that supports Blockbuster on Demand though.

Each can also be configured to stream wireless over an available Wi-Fi connection, which makes it very easy to connect to the Internet.  Along with video services these three streaming boxes support streaming music with Pandora and a mixture of other music streaming services.  These devices can also display pictures from a range of different services like Picasa and FaceBook.

The list of services above is by no means exhaustive, each of the three streaming devices supports more than these.  If you are interested in a specific service you should do the research to verify that the streaming box you are thinking of purchasing supports the desired service.

Depending on all the features you want any of these devices is available for less than $100.