Amazon started a quiet operating system update earlier today to Fire OS 5. This update to Amazon’s Fire OS operating system affects nearly all Amazon Fire TV and Firestick devices along with Fire TV Edition Smart Televisions. It doesn’t affect the 3rd generation Fire TV, however. This latest Fire TV operates with Fire OS 6, so gets developed on a different cycle.
One of the update’s most noticeable features brings easier access to the streaming video content within Amazon Prime and Amazon Channels.
What are Amazon Channels?
In late 2015, Amazon launched the Amazon Channels service. The Amazon Channels service offers Amazon Prime members subscriptions to premium network television providers. These include many of the most popular TV services such as HBO, Showtime, Starz, Cinemax, and many more. The availability of premium networks also includes many digital-only video service providers such as Tribeca Shortlist, Fullscreen, and NBCU’s comedy network SeeSo. This gives subscribers easier access to all of their streaming TV viewing subscriptions from one central login point.
Amazon runs the Channels service as a “Streaming Partners Program,” which represents just one more way Amazon targets Cord Cutters.
The Amazon Channels service now also allows subscribers to log directly into many of the various networks’ own streaming apps. This all happens using that same single set of Amazon account information. There no longer exists a need to keep separate accounts credentials for logins and billing at each service provider.
How Does this Amazon Fire OS Update Affect Amazon Channels?
Amazon subscribers found the apps provided by the streaming video networks themselves off-limits in the Fire OS. That meant you couldn’t access the unique features they provided. This included customized watch-list building and checking out recommendations, trending item lists, or collections of curated content. This even meant no allowance to utilize their specialized parental controls. The network apps each have their own brand of content sharing and control, but Amazon didn’t like giving any control up to the various providers.
This Amazon Fire OS update now makes the various streaming TV service providers’ apps show up right in your app section. The stand-alone versions of these services already showed up there, but now you can have the single account credential versions more easily accessed. You use the Amazon Fire OS, so already have an Amazon account. Might as well simplify your life, right? It sounds good, but upsides and down exist regarding the centralization of resources and credentials. Weigh them well, then make your own decision based upon your perspective of freedom versus security.
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What Changed about Prime Video in this Amazon Fire OS Update?
Amazon Prime makes a great deal of sense to savy consumers. Cord Cutters and other informed netizens have used Amazon for much of their day-to-day shopping for years, but especially with the changes made to the store lately. If you’d like to try an Amazon Prime Membership without having to spend anything, sign up for their 30 Day Prime Trial . You get access to tons of great streaming video content for free this way. You also get free two-day shipping on millions of items in the store, but you probably knew that already.
With this update to the Amazon Fire OS, you’ll find it much more convenient to access your Prime membership video area. A new dedicated app within the apps area for Prime Video makes finding your streaming video content much easier. All of your Prime membership content makes itself available within the app once opened. Fire TV Edition Smart Television owners will recognize this access, which now finds itself in every Firestick and Fire TV also.
How does this Amazon Fire OS Update Affect Me?
Please take note that Amazon also renamed their video store to Prime Video, then combined it with their Prime service. Even if you don’t have an Amazon Prime membership, purchasing TV shows and movies through Amazon now goes through the Prime Video store. This also means you will find your streaming video purchases now available in the Prime Video area of your Firestick and Fire TV devices.
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