Obsolescence at 4 years old …

This is not a post exactly about …

… more one about …

I received an email yesterday (see below) from Amazon advising me that they couldn’t continue supporting their Instant Video app on my Samsung Smart TV/Blu-ray setup – and it’s not yet 4 years old! Come on now, that’s obsolesence gone mad, or laziness in the extreme.

To compensate they’re prepared to sell me an Amazon Fire TV player at discount price for a limited period. That’s very kind of them. In the email however they fail to suggest that anyone with an Apple TV can continue using Amazon Instant Video through their iOS app using AirPlay; they only suggest non-Apple and non-Google ways of watching content.

This smacks of opportunism at the very point that Apple are about to announce their fourth generation Apple TV.

Not impressed – Amazon Instant Video at £79 a year is getting less atractive – especially since Clarkson et al are about to land on the streaming service sometime next year.

In other technology developments in the household I’m pleased to report that BT Sport is a useful addition to the VirginMedia offering and that I’ve written a dummy’s guide on how to use all the controllers to manage the various pieces of kit attached to the Samsung TV and Mac Mini. I’m also finding the VirginMedia Anywhere app (on the iPad) a great way to manage viewing and recording to the new TiVo box we got earlier in the year which is now holding loads of music recorded from the new Sky Arts Channel which is also pretty good.

The email I received is below …

We’re writing to inform you that the Amazon Video app will no longer be available on your Samsung 2011 TV/Blu-rayafter midnight on 14th September, 2015.  We are sorry for any inconvenience that this may cause. We are continually upgrading our service and this can occasionally mean we are unable to support certain models of a small number of TV and Blu-ray devices.        

To continue to access Amazon Video on your TV after this date, you can connect a compatible streaming device (e.g. Amazon Fire TV, and Fire TV Stick) or games console (e.g. PlayStation and Xbox).

In recognition that we will not be able to offer you our application on your Samsung 2011 TV/Blu-ray, we would like to offer you an Amazon Fire TV for £39 (saving 50% on the RRP of £79). This product will plug into your existing TV and gives you access to our upgraded service so you can continue to watch the great range of movies and TV shows available on Amazon Video in your living room.”

4 Replies to “Obsolescence at 4 years old …”

  1. “Saving 50% on the RRP of £79” but they’re currently selling it at £64, so more like a 39% saving. Not that it’s a small saving, just that it’s dishonest.

    Back when it was LoveFilm Streaming I had a go at using it. Those days, there were two problems: the ridiculously inconsistent pricing structure (different prices for different films, some free to all, some free to subscribers, discounts dependent on subscription type etc. vs. Netflix flat £6 per month all inclusive) and the fact they BLOCKED, yes, BLOCKED the iOS app from using AirPlay (so no Apple TV support at all, vs Netflix via iOS or Native aTV app according to personal preference).

    So yeah, I don’t think Amazon have ever gone out of their way to help Apple users.

    And it doesn’t sound like they like Samsung users much either!

  2. An afterword and praise for Amazon. I think their timing is c**p mind!

    Delighted to see that Amazon Instant Video now allows you to download to iOS (and Android) devices for offline viewing. A real step forward and one that’ll rattle a few cages.

    Now … the timing. If they’d made this announcement after the Apple event; after the iOS App Store had been announced for the prospective new Apple TV, they could have sounded really strategic. Effectively saying proprietary SMART is a thing of the past. But they didn’t … PR opportunity missed.

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