Amazon Prime Instant Video launches in UK

Amazon Prime Instant Video has launched today in the UK, combining Amazon Prime one-day delivery with LoveFilm unlimited TV and movie streaming.

The new Amazon Prime Instant Video service costs £79 a year. Amazon Prime was previously £49, so it's a jump of £30 for Prime customers, though you now get unlimited access to the 15,000-strong library of TV shows and films.

As it stands, there's no way to separate the two services, so it's a £79 all-in cost for the fast delivery and streaming service (you also get access to the Kindle Books borrowing library), whether you want both or not. This is, Amazon stresses, a 35% saving on the previous combined cost.

If you're already an Amazon Prime member you will now get access to the streaming service for free but will have to pay the new price once your renewal comes up. As a special offer, customers can sign-up for a year of Prime at £49 until 26 February (today).

This means LoveFilm Instant is no more, replaced by the new Prime Instant Video.

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Amazon claims to be increasing investment in its exclusive and original content for its new look streaming video service, no doubt in an effort to tackle the huge rise in popularity of Netflix, which has itself showcased original content, such as House of Cards.

Amazon Studios invites TV and film-makers to submit pilots, and Alpha House (above), starring John Goodman (Argo), Clark Goodman (Homeland) and Matt Malloy (Six Feet Under), is set to be the first complete Amazon Studios series to be shown.

Lovefilm Instant offered streaming TV and films in up to 1080p, full HD quality, as does Netflix, but there's no word on whether Amazon is testing 4K video.

Netflix is streaming season 2 of House of Cards in 4K quality (though you will need a brand new, 2014 4K TV, and one that's compatible with the new HEVC codec, to watch it).

Interested in the new Amazon Prime Instant Video? Annoyed if you're an existing Amazon Prime subscriber? Let us know in the comments below.

MORE: First look at Netflix 4K video streaming

by Joe Cox

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Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is the Content Director for What Hi-Fi? and Future’s Product Testing, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for almost 20 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).