By Todd Bernhard on Tue, 01/24/2017
Can you watch Amazon Prime on Apple TV? Yes and no. There is currently no Amazon Prime Video app for Apple TV, and I wouldn’t expect to see one in the near future (there’s a bit of stream war between Apple and Amazon with neither looking to budge). However, you can watch Amazon Prime on Apple TV using a little loophole called AirPlay. If you stream Amazon Prime on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac computer, you can technically watch Amazon Prime on your Apple TV, although not officially. But you won’t know the difference when you’re catching up on your favorites episodes of Man in the High Castle or Transparent on your Apple TV. Here’s how to watch Amazon Prime on your Apple TV.
Amazon Prime is much more than a streaming video service. Subscribers to Prime get a bunch of great benefits, starting with free two-day shipping on many items, and including free ebooks, free music, and free videos. But Amazon Prime having no Apple TV Amazon Video app is a glaring absence. Apple recently launched cross-app voice search, using the Siri remote for Apple TV. This allows a user to say "play Star Trek" and the Apple TV will do the hard work of finding Star Trek movies and shows regardless of which app or service is required. If a desired movie or show is on Amazon Video, the search feature won't find it. But overall, you can watch Amazon Prime on your Apple TV, so long as you have an iOS device (or Mac) and a second generation Apple TV or later. We’ve broken this how-to up into two sections: how to watch Amazon Prime on Apple TV using an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and how to do it using a Mac.
How to Watch Amazon Prime on Apple TV Using an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
- Download and open the free Amazon Video app for Amazon Prime subscribers on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Log into your Amazon Prime account if you haven’t already.
- When you find the desired video, start playing it.
- Then look for the AirPlay logo in the upper right corner of the screen. Tap that to select your Apple TV and use AirPlay to send the audio and video stream.
It’s good to note that you can lock your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and the video will still play. This is important for conserving your iOS device’s battery life while AirPlaying Amazon Prime to your Apple TV.
It's not perfect but it works. Amazon Video offers some clever enhancements like X-Ray, which lets you access information about the actors currently on screen, on your iOS device while the movie plays on the big screen. You can also enable or disable captioning, pause, rewind, fast forward, and even use the timeline to move back and forth in the video.
How to Watch Amazon Prime on Apple TV Using a Mac
There are, technically, two ways to watch Amazon Prime on your Apple TV using a Mac. One way is notably easier than the other and we’ll describe this method in full detail below. If you’re streaming Amazon Prime from a Mac to your Apple TV, the easiest way is to, once again, using AirPlay. However, you can also acquire a couple different cables and do it the old-fashioned HDMI way. Here’s how to Watch Amazon Prime on Apple TV using your Mac with AirPlay:
- Open your preferred browser on your Mac. Naviagate to Amazon.com and log-in with your Amazon Prime account information.
- Navigate to Amazon Video and find the show or movie you want to watch.
- There are two ways to AirPlay Amazon Prime to your Apple TV from here:
- Open Preferences on Mac, tap Displays, and select your Apple TV from the AirPlay Display drop down list near the bottom.
- OR, on the very top menu bar of your Mac, to the left of the day and time, you’ll see the AirPlay icon. Click it and select your Apple TV.
- On your Mac, you'll be prompted to enter the Apple TV's AirPlay code, which is generated each time and appears on the Apple TV's screen. Enter the code.
- Play your selected show or movie. Enjoy watching Amazon Prime on your Apple TV!
Another option is to use an HDMI cable. Of course, depending on the Mac you own, you’ll also need an adapter for the HDMI cable. I recommend looking at the available ports on your Mac, then visiting Amazon or Apple online to find an adapter that will fit a port on your Mac and has a place to plug in an HDMI cable (or is an HDMI cable with built-in adapter). This may take a little bit of time to figure out just what you need, but if AirPlay isn’t working for you, this is a great option.
Why isn’t there an Amazon Video app for Amazon Prime customers on Apple TV? Amazon competes with Apple, not just in devices like the Kindle Fire versus the Apple iPad but in selling and streaming media. I usually am disappointed if I write an article and Apple releases a new product that makes it obsolete. But in this case, I'd rejoice. Until Apple and Amazon can work things out, this will have to do.