The best Amazon Prime shows you can stream right now

In February 2011, Amazon announced that Amazon Prime members could access thousands of streaming movies and TV shows for free as part of its subscription service.

Today, it is estimated that there are over 100 million people in the U.S. who have access to Amazon Prime features, including its streaming video library. That’s a massive addressable audience for any TV show, current or classic, spread across devices ranging from smartphones to big screen TVs.

Let’s take a look at the best Amazon Prime shows, including both original shows exclusive to the service, and older shows first shown by other outlets.

The 10 best TV shows on Netflix you can binge right now

Editor’s note – This list of best Amazon Prime shows will be updated as shows leave and others are added to the service.

Doctor Who (2005)

One of the biggest sci-fi shows worldwide, Doctor Who first started way back in 1963. It chronicles the adventures of “The Doctor”, a human-looking alien from a race known as the Time Lords, who tries to fight evil and save folks. The Doctor’s arsenal includes quick thinking, a sonic screwdriver, and a TARDIS, a machine that can travel in any point in space and time, but is locked in its outward appearance to look like a British police call box. The original series was canceled in 1989, but in 2005 the BBC finally revived it, and it has been a huge hit ever since.

Amazon Prime Video has the exclusive U.S. streaming rights to the 2005 revived series (Classic Who is available on another streaming service, BritBox). While the show has changed actors several times over the past 14 years (most recently to a female playing the role, Jodie Whittaker), it still retains that sense of wonder, humor, and adventure, with some fantastic storytelling and acting, and imaginative visual effects. Of course, it would not be Doctor Who without the monsters, as the Doctor deals with the tank-like Daleks, the sinister Silence, the robotic Cybermen and the truly scary Weeping Angels. Doctor Who is, without a doubt, one of the best Amazon Prime shows.


The Man in the High Castle

Amazon series

Based on the classic novel by the late Philip K. Dick, this Amazon Prime original show takes place in the 1960s, but in an alternate timeline where Nazi Germany and Japan won World War II, and occupy the coasts of either side of the U.S. This “what if” series tells the tale of several characters in this alternate Earth, who discover a series of movies that show the US winning World War II.

This series, obviously, expands from Dick’s original novel and shows the characters not only realizing that they are on an alternate Earth, but that it might be possible to actually travel to the timeline where the U.S. and its allies won World War II. Three 10-episodes seasons are available to stream on Amazon Prime now, and a fourth and final season is planned for release in 2020. The Man in the High Castle is not only one the best Amazon Prime shows, but perhaps the best original Amazon Prime TV drama series.


The Expanse

Originally shown on the SyFy cable channel, the first three seasons of this excellent sci-fi epic are now available exclusively on Amazon Prime Video. Based on The Expanse novels by “James S. A. Corey” (actually a pen name for two writers, Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck), the show takes place hundreds of years in the future, where humanity has colonized the entire solar system. However, there are now factions in various locations in the system: Earth, Mars, and the “Belters” who live in the outer system.

The show not only has a huge cast and an epic feel, but it may have some of the best visual effect ever made for a space-based sci-fi series. The good news is that Amazon head Jeff Bezos, an admitted big sci-fi fan himself, loved The Expanse so much that when SyFy decided not to renew the show for a fourth season, Bezos got Amazon Prime Video to pick up the rights and approve production of that fourth season. It will be shown sometime in 2019.


The Americans

The Americans may be the best TV show that most of you may have never watched. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys play Elizabeth and Philip Jennings, a normal married couple who live in the Washington D.C. area in the early 1980s with their two kids. Sounds like a standard family drama, right? Wrong. Elizabeth and Philip Jennings are actually two deep-undercover KGB spies who are actively trying to gain intel for the Soviet Union.

This show has tons of twists and turns, especially as Philip starts to enjoy his time in the U.S., while Elizabeth sticks with her KGB training and her ideology. Oh, and their two kids have no ideas their mom and dad are spies. All six seasons of The Americans are available to stream now, and it is a no-brainer for our best Amazon Prime shows list.


Hannibal

If you thought no one but Sir Anthony Hopkins could portray the brilliant serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter,  then check out this short-lived series that originally aired on NBC. Mads Mikkelsen gives us a highly creepy performance as Dr. Lecter, and Hugh Dancy plays FBI profiler Will Graham, who has to hunt down Lecter after he reveals himself to be a killer and a cannibal.

The series takes place before the first Hannibal Lecter novel by Thomas Harris, Red Dragon, for the first two and a half seasons. However, it actually adapts that novel for the second half of its third and final season. It’s too bad that this frightening show got canceled before the series could adapt the other Lecter novels, but what is available is still excellent, if you are not too squeamish.


Downton Abbey

We have seen tons of movies and TV shows about the British class system, but none of them have been as entertaining as this show. Originally shown on ITV in the U.K. and on PBS in the U.S., Downton Abbey is centered on a fictional estate in the British countryside, and all of the people who live and work there in the early part of the 20th century. Real world events of the time affect both the Crawley family and their domestic servants.

The show puts the spotlight on the many changes in the class system in Britain during that time period, as the aristocracy start to lose their once massive influence on society. The show has some great writing and terrific performances by the cast, who make you care about what happens to them through the years. All six seasons are available to stream on Amazon Prime Video and it will get you ready for the upcoming feature film revival, which will be shown in theaters in 2019.


Babylon 5

In the early 1990s, Star Trek ruled TV in terms of space-based sci-fi shows. However, a sci-fi author named J. Michael Straczynski had an idea for a space series that would be different. It would be designed as a five-season story, with a beginning, middle and end, instead of being composed of mostly stand-alone episodes. The result was the syndicated series Babylon 5, and it took the sci-fi community by storm.

Set on the Babylon 5 space station hundreds of years in the future, the show not only told a massively epic story of wars, alien conflict, and deep secrets, but it did so with an endgame in mind, which is something that many TV shows have done since then. In addition, Babylon 5 was the first TV show to use CGI for its visual effects almost exclusively. While the effects look a bit dated now, Babylon 5’s story is still worth watching. You can stream the five seasons of the show on Amazon Prime Video, but sadly the service did not add the many spin-off movies that were made before, during and after the show’s main run.


Mr. Robot

This show not only has a cool premise but also has a visual style unlike any TV show made before or since. The show centers on Elliot, a computer programmer who is also a secret hacker. He gets recruited by a mysterious group who want to use Elliot’s skills to bring down what they claim are evil corporations. 

The idea of a computer hacker anti-hero is a good one, and Rami Malek is perfect as Elliot, a smart man who also has some serious mental health issues. Those issues bleed into the camera work for the series, which sometimes places the camera at odd angles, in part to give us a glimpse as to how Elliot sees the world. You can stream the first three seasons on Amazon Prime Video now, to prepare you for the fourth and final season, which will be shown on USA Network later in 2019.


The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

The most recent Amazon series could be the best one yet for the Amazon Prime Video service. It centers on a woman in New York City in the late 1950s, who decides to become a stand-up comedian after her husband leaves her. The show won an Emmy Award in 2018 for Best Comedy Series and its star, Rachel Brosnahan, also won that year for Best Actress in a Comedy series. It’s also won, or been nominated for, many other major awards over the past couple of years.

Even though it’s labeled as a comedy, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has a lot of drama as well, as you might expect from its creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, who also created Gilmore Girls. It’s also a great look back in time in the late 1950s, where women were just beginning to make themselves known in the workforce for more than just being a teacher or secretary. The first two seasons of the show are available to stream now, and a third season is on its way, with a planned release in late 2019. It may be number one on our personal best Amazon Prime shows list.


HBO shows on Amazon Prime Video

We are cheating a bit for this last entry on our best Amazon Prime shows for two good reasons. One is that the HBO shows that you can stream on Amazon Prime Video are, simply put, some of the best television ever produced. We are talking classic dramas like The Sopranos, The Wire, Band of Brothers and Boardwalk Empire. It also has the network’s funniest comedy shows like Veep, Sex and the City and more.

The other reason we are putting these shows in one category and listing is that they may not be on Amazon Prime Video for much longer. HBO’s owners at WarnerMedia, which is now a part of AT&T, had previously said they planned to remove all the HBO shows from Amazon Prime Video by the end of 2018. That has not happened as predicted, but we expect that those HBO shows could be delisted from Amazon Prime any day now, (especially since WarnerMedia plans to launch its own streaming video service as well) So you had better binge on those shows right now, because you might be forced to pay an extra fee to access them on another service soon.

Let’s take a look at what’s coming to Hulu (March 2019)


What’s your favorite Amazon Prime TV show?

Best Alexa compatible devices for your home: Our top 10

An Amazon Echo Alexa device shot from above.

The perky voice of Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa can now be heard across millions of homes. The company’s Echo smart speaker range, and other Alexa-enabled gadgets, have expanded rapidly in just a few years, spawning countless fans.

While Alexa is useful alone — if you need urgent questions answered or want to place an Amazon order — there’s a whole world of opportunities if you pair it with a compatible device or two. 

We’ve rounded up the best Alexa-compatible devices on the market, including add-on products, and those that come with the digital assistant built-in. Here’s our top 10.

Best Alexa compatible devices (add-on)

1. Amazon Smart Plug

An Amazon Smart Plug Alexa device Amazon

The first place many people start with Alexa compatible devices is a smart plug. They’re inexpensive and give you instant control over your gadgets. Amazon’s smart plug is one of the best, because it’s affordable, guaranteed to work, and, well, just look at how cute it is!

You can tell Alexa to turn something on or off as you please, but the virtual assistant also supports routines allowing you to give your electronics a schedule. If you want your TV to power off while you’re asleep, Amazon’s Smart Plug can help. 

Buy Now: Amazon Smart Plug for $19.99

2. Philips Hue A19 Starter Kit (Hub + 2 bulbs)

The Philips A19 smart bulbs starter kit Alexa smart home product Amazon

The Philips Hue low-energy bulbs are the standard when it comes to smart lighting. These bulbs are easy to set up and can be controlled using Alexa or through a smartphone app. 

The Philips Hue bulbs support routines like the Amazon smart plug, while adjusting the brightness settings is just a matter of yelling: “Alexa, dim the bedroom lights” or something similar. 

We recommend the starter kit as your first purchase, which comes with two (or four) white bulbs and the hub for voice control. The colored bulbs are more expensive and may not suit all households, but you can add them later if you like — the hub supports up to 50 lightbulbs. 

It’s a great Alexa smart home product, but you check out our complete list of best smart light bulbs if these ones aren’t for you.

Buy Now: Philips Hue A19 white starter kit from $69.98

3. Fitbit Charge 3 

The Alexa-compatible Fitbit Charge 3

You might already own a Fitbit device, but did you know it was an Alexa compatible device? You can use the dedicated Alexa Fitbit skill to find out a whole bunch of information including your steps taken, hours slept, weight, and more. Just say, “Alexa, ask Fitbit how I slept yesterday,” or insert any other statistic you want to know more about.  

Editor’s Pick

We recommend the Fitbit Charge 3, the latest and greatest Fitbit sports band (read our full review at the previous link). For the full list of Alex/Fitbit queries, head here.

Buy Now: Fitbit Charge 3 from $128.95

4. Nest Thermostat E

The Nest Themostat E Alexa compatible thermostat. Best Buy

Nest introduced its Thermostat E back in August 2017 and it’s still the best smart thermostat out there. This slimmed-down version of the third generation Nest delivers all of the critical functions of its more expensive sibling, with few compromises.

Editor’s Pick

Like the standard Nest, the Nest E learns from your usage patterns to automatically raise or lower the temperature in your home based on your habits. Over time, you may find you don’t need to manually adjust the thermostat at all, though this is always possible with your voice thanks to Alexa.

The Nest E’s body isn’t quite as premium-looking. Its display doesn’t have quite as much information, and it isn’t compatible with quite as many HVAC systems as the third generation model. Otherwise, it’s very similar for around two thirds the price.

Control your temperature automatically, keep your home toasty, and live like a king with the Nest Thermostat E.

Buy Now: Nest Thermostat E at Best Buy for $169.99

5. Ring Video Doorbell 

The Alexa compatible Ring Doorbell Amazon

Ring’s smart doorbells pair with other Alexa devices to let you see or hear who’s outside your home. Stick one of these on your doorstep and they’ll alert your Alexa products when pressed or when they detect motion. 

The Ring doesn’t require any specific wires or extras to install, just the wires a regular doorbell needs. In that sense, it’s a product for everyone, but you’ll get most out of it if you have an Echo Spot or Echo Show so you can use its camera. 

The Ring Video Doorbell 1 comes with almost all of the features of the Ring 2 and saves you $60. If you’re okay trading 1080p video streaming for 720p, and giving up a couple of other minor features, it’s probably the better deal.

Buy Now: Ring Video Doorbell for $99

6. Blink Indoor Camera System

Blink smart security camera with Alexa support Amazon

If indoor security is more your thing, this solution from Blink is the best you’ll find. Blink’s battery-powered security camera has motion detection, can be controlled with your voice, and supports live streaming. This feed can be viewed with an Android or iOS smartphone, but as of just last month, Blink now works with video-enabled Alexa devices too.

It starts at $99.99 for one camera, but you can purchase up to five at once to save money on each one. Find out more at the button below.

Buy Now: Blink indoor security system from $99.99

7. Samsung SmartThings hub V3

Samsung's SmartThings hub version 3 Alexa smart home device. Amazon

Samsung’s SmartThings hub is the unifying product that brings a smart home together. It’s compatible with many major smart home device manufacturers — from Bose, to Honeywell, to Philips (yes, the bulbs on this list are compatible), and more — to help you monitor and control your household electronics.

If you’d instead prefer to keep your smart lights, locks, cameras and more, all under one brand — Samsung has you covered there too. You can buy SmartThings hub with all kinds of dedicated sensors to suit your smart home needs — find everything at the button below. 

Best Alexa devices (built-in)

8. Insignia 4K HDR Fire TVs

Insignia Fire TV with Alexa built-in Amazon

If you don’t want to buy an Echo, a growing number of products ship with Alexa built in. The Insignia Fire TV range is among them, coming in 43-inch, 50-inch, and 55-inch versions.

Editor’s Pick

These UHD TVs boast more than 8 million pixels, voice-control with an Alexa voice remote, and multiple inputs and outputs, including 3 HDMI ports (one with ARC) and USB (in case you want to power, say, a Google Chromecast). 

Best of all, they start at $249.99 for the 43-inch version. It’s a bargain. 

Buy Now: Insignia 4K Fire TV from $249.99

9. Acer Spin 5 laptop

The Acer Spin 5 laptop on Amazon with built-in Alexa support. Amazon

This convertible laptop is full of great features, like an 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8550U, dedicated Nvidia GTX 1050, and a 15.6-inch Full-HD Multi-Touch Display. It’s capped off by dedicated Alexa integration, meaning you can control your smart home products, create lists, check your calendar, and more, all from your computer.

The Acer Spin 5 has four built-in microphones to help Alexa understand you — this isn’t a token smart assistant integration— and it looks impressive too, in its slimline, steel gray frame. 

You can find it here for a little less in a smaller, 13.3-inch version, if that’s more your thing. Otherwise, it’s currently $944 for the 15.6-inch model with all the trimmings.

Buy Now: Acer Spin 5 (15.6-inch) for $944.00

10. Sonos One

A Sonos One speaker on a table with Alexa built in. Sound Guys

There are many capable Alexa-supported speakers, but the Sonos One stands out for several reasons. It sounds great and the voice control is well-integrated. It shows premium quality throughout, despite its price. 

The Sonos One review from our sister site SoundGuys had many great things to say about it, but they were disappointed by the lack of Spotify and Apple Music support. Thankfully, it now supports Spotify, and Apple Music integration is apparently on the way

Buy Now: Sonos One for $198.95


That’s all folks! What’s your favorite Alexa smart home device or accessory? Let us know in the comments. 

Affiliate disclosure: We may receive compensation in connection with your purchase of products via links on this page. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. See our disclosure policy for more details.

Verizon and Amazon reportedly working on their own mobile game streaming services

The Verge

Two more major tech players, Verizon and Amazon, may be entering into the already crowded list of companies that plan to launch mobile game streaming services. According to The Verge, Verizon Wireless is already testing its own game streaming service with a small number of customers. The people who are selected reportedly get an NVIDIA Shield Android TV set-top box for the test, but The Verge says Verizon plans to eventually expand this streaming service to Android smartphones.

The story also includes screenshots from the service, which has the rather unimaginative name: Verizon Gaming. The images show a list of impressive PC and console games, but the screenshots are most likely placeholders. Based on emails sent to testers, it sounds like Verizon is more concerned with basic game streaming performance at first with this test. The service is currently is using Wi-Fi, but it’s more than likely that Verizon will roll out this service on its wireless network when it gets its 5G hardware fully up and running. The Verge reports that this small test version with the Shield TV box will conclude by the end of January.

Related

Meanwhile, The Information reports Amazon is also working on its own game streaming service. There’s not much information on this service in the report, other than Amazon has reached out to game publishers to see if they would be interested in offering their titles for this venture. Amazon is certainly well positioned to launch such a project, as its cloud-based Amazon Web Services already has a ton of experience streaming content for companies like Netflix. It also owns Twitch, the gamer-centric live video streaming service. The report does say Amazon is not looking to launch its game streaming service until 2020 at the earliest.

Verizon and Amazon will be entering a field that is full of competitors who have already revealed their plans for streaming games with cloud-based set-ups. Both Microsoft and EA announced at E3 2018 that they have separate plans to stream games to smartphones. Microsoft later revealed that its service, with its codename Project xCloud, would begin public trials sometime in 2019.

In October, Google announced and launched a public test of Project Stream, which allowed people to stream and play the full version of Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey on a PC, Mac, Linux, and even a low-end Chromebook via the Chrome browser. That tech test is scheduled to end on January 15. So far, Google has not yet revealed what it plans to do with Project Stream.

Of course, Sony already has its own game streaming service, PlayStation Now, which allows PlayStation 4 and Windows PC owners to stream and play hundreds of classic and current PS4 games for a monthly fee. Sony has never revealed how many subscribers it has for PlayStation Now. NVIDIA also has its GeForce Now service, which lets people purchase PC games on Steam and other services, and then lets them play those games remotely on their PC, Mac and their Shield TV box. That service is still in a closed beta test.

Deal: Amazon’s Digital Day discounts books, magazines, movies and Fire tablets

Update, December 28 at 12:19 p.m. ET: This article has been updated with links to the Amazon Digital Day deals.


Amazon has launched its third annual Digital Day sale, a one-day event where you can save big on digital content like eBooks, movies, TV shows, software, games, and more.

In addition to all of the digital-only content on sale, Amazon is also offering discounts on its Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10 tablets. You can get the Fire HD 8 for as low as $49.99, a $30 discount, or you can get the larger Fire HD 10 tablet for as low as $99.99, a $50 discount. If you get the Fire HD 10 tablet, you can also get a free three month trial for Amazon’s Audible audiobooks service that is normally worth about $45.

The main focus of Amazon Digital Day is to save you some money when it comes to downloading content and signing up for subscriptions. Here are just some of the items on sale today:

You can check out all the deals and discounts for Amazon Digital Day at the link below. The one-day sale ends at 11:59 p.m. PT. 

Amazon resumes Chromecast sales, three years after first giving Google the boot

Third-gen Chromecast

Amazon stopped selling Google’s Chromecast line back in 2015, claiming the sales halt was due to the streaming gadgets’ lack of support for Amazon Prime Video.

Now, three years after the online retailer first pulled the gadget, Android Police noticed that it has resumed sales of the streaming sticks. Amazon is currently selling two models, namely the third-generation Chromecast and the Chromecast Ultra. These retail for $35 and $69 respectively.

The standard device plugs into your TV’s HDMI port, allowing you to wirelessly send video streams from supported applications (e.g. Chrome, Netflix, Google Play Movies and TV, and YouTube) to your TV.

Meanwhile, the Ultra variant differs from the vanilla model by supporting 4K and HDR playback — the standard version tops out at 1080p.

Editor’s Pick

News of the streaming gadgets’ return comes almost exactly a year after Amazon first confirmed it would be selling them once again. It’s unclear why there was such a lengthy delay between the announcement and actual sales, but it’s also worth noting that the devices still don’t support Prime Video.

The decision to resume sales of the streaming sticks could likely mean one of a few things. Either Amazon decided to make an exception for Google, the Prime Video requirement was a lie, or an update to enable Chromecast support is coming (or it could be an entirely different reason).

NEXT: 15 best Chromecast apps for Android