Not all apps and services are compatible with Google’s Chromecast. One of those apps is Amazon Prime Video.
While Netflix, Prime Video’s biggest rival, has been Chromecast-compatible from the start, Amazon Prime Video still lives in the dark ages.
But there are a couple of ways around this lack of compatibility. In this article we show you how to watch Amazon Prime on your TV with Chromecast.
Why Is There No Cast Button on Amazon Prime Video?
These days, it’s hard to find any mainstream video or audio streaming app on Android that doesn’t have the cast button available.
So why doesn’t Amazon Prime Video offer the feature?
Well, as is so often the case, it’s due to bickering between the two companies. Amazon doesn’t offer a YouTube app on any of its many Fire TV devices; Google doesn’t sell its products on Amazon; Amazon doesn’t make Prime Video available on Chromecast. Childish tit-for-tat, we’re sure you’ll agree.
Okay, let’s move on. Here’s how to watch Amazon Prime Video on your Chromecast.
Method 1: Use Chrome
If you run Google Chrome on any of your computers, you can play the video you want to watch in your browser and cast it directly to your Chromecast.
In the olden days (!), you needed to install a separate extension to be able to cast content directly from your browser. In the newer versions of Chrome, that’s no longer the case. Google has built the functionality directly into the browser.
Before proceeding, make sure your TV is turned on, and it’s displaying the correct input channel.
To begin the process of casting Amazon Prime Video to your Chromecast via Chrome, open your Chrome browser, head to the Amazon Prime Video website, and enter your login credentials. You need to find the video you want to watch, and press Play as normal.
Next, click on the More menu (three vertical dots) in the upper right-hand corner of the browser’s window. Select Cast from the pop-up menu.
You should now see a new window with all the compatible devices that are on your network. Click on the name of the Chromecast you want to use. The connection should occur automatically.
Before resuming playback, it’s worth choosing Remote screen from the drop-down menu next to Show fullscreen videos on. It will prevent your film or TV series from playing on your laptop and your Chromecast at the same time.
The obvious drawback of using the desktop version of Chrome to cast Amazon Prime Video to your Chromecast is the lack of controls. You won’t be able to pause, fast-forward, rewind, or adjust other playback settings from the comfort of your sofa. Instead, you will need to make any changes on the computer you’re casting from.
If you need to know more, be sure to check out our Chromecast introduction.
Method 2: Cast Your Android’s Screen
Warning: This method might not work on newer phones. Contrary to popular belief, Amazon has not blocked the feature. Instead, it seems the issue is linked to HDR and 4K support. If you have an older device, the method still works perfectly.
Google and Amazon might be at war, but Amazon isn’t stupid enough not to offer a Prime Video app in the Play Store. And, because the app is there, you can use Android’s Cast Screen feature to display it on your TV.
Note: You cannot use Android Cast Screen with every site’s and app’s videos. If they use Silverlight, Flash, QuickTime, or VLC, it will not work. Luckily, Amazon Prime Video doesn’t use any of those technologies.
Using the Cast Screen feature is easy. Swipe down on your device’s notification bar and tap the Cast icon (it looks like a TV). You will see a list of all the compatible devices on your screen. Tap on the correct one, and a few seconds later you’ll see your phone’s screen displayed on your TV.
From this point, it’s just a case of using your phone to navigate to the Prime Video content you want to watch in the usual way. Just make sure you flip your phone into landscape mode and make the video full screen before you get comfortable.
The obvious benefit to this method compared to the previous approach is that you can control the video from your phone. However, there are three serious downsides you need to think about.
The first issue is privacy. You’re casting your entire Android’s screen rather than just content from a specific app. Whenever you receive a message, email, phone call, or notification, it’ll pop up on the screen for all to see. Depending on where you are or who you’re with, that might not be desirable behavior.
The second consideration is your battery. If you cast your entire phone’s screen, the video will play on both devices at the same time. If you turn off your phone’s screen, the TV will also go blank. Therefore, you realistically need to have a charger nearby if you’re planning a binge session (we’ve covered other ways to save battery on Android if you need further guidance)
The final problem is processing power. Because Amazon Prime Video is not Chromecast-enabled, your Android phone is doing all the background processing. Depending on your phone’s internal hardware, that can easily lead to stuttering, lagging, and poor resolution.
You can remedy the issue slightly by killing as many background processes as possible on your phone (Settings > Apps and Notifications > See all apps, click on an app’s name, and select Force stop), but it’s a far-from-ideal situation.
Should You Buy an Amazon Fire TV Device?
Of course, all these workarounds can be rendered moot if you buy an Amazon Fire TV device. Unsurprisingly, Amazon Prime Video is well integrated into the hardware. You’ll also get access to Alexa, Prime Photos, and plenty of third-party apps.
We’ve explained which Amazon Fire TV device is right for you if you’re not sure which one to buy.
Amazon and Google Need to Call a Truce
Listen, Amazon. We’re paying you good money every year. So we don’t expect you to intentionally restrict compatibility with one of the most popular cord-cutting devices in the world just because you have beef with Google.