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Amazon’s new tablets let you download some Prime Instant Videos for offline viewing

Here’s something Netflix (s NFLX) and Hulu don’t let you do: Amazon (s AMZN) is making offline viewing available for some of its Prime Instant Videos.

kindle fire prime instant video streamingThe download option is designed for users who want to watch videos when they don’t have an internet connection. There are a few caveats:

  • Most importantly, it’s not available for every video in the Prime Instant Video library, due to licensing issues. AllThingsD reports that “participating studios include Comcast’s NBC, Viacom, Sony, CBS and Time Warner’s Warner Bros.; titles include ‘Under The Dome,’ ‘Downton Abbey,’ ‘Justified,’ ‘Dora the Explorer,’ ‘Sponge Bob’ and ‘Goodfellas.'” There’s not a way to filter the Prime Instant Video catalog by videos available for download, so you’ll have to poke around.
  • The feature is only available on Amazon’s new tablets (including the most basic one, the Kindle Fire HD, which starts at $139).
  • You have to have a Prime membership, obviously ($79 a year for unlimited two-day shipping and other benefits).

In addition, AllThingsD notes, you can download a video for up to 30 days, and once you start watching, you have 48 hours to finish.

Despite these limitations, the offline viewing option is obviously a great perk for travelers and a clear way for Prime Instant Video to stand apart from competing services.

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