What is Xray on Amazon Prime? Has there ever been a bigger boon for “I recognize that guy from somewhere” actors than Prime Video’s X-Ray feature? Well, yeah. Probably ‘90s sitcom royalties and one-scene Law and Order roles. Those have, like, a financial benefit. But other than that, it’s gotta be X-Ray!
If you aren’t familiar, Amazon’s streaming service, when paused, offers all kinds of information about the movie or TV series you’re currently watching. Most helpfully, this includes the names of every actor in the scene alongside their headshot. For anyone who has ever wanted to put a name to a familiar face, Prime Video lets you do it with the press of a button, no need to search that specific episode of The Boys on IMDb.
What is X-ray on Amazon Prime?
Have you ever noticed the screen of information that pops up when you press pause on a movie or series you’re watching on Prime Video? If so, what you were looking at is a part of our exclusive feature called X-Ray.
X-Ray helps viewers dive deeper into what they’re watching by offering information about the cast, soundtrack, and other production details. The feature comes in handy when you want to settle a debate over the name of a familiar actor on screen, spice up movie night with a little trivia, or dive into the soundtrack for your favorite film or show. It also offers an opportunity to totally geek out on the production process for select movies and series with behind-the-scenes footage and facts.
Ready to take the full experience for a spin? Here’s a step-by-step guide to access and use X-Ray while you’re watching Prime Video.
Via mobile device or web browser on Prime Video
- Move your cursor, tap the screen, and/or pause the series to reveal on-screen X-Ray controls.
- X-Ray’s on-screen Quickview mode disappears after a few moments. To see X-Ray information again, just tap, click, or move your cursor again. Click on each tile to expand into tab view.
- Click or tap “X-Ray View All” at the top left of the screen to enter full-screen X-Ray.
How to use X-Ray on Prime Video
No matter what device you are using to watch Prime Video, X-Ray is always just a click or tap away:
- Web browser. Use your mouse to click in the video. You should see the on-screen controls. In the upper left, click “X-Ray.” It’ll disappear after a few moments, so to see X-Ray information again, just move the mouse.
- Mobile device. Tap the screen. The X-Ray information will appear automatically, but fade after a few moments. Tap again to refresh it.
- Smart TV or streaming media device. Use the controller to activate X-Ray. On a Roku player, for example, press any of the directional buttons to display the on-screen controls, and X-Ray information will appear as well.
You probably noticed that in addition to the information that’s relevant to the current scene, X-Ray also has an option to “See all.” If you choose this, the video will pause and you’ll see all the X-Ray information available for your show. It has the ability to jump directly to specific scenes, see the full cast list, musical selections, bonus material, and more.
Everything you need to know about Amazon X-Ray for TV shows and movies
You’ve seen that face before. That actor… so familiar, yet it’s driving you nuts because you can’t place the face. Wasn’t he in that thing? With that gal?
And that song! The one playing in the background while the two characters meet-cute. It’s so great! But what is it? Sure, you might be able to Shazam it — if not for all the onscreen dialogue getting in the way.
X-Ray to the rescue. I consider this feature one of Amazon’s unsung heroes, as it’s equal parts interesting, informative and practical. And it’s available almost everywhere Amazon Video can play.
Officially known as X-Ray for Movies & TV Shows, the tool instantly provides extra information about what you’re seeing onscreen at any given time: the names of actors and other shows or movies they’ve appeared in; the name of whatever music is currently playing; even trivia about a particular scene, location, bit of dialog and so on.
Where does all this data come from? X-Ray is powered by IMDb, and it’s integrated into the following devices/platforms:
- Amazon Fire tablets (excluding first-generation Kindle Fires)
- Amazon Fire TV devices
- Android phones and tablets
- iPhone and iPads
- Nintendo Wii U console
- Web browsers that support HTML5
Yes, sadly, Roku doesn’t appear on that list. Although IMDb’s X-Ray info page indicates support for both Roku and Xbox, Amazon either hasn’t deployed that support yet or has decided not to. (I double-checked my Roku box and, sure, enough, no X-Ray.)
For everything else, the service is activated by default, though it requires a live internet connection. Thus, if you’re watching, say, an Amazon Video download on your next flight and you’re not connected to Wi-Fi, you won’t get the feature.
But when you’re online, activating X-Ray is as easy as tapping the screen on your phone or tablet. If you’re watching in a browser, just move the mouse. And Wii U users can select the X-Ray menu on the GamePad.
Those actions cause the X-Ray overlay to appear, at which point you can tap or click any actor or song name to get more information. (Surprise: You can also purchase songs directly, provided they’re available from Amazon.) Once X-Ray is visible, hit View All for a wider selection of options, including a list of scenes, a complete list of actors and music and any available trivia.
That scene-list option can be useful, as it lets you quickly jump to a particular scene rather than trying to manually scan the timeline.
Beyond that, X-Ray is just a cool little extra that people tend to forget exists. Next time you’re having trouble placing that actor’s face, just X-Ray it!
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