We have the same problem with LTE networks today. Want to watch a world cup game on your 720p or 1080p smartphone during your commute to the office? One match is probably half of your typical monthly LTE data cap.
Amazon is doing exactly what they should be doing. Especially if their box is doing the right thing and downloading the shows in the middle of the night. Comcast et al should be thanking them for this because it moves a huge amount of traffic from peak to off peak and reduces the amount of capacity upgrades they'll need. This is a prime example of why data caps are stupid.
At least Amazon should be offering a setting to disable that feature, and whenever someone want to play a movie and the setting is off, then warn the user that he can always turn it back on...
At least in the USA where bandwidth is still limited Amazon should be offering the proper setting for the user to decide.
[edit: fixing typo]
1. Pre-cache TV show A
2. Local store full
3. Delete TV show A
4. Pre-cache TV show B
Yes and no. Over the air bandwidth is a very very limited resource to what can be delivered by fiber and coax.
Which means that the only way LTE could be used to send the World Cup to you is by some sort of multicast that would simultaneously send the same content to many smartphones at once. That would be of great interest to many people.
But the laws of physics, as presented by Claude Shannon  back in 1948, and building on earlier work by people like Nyquist, say that in a "noisy" channel there is a finite limit to how much data can be sent. That precludes everyone being able to simultaneously receive different content over the "limited spectrum" allocated to LTE.
I say "limited spectrum" because the FCC has been allowing more and more of the old TV spectrum to be used for wireless. But it's still insignificant compared to what can be easily pushed over glass fiber.
That's right, datacaps wasn't even a concern for ISPs. Mostly because they probably didn't even know how to bill this new fad called the internet. So they did like telcos do. Bill by the minute.
So I literally set a watch next to me to clock how long I was online so I wouldn't go over my limit.
The first time I got an unlimited flatrate, I nearly cried.
So they should provide totally unlimited data for a fixed price?
Anyway, it's understandable that your ISP will want to have a talk with you if you push/pull 10+ TB every month (in this case, you're probably violating their "no commercial service on consumer line" rule), but 250GB/month is just ridiculous.
1) No, your speed is not your cap. Net providers are increasingly implementing "soft caps" that they don't tell you about when you buy the service.
2) If you think 250GB/month is ridiculously low as a cap, go try to use 10TB a month with most providers and let me know what your results are.
Checked my bandwidth usage for the last month (we stream the majority of our viewing) and it stands at 955GB. Not so much as a peep from them about it being excessive.
Change it to opt-in and allow users to select what level of clarity they want to cache (720p vs 1080p to save on data usage), and set a cap on the data usage used with ASAP and this is a great feature.
I'm sure most people with streaming TV solutions have unlimited plans with plenty of bandwidth but some of us don't and Amazon's one size fits all approach that sucks up all available bandwidth even when not in use, and that blows through reasonable data caps with just a day or two of being plugged in, is simply too much for this Prime household.
Why shouldn't my video device use, say, 10% of my available bandwidth if it improves user experience ? Americans already pay unreasonably high monopoly prices for their bandwith, and they aren't even allowed to use it?
Not all Americans live in a place where they have the luxury of choosing their ISP.
I have no idea what the average Fire user could do in this situation. I found a few complaints across the web of similar problems, and all they could do was shut the thing off and stop using it. Very frustrating.
It's a shame our internet infrastructure isn't up to snuff.
In this case, it would be intelligent prefetching.
Your best solution is likely unplugging the network or powering down (I don't know if this is possible) when not in use.