We know many people who have quit cable pay tv and switched to internet streaming to reduce expenses and avoid duplication of services. The average American’s cable TV bill is $110 a month and rising every year. Last year over 6 million subscribers dropped pay TV, the industry’s largest decline ever. I have quizzed my friends about what compromises they had to make and there don’t seem to be many. Live TV shows like Jeopardy, weather or the news do usually require a streaming subscription to one of the cable replacement streaming services like YouTubeTV, Roku, Apple TV and Hulu + Live TV among others. That monthly fee will be less than the average cable pay tv bill, but be careful if you have to ‘unbundle’ from your telephone and/or internet because your cost for those services may rise. If you’re not picky about your channels, there are free streaming services with lots of great content, although they do have ads.
In this article I am highlighting some of the free-streaming options.
This used to be known as IMDB TV and is hosted on the Amazon site, along with its paid Amazon Prime Video. It is available as a dedicated app or can be accessed through the Prime Video app. It has video streaming available from its archives as well as original content. It also hosts Freevee Originals – new programs commissioned only for Freevee, like the latest Bosch season. It is ad supported and a reviewer from the New York Times reported that during a movie there were two ads an hour. Click here for Freevee.
The Roku Channel
The Roku Channel offers free and premium movie and TV on its streaming site which is available through a web browser, mobile app, Roku device or compatible smart TV. It offers Roku Originals, kids TV, live network news and free movies. One hour of free streaming had eight ad breaks.
Tubi is owned by Fox Corp and is another free streaming service with a large library of over 20,000 movies and TV shows available. It is ad-supported and claims to have 25 million active monthly viewers. It can be accessed through Roku, Apple TV, web browsers, iPhones, iPads, and Android phones and tablets. Movies tend to have three ads per hour and are only 15-30 seconds in length. There is a kids’ section, as well as a section called “Not on Netflix” which are movies and television shows that are not available on Netflix. It does not offer live channels, so live sports and other programming are not available. https://tubitv.com/
Pluto is owned by Paramount Global which was called ViacomCBS when it bought Pluto. It offers hundreds of live TV channels and thousands of on-demand movies and TV shows, all free. Pluto TV also has over fifty channels in Spanish, including native language and dubbed movies, reality TV, crime, sports, and British comedy channels, and more. It is considered one of the best streaming services there is. It is ad-supported and launched in 2014 and has grown quickly, with over 22 million monthly viewers currently. A half-hour show typically has about four commercials. To use it, stream it on the Pluto website or download the app. https://pluto.tv/en/live-tv/pluto-tv-westerns-ptv1
Crackle TV is all on-demand, without a subscription. It is owned by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment. Set up your free account and search by genre to enjoy comedy, drama, action, crime, sci-fi, thriller, and horror new hits and classics in movies and TV. It also has original programming. Watch it through Roku TV, Apple TV, most smart TVs, gaming consoles, mobile apps for both Android and iOS, web browsers – Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. It is ad-supported but has fewer ads than on traditional television. Instead of the usual eight commercial breaks for a half-hour program on traditional TV, there are only four ads. https://www.crackle.com/