With movies heading back to some theaters, the draw to head out to catch a flick is returning. But for many, money is still a bit tighter than usual and even the major streaming services can add up. So how do you watch the content you want without breaking the bank? You do it for free!
Samsung TV Plus
Supported devices: Samsung TV, Chromecast, most Samsung Galaxy smartphones, and web browsers.
Who it’s for: Samsung TV or mobile users.
In July 2021, Samsung launched a web version of its free and ad-supported Smart TV Plus streaming service. While Samsung TV Plus was previously only available on Samsung TV and mobile devices, the new web service expands availability to Chromecast devices and web browsers. With the rollout of the web platform, it’s poised to be a more significant player in the free entertainment space.
The service supports live and linear programming, with more than 180 channels covering news, sports, entertainment, and more all available for free. Some channel highlights include Stories by AMC, Bon Appétit, ABC News Live, and Moonbug Kids.
The Roku Channel
Supported devices: Roku streaming devices and TVs with built-in
Who it’s for:
The Roku Channel offers more than 150 available channels in the United States. The upgrade launched in the summer of 2020 and included a new Live TV Channel Guide designed to make browsing through the substantial catalog simple. In fact, it looks a whole lot like your ordinary Xfinity channel menu. The
Plex Live TV
Supported devices: Apple TV,
Who it’s for: People looking for a wide range of live streaming options who don’t mind the ads.
Plex is on a mission to become the most inclusive on the planet and its addition of more than 80 free, ad-supporting live streaming TV channels is a step in the right direction.
Plex Live TV is available under the “Live TV” label on all of Plex’s client apps and doesn’t require an account. The channel lineup includes Reuters, Yahoo Finance, Toon Goggles, Tastemade, Fubo Sports Network, IGN1, The Bob Ross Channel, Comedy Dynamics, and entertainment and news LGBTQ+ channels from Revry. There are also 19 channels dedicated to different genres of music videos. Most channels are available globally but some, like Fubo Sports Network, are U.S.-only.
This is not to be confused with Plex’s Ultimate Live TV + DVR option, which gives you more channels and a DVR option for $5/month.
Supported devices: Web browser as well as
Who it’s for: Cord-cutters who still appreciate the aimless browsing aspect of cable.
DistroTV offers more than 100 channels of news, entertainment, sports, lifestyle, music, and more. These aren’t your ESPNs and CNNs, mind you, but with an easily browsable live TV channel menu, you may find some content that suits you. Channels like MagellanTV offer cool escapes to nature, while movie channels like Reelz and culture channels like PeopleTV keep you connected with the world. If you’ve ever wondered, DistroTV also is where alternative news platforms like Newsmax and OANN thrive.
Supported devices: Apple TV,
Who it’s for: Those interested in Comedy Central content, children’s programming, food channels, nature, and travel content.
Pluto TV is a free TV streaming service that offers a couple of popular networks in addition to more specialized live and on-demand content. In all, the ad-supported platform has more than 250 channels filled with movies and TV shows. Or, in other words, it’s a hodgepodge of content you’re familiar with and content you’ve never heard of before. Since it’s free, it’s worth diving into.
Speaking of Pluto TV, if you own a Vizio SmartCast TV, you’ve already got Pluto TV, but it goes by the name WatchFree. That’s what Vizio calls its free streaming TV service, which is powered by Pluto TV. Vizio has also supplemented the 250-plus Pluto TV channels with an additional 30 free streaming channels that can be found in a new Free Channels row on the SmartCast home screen.
Supported devices: Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick,
Who it’s for: Those who aren’t afraid to dig through a few old and forgotten productions to find some gems.
Crackle operates in a similar fashion to Pluto TV, and to most free
Who it’s for: Anyone hoping to stream episodes of Hell’s Kitchen or movies like Django Unchained and Coming to America.
There isn’t any exclusive content on Tubi TV. But, since it’s a free streaming service, that’s basically expected. What there is on Tubi TV is a wealth of older TV shows and movies. It’s not necessarily enough to make your primary streaming service, but it’s worth keeping it in the lineup whenever you’re looking for something a little more retro to watch.
Supported devices: Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and
Who it’s for: Anyone with a diverse, capricious interest in movies and shows.
Fawesome TV is a free streaming site where you can find a free package of personalized channels to meet your interests. It is a newer ad-supported streaming service offering more than 10,000 movies and series. You will find HD-quality across various genres that include action, comedy, family and kids, lifestyle, horror, and thriller.
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