What the Tech: How to stream for free
Consumer technology reporter Jamey Tucker looks at some of the free streaming services and tests whether they’re worth the time and money.
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The vast majority of Americans subscribe to at least one streaming TV service, like Netflix. Subscribing to a few of them can end up costing more than you realize.
I’ve talked to quite a few people who say they subscribe to all the streaming services. If you’re in that group, you should know, there are ways to watch totally free tv and movies and save hundreds of dollars over the course of a year. But are these free streaming options any good? I’m looking at Pluto, the Roku channel, FreeVee, Tubi, and Crackle. There’s no subscription fee. Instead, you’ll see commercials.
Let’s dive into what’s available: as you might expect, you’re not going to get the latest great movies. Pluto, the Roku channel, Tubi, and FreeVee have movies and shows on demand and live TV channels. It’s mostly classic movies. Tubi has live local news from across the country and some live sports. Pluto has a nice selection of mainstream content. The Roku channel has over 100,000 titles. FreeVee is Amazon’s free version of Prime and has some blockbusters and Amazon-produced franchises.
Crackle has been around for a long time. It’s mostly TV shows and movies from the 1970s and 1980s, but no “great” titles.
As far as the quality of the content, according to the app just watch, FreeVee has 246 movies with at least an 8 on the IMDb viewer ratings. Roku has 241, Tubi 754, Pluto 261, and Crackle has 80 titles rated 8 or higher. That’s over 1,500 quality movies available for free.
Remember what it was like going into a Blockbuster at 9 o’clock on a Saturday night? The selection is kind of like that.
One more thing about these free services, the picture and sound quality are not as good as you’ll see on the pay services or even the content you get with an antenna. Whether you’re trying to save money or looking for something different, free tv is worth checking out.
To watch these free services, you’ll need a smart TV, or a streaming device such as a Roku, Amazon Firestick, or GoogleTV.
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