It’s a weird time for the world right now, with many people being forced to stay at home due to the global coronavirus outbreak. That means many of us are sitting at home in front of our screens, and some major streaming services that were once paid have temporarily unlocked their libraries – or part of their libraries – for free viewing.
Here are the best free and legal sites and platforms where you can catch up on your favorite TV shows.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, HBO has opened up a generous portion of its excellent TV show library for people to watch for free. For now, the offer lasts through April, though it may be extended depending on how things unfold with the pandemic.
Freebie shows include The Wire, The Sopranos and Silicon Valley, among others, as well as a whole bunch of documentaries and movies.
2. Pluto TV
Pluto TV is a streaming service that takes a unique approach to online content. Most streaming services require you to browse through categories or genres in order to find something you might be interested in watching. Pluto TV aims to deliver content immediately, as soon as you start the app. By doing so, Pluto TV feels familiar, like a throwback to the days of flipping through the channels to find something to watch.
Pluto TV achieves this by offering over 100 “live channels.” Some of these channels, like The Weather Channel or Bloomberg News, are simply web streams of live TV broadcasts. Others are channels curated from content produced and distributed by brands and news outlets.
For example, there is a channel that features nothing but content produced by the satirical news outlet The Onion. You could find these videos elsewhere, like YouTube; however, what Pluto TV does is gather all of the videos into one “channel.” The content is then played on these channels, uninterrupted. The progress of the stream does not stop when you change the channel, giving users an experience very similar to that of channel surfing.
Xumo.TV is another streaming service that features live streaming content. The way it operates is very similar to that of Pluto TV. It gathers up video produced and distributed by content creators and packages them into channels. Some of the channels feature videos from multiple content creators that revolve around a common interest, like racing. Other channels feature content created by a particular brand, like the humor website Cracked.
Xumo.TV curates its channels from a wide variety of providers including MSNBC, Fox Sports and many more. In addition, many manufacturers like LG, Vizio and Panasonic have integrated the Xumo.TV app into the app store of their smart TVs, allowing easy installation for watching on the big screen. Furthermore, Xumo.TV is available in your web browser and on your mobile device (Android, iOS).
4. The Roku Channel
The Roku Channel is a collection of free TV shows and movies and was previously one of the perks of owning a Roku device. However, as of early August 2018, the Roku Channel is now available online to everyone, regardless of whether you own a Roku device or not. Be aware that in order to access all of the free content the Roku Channel has to offer, you’ll need to have a free Roku account.
The Roku Channel boasts a little something for everyone, from reality to soaps to sitcoms. The Roku Channel can’t really compare to what’s on offer from paid services; however, it is home to some pretty decent titles. Like everything in life, nothing is truly free, as all of the content on the Roku Channel is ad-supported. However, it’s a small price to pay.
If you’re looking for a fun way to watch movies and videos together with people online, then check out our list of the best tools and sites to watch videos with friends in real-time. If you’re into foreign movies and TV shows, and you’re looking for the subtitles files for the ones you own, then here are the best sites to download subtitles for movies.