What Free IPTV/OTT Apps Do You Use?

Jagosaurus

Jagosaurus

Thread Starter
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Jul 4, 2017
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Greater Houston
We have a lot of good threads on paid services such as Vue, DTNow, Sling, YT TV or Red, Hulu, Netflix etc.. but I don't see much mention of free (legal) ad based live or VOD services. What are you guys using? Below is what I have experience with thus far. I specifically am using these apps on a Roku 4K Ultra and my Samsung Note phone but these have a PC web streaming equivalent as well.

  • Pluto TV
    • This one tries to mimic the cable box guide experience and is fairly solid. There are 9 or so movie channels, news, kids channels, etc.
    • Also, they have a TV and movie VOD section.
  • Tubi TV
    • Free movie and TV VOD service with ads
    • The term TV is a bit misleading, no lives feeds, all VOD
  • Crackle
    • Owned by Sony
    • Free movie and TV VOD service with ads
  • Popcorn Flix
    • Another free movie and TV VOD service with ads
  • Comet
    • Taps into the live stream of OTA channel
    • Pop up at bottom will let you know what is on currently and coming up next
  • CW
    • Post all episodes of shows the day after they air
    • No live tap into OTA feed
  • PBS
    • VOD
    • Currently no tap into OTA live stream
  • PBS Kids
    • Has a live feed option
    • Many VOD kids shows (my kids love Dinosaur Train & Wild Kratts)
  • YouTube
    • No intro needed, but I watch a ton of nerdy science and technology channels, in addition to my paranormal fix.
That is all I am using for now. I'm actually fairly impressed with the movie selection available for free on Pluto, Tubi, Crackle, & Popcorn Flix. Looks like Cool Flix and Film Rise are other popular VOD with ad services I haven't tried yet. Any experience with them? Seems to be more and more of these services coming up, but some are subpar. I tried Watch Free Flix and it was hot garbage. I don't think I recognized a single movie after searching for 10 minutes.

I get rough OTA reception at my house so the CW and PBS apps have been great (in conjunction with Vue locals).

I wanted to keep this discussion to apps that were free versus paid, but worth noting the Destination America app has quite a bit of content for free. I didn't realize I wasn't signed in via my Vue credentials yet and I had access to a lot. This channel is almost all paranormal content these days if you're into that.

The world of IPTV/OTT continues to develop and I can see these ad based services, no paid sub only continuing to grow.
 
osu1991

osu1991

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Sep 4, 2004
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Scripps has added various free episodes of misc series on their watch apps for Food Network, DIY, HGTV, Travel Channel, etc..
 
Jagosaurus

Jagosaurus

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 4, 2017
89
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Greater Houston
Nice. Hadn't checked out those yet.

Going to edit OP to place in the Roku Channel. Forgot about this one. It seems to basically pull TV and movies from respective apps they offer. So many of the movies you see, you've already seen browsing on Popcorn, Tubi, etc... BUT I did see a few movies I didn't notice on services I've downloaded so it may be scrubbing every app out there... while perhaps offering a few unique titles? A nice app, even if it is only pulling from other services and placing in one area. Once you start a movie, it play within this app versus booting you out to respective service (as the Roku 4K content app does).

Edit: NVM, can't edit OP.
 
B

Bronx

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Sep 14, 2015
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I don't have the patience to sit through commercials anymore so don't have a lot of those on my Roku. I think Pluto TV is on my Roku but I only used it once.

What I watch on Roku mostly are NHK World, Sky News, Amazon Prime Video, Ted Talks, Lifestream and the Roku Media Player.

Bronx
 
harshness

harshness

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We all need to be careful to distinguish between streaming services and apps. Streaming services are ideally device agnostic (iTunes being the obvious exception) while apps are used to stream them on a particular device.
 
Zookster

Zookster

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Dec 19, 2004
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I don't have the patience to sit through commercials anymore so don't have a lot of those on my Roku. I think Pluto TV is on my Roku but I only used it once.

Same here, but another issue I have with ad-supported free movie apps is from what I've experienced and heard from others is that commercial breaks get arbitrarily inserted into the film, sometimes in the middle of dialogue as opposed to during a natural "fade to black" moment between scenes.

Netflix and Amazon Prime provide me with more than enough content, beyond my YouTube TV subscription and Watch ESPN access it gives me. However, I have used the CBS News ap, which isn't listed in the OP, on multiple occasions to get a live news update (I use it like I used to use CNN Headline News when it ran live, 30-minute roundups of the day's top stories 24/7). It's also available on Pluto TV, but I find it easier and quicker to access the live stream through the dedicated app. I've also used it to access extra content related to a 60 Minutes story.
 
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john262

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May 22, 2005
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Vudu has a good free movie section and the movies have very few commercial interruptions.
 
Jagosaurus

Jagosaurus

Thread Starter
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Greater Houston
Any new free streaming services I should look into?

Saw the thread on Locast (I'm in Houston). I'm going to look into it. I get locals on Vue, but outside of football season... would be interesting to try this combined with Netflix.
 
Zookster

Zookster

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Fox Sports app saved my ass during the Great YouTube Outage of 2018 last night. I didn't miss a single pitch of the NLCS. Like the NBC Sports app, which is great during the Olympics, it also requires TV provider login. I also recently checked out the ABC News app, which is free and pretty decent.
 
Jagosaurus

Jagosaurus

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 4, 2017
89
40
Greater Houston
My Astros are in a slump! Our games are on TBS this series which thankfully I get on Vue. During the season they play on a AT&T/Direct channel only :(

Posted in the Locast specific thread.... but relevant here... this might change my cord cutting options outside of football season:

Holy smokes.... Locast is awesome. I get the following from Houston [FREE]:
- ABC
- CBS
- NBC
- Fox
- CW
- PBS
- My20
- Ion
- Multiple Spanish channels

Surprised this isn't getting more buzz.
 
mwdxer1

mwdxer1

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Nov 3, 2015
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Same here, but another issue I have with ad-supported free movie apps is from what I've experienced and heard from others is that commercial breaks get arbitrarily inserted into the film, sometimes in the middle of dialogue as opposed to during a natural "fade to black" moment between scenes.

This is what I hate. So many ad supported apps are loaded with too many ads anyway. I often will add one to the Roku and then delete it almost immediately. In the old days (2013) the ad supported apps had a few or none during the program.I would rather DVR Dish if I watch an ad supported channel. I also like Amazon Prime.

Netflix and Amazon Prime provide me with more than enough content, beyond my YouTube TV subscription and Watch ESPN access it gives me. However, I have used the CBS News ap, which isn't listed in the OP, on multiple occasions to get a live news update (I use it like I used to use CNN Headline News when it ran live, 30-minute roundups of the day's top stories 24/7). It's also available on Pluto TV, but I find it easier and quicker to access the live stream through the dedicated app. I've also used it to access extra content related to a 60 Minutes story.
 
harshness

harshness

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mwdxer1: I think you missed some opening and closing quote tags in your reply.
 
Bobby

Bobby

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mwdxer1: I think you missed some opening and closing quote tags in your reply.
As OJ Simpson once said to Howard Cosell on Monday Night Football: "Howard, you've proved once again you have a tremendous grasp of the obvious!" :D
 
schneid

schneid

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Jun 27, 2007
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The BIG question for me is always. Which ones push Dolby 5.1? Other the Amazon and Netflix, I know of none other than a few that are dabbling with it.
 
harshness

harshness

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Amazon and Netflix are offering/using Dolby Digital Plus as opposed to the old school Dolby Digital. There is a difference.
 

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