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You can stream shows for free with Redbox’s new live TV service

We’re only a few months into the year and the streaming wars are already in full swing. Right now, platforms like Disney + are throwing members of the old guard like Netflix and Hulu for a loop. Meanwhile, platforms like Amazon continue to dominate the digital rental space.

In the face of these industry titans, there aren’t too many businesses doing things the old-fashioned way. But one that somehow keeps on chugging is Redbox, which offers physical movie and game rentals in an age where stores like Blockbuster no longer exist. Tap or click to see the last remaining Blockbuster.

With streaming platforms breathing down its neck, Redbox is now turning toward live TV streaming. Users can stream TV directly from Redbox’s website — but what’s the catch? We’ll tell you all about it.

Redbox gives you new (old) ways to enjoy new (old) content

If you’ve visited a supermarket or convenience store in the last few years, you’ve probably seen the iconic Redbox kiosks. They’re a popular way to rent movies and video games. The best part? You get physical discs to play and return.

One of Redbox’s big advantages is its selection of new movies relative to release dates, as well as its comparatively cheaper rates (Blu-ray discs are just $2/day). But until recently, its only streaming option was on-demand movies starting at $2, no subscription required.

Related: Here’s why Netflix should be worried about WarnerMedia’s new HBO Max streaming platform

In 2020, Redbox decided it’s time to shake things up. According to a new post on the company’s website, Redbox is now offering free live TV streaming at no cost. No subscription is required to enjoy, only a compatible device and a screen to watch it on. You don’t even need to make an account.

Shows to watch include hits like “Family Feud” and “Unsolved Mysteries,” along with other popular programs from creators like USA Today, TMZ and more. You can also catch some Redbox original content and viral videos in its mix of streaming material.

This sounds too good to be true! What’s the catch?

When Redbox says “free,” what it really means is “ad-sponsored.” This is no different from ordinary TV stations, which are peppered with ads from sponsors and others. In exchange for watching a few ads here and there, you get access to shows and more at no charge.

As far as user benefits go, one of the biggest is the fact that you aren’t really a “user” at all. You don’t have to create an account or memorize a password, and you certainly don’t have to pay. It’s as easy as visiting Redbox.com and clicking on the Free Live TV tab on the top menu.

While the content might seem light at first, expect it to pick up as more systems adopt Redbox streaming going forward. Smart TVs from LG and Samsung will include the service in the near future, and owners of Roku, Apple TV and Chromecast devices will get an app in the next few months.

If you’ve got another kind of device, your best bet is to use your browser to visit Redbox.com. We look forward to seeing what kind of content Redbox puts forth, but whether it can hold its own in the streaming wars is another question altogether. Tap or click here to see how each platform compares.

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