The history of watching movies at home is a long one, evolving from 8mm film to broadcast to VHS to DVD to Blu-ray to digital downloads and, most recently, to streaming video. Streaming video services Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, Hulu and dozens of others are rapidly taking over physical discs, broadcast and cable TV.
"Cutting the cord" is becoming a very popular trend in the U.S. A study by eMarketer said that by the end of this year, there will be almost 6.5 million U.S. households that will no longer pay for cable television.
Another 17.8 million households never paid for cable to begin with, according to the same study. Click here to learn how you can cut the cord on cable to save big.
Of course, there's still broadcast TV, which has one advantage over online streaming when it comes to watching movies: It's free. Click here to learn the best way to get free HD broadcasts in your home.
As for online streaming, the only way to watch movies for free is to pirate them, right? Not exactly.
It is possible to watch free streaming movies legally. True, most of the sites you'll find are illegal pirate sites, but if you stick to the legal sites below, you'll be fine. So, what are you waiting for?
If you like comedy, melodrama, or 1980s action movies, Crackle is the free streaming service for you. Crackle boasts every episode of "Seinfeld" ever made, along with a series where Jerry Seinfeld interviews popular comedians of today.
Crackle is ad-supported and feels the most to me like a channel that plays TV movies all day. Not made-for-TV movies, though, these are the attention-grabbing movies that work well with Crackle's ad-supported business model.
It's supported on almost every device and can run all of its videos in full HD.
The Popcornflix app lets you stream movies for free, from any of your gadgets. There are hundreds of free feature length movies to choose from.
The only catch is they are ad-supported, meaning you will have to sit through a few ads during a movie. But it's well worth it if you're searching for a free service.
YouTube is a popular video-sharing website that has been around for over a decade. You can create your own channel and upload your very own videos and possibly become a YouTube star.
But did you know that YouTube also offers full-length movies? Even though you need to pay to rent the newer Hollywood blockbusters, there are some free movie options available on the site.
Just go to the YouTube movie channel to find those available for free.
IMDb is the world's most popular source for movie, TV and celebrity content. You can watch movie trailers, find out who starred in and directed your favorite films, and read critic and user reviews.
It's also a great resource to help you decide what to watch and where to watch it. You're able to check show times and even buy tickets to movies to the local theater.
If you're not in the mood to battle the movie theater crowd, just stream a movie from the comfort of home. IMDb shows you all of the available movies to watch on Amazon Video. If you have a Prime membership, just click the link through IMDb and watch the movie for free.
If summer blockbusters are not your thing, check out Vimeo. You can discover amazing videos from the world's best creators. You can even upload your own, all on your gadget.
Watch and share videos in HD, minus the ads. You can follow categories, channels and collections to have your feed filled with new content every day. You're even able to save videos for offline viewing at a later time.
Bonus: internet archive
When a film enters the public domain, it means that you and I own it! So where's your copy of the classic "His Girl Friday," with Cary Grant? It's online at the internet Archive.
This site collects public-domain works, so it's mostly classic films. Features, shorts, silent films, talkies, early cartoons and even vintage newsreels and advertisements are available.
If you choose to join the trend and become a cable cutter yourself, you need to add an HD antenna to your system. An HD antenna will allow you to pick up local channels, and several others, that will let you watch live TV for free. You might be surprised at how many free channels you can pick up with an HD antenna.
When you hear the word antenna, you might think of old school rabbit ears that struggled to give you fuzzy reception. Those days are long gone!
With an HD antenna, you can pick up over-the-air (OTA) broadcast channels such as ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CW, PBS, ION and many others. Many of the most popular television shows, along with sporting events and local news, are broadcast on OTA television in High Definition. FOR FREE!
But which HD antenna should you get? Here are a couple of the best options out there:
Outdoor HDTV Antenna with Multidirectional Range
The HDTV attic-outdoor antenna offers a completely new take on a traditionally mounted system.
With its sleek, minimalistic design, the multi-directional antenna can bring high-quality programming to your TV without having to deal with a bulky, unsightly antenna that is difficult to install. Reduce clutter, save money, and get high-quality HD TV with the amplified outdoor antenna.
This Powerful Antenna Features:
- A 60-mile range
- Antenna mounting kit
- 30-foot, high-performance cable
- Dual powering options: USB or power cube
- CleanPeak™ filter technology that provides low noise, state-of-the-art amplification
- Does not have to be pointed
The antenna is a powerful, amplified solution that was developed from research for the United States military. While it may seem similar to other basic and amplified HDTV systems, the attic-outdoor antenna is even better because of its multi-directional feature; it does not have to be constantly readjusted for optimal signal strength.
This advanced system provides uncompressed HD broadcast to multiple televisions in a home with a range of 60 miles! You no longer have to settle for a large, bulky, or more expensive rooftop-mounted antenna.
HDTV Indoor Amplified Digital Antenna for Home or Office
The Komando Indoor Amplified HD Antenna is a razor-thin antenna that is easy to set up and brings you over-the-air broadcasts from major networks. No monthly fees, subscriptions or contracts!
You can continue to enjoy your favorite top-rated shows from prime time, along with news, sports, documentaries and, of course, cooking shows! Everything you need to get started is included in the box. The easy installation and compact 13-inch x 12-inch design make it great for use in homes, RVs or campers while traveling or even in your office.
This digital TV antenna is easy to install, can be set up in minutes and will allow you to get beautiful HDTV for free! Stop wasting your money on expensive cable bills, get the Komando Indoor Amplified HD Antenna and start saving money today!
Additional Features of the Money-Saving TV Antenna
- Captures full 1080 HD signals
- Reversible design (black on one side, white on the other)
- Up to 60-mile range
- Operational in the United States and Canada*
- Dual band reception - VHF/UHF
- Razor thin (0.02 inches)
- Size: 13" x 12"
- Easy to install
- One-Year limited warranty