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Free alternatives to Netflix to stream TV shows and movies

Free alternatives to Netflix to stream TV shows and movies
Image courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Sixty-nine million people can't be wrong. That's how many people subscribe to streaming video service Netflix each month. If you are one of them, you're using a streaming media player or a smart TV to watch a lot of good content, like the original show, "Orange is the New Black," or the special, "A Very Murray Christmas," with Bill Murray, George Clooney, Miley Cyrus and others. You can watch recent network TV shows like NBC's "Parenthood," and movies such as "The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury."

But, if you have Netflix or have considered getting it, you know it costs money. The basic subscription starts at a reasonable $7.99 a month. However, it's $9.99 to watch in high-definition, or $11.99 for ultra HD. Is there a way to enjoy your shows that doesn't cost as much?

Netflix isn't the only subscription-based service; there are several others that you pay for, including Hulu, HBO Now, CBS All Access, and others. However, those subscriptions cost the same or more than Netflix. That adds up to a big chunk of change, especially if you're also paying for cable TV or satellite TV.

Fortunately, there are plenty of free options as well, from online streaming to free TV. There's one tiny catch with most of these, however: You'll have to sit through some commercials. But, so what? You're already watching commercials, including on pay streaming services like Hulu.

Keep reading to find out where you can stream TV and movies for free. Bonus: Find out how you can completely cut the cord on pay TV, and still watch your favorite TV stations and TV shows.


If you watched "Seinfeld," or still watch repeats, you've probably been keeping up with the show's stars, including Jerry Seinfeld. If you haven't seen his new show, it's a reality-talk show hybrid called "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee."

On "Comedians," which is in its sixth season, Seinfeld drives around New York City or Los Angeles in a classic car, like a '57 Chevy or a Ferrari 308 GTB. He picks up his guest for the show, such as Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher and Amy Schumer. The comedians drive around, tell jokes and share stories over coffee about their years in Hollywood or on the comedy club circuit.

Each episode is about 15 minutes long. Although, "Comedians" also has shorts called "Single Shot."

Crackle isn't just about Jerry Seinfeld, though. You can watch its original shows, like "The Art of More" with Dennis Quaid, the game show, "Sports Jeopardy" with host Dan Patrick, or the animated "SuperMansion."

Crackle also has lots of current and classic TV shows, including "Seinfeld" and movies, such as "Ali."


Hulu, owned in part by Disney, Fox and NBC, has three streaming options to watch its 700 million hours of content. Two of those are paid subscriptions: starting at $7.99 for its ad-supported service, or $11.99 to watch Hulu with no ads.

However, Hulu got its start as a free streaming site. And, it still has a lot of free content, if you don't mind poking around a bit.

To watch Hulu's free content, go to the site on your computer or from your streaming device. Note: From the homepage, click on the Hulu logo in the upper left corner. Ignore Hulu's subscription offers, and look in the menu for movies or TV shows you like. Then, find free episodes or movies.

For instance, if you want to watch "Law & Order: SVU," there are five free streaming episodes from this season. To find those, click on the "Free" filter to see listings for just those episodes (see photo).

There are dozens of other free movies and TV shows, like ABC's "Shark Tank" and "General Hospital," NBC's "The Tonight Show" and "The Voice," and many others.


Tubi TV

If you haven't heard about Tubi TV yet, you will. The ad-supported, free streaming service is funded in part by Hollywood studios Lionsgate, MGM and Paramount Pictures.

Tubi TV, which you can watch online or on streaming media players such as Amazon Fire TV, Roku, your Xbox videogame console and other devices, has 40,000 free streaming TV shows and movies. Note: You can easily sign in using your Facebook credentials.

Right now, much of that content is older than a year or two old. But that's not much different than a lot of the content you'll find on paid streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.

In fact, Tubi TV's menu is similar to both of those services. For instance, you can find TV dramas and comedies, kids' shows, trending movies, the best of British TV, documentaries, scary movies and others. One category you won't find on Netflix or Hulu is Tubi TV's "Not on Netflix" category, with movies and TV shows.

Check Tubi TV out, and revisit it from time to time. With its big-money backers, it'll continue to expand its library of free streaming content.


Network sites

If you're cutting the cord on cable TV or satellite TV, you probably worry about not being able to watch your favorite TV shows. There is really no reason to worry.

You can stream almost every current network TV show for free. All the major networks have streaming content on their homepages, including some you can watch live.

If you want to catch up on episodes of "How To Get Away with Murder," stream them on ABC.go.com. Or, if you're a fan of "NCIS," watch it on CBS.com.

Did you miss "The Wiz Live" on NBC, or "The Voice"? You can find them, and many other shows, streaming on NBC.com. You can watch Fox shows like "Empire" on Fox.com and CW shows like "Jane the Virgin" on CWTV.com.

Of course, many of these shows are also streaming for free on Hulu and other streaming services.

Note: If you're watching online, you may need to download Adobe Flash, which is a bit of a security risk at this point. If so, be sure to disable Flash after you're finished watching to improve your security. Or only watch online shows in another browser like Chrome or Firefox so your main browser stays as secure as possible.

Other free streaming sites

When you consider all those options for streaming free TV shows and movies, it's getting easier to cut the cord on cable TV. Yet, there are even more free streaming sites to watch TV and movies.

Whichever streaming media player you use to watch streaming content, it has free TV content. To find out which content you can watch for free on your player, check out the exclusive Komando Streaming Media Player Comparison Charts.

There, you'll find media players like Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV and the content they stream for free. Those include channels such as YouTube, Vimeo, the Huffington Post and others.

Plus, if you're an Amazon Prime member, its Prime Instant Video is free. You can stream content like its Emmy-winning original series, "Transparent," and hundreds of other shows and movies, like "The Expendables 3."

Bonus: Did you know that you don't need a cable TV or satellite TV subscription to watch your favorite channels and TV shows in HD? The Komando Indoor Amplified HD Antenna is a super-thin antenna that captures full 1080 HD signals. If you're looking for more 4K streaming options the SkyStream 4K TV Streaming Box have thousands of free movies and shows and can stream all the free apps we mentioned above.

It picks up over-the-air channels in your area, like your local ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and PBS stations. Plus, you can watch digital networks such as MeTV, HSN, TBS and others. Click here to find out which channels you can watch for free, with no monthly subscription.

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