The 23 Best Free TV Apps to Download Now (Free TV Streaming Services)
Many things cost money, but staying in to watch a movie shouldn't be one of them. Here's our list of the 23 best free TV apps to download now to stream your favorite shows and movies, at no cost to you.
The price of everything is well…UP! Even on audio and media products. So unless you're able to score free movie tickets, taking the family out can cost a small fortune. Staying in can get pricey too with the costs of streaming services and cable or satellite peaking. With these free TV sites and apps, however, you can stream anything from classic shows and movies to seasonal favorites and even free Christmas movies, offering year-round value that can't be beat.
For a free streaming service, Crackle’s library is truly impressive! Rumor is that it is the most comparable to Netflix (Minus the cost of course!) and therefore THE most popular of the free TV streaming sites! It features classic TV shows like “The Doris Day Show” and “Dennis the Menace,” as well as newer shows and originals, like “This is Paradise”. It also has hundreds of films from major studios and even some Crackle-exclusive in-house content. Best of all, Crackle works on nearly all mobile devices, streaming boxes, and smart TVs.
2. Tubi TV
Tubi TV is a division of FOX Entertainment and has deals with major studios like Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), and Lionsgate. It includes over 45,000 titles! That means you’ll enjoy Fox TV series like “The Masked Singer” and “LEGO Masters” and movies like “Kill Bill”, “The Goonies”, and “Pretty Woman”. You can even introduce the kiddos to “Flintstones”, “Scooby Doo”, “Alf”, “Garfield”, and “GI-Joe”. There truly is something for everyone!
3. Pluto TV
Pluto TV offers a variety of cable channels and on-demand movies and TV shows. What you won’t find are original movies and shows that are produced by Pluto TV. There are ample shows and movies you will know though like “NCIS”, “Storage Wars”, “The Walking Dead”, and “Beverly Hills 90210” and the movies “Pulp Fiction” and “Legally Blonde” just to name a few familiar ones. You can also catch some news and sports channels.
Freevee was formerly known as IMDb TV and is owned by Amazon. It’s their free version of Prime Video, just with some ads. You’ll find full episodes of current and classic TV shows like “Chicago Fire”, “Lost”, and “24”, as well as a nice variety of movies. They also offer original content, so you might just discover something new. Just be forewarned, some shows may be limited to a couple of seasons in the hopes you’ll come over to Amazon Prime for the rest.
Xumo offers a variety of live and on-demand content. This service has a library of over 180 channels, including news, sports, comedy, and lifestyle channels. There is no sign-up required. It includes familiar channels like Fox Sports, NBC News, and TMZ. It has a notable selection of free movies and free TV shows, but live TV is where this one shines.
If you own a Roku device, you’ll already have access to the Roku Channel. But, it’s not necessary to have one -- just download the app for smartphones and tablets, or through an internet browser to enjoy them! It has more than 350 live TV channels which are quite impressive! It is also home to a slew of Roku Originals, like “UFO Cowboys”, “Children Ruin Everything”, and “Panhandle”.
Vudu has been around forever it seems – over 10 years! While you might recognize it for movie rentals, it does have a “Free” with ads section that shouldn’t be overlooked! Its library has over 10,000 free movies and TV episodes, but the content is pretty old. In other words, you won’t find new releases here, but there is plenty of content to be enjoyed. It even has nice options for kids!
Sling TV is well-known as a paid streaming provider, but they have created a free platform for viewers! This free service offers more than 150 channels for live TV, plus a selection of shows and movies to watch on demand. An account is required to use Sling Freestream, but all you need to enter is an email address and a password. Note that this app is kid-friendly too with parental controls!
Most streaming services lack news offerings and this is where NewsON steps in! It provides access to live and on-demand local news with over 118 channels available. You can use the interactive map, making it easy to connect to the news that is most relevant to you -- find weather, sports, or international news.
Crunchyroll is a great app for anyone with an interest in anime. It specializes in mostly Japanese content, but it also features films and series from all over the world -- many of which are hard to find on other streaming services. Of course, when it comes to anime content, you’ll want to keep in mind that the targeted audience is teens and adults, so you’ll have to be watchful with your younger children.
For those with an interest in gaming and eSports, take note of Twitch! It hosts user-created channels and streams focused on video games and other eSports. That being said, these streams are somewhat unregulated and can sometimes contain adult language or content.
YouTube is familiar to you from all the how-to videos you watched 10 years back, but you can now watch a variety of TV shows, along with a variety of movies! Kids and adults alike will find dozens of titles completely free with ads. I spotted movies like “The Mask”, “Godzilla”, and “The Dukes of Hazard” just to name a few! Find them all quick and easy in the “Free With Ads” section.
13. Popcorn Flix
Pop some microwave popcorn, grab a drink, and check out Popcorn Flix! It’s for those who love action movies and TV! No subscription is required and it promises way fewer ads than regular television. It showcases some of the biggest stars in the world, including Brie Larson, Nicolas Cage, and Johnny Depp, and movies like “Falcon Rising”, “Eye See You”, and “Blitz”.
14. Plex TV
Plex TV gives you access to thousands of movies and over 80+ channels of live TV shows. The basic functionality of Plex is entirely free. This includes playback of any of your media, movies, shows, Live TV, podcasts, and web shows. You’ll even have access to music too! Plex TV also appears to be a work in progress -- they are working on a way for you to connect with your friends through the platform so that you can watch what they are watching.
15. Freecable TV
As a means to help cut the cost of cable, Freecable TV was created! Freecable TV is more like the middle man in that it connects you to movies and shows from channels such as Fox, Animal Planet, Discovery, and TLC, as well as on-demand content from sites including YouTube. It gets great reviews and folks find it easy to use. You will need to get their app which is only available for Android or Apple devices.
Skip going to the kiosk! You can enjoy Redbox Free Live TV in the comforts of your own home! It too works like Freecable TV in that it’s a middleman connecting you to the networks, but it’s another nice option for some of your favorite shows! No account is needed, you can immediately start streaming right in your browser.
Don’t overlook your favorite channels for free streaming!
Many of your favorite channels feature their own apps with free content! If you have a favorite show, going directly to the channel could be the best way to enjoy it!
NBC has introduced a free TV app that allows users to access a selection of NBC’s current shows as well as some previously aired shows. Granted the selection is more limited than it is if you were able to sign in with a cable account.
Of all the channels, CW seems to take the cake – and viewers love it! It’s a place to watch a huge selection of TV shows completely free of charge. You will be watching ads though, but that’s how they keep it free for you. They have more open content than some of the other channels.
19. PBS Kids
PBS Kids Video is an educational app through which children can access curriculum-based content as well as many PBS Kids TV shows. You’ll be happy to hear that it has no advertising. PBS Kids is completely free and introduces children to the digital world educationally and engagingly. It’s one to consider if you have kiddos!
This app is for the mainstream portion of their entertainment. Some shows are available for free, but for the newer streams, you will likely need a PBS Passport account. But, with over 4,000 shows available to stream on-demand with PBS Video, their catalog is one of the most extensive and each stream is of great quality.
Catch all your favorite ABC TV shows with the ABC App. You’ll have access to free episodes of their current shows and their throwbacks. Like NBC, it is more limited than it is if you were able to sign in with a cable account. It won’t get you everything, but still enough to enjoy!
Like ABC and NBC, the CBS App also has some of their content to view for free, but more if you can sign in. This is nice when you’re only after a certain show. It’s usually available the next day after it airs on TV. You can even live-stream the news!
23. Cartoon Network
This one is for the kiddos – or you if you’re a kiddo at heart! The Cartoon Network App brings you the best of Cartoon Network and Cartoonito! You can catch up on the latest full episodes (available the day after they air!) and hilarious mini-episodes too.
So, that’s quite the list, I know! Do you need every single one of these? No, but maybe you’ll find a few that your family can enjoy. Nothing beats kicking back and relaxing! And the fact that you don’t have to spend a dime…perhaps that makes you just that much more at ease!
Free TV Apps: FAQWhat is the best free TV streaming site?
It’s hard to say which TV streaming site is the best as it depends on what your interests and likes are! They all have their pros and cons. I’d say that the ones that stand out the most with rave reviews are Crackle, Pluto TV, Tubi TV, and Freevee.
Which app gives you free live TV?
Several of them do -- Sling Freestream TV, NewsON, PlutoTV, Freecable TV, Redbox Free Live TV, ABC, NBC, and CBS. If they are associated with a TV channel, then it’s likely you’ll find that they livestream. Coupon apps can generally help you find some of the best live TV and other streaming deals.
How can I watch free TV without a subscription?
Long story short, you’re going to be enjoying some advertisements. These services are ad-supported, keeping these apps free for you. The experience is pretty similar to watching normal television.
What device(s) do I need to be able to enjoy free TV streaming?
Most, if not all of these apps for free TV streaming, are available on almost all devices, including Apple and Android tablets and phones, Amazon Fire TV devices, Kindle and Fire tablets, Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, and internet browsers. Use what is most convenient for you!
Is it really free?
Yes! Granted, some of these limit the amount of content you can view while still being free AND you’ll have to endure some advertisements, but if you’re serious about cutting cable, satellite, or streaming costs, I’m sure you can find something to help entertain you. Many of them also offer a paid service to remove the ads for a fraction of the cost of a cable subscription, so that may be an option if you want to just trim the costs. You may even be able to find free trial opportunities to give it a test run.
Is there anything I can do about the ads?
No. Ads are how they keep it free for you. In some cases, you can pay for a premium service and eliminate them if your budget allows.
Are free TV streaming websites and free streaming apps legal?
Yes! It is completely legal to stream movies, TV shows, and even free workout apps for free online, as long as the website you're using owns the distribution rights for the content you're watching.