No Trials For These Always-Free Streaming Channels
If you broadcast it, they will watch. In these budget-conscious times, free forever is preferable to free trials—especially if, like us, you always forget to cancel a subscription before that unexpected first withdrawal hits your bank account. Here are a number of free streaming services to top of your “to binge” bucket list.
If you have a qualifying cable provider, you can log in for free to BBC America, AMC, Sundance, IFC and others.
THE ROKU CHANNEL (No Roku Device Necessary)
While the Roku device streams zillions (Yes. We checked.) of channels, its flagship channel is available online with reality TV, crime dramas and sooooo many sitcoms. You got yer Beverly Hillbillies, yer Mr. Bean, yer I Dream Of Jeannie… a constant rotation of “comfort TV” perfect for quarantining (and recommending to your Boomer parents). On the movie side, there’s an ever-changing lineup of action, romance and comedy.
Indie aficionados and fans of foreign films will be quick converts to Kanopy, which offers a wide selection of movies from award-winning to obscure. Documentaries, blockbusters, early examples of movie-making—all yours in conjunction with your local library. There’s also a large offering of The Great Courses and a ton of kids’ programming.
It’s … um … eclectic. The free version of PLEX has an assortment of movies, TV shows and documentaries, most of which we have never heard of. But there are some worthwhile offbeat offerings—like FORTY-FRICKIN-THREE Warren Miller ski and snowboard films (BRAH!) and four episodes of 1950s hit Life With Elizabeth, starring Betty White before she became everyone’s salty grandma. From anime to zom-coms, it’s worth a look.
All (almost, anyway) the James Bond movies! A ton of on-demand content and hundreds of live TV options! Sports! News! This Viacom-owned product is almost but not quite like having premium cable, and if Dr. Who doesn’t draw you in, we don’t even know who you are anymore.
DON’T TOUCH THAT DIAL!
Tubi, Crackle … many free streams flow into the mighty river that is Bingeing While Quarantined, and you owe it to your sofa to sit on it and check them out. A couple of good roundups are here and here. And if all else fails, buy yourself an antenna and binge it old skool.