15 Free TV Apps For You to Enjoy

Paid streaming services satisfy our cravings for everything from classic movies to the latest episodes of our favorite TV shows.

But while most streaming services are certainly cheaper than cable, the price adds up quickly if you sign up for multiple platforms, which many of us do. If you’re trying to stick to a budget or want more variety, you’ll be happy to know there are many free TV apps available as well. 

While all TV apps differ in features and program selection, the 15 free apps I cover in this article offer something special, making them top choices for this list. 

Best Free TV Apps and Streaming Services

The following list of free TV apps and online streaming services has something for nearly everyone, from sports fans to movie buffs to cartoon aficionados.

1. Tubi

What We Like: Large selection of Movies and TV Shows

Tubi carries over 50,000 movies and TV shows, as well as live news and sports channels.

Tubi was launched in 2014 and was purchased by Fox in 2020. There’s a nice variety of shows and movies on the site, including family movies such as Eight Below and the Goonies and a host of game shows and popular TV series episodes.

Supported devices include:

  • Amazon FireTV/Stick Kindle Fire
  • Amazon Echo Show
  • Android smartphones, tablets, and TVs
  • Apple TV 4th Gen.
  • Roku
  • Google Nest
  • Samsung smart TVs
  • Vizio smart TVs

See the website FAQ page for a complete list of supported devices.

The app is entirely free, and there are no subscription options as of this writing. However, your viewing will be interrupted often by commercials, which is how the app makes money.

2. Crackle

What We Like: Expansive movie selection

Crackle was launched in 2004 and has over 40 million active users today. It was a typical streaming service when it was launched under the name Grouper.

Today, the site is owned by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment and Sony.

I have to say, the movie selection on the service is truly impressive. You’ll find everything from war history to comedies to faith-based movies on Crackle. 

The TV show selection is attractive as well, including genres such as cooking, documentaries, classics, cable shows, indies, and more.

Supported devices include: 

  • Apple TV
  • Android TV
  • Samsung TV
  • Vizio TV
  • Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV stick
  • Roku
  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox ONE

Like Tubi, Crackle is an ad-supported service with no option to pay a subscription to avoid commercials. However, I think many would agree that the selection trumps the inconvenience of the ads. 

3. Popcornflix

What We Like: Great selection of classic TV shows

Popcornflix is a free streaming service that was founded in 2010. The site primarily shares movies and TV series in the genres of action, sci-fi, and horror. 

As of this writing, some of the viewings on the site include the 1987 21 Jump Street series, the 1970’s Charlie’s Angels TV series, and the movie Highlander.

Popcornflix does have some original series and movies as well, but its list of classic TV series shows is impressive.  

Supported devices include:

  • Apple or iOS mobile devices
  • Apple TV
  • Android TV
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Roku
  • Xbox 360, One, and Series X/S
  • Playstation 3, 4 and 5

You will see ads throughout your viewing time on Popcornflix, and there is no option for a paid subscription to opt out of ads. One downside to Popcornflix is that it’s unavailable on Android mobile devices. 

4. Sling Freestream

What We Like: The available parental controls

You’ve likely heard of the Sling streaming service. While Sling can be a terrific cable TV alternative, they do have a service called Sling Freestream, where you can, as the name implies, stream for free. 

Sling Freestream has over 300 live TV channels along with thousands of shows and movies you can watch. 

Some of the shows you can find on Sling Freestream include Hell’s Kitchen, The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross, and Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Supported devices include:

  • Apple TV
  • LG smart TV
  • Samsung TV
  • Vizio TV
  • Android mobile devices
  • Apple mobile devices

Sling Freestream is ad-supported. You don’t need to have an account or log in to watch Freestream. However, if you do create an account and log in when you watch, you can expect a more personalized experience. 

Also, if you currently pay for a Sling paid account, you can still access Sling Freestream shows and movies, whether you’re logged in or not. 

5. The Roku Channel

What We Like: Limited ads

The Roku Channel is an app you can use to stream over 350 live shows, as well as TV and movies, for free. You don’t need a Roku to use The Roku Channel. 

You can find a large selection of shows and movies on The Roku Channel, such as Two Broke Girls, Quantum Leap, The Heartland, The Chosen, and movies that span nearly all genres. 

Some of the movies available for free streaming (as of this writing) include John Wayne’s McLintock, The Man in the Iron Mask, and Highlander. 

Supported devices include:

  • Android devices
  • iOS devices
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Select other smart TVs

One nice thing about The Roku Channel is that although it does contain ads, you won’t find as many ad interruptions as you might on other free streaming services. 

The large selection of free shows and videos includes something for all ages and nearly all interests. 

6. Pluto TV

What We Like: Live TV channel selection

Pluto TV is a free streaming service that functions much like a cable TV service. You’ll find a plethora of TV shows, movies, and even news shows available for viewing. 

Choose from channels such as MLB, 90s Throwback, 80s Rewind, Beverly Hills 90210, horror, drama, western and other channels. 

Some of the shows you’ll find on Pluto TV include Ugly Americans, Real Husbands of Hollywood, America’s Test Kitchen, and a large selection of classic TV series. 

The service’s movie selection is attractive as well. 

Supported devices include:

  • Android mobile apps
  • Apple TV
  • Fire TV
  • Roku
  • PlayStation
  • Xbox

Pluto TV doesn’t have as large of a selection as cable TV; however, it makes a great substitute. With selections in genres such as crime, reality TV, game shows, daytime TV, and more, there’s something for pretty much everyone on Pluto TV. 

7. DistroTV

What We Like: No registration is required

DistroTV is an easy-to-use free streaming service that doesn’t even require you to register your email for an account. 

The user interface is pleasing, and the app carries thousands of movies and TV channels. Like Tubi, you’ll watch commercials when you’re streaming. There’s no paid option to disable the commercials.

You can watch old episodes of reality shows such as Fear Factor, The Biggest Loser, and Wipeout. However, the list of movies leaves something to be desired. 

While big-name actors appeared in the movie list, most of the movies were titles that I didn’t know existed. The streaming service also has live channels, such as gustoTV, Boxing TV, and Bloomberg Television.

Supported devices include:

  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Apple TV
  • Roku
  • Vizio smart TVs
  • LG smart TVs
  • Samsung smart TVs

The biggest downside to DistroTV is its lack of new or well-known movies. 

8. Crunchyroll

What We Like: Anime/Manga focus

Crunchyroll is a streaming service for anime and manga fans. The service doesn’t offer every show for free on its site, but it does have many viewings for free. Some of the shows you’ll find on Crunchyroll include My Hero Academia, Mashle, and Bluelock.

Supported devices include:

  • Android mobile devices
  • Apple mobile devices
  • Roku
  • Apple TV
  • Fire TV
  • Nintendo Switch

You will see ads when viewing Crunchyroll offerings for free. If you decide to upgrade to one of Crunchyroll’s three premium plans, you’ll pay between $7.99 and $14.99 per month.

Note that many of the shows offered on Crunchyroll are rated for teens and above. 

9. Twitch

What We Like: Live esports streams

Twitch is a streaming service that caters mostly to those who have an interest in esports, although you can find plenty of other content, such as cooking shows. 

Many Twitch users get the service to be able to watch popular and not-so-popular gamers triumph and fail at popular games such as Minecraft and Call of Duty. 

You can also find random videos from users that share anything from vacation videos to animal videos. 

Supported devices include:

  • Android mobile devices
  • iOS mobile devices
  • Apple TV
  • Fire TV
  • Some gaming consoles
  • PCs

See the Twitch website for more details on compatible devices. 

Much of the content on Twitch is free. However, there is a large selection of videos that require you to be a paid subscriber to watch. 

Parents beware: There is a large selection of content that Twitch has labeled “mature” content. Although there is a warning label at the beginning of “mature” content videos, the warning is easy to bypass with just a click. 

10. NewsON

What We Like: News from around the U.S. 

NewsON is a free streaming service that helps you watch news programs from around the U.S. You can watch live or on-demand newscasts with this app and search for news shows by location, channel name, and more. If you like watching the news or keeping up with current events from around the country, you might enjoy NewsON. 

Supported devices include: 

  • Android mobile devices
  • iOS mobile devices
  • Amazon apps
  • Roku

NewsON is an ad-supported service that doesn’t require you to log in. However, you can open a NewsON account and personalize it by setting favorites.

11. FreeVee


What We Like: Amazon Prime Video integration

FreeVee is a free streaming service that was formerly known as IMDbTV and is now owned by Amazon.

Some of the shows you’ll find on FreeVee include Schitt’s Creek, Fringe, Lost, and Bones. Movie selections include horror movies, action films, romance, mystery/thriller, and more.

Live 24/7 entertainment and FreeVee originals are also available with FreeVee. And the service has a nice selection of sports shows, games, and tournaments. 

Supported devices include:

  • Fire TV
  • Android TV
  • Apple TV
  • Google TV
  • Xbox
  • Playstation 4 and 5
  • Samsung TV

You can easily find the app on your Amazon Prime account or at Google Play or Apple stores. Note that the service is ad-supported, so you’ll have to sit through ads as you watch. 

12. Vudu

What We Like: Personalized offers and deals

Vudu is a streaming service that was developed in 2004. It was sold to Walmart in 2010 and purchased by Fandango in 2020.

You can watch thousands of free movies and TV show episodes on Vudu, including everything from action movies to faith-based movies. TV shows include Hell’s Kitchen, Chasing Bigfoot, and an ample selection of TV classics as well. 

Supported devices include:

  • iOS devices
  • Android devices
  • A wide variety of smart TVs
  • Xbox
  • PlayStation
  • Nvidia

Like Sling Freestream, Vudu offers parental controls, which allow parents to limit what kids buy, view, and rent. This is an important feature for parents who want to shelter their children from mature-rated movies and TV shows. 

13. YouTube

What We Like: Massive video library

YouTube has long been the “go-to” for free TV and movies. It’s still the most-viewed video site in the world, with over 2 billion active users. 

The available content on YouTube is expansive and includes everything you could possibly ask for, from TED talks to documentaries to movies and TV shows. 

And you’ll find a great selection of random videos in just about any subject you could ask for. 

You don’t need to log in to watch, which is a nice feature. However, if you do create an account and log in to watch, you’ll get benefits such as custom watching recommendations that are created based on previous watching history.

You can watch online from your PC or mobile device. YouTube’s biggest drawback is that you have to wade through oodles of unpaid content to find quality viewing, whole TV shows, or whole movies. 

That being said, if you can familiarize yourself with the best channels, your “wading” can be cut down dramatically. 

14. Redbox Free Live TV

What We Like: Points reward system

You’ve probably heard of Redbox DVD rentals. You know, the ones you can rent at stores like Walmart and then return when you’re finished?

Well, Redbox also has a streaming service. The service has a paid option, but the Redbox streaming service has a free live TV option where you can watch thousands of TV episodes and movies. 

Some of the shows you can watch on Redbox include Fear Factor, Deal or No Deal, Cops, Heartland, many TBN shows, and more. 

Movies include genres such as action, sci-fi, horror, comedy, romance, etc. You can also get rental perks to rent movies that aren’t available for free on the site. 

Supported devices include:

  • Android mobile devices
  • Roku
  • PlayStation 5
  • Vizio smart TVs
  • Xbox
  • iOS mobile devices

Redbox’s rewards program can be an attractive feature for regular users. Birthday gifts, anniversary gifts, points earned for purchases, and points for referrals are available to earn when you sign up for a free account.  

15. Xumo Play

What We Like: The large selection of foreign language content

Xumo Play offers hundreds of live TV channels, as well as thousands of movies and TV episodes in a host of genres. Available TV shows run the gamut, from classics such as Moesha and Highway to Heaven to game shows, talk shows, crime shows, etc.

Movie selections include genres like comedy, horror, thriller, drama, romance, and others. You’ll find a healthy selection of Xumo Originals and Xumo Exclusives as well.

Supported devices include:

  • Android mobile devices
  • iOS mobile devices
  • Amazon Fire
  • Android TV
  • Apple TV
  • Samsung TV
  • Vizio TV
  • Roku

You won’t find bells and whistles such as parental controls or playlists on Xumo. At least not yet. 

And the site does show ads with each selection. However, Xumo works hard at keeping content fresh and adding new content every month. It keeps up with many of the other free tv apps mentioned here, despite it being lesser known than some popular streaming services. 

Final Thoughts

The best free TV apps and streaming services do their best to compete with regular TV channels and can at least somewhat hold a candle to paid streaming services. 

And depending on what you’re looking for, you may be able to find all you need and want in a streaming service without paying a dime for a subscription.

Check out the free streaming services mentioned here and discover which ones can add to your (and your family’s) viewing library abundance.

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About Laurie Blank

Laurie Blank is a blogger, freelance writer, and mother of four. She’s psyched about teaching others how to manage their money in a way that aligns with their values and has been quoted in Bankrate.

She's a licensed Realtor with Edina Realty in Minneapolis, Minnesota (also licensed in Wisconsin too) and has been freelance writing for over six years.

She shares powerful insights on her blog, Great Passive Income Ideas, that will show you how you can create passive income sources of your own.

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Captain FI
1 year ago

YouTube is my go to streaming service – but the ads are SO annoying. Do you think it’s worth paying for premium?

Jim Wang
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Captain FI

I haven’t yet but I don’t see the ads often, I think because I have the AdBlock extension installed on Chrome.

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