If you’ve been waiting for a good time to cut the cord, the timing couldn’t be better. Microsoft Movies & TV and Vizio have partnered with online streaming services to offer thousands of movies and programs to consumers, some of which are free of charge. Roku, meanwhile, has launched The Roku Channel for free streaming access to content from your PC, tablet and smartphone. Here are the details:
Movies Anywhere and Microsoft Movies & TV
Movies Anywhere and Microsoft Movies & TV have joined forces to make it easier for film fans to access and grow their movie collections. Users simply sync their Microsoft account with Movies Anywhere to centralize their favorite digital movies purchased from Microsoft alongside their movies purchased from other Movies Anywhere retailers. Movies Anywhere allows consumers to access their digital movie collection at home or on the go in one simple cross-platform app that also features over 7,500 digital movies for purchase, including the new “The Deadpool 2 Super Duper $@%!#& Cut” with 15 minutes of brand-new action and jokes.
Using the Movies Anywhere app and website, Microsoft customers can access their eligible digital movies from Hollywood’s major film studios, including Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film, Universal Pictures (including DreamWorks and Illumination Entertainment), The Walt Disney Studios (encompassing Disney, Pixar, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm), and Warner Bros. Upon connecting their Microsoft account with Movies Anywhere, users can watch their favorite redeemed and purchased digital movies from participating digital retailers on an array of platforms, including Xbox and Windows 10 devices; Amazon Fire devices; Android devices and Android TV; Chromecast; iPhone, iPad and iPod touch; Roku devices and popular browsers.
“We are thrilled that Microsoft now supports Movies Anywhere,” says Pedro Gutierrez, director, movies & TV, Microsoft. “With Movies Anywhere, all of your eligible movies from Microsoft can be enjoyed across your favorite screens at no extra cost. Microsoft Movies & TV allows you to watch the newest movies across your favorite devices — like Xbox — before streaming services or disc, and without subscription or membership fees.”
Vizio and WatchFree
Vizio has rolled out WatchFree, a streaming service designed with cord-cutters in mind. Available on nearly all VIZIO SmartCast TVs, WatchFree, in partnership with Pluto TV, takes the entertainment experience one step further by providing free, direct streaming access to more than 100 live and linear channels. WatchFree has all of the attributes associated with traditional cable TV minus boxes, antennas, cords, and most importantly, the cost.
WatchFree offers access to news, sports, movies, TV shows, viral videos, concerts and more – all without the expense of a monthly subscription or transaction fees.
“With the TV landscape continuously evolving, we’re excited to offer consumers a comprehensive entertainment solution packed with free and unlimited content offerings.” says Bill Baxter, Chief Technology Officer, VIZIO. “Powered by Pluto TV, WatchFree is a next-generation streaming service with an easy-to-navigate, cable-like interface that delivers creative and thoughtful content selections.”
In a completely innovative fashion, WatchFree is easily accessible via a dedicated input. SmartCast TV users simply press the Input button and select “WatchFree” to be instantly transported into a free and unlimited live TV experience. WatchFree offers an unrivaled, free viewing experience with endless entertainment options at the forefront.
Some of the Pluto TV channels that will be available through WatchFree include Pluto TV Movies, Action Movies, Black Cinema, News 24/7, NBC News/MSNBC, Fox Sports, Frontdoor, Cats 24/7, Crime Network, MST3K and The Surf Channel. In addition to the regular channel lineup, coming soon, Pluto TV will launch two new pop-up channels also available on WatchFree, featuring Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares and Unsolved Mysteries.
The Roku Channel
Roku, Inc. has launched two new ways to help consumers find free streaming entertainment. The company offers The Roku Channel for the web in the U.S., giving free access to anyone via PCs, mobile phones, and tablets. Consumers can visit The Roku Channel’s website to begin streaming once they log in or create a Roku account.
Roku also is beginning the rollout of a navigation change to its home screen called “Featured Free,” which provides users with direct links to free content from The Roku Channel, ABC, The CW, CW Seed, FOX, Freeform, Pluto TV, Sony Crackle, Tubi and more.
Featured Free includes the latest in-season episodes of top network shows, full past-season catch-ups and more.
Launched last fall, The Roku Channel has quickly gained popularity, and according to Roku, is currently one of the most popular streaming channels on its platform based on active account reach.
Now, both Roku device owners and those who don’t yet own a Roku device can watch The Roku Channel on desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones. In addition, The Roku Channel app begins rolling out to select Samsung smart TVs today.
The company says it will continue to look for ways to expand the reach of The Roku Channel, and distribute the service through a phased software roll out over the coming weeks.
Once available on their device, Roku customers will be able to quickly access current season TV shows, classic series, hit movies and more in just a few clicks. Roku is also pulling forward new and returning shows, allowing Roku customers quick and easy access all season long.