Best Apps for Smart TVs & Streaming Devices
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If you have a smart TV or streaming device like Roku, chances are you already use top streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Max. While there’s a good reason these streaming services are popular, there are lesser-known apps for smart TVs and streaming devices that offer a variety of movies and TV shows, often for free.
Supplement your favorite streaming subscriptions with these smart TV apps for classic movies, reality TV, anime, and more.
Compatible Devices: Amazon Fire TV & Fire Stick, Android phone & tablet, Android TV, Apple TV, iPhone & iPad, Roku, Chromecast, LG smart TV, Samsung smart TV, VIZIO smart TV, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
US Library Size: 1,689 titles
Popular Titles: Django Unchained, Astro Boy, Taboo, Cold Mountain, Hell’s Kitchen
Crackle is a free-to-use video entertainment network featuring full-length movies, TV shows, and original programming. Because it is free and ad-supported, expect a handful of ads during your streaming experience. Crackle offers a wide variety of content including blockbuster action and drama films, classic movies, reality TV shows, and Saturday morning cartoons.
The Criterion Channel
Compatible Devices: Amazon Fire TV, Android phone, Android TV, Apple TV, iPhone & iPad, Roku, Samsung smart TV, Xbox One
US Library Size: 2,518 titles
Popular Titles: West Side Story, Annie, Thelma & Louise, Do the Right Thing, Moonstruck
The Criterion Channel is one of the best smart TV apps for movie buffs. For $10.99 a month, cinephiles can enjoy Criterion’s streaming library of more than 2,000 classic and contemporary films, plus a refreshed selection of Hollywood, international, art-house, and independent films from major studios and independent distributors. Not sure if Criterion is right for you? They offer a 14-day free trial to get a taste of their niche streaming library.
Compatible Devices: Amazon Fire TV, Android phone, Android TV, Apple TV, iPhone & iPad, Chromecast, Roku
US Library Size: 10,692 titles
Popular Titles: Sweet Home Alabama, What We Do in the Shadows, My Cousin Vinny, 13 Going On 30, The Alienist
Hoopla partners with libraries across the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to provide online and mobile access to eBooks, audiobooks, comics, music, movies, and TV. With Hoopla and a valid library card, you can instantly stream fan-favorite movies, modern indies, films based on books, and shows from MTV, Nickelodeon, Lifetime, and more. Check with your local library to see if they offer Hoopla.
Compatible Devices: Amazon Fire TV, Android phone, Android TV, iPhone & iPad, Roku Google TV, LG smart TV, Comcast Xfinity X1 & Flex, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
US Library Size: 8,823 titles
Popular Titles: The Hunger Games, Mad Men, Die Hard, How to Train Your Dragon, Schitt’s Creek
IMDb TV is an ad-supported video-on-demand streaming service owned by Amazon. IMDb TV is a free, ad-supported streaming service that allows you to stream premium movies and TV shows without purchasing a subscription. IMDb TV has a little bit of everything, including award-winning TV shows, IMDb original series, and blockbuster movies like “The Hunger Games” series. You can also watch the IMDb TV channel with the Prime Video app on smart TVs and streaming devices.
Compatible Devices: Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Android phone, iPhone & iPad, Roku, Facebook Portal, Chromecast, LG smart TV, Samsung smart TV, VIDAA smart TV, VIZIO TV, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 & 4
US Library Size: 8,910 titles
Popular Titles: Don’t Look Back, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Freedom Writers, Noah
Plex takes all of the shows and movies you already own (on your computer or in the cloud) and organizes them on your personal server in one app. They also offer free on-demand movies and shows, live TV, podcasts, and web shows. You can opt for the premium version for $5 a month to watch and record over-the-air broadcasts available at your location.
Compatible Devices: Amazon Fire TV, Android phone, Android TV, Apple TV, iPhone & iPad, Roku, Fire Tablet, Chromecast, Samsung smart TV
US Library Size: 10,287 titles
Popular Titles: The Florida Project, Moonlight, Hereditary, Lady Bird, Parasite
Kanopy is a streaming service with award-winning movies, documentaries, foreign films, classic cinema, independent films, and educational videos. They partner with public libraries and universities to provide an ad-free experience that can be enjoyed on smart TVs, mobile phones, tablets, and online.
Compatible Devices: Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android phone & tablet, iPhone & iPad, TiVo, Roku, Chromecast, Hisense smart TV, Samsung smart TV, VIZIO smart TV, PlayStation 4
US Library Size: 7,754 titles
Popular Titles: Survivor, Alone, Scream, GoldenEye, NCIS
Pluto TV is a free tv app for smart TVs, streaming devices, and web browsers that lets you drop in and watch live TV and on-demand content anytime. Pluto TV has over 150,000 hours of content, hundreds of channels of hit movies, binge-worthy TV shows, breaking news, live sports, and more.
Compatible Devices: Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Android phone & tablet, iPhone & iPad, Roku, Chromecast, TiVo, Samsung smart TV, Sony smart TV, VIZIO smart TV, Xfinity X1, Cox Contour, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 & 5
US Library Size: 29,624 titles
Popular Titles: Troy, Shrek Forever After, Candyman, Paddington, NBC News NOW, CBC News
Tubi is an ad-supported video-on-demand service from FOX Entertainment. Tubi has more than 35,000 movies and TV shows, 100+ local and live news channels, and 250+ entertainment partners. Tubi gives streamers an easy way to discover new content, 100% free.
Compatible Devices: Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Android phone & tablet, iPhone & iPad, Roku, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
US Library Size: 1,585 titles
Popular Titles: Bigfoot, Bravest Warriors, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, HarmonQuest, Dragon Ball Super
VRV is one of the best smart TV apps for anime fans. VRV offers content from other anime and indie cartoon services including Crunchyroll, HiDive, Rooster Teeth, Cartoon Hangover, and Mondo. You can create a free account to watch on the app, or try VRV Premium for access to all content (in-app or offline) ad-free for $9.99 a month after a 30-day free trial.
Other Streaming Apps
If you’re interested in more traditional streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, check out our 2022 Guide to Streaming to find the best option for your budget and entertainment needs. All you need is a reliable internet connection and a streaming device to get started.
You can even use our speed calculator to find out how much speed you need to stream shows uninterrupted.
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