Watch Episodes Online
The top 3 sites to watch online Review:
With the ever rising cable and satellite rates, people are looking for alternatives to watch episodes online that cuts the cost while still providing plenty of entertainment value. Currently, there are many different watch episode online sites that offer TV shows and movies for free.
Of these websites, there are three that really stand out for their features, number of TV shows and options for the viewer. We will look at all three separately and then put them to the test in terms of the following;
- Which is more User Friendly?
- Which has more TV Shows and Movies?
- Which is the Best Overall?
Here is a brief summary of the three free online TV & Movie sites that offer the best combination of service, features and sources of movies and watch episodes online programming.
Hulu is perhaps the best known of the three, probably because of the immense amount of advertising and backing by some of the major networks like NBC. Hulu offers both a free service and a paid service known as Hulu Plus. For the free service, Hulu offers hundreds of TV shows and movies that need no fee because there are a series of commercials features with every program or movie. The Hulu Plus service runs a wider range of movies and TV shows, plus they often reduce or fully remove the commercial breaks from the programming features on Hulu Plus.
Only Hulu Plus allows you to watch TV shows and movies on mobile devices, access to the complete TV series line-up.
TV.com offers hundreds of TV shows that date back to the beginning of television. The emphasis here is on information and presentation of television shows. The navigation system divides the TV series by genre, network or origin decade. TV.com also offer full length films as well. The service is free and does not even require any logging in to watch episodes online.
The emphasis on information as well as videos does mean that you might not find any videos available for TV shows or series that have plenty of credited information such as you would find on IMDB.com for example. However, there are certain TV shows listed on TV.com that only provide background information about that program and offer no way to watch episodes online.
Crackle.com owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment division, Crackle features TV shows and full-features films on their website. It is free to register and you simply pick a TV show or movie you want to view and hit play. Crackle also works with Roku, Tivo and Sony Blu-Ray players or devices that can pass through internet connections such as Crackle. Crackle offers a free app that allows you to watch programming on a mobile device.
There are hundreds of shows and movies on Crackle, in particular selections of full-length films from Sony Picture Classics, Screen Gems, Tri Star and Columbia. You can subscribe to your favorite shows that are available on Crackle and become notified when they add new programming. The website also has a feature where you can list genres of movies or TV shows that interests you and Crackle will offer them as suggestions when you log in.
Which is more User Friendly?
In terms of sheer information, TV.com is certainly leaps and bounds ahead of Crackle and Hulu. However, navigating which selections are available for viewing is trickier and not quite as user friendly. Hulu is perhaps the most visually pleasing, but the time it takes for the images to download combined with the somewhat confusing menu options makes Crackle a slight favorite in this particular category.
Crackle is nicely organized and has numerous features that are intuitive and simple to use. The update feature is especially nice as new episodes that come online. The layout of the navigation system and presentation of episodes available was just a little more user friendly than Hulu, although admittedly Hulu does have some advantages in terms of movies.
Which has More TV & Movie Options?
This gets to the heart of what each website provides. One random factor in all this is that each site does offer a different variety of TV and movie options, so in part your decision will rest on what you prefer. However, in terms of sheer numbers, all three offer a considerable amount with Hulu just edging them out, but just barely. Hulu also offers their Hulu Plus option which can provide even more options as well. In fact, for those who enjoy older, classic films such as those presented by the Criterion Collection, Hulu Plus offers a wide range of movies to see.
Although to be fair, the Hulu Plus option does cost a small monthly fee which places it outside the parameters of this review. But even so, the free Hulu option provides plenty of TV shows, movies and short segments that just edges out Crackle.
Which is the Best Overall?
While TV.com certainly has a great deal of information, they simply do not have the breadth of services, episodes and movies offered by Hulu or Crackle. Between the two, Hulu does have the augmented Hulu Plus feature which adds a great number of movies and full TV series to the line-up for a mere $7.99. However, if we stick to what is free, then Crackle just edges out Hulu based on the number of movies and tv shows available to watch online in the current present for their service. If there is a key difference, it lies in the fact that the free version of Hulu does not offer a way to watch episodes online with your mobile device.
Therefore, by a close call, Crackle is the best of the three in terms of overall number of episodes and movies combined with simple navigation and ease of finding programming. However, you may find when you watch episodes online that Hulu offers the type of programming you enjoy or that TV.com features the information that you want as well.