Pluto TV stands out because it is free of charge despite the high cost of other live TV video streaming providers. One of the best free alternatives to cable is Pluto TV. The free over-the-top streaming service started in 2014. Then, in 2019, Viacom bought it.
To watch Pluto TV, all you have to do is open up your browser or go to the Pluto TV app. You can use the service as long as your internet connection is stable. You can watch Pluto TV on all your devices, at the same time as your friends—all for free.
Learn more about the Pluto TV app’s features and content below. Discover the shows you can watch for free on the Pluto TV app.
- What Is Pluto TV?
- Where Can You Use PlutoTV App?
- What Can You Do on the Pluto TV App?
- What Are the Features of the App?
- Entertainment Shows on Pluto TV App
- Are There News and Sports Channels on the Pluto TV App?
What Is Pluto TV?
Pluto TV is a free video streaming service owned and run by Paramount Streaming, a division of Paramount Global (previously named ViacomCBS). Pluto is an ad-supported video-on-demand service.
Pluto mainly offers a selection of programming content through digital linear channels designed to look and feel like traditional broadcast programming. The service makes money from video ads shown during shows during commercial breaks that are similar to those on traditional TV.
Pluto TV gets its content directly from providers. As of March 2020, it had dealt with 170 content partners, which allows the platform to offer more than 250 channels and 100,000 unique hours of programming.
Its content can be found on its website and mobile apps for Android and iOS. In January 2022, 64 million people were using the service every month. As of April 2022, 68 million people use Pluto TV each month.
What Are the Channels on Pluto TV?
With more than 250 channels, there is a lot of different content on the app. Pluto TV has content from ViacomCBS’s internal libraries as well as content from different content syndication deals.
WeatherNation TV, Newsmax TV, Trinity Broadcasting Network, Dabl, Bloomberg Television, Sky News, CNN, Professional Bull Riders’ RidePass, Eleven Sports, Stadium, and TheBlaze are all traditional TV channels that have direct feeds on Pluto.
Pluto carries feeds from CBS News, CBS Sports HQ, Fox Sports, ET Live, Nosey, NBC News Now, Newsy, Cheddar News, TYT Network, People TV, and NBC News Now. Pluto also has “pop-up channels” that have binge-watching or specialty programming formats that run for a limited time or indefinitely.
Where Can You Use Pluto TV App?
The Pluto TV app can be used on many devices, such as web browsers, smart TVs, smartphones, streaming boxes and sticks, and more. You can access Pluto TV on all of the following devices.
- Phones and tablets with Android
- iPhone and iPad by Apple
- The Apple TV (4th Generation)
- Amazon Kindle/Fire Tablets
- Fire TV and Fire TV Stick from Amazon
- Roku devices and Roku TVs
- Web browsers for Google Chromecast, TiVo Stream 4K, Android TV, and others
You can use the best free streaming service for TV and movies on your mobile devices through the Pluto TV app. You can stream hundreds of live TV channels and thousands of movies and TV shows for free.
Pluto TV also has more than 45 Spanish-language channels. These include movies in the original language and Spanish with English subtitles, reality TV, telenovelas, crime, sports, and more.
Is Pluto TV Free?
Pluto TV is completely free and legal. You don’t need a credit card, a contract, or a bill. You don’t need an email address to sign up, and you don’t have to put in your credit card information.
You can start watching shows and movies as soon as you open Pluto’s website or app. You may sign up for a Pluto TV account, which gives you special features like the ability to choose your favorite channels and continue watching a show on a different device.
All of this is possible because Pluto shows ads during shows. Most of the time, it feels like watching cable TV. A half-hour show usually has four commercial breaks, with several 20 to 30-second ads in each break.
What Can You Do on the Pluto TV App?
The Live TV interface on the Pluto TV app looks exactly like the one on the web, with channels on the bottom and the video playback frame on the top of the screen.
Unfortunately, the web interface has the same constraint as the television app—you can only see a few hours of upcoming programs simultaneously. The PIP mode is supported by mobile apps as well.
When you find something you like while browsing Pluto TV’s on-demand library, click on it to see a description and click the Watch Now option to begin watching. During our tests, we saw a buffering time of several seconds before playing started.
The Account tab provides the same controls as the main website. You can change your channel lineup, assign your mobile device as a remote for your Roku, and access your account settings.
What Is the Streaming Quality of the Pluto TV App?
The web player for Pluto TV has all the usual playback tools. In the upper right corner of the screen, you’ll find buttons to go forward or back 10 seconds, a progress bar that you can drag to move through on-demand content, and options for closed captioning. However, there is no way to change the quality of the playback.
The mobile app lets you change the streaming quality for both cellular and Wi-Fi connections. You can stream live and on-demand content over the office Wi-Fi without trouble, like at a 15Mbps download speed.
What Are the Features of the App?
Pluto TV has options for closed captioning on all of the platforms we tried, and you can change them right from the playback screen on the web.
For example, you can change the font’s size, style, color, and transparency. This is a big perk because even some paid services only let you change things a little.
Pluto TV doesn’t have a DVR, a feature many live TV services have, but Pluto TV doesn’t. A DVR is useful when you want to save a recording of an event scheduled at an inconvenient time or when you hit a limit on how many streams you can watch at once.
Since you don’t have to sign in to Pluto TV, you can start as many shows as you want. Pluto TV’s on-demand content can’t be downloaded to watch offline on a mobile device, but neither can any other live TV service, so we don’t think this is too big of a downside.
Is There a Parent Control Feature on the App?
There are also no parental controls. Pluto TV has a few good channels for kids, so a parent should ensure their kids only watch those channels.
Since Pluto TV is free, the problem is that a child could open a new access point and not sign in to the account.
Entertainment Shows on Pluto TV App
Pluto TV gives you access to about 250 different live TV streams, but only some of them are traditional channels. Some channels, like Wipeout and Dr. Who Classic, only show things that have to do with the shows they are named after.
Others, like Cats 24/7 and Slow TV (livestream marathons of Norwegian train rides, wood-chopping, knitting, and other content), use a mix of sources but may be too unusual to be helpful in the long run.
Pluto TV’s Comedy, Entertainment, and Movies subcategories are where it shines when it comes to entertainment. For example, you can watch BET Pluto TV, Buzzr, Comedy Central, Fuse, MTV Pluto TV, Paramount Movie Channel, and The Onion. Pluto TV also has movie channels for some of the most popular types of movies.
What Are the Other Entertainment Shows on the Pluto TV App?
There are also categories like “Binge Watch,” “Comedy,” “Life + Style,” and “Tech + Geek,” which are more varied. Food TV, IGN, NASA TV, MST3K, Pluto TV Cars, Pluto TV Travel, The Addams Family, This Old House, and the World Poker Tour are just a few of these channels.
Pluto TV has recently added entertainment channels for both Black art and Korean. Philo is a paid video streaming service that Viacom also owns and it has more traditional entertainment channels.
Are There News and Sports Channels on the Pluto TV App?
Pluto TV has Bloomberg TV, CBSN, Cheddar News, CNN, NBC News, and Sky News as news channels. You also get a few channels only available on Pluto TV, like Today’s Top Story and Pluto TV News, which show the day’s top news stories from top outlets.
The WeatherNation channel tells the US as a whole about the weather. Pluto TV does a good job with the basics, but other streaming services offer BBC, Cheddar, CNBC, Fox Business, and MSNBC.
The sports channels, like Fox Sports, NFL Channel, PGA Tour, and Major League Soccer, are also well-known. But you can’t watch live sports on Pluto. Instead, those channels show highlights or analyses of games that have already happened.
Are There Music Channels?
You also get more than 40 music channels on Pluto TV. These channels cover a wide range of music styles, from 1990s music to soul music to indie music. Audio playback sounds good, and each channel shows information about the track and a simple waveform.
Pluto TV won’t be able to compete with the free version of Spotify or other music streaming services, but it might be suitable for some background noise.
When it comes to free and legitimate ways to stream live television, Pluto TV is in a class all by itself. It provides solid performance in addition to its many channels, albeit not including many of the usual cable channels.