If you’re looking for live TV streaming options online, you have no shortage of options: Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, YouTube TV, and FuboTV each offer a variety of channels and packages with their own perks. But there’s only one option for streaming fans who want free TV, Pluto TV.
Pluto TV is a free internet TV service, boasting 26.5 million monthly users and 100,000-plus hours of content for free. In spite of its price, Pluto provides a similar experience provided to subscribers of paid streaming services like Sling, Fubo, and Hulu.
Although Pluto doesn’t offer you all the channels you might expect from a streaming service, it is packed with big-name shows and movies. In effect, you get the shows you want without the cable drama.
Here’s everything we’ll cover in this article.
- Pluto TV plans and pricing
- What is on Pluto TV?
- What streaming devices does Pluto TV support
- Pluto TV on-demand catalog
- Does Pluto TV have DVR and allow multiple screens
- Pluto TV vs. The Competition
- Is Pluto TV worth it?
- How to sign up for Pluto TV
Pluto TV plans and pricing
Pluto TV is 100% free to use and sign up for, so you can start watching immediately without a credit card.
What is on Pluto TV?
Beyond the price, Pluto’s best feature is how familiar it is. Because it utilizes cable’s familiar grid-style channel guide makes it easy for new users to jump right into Pluto TV.
Pluto divides its content into blocks of channels. Those are organized by categories. For example, there’s Movies, Entertainment, News + Opinion, Reality, Crime, Comedy, Classic TV, Home + DIY, Explore, Sports, Gaming + Anime, Music, En Espanol, Kids, and Local (where available).
Additionally, there’s a block of Featured channels that leads the grid.
Pluto TV channels
Pluto TVs blocks are a mix of well-known companies and original streaming services. Because of this mix, you’ll find some familiar surprises, like the feeds for CBSN, NBC News, CNN, and Impact Wrestling.
Most of these channels are made up of streaming content from these services rather than feeds of the channels themselves, so measure your expectations. But even with managed expecations, free content from major channels is a big deal.
Beyond those marquee names, you’ll need to learn which of the hundred-plus channels meet your interests. As a matter of fact, Pluto makes discovery simple.
Coonsequently, Pluto’s channel‘s simple channel names will be instantly familiar even for neophytes. Want material arts? Tune into Flicks of Fury, while horror hounds will want to stop by Horror 24/7.
The aptly named, Fight serves up pummeling MMA action all day long, while the NFL Channel and Major League Soccer’s channel allows fans of those sports to do deep dives.
Classic TV lets you have a Doctor Who marathon, explore the RiffTrax and MST3k channels to mock movies, and catch up on your favorite old shows. Across the board, Pluto TV is analogous to a well-curated playlist.
Whether you’re a news junkie, movie historian, foodie, science nerd, or sports fan, Pluto has something to strike your interest. The Entertainment section showcases a mix of reality TV, movies, classic cartoons, and true-crime shows.
Parents will also appreciate the multiple channels of programming for children, including educational shows. Pluto even offers a host of internet music stations to listen to via Dash Radio.
Because of this unending feed of options, Pluto is a perfect place for channel surfers.
Movies on Pluto TV
Great TV is just one part of the Pluto experience. To be sure, if you love movies, Pluto TV is a godsend. From action to horror to drama and everything in between, Pluto is packed with movies.
First, there are specialty channels like 007 with James Bond movies and Spotlight’ centering indie movies like Moon or 24 Hour Party People. However, if you want something broader they have you covered. In addition, Black Cinema and decade-specific 70s, 80s, 90s rewind movie channels available.
In addition to its specialty options, Pluto has Comedy, Drama, Romance, Horror, and other genre specific channels. Often you’ll find more than one. For example, horror fans get both a Horror and Terror channel.
Tons of Spanish language options
Another area Pluto TV excells at is its Spanish language channel options. You’ll find Spanish movie channels, including the special 007 channel, sports, anime, and a host of telenova options. Despite charging for service, there are paid streaming TV services that don’t offer the incredible options Pluto delivers Spanish speaking viewers.
List of Pluto TV Channels
|CBS New York
|CBSN Los Angeles
|NBC News Now
|Top Stories by Newsy
|CBS Sports HQ
|PAC 12 Insider
|Bein Sports Xtra
|Big Sky Conference
|Flicks of Fury
|TV Land Sitcoms
|Slightly Off by IFC
|Kevin Hart’s LOL
|Comedy Central Pluto
|Comedy Central Animation
|Stand Up TV
GAMING & ANIME
|Anime All Day
|Cameplay Call of Duty
|TV Land Drama
|The Price is Right
|Deal or No Deal
|Game Show Central
|BET Her Pluto
|VH1 I Love Reality
|Love and Hip Hop
|VH1 Hip Hop Family
|Black Ink Crew
|Dog the Bounty Hunter
|Skills + Thrills
|The Amazing Race
|All Reality WE TV
|Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
|People Are Awesome
|The Love Boat
|Black Ink Crew
|VH1 RuPaul’s Drag Race
|CMT Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
|The Addams Family
|The Beverly Hillbillies
|Johnny Carson TV
|Carol Burnett Show
|The Bob Ross Channel
|Classic TV Drama
|Doctor Who Classic
|Pluto Crime Drama
|Cold Case Files
|The New Detectives
HOME + DIY
|America’s Test Kitchen
|This Old House
|Tiny House Nation
|Antiques Roadshow UK
|Pluto TV Best Life
|The Pet Collective
|Pluto TV Paranormal
|Gine Ja Ja!!
|Nashville En Espanol
|CSI: En Espanol
|Misterios Sin Resolver
|Hell’s Kitchen En Espanol
|Telemundo Telenovelas Classicas
|Novelas Con La Abuela
|Amantes Del Romance
|Mi Obsesion Faavorita
|Sony Escape Perfecto
|Comedy Central Latino
|Bein Sports Extra
|Lucha Libre World Wide
|Naruto En Espanol
|Yu-Gi-oh! En Espanol
|After School Cartoons
|Ryan and Friends
|Little Baby Bum
|Bebecito Bum y sus amigos
|Nick Jr. Latino
Picture quality is for the most part very good. Channels that show public domain movies have the worst quality, however, the majority of these channels feature at least a 720p picture.
For a free compromise, Pluto can often make you forget it isn’t the real thing.
Pluto TV local channels
While you won’t find local channels for most of the USA, viewers in cities like Los Angeles and New York can access local CBS affiliate news feeds for those markets in the News section.
However, it’s worth pointing out that local channels shouldn’t be expected here. This isn’t a cable package. It’s a wildly professional, brilliant designed, and, most importantly, free streaming TV alternative.
Pluto TV add-ons
Pluto TV doesn’t offer add-ons because the service is free. In other words, treat yourself and supplement the money you’re saving by getting HBO Max for $15 a month.
Pluto TV devices
No matter how you connect to the internet, you can watch. There’s an app for Windows and Mac on desktop. In addition, both Android and iOS have mobile apps. You can also download the Pluto TV app for select smart TVs from Vizio, Samsung, Sony, and more.
Here’s the list of available devices:
- iOS mobile & tablet
- Android mobile & tablet
- Android TV (various)
- Google Chromecast
- Chrome Web App
- Amazon Fire Tablets
- Amazon Fire TV + Fire Tv Stick
- Roku Devices + Roku TV
- Apple TV (4th Generation)
I tested the browser, desktop, Roku, and iOS versions of the app. Roku works the best, but each device provided a clear picture without skips and jumps.
It’s also possible to activate your smartphone as a remote on certain devices, including on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV.
If you have one of the above devices, activation can be accessed by following these steps.
- Visit Channel 02 on the guide or click “Activate” on the left side of the guide
- You’ll see a six-digit code displayed at the top of the screen
- There are two ways to enter that code, depending on your account and device
- Logged in: click “MyPluto” on your phone > activate > enter digit code
- Logged out / No account: Visit My.Pluto.Tv/activate and follow prompts
Pluto TV DVR and multiple screens
You won’t find DVR or multiple-screen capabilities here because it’s free. Everyone in your house can afford to watch on their device. Considering a free service where almost everything is on-demand, DVR isn’t needed here.
Pluto TV on-demand catalog
We adore Pluto TV’s amazing on-demand section. For one thing, we were able to watch old episodes of Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern, Death Note, House Hunters and the trash classic Flavor of Love without a hiccup.
It must be remembered this is a free service, offing shows we normally only see on paid options.
In addition, Pluto’s on-demand movie selection is also binge-worthy. Especially if you love genre movies.
You’ll find Hollywood blockbusters like Four Brothers and Super 8. Without a doubt, the biggest titles on the service currently are its Bond movie collection In addition to big-budget films, there are a host of indie titles.
You’ll find Fast and Furious director Justin Lin’s debut Better Luck Tomorrow, Weird Al’s underground classic UHF, and more. Without a doubt, Pluto TV rewards viewers who dig for gold.
In particular, its aforementioned genre selections are gold to be sure. See mega sci-fi hits like Minority Report. lost action hits like Johnny Mnemonic, and groundbreaking found footage like Cloverfield. To be sure, Pluto TV makes movies a priority.
Pluto TV vs. the competition
Pluto TV vs. Philo
Though Pluto TV’s not quite like anything else out there, Philo’s probably closest in what it offers, with 63 entertainment-focused channels for just $20 a month. Like Philo, Pluto TV has a considerable on-demand catalog of movies and shows.
While Philo offers actual channels from cable, Pluto delivers a curated experience, unlike traditional TV. Despite these differences, each service provides a great live TV experience.
It may be free, but Pluto offers more news. Philo is a comparatively great service, but Pluto TV offers more options for free. Unless Philo adds more news options, Pluto will eat its lunch.
Pluto TV vs. Sling TV
Sling TV was the first budget streaming TV solution on the market. Even though its price has gone up over time, there’s a good chance Sling is the streaming experience you’re looking for.
Sling TV comes in three packages, Orange, Blue, and Orange + Blue. The 32-channel Orange and the 47-channel Blue packages each cost $30 per month, while the 53-channel Orange + Blue package is $45.
Sling TV offers a well-rounded package of channels for the price; for instance, it includes ESPN, which isn’t a given on all services. We truly love Sling TV. It makes an incredible combination. When one is free why choose?
Pluto TV: Is it worth it?
Pluto TV shines because it accepts what it is and strives to make that great. The service offers a diverse range of content for free and doesn’t ruin it with too many ads. So long as that continues we will celebrate it.
It’s obvious from the amount of action, stoner, and extreme sports content that this is service is currently aimed at college-age viewers, by and large. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check Pluto out if you aren’t in that demographic.
During our testing of the service, the plucky nature of its content grew on me. We all have ingrained biases about free content, but Pluto puts forth a first-rate product.
Its menus are easy to navigate and clear, so you can always find something that’s right for you. Even areas I never anticipated checking out managed to pull me in for a few episodes. Part of the fun is discovering content you never thought you’d watch.
Pluto TV won’t replace your beloved Hulu or Netflix, but if you can’t afford those services, this is a great alternative. We pay to use plenty of services each month, but Pluto is keeping a place in my Roku library.
How to sign up for Pluto TV
While you can just navigate to the Pluto TV website and watch, you can also create an account with an email address quickly and stream on a number of different devices. Here are the simple directions for how to sign up:
- Visit this page.
- Enter your email address.
- Then, enter the password that you want to use.
- Then, insert the year you were born.
- Finally, click “Create Account.”
You’ll then have the ability to customize your channel display and specify what devices you use.
The Daily Dot may receive a payment in connection with purchases of products or services featured in this article. Read our Ethics Policy to learn more.