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If you are stuck at home, you may want to watch something on your phone, or your PC or your smart TV. However, you may not have any cash to spend for a subscription to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, or Disney Plus. The good news is there are legal streaming services with great content that are available to access for free. One of the best, if not the best, is Pluto TV. But just what is Pluto TV? That’s just what we are going to discuss today.

What is Pluto TV?

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Launched in a beta version in 2014, Pluto TV is a bit different than other streaming services. Besides being free to access, it offers over 250 “channels” of content that run “live” 24/7. Basically, its like a virtual version of old-fashioned cable TV. You can surf through channels of all types, in many different categories. More recently, the service started offering on-demand free streaming of movies and TV shows. However, much of its content is still exclusive to its “channels” line up.

Pluto TV was purchased by Viacom (now known as ViacomCBS) for $340 million. The company says that the service currently has over 22 million active monthly viewers.

Are there commercials on this free service?

As you might expect from a free streaming service, you will have to watch commercials occasionally while watching Pluto TV’s channels and on-demand movies and TV series. However, the interruptions are still less than what you would watch on normal broadcast TV or basic cable.

Where can I watch Pluto TV?

At the moment, the service is available in the US (including Puerto Rico), the UK, Germany, and Austria.

What platforms support the service?

Pluto TV is available for PC desktop and laptop owners just by surfing their web browser to the Pluto TV web site. There’s also dedicated apps for Windows users and Mac owners to download. Mobile apps for Android and iOS can be downloaded from Google Play and the App Store, respectively. You can get it on Roku sticks, set-top boxes, and TVs that have the Roku OS installed and the same goes for Amazon Fire TV-based sticks, set-top boxes, and TVs.

The service is also available for casting to TVs via Google Chromecast and devices that have Chromecast built-in. Apps are available for the Microsoft Xbox One and Sony Playstation 4 game consoles, and for the Apple TV set-top boxes. It’s also available for Samsung, Vizio, and Hisense smart TVs. Finally, Comcast cable TV subscribers can download the Pluto TV app on their Xfinity box.

Pluto TV interface and features

pluto tv smart tv interface

As we mentioned before, the service acts as a virtual cable TV lineup, with over 250 channels to surf. Channels are broken up into different categories, and you can switch between them as well. Since that’s a ton of channels to go through, the service does allow you to label any of them as “favorites”. This allows you to just watch the channels you want to watch. Some channels are only available for a limited amount of time, and are considered “Popup’ channels You can also switch from Live TV to the On Demand section, which lets you just pick which movie or TV show you want to stream immediately.

Does the service support 4K resolution?

Some of the channels on Pluto TV support streaming in 4K resolution including the 4K TV channel and the Slow 4K channel. It’s likely that more of the service’s content will add 4K streaming in the future.

What are the Pluto TV channel categories?

At the moment, here are the channel categories on the service. Each category has at least several different individual channels, if not more, to watch.

  • Featured – A curated look at several channels that Pluto TV wants to give some special attention to today.
  • Movies – A ton of channels showing nothing but movies, with classic and recent films, along with different genre channels.
  • Entertainment – A variety of TV shows, movies and more showcasing entertainment from channels like MTV, CMT, BET and more. There are also channels dedicated to individual shows like Baywatch, Degrassi and more.
  • News – Both live and recorded daily news programs from outlets like ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and more.
  • Binge Watch –  Channels that run individual TV shows  24/7, such as Classic Doctor Who, Hell’s Kitchen (uncensored), Mystery Science Theater 3000 and many more.
  • Comedy – TV shows, movies and specials from outlets like Comedy Central and others.
  • Sports – Several channels dedicated  to sports programming, from outlets like the NFL Network, Fox Sports and more
  • Explore – A variety of unscripted channels, with some dedicated to cars, history, nature and more.
  • Life + Style – Channels for home and life improvement, including faith-based programs
  • Tech + Geek – A mix of sci-fi, science and video game channels to watch.
  • Kids – Children’s programming is the theme of this category, including several Nickelodeon-based channels
  • Latino – A number of channels with Latino language movies and TV programming.
  • Music – A number of music video channels, plus audio-only music programming in a number of different genres.

There are way too many Pluto TV channels to list here, and again some of them disappear. That’s why we are putting our favorite channels in a separate article.

That’s our look at Pluto TV. We think it’s pretty cool, but what do you think of this service? Let us know in the comments!

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