FAST, which stands for free ad-supported streaming television, is a viable alternative to cable TV that won’t cost you a cent. With FAST, you can browse through different “channels” and watch a range of content without a subscription. While you might not get access to the latest shows and movies, FAST services are perfect for when you just want to jump into a random show or movie without spending ages searching for something to watch on Netflix. Most FAST services don’t require you to create an account, so you can drop in and out as you please. You’ll just have to put up with a few ads.
Here are some of the most popular FAST services that you should check out if you’re suffering from Netflix burnout:
Pluto TV: Owned by Paramount, this service gives you access to over 250 channels and thousands of free shows and movies that you can watch on demand without creating an account. With channels dedicated to specific shows and genres, Pluto TV has a lot of Paramount-owned content to offer, including Star Trek and CSI. You’ll also find a host of movie channels and channels curated by Pluto TV itself. Plus, since Paramount owns CBS, you can even access local CBS news stations from major cities. You can use the Pluto TV app on a range of smart TVs and devices, including Android, iOS, and on the web.
The Roku Channel: Roku is famous for its set-top boxes and Roku-enabled smart TVs, but it also offers a FAST service called The Roku Channel. You can enjoy shows and movies across over 350 channels without creating an account. The Roku Channel features live content in a carousel format and on-demand content organized by category. You’ll find a range of content, including classic movies and TV shows, sitcoms, reality shows, and sports. The Roku Channel also lists Premium content from services like Paramount Plus, Showtime, and AMC Plus, which you’ll have to pay for. However, you can play the first episode of some shows for free. The only downside is that you can only watch The Roku Channel from your TV if you have a Roku device, Amazon Fire TV device, or a Samsung smart TV. Alternatively, you can use Roku’s desktop site or its mobile app.
Tubi: Owned by Fox, Tubi has one of the largest streaming libraries in the FAST space. With over 50,000 movies and TV shows on offer, Tubi also features a selection of local news stations from Fox, ABC, and NBC. You’ll find just about any genre of movie or TV show that you’re looking for. Tubi has a range of supported devices, including Android, iOS, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Xfinity X1, Xbox, Samsung smart TVs, Sony smart TVs, PlayStation, and the web.
Freevee: Amazon owns this FAST service, which was previously known as IMDb Freedive and IMDb TV. You’ll need to sign in to your Amazon account to access Freevee’s on-demand movies and TV shows in an interface that looks a lot like Amazon Prime Video. While Freevee carries some live content, including channels with news, reality shows, classics, and more, it really focuses on on-demand shows. Freevee has its own originals, such as a Judge Judy reboot, an Alex Rider series, and documentaries on stars like Post Malone and Luke Bryan. You can access the Freevee app just about anywhere, including from several smart TVs made by LG, Samsung, and Amazon, and from streaming devices like the Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV, and Roku devices.
Plex: Known primarily as a build-your-own Netflix server software, Plex also has its own FAST service that features live and on-demand content. You can sort through content by genre using a user-friendly interface that includes a channel guide. The over 200 channels on the service include dedicated channels for some of the shows you’ll often see on other FAST platforms, such as Portlandia, Top Gear, and Ice Road Truckers. You’ll also find a hefty collection of over 50,000 on-demand shows and movies. The flexibility of Plex is its standout feature; you can access it on almost any device, including smart TVs, streaming devices, gaming consoles, mobile phones, and even VR systems. Plex claims it’s available in nearly every country around the world.
Xumo Play: Owned by Comcast, Xumo Play specializes in live national and local news channels, as well as a broad range of networks that play movies, sports, crime TV shows, and more on a 24/7 loop. You can navigate through live TV or pick from a list of different networks. Xumo Play has some original content, but it’s nothing to write home about. Xumo Play also helps power the FAST channels on Google TVs, as well as the LG Channels app that comes built-in on LG smart TVs. Xumo Play is available on a range of devices, including Android, iOS, Roku, and the web.