STREAMING SATURDAY: Cancel a few streaming services and get Tubi

Back when people started talking about cord-cutting a decade ago, the idea was simple. Get rid of the expensive cable company and use a few streaming services to supplement the over-the-air reception you get for free. It was a great idea, but cut to today when you’re probably spending more on streaming than you ever did on cable. There are so many services and so many good shows. You need to pay someone different for each one, it seems.

A lot of folks are talking about pruning back their streaming bill and I don’t blame them. It seems people are finally listening to what I’ve been saying for over 5 years: Netflix isn’t a great value. It’s super expensive and filled with crap content, pardon my plain speaking. Cancel it, cancel your paid subscription to Peacock, and maybe even Hulu. Hulu was on a roll with exclusive content for a few years but let’s be honest, they’ve kind of run aground lately.

Where should you stream instead? Try Tubi.

Tubi?

Yeah, it’s a dumb name. But, it’s a great streaming service that’s 100% free. A quick scroll through it and you’ll see a lot of fairly recent movies and TV shows, plus a decent selection of older stuff that will keep you watching. As I write this, they have Idiocracy, always a good watch, plus Anna, most of the Twilight movies, and Enemy of the State, a movie that essentially predicted the surveillance state we’re in today. All there, all free.

The hitch, and you knew there had to be one, is that there are short commercial breaks. They’re sometimes haphazardly placed and until the app knows you a little better they can be repetitive. But I’ve found many of the movies have only one or two breaks and that’s not such a bad deal.

And did I mention it’s free?

Apparently there is such a thing as “the end of the internet.”

After a couple of years of serious at-home time, I think one thing that we never expected is that we would literally run out of things to stream. Yet at least for me, it’s happened. There are plenty of times I scroll through my paid apps over and over looking for “something” new and I don’t find it. If nothing else, Tubi has a great selection of stuff you don’t see on other apps, stuff that just might work for you on a lazy Sunday when you’ve already consumed all the latest Marvel or Star Wars shows and there’s nothing else that really lights you up.

There are a lot of these free services, like Crackle, Pluto, and Tubi. There’s even a free tier of Sling, which is mostly there to get you into the Sling ecosystem, but still it’s free for as long as you choose to have it. You’ll see commercials, and no one likes commercials. But let’s be honest. It’s a small price to pay to cut your streaming bill to something manageable.

It really seems like these free services are the up-and-coming future of streaming because we’ve all reached the point where we just pay too much for premium content. Remember, services like Disney+, AppleTV+, Paramount+ and all the other “plusses” are easy to cancel and come back to later. That’s what I do with a lot of them. I hang back until there’s a decent amount of stuff there, take it for a month, binge it all, and cancel.

We all pay too much for entertainment, but let’s be honest – there are options. Tubi is one of them, and it’s surprisingly not half bad.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.