If you’re stuck at home, Pluto TV can be an excellent source of free entertainment for adventurous streamers.
But wait! Didn’t Stuart Sweet already write about Pluto TV in Streaming Saturday? If that’s what you’re thinking, I commend you for your good memory. Yes, he did; but since then, this free TV service has expanded and improved its user interface and commercial placement. And it’s still free. If you’re looking for new, old, or just plain different content, don’t reach for your debit card and buy another subscription. Just tune in to Pluto TV and enjoy live TV with minimal commercials.
Do those words mean anything to you? If you’re like many Americans, you’re probably settling into your first or second day of being on “lockdown.” It’s a new world and it’s going to take some getting used to. I know I’m dealing with the challenges. After 35+ years of going to a job – well, a variety of jobs during that time – this is the first time I “punch the clock” from my living room. Needless to say, I’m spending a lot more time at home these days.
If you read this column, you know I’m a streamer. Mrs. Buckler and I love our HBO GO, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. Even with so much content at our fingertips, I occasionally crave something new… or in some cases, old. Following a tip from Stuart Sweet of all people, I decided to check out this Pluto TV he’s been talking about. All I can say is “Wow! This is what I was looking for.”
Pluto TV: A Huge Variety of Programming
It’s not something broadcast from the icy dwarf planet roughly 3.1912 billion miles from earth. Pluto TV is almost like free cable TV, except that you have plenty of options on how you wish to stream its content. For example, I’m streaming it straight to my desktop as I write this. And yes, there are hundreds of channels to choose from. They’re all broken up into various categories, such as:
- Pluto TV
- Binge Watch
- Tech + Geek
- And more
Within each of these categories is a batch of channels that offer content specific to each. For example, there’s an entire channel dedicated to reruns of American Gladiator. (Who remembers that cheesy sports competition show from the 1980s?) There’s also a Baywatch channel dedicated to… Yup, you guessed it, Baywatch. There’s also a wide variety of content from sub-channels typically associated with TV antenna reception. (Buzzr, Shout! TV, etc.)
Find Your Favorites on Pluto TV
There are literally far too many channels and programming to list here. Seriously! This post would be TL;DR. (That’s “too long; didn’t read” for anyone who’s not up on the latest internet jargon.) The best thing to do is log onto the Pluto TV website and see for yourself. Just one thing to remember and that movies and TV shows on Pluto TV have commercials. They’re not very intrusive though. (It’s somewhere between network TV and Hulu.)
“So, What Are You Streaming, Buckler?”
You read this column, so you know that I like to share what I’m watching. Well, as I write this blog post, I’m not watching anything. That’s because the good people at Solid Signal don’t pay me to watch movies on the clock. The question you should be asking is what am I listening to? Because let me tell you, Pluto TV is just as much a jukebox as it is a place for movies and TV shows.
While scrolling through Pluto TV’s offerings, I stumbled upon Pluto Dash Radio and its 80s music channel, number 958. The logo reads, “Hair metal, new wave, pop, electronic. You catch the drift.” I decided to give it a whirl and the first song I heard was Modern English’s smash hit “I Melt With You.” (If you’re a Gen Xer like me, you might remember this song from the 1983 teen film Valley Girl starring Nicholas Cage.)
Pluto TV: The Verdict
This isn’t going to replace your favorite streaming services, satellite TV, or even your TV antenna. But since it’s free, it’s an awesome supplement to the TV you’re currently paying for. Or, as Stuart Sweet so aptly said, “It’s turn-off-your-brain and just-sit-and-watch TV, which isn’t so bad right now.” I couldn’t agree more, but I have to cut this short to enjoy Tears for Fears doing “Head Over Heels.”