Find streaming TV shows and movies with these five apps
You know which movie or show you want to watch, but not the best place (or price) to get it. Here are some top apps to help.
Katie TeagueWriter II
Katie is a writer covering all things how-to at CNET, with a focus on Social Security and notable events. When she's not writing, she enjoys playing in golf scrambles, practicing yoga and spending time on the lake.
ExpertisePersonal Finance: Social Security and taxes
With all of the streaming TV shows and movies out there, simply finding what to watch can be a hassle. But what if you already know what to watch but don't know where to stream it?
Individual services like
offer internal search, but if you have a specific show or film in mind, you probably want to search across all of them and more find the best price -- or an option to stream it for free, or via a service to which you already subscribe. TV devices like
have their own cross-platform search, but to use them you'll need to own that hardware.
Fortunately, there are dedicated apps for your phone that will serve as your guide. These helpful apps will show you where you can watch your favorite TV shows and movies at the lowest cost. They also provide you with a list of free shows and movies you can stream without subscribing.
Here's five to check out.
Yidio (download for iOS or Android) monitors major services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime as well as smaller services (more than 100 in total). When you find a TV show or movie, the app will list the streaming sites that have the show available. Choose one and you will be taken to their app or website, to buy, rent or watch it. Yidio also lets you watch some shows in-app.
Some will be free, like The Flash or Supernatural from the CW. If you're looking to only watch free shows, select Free TV Shows (or Free Movies). The downfall is that "free" can mean the streaming services offer a free trial that you have to sign up for to watch the show. Other services, like Tubi, will actually let you watch the show for free with ads.
You can filter shows and movies by streaming service, genre, free to watch and more, as well as search by keyword. You can also view the air date and the IMDb reviews.
IMDb (download for iOS or Android) provides free ad-supported TV shows and movies. No subscription is required, but you will have to sign up for a free account with them.
To see a list of movies or TV shows available to watch, select Watch Now For Free. If there's a specific show you're looking for, search for it in the search box. If it's free, it will say "Watch for free on IMDb Freedive," which is also available on Fire TV.
The TV shows and movies are very limited, and they're not the newest or most "popular" shows, but they are free, so you may be able to find something you like.
Apple TV (download for iOS; not available on Android) -- the free app, not the streaming box -- allows you to browse your favorite shows and movies from over 75 streaming apps, like Hulu,
NOW and Amazon Prime in one place. You can browse through free episodes, or rent and buy other shows and movies.
Watch Now shows your favorite movies and TV shows from the streaming services you're subscribed to. You'll also see everything you've purchased from iTunes, and you can download and watch your shows offline. Coming soon are Apple TV channels like HBO and Showtime, which let you subscribe and watch within the app rather than bouncing out to another app.
Watch this: Apple’s TV app, Apple TV channels and Apple TV Plus, explained
Reelgood (download for iOS; not available on Android) pulls listings from more than 250 total services, and lets you select from more than 50 streaming services to get custom listings in one app. Just like Apple TV, it's not available for Android
Reelgood also shows you what's free to watch from over 90 streaming services. Stream from channels like CBS, Fox, MTV and more for free -- most with ads. You can also buy or rent shows and movies that aren't available to watch for free. The app also recommends new shows and incorporates ratings from Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb scores.
Search for your favorite TV show on JustWatch (download for iOS or Android) to see a list of streaming services where you can watch it for free, rent or buy it. There are 37 streaming providers, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Go and more.
That number is fewer than a lot of the others, but JustWatch has some nice extras, including lots of interest and genre filters, a list of what's popular and a variety of price levels, including free. You can also see newly added shows and movies for each service by tapping through the company icons in the "Watchbar." For movies in theaters, you can purchase tickets via Fandango.