While long-established subscription-based movie streaming services such as Netflix spell excellence, they’re still quite mainstream; and that does not appeal to all segments of audiences. Furthermore, with the expensiveness of daily goods/services rising continually, spending on entertainment has turned out to be a major concern for many. Free movie streaming sites with versatile content to-the-rescue! Not only do these services offer free entertainment but also offer convenience, owing to the fact that one can watch the content whenever and from wherever they wish, independent of traditional TV sets and cable TV subscriptions.
However, many of these run illegally, have poor interfaces, or libraries that are stuffed with fillers and low-quality flicks. Fortunately, there are a select few that are legal, well-supported across platforms, with a fairly decent collection of content for us movie buffs. One such service is Popcornflix.
Getting to Know Popcornflix –
Most of you are perhaps already aware of Popcornflix for the reason that it is considered to be amongst the “top ten free movie streaming apps” by most of the sources on the world wide web. For those of you who’re unfamiliar with the service, Popcornflix LLC is a Screen Media Ventures enterprise that was launched in 2011, offering a legion of “independent feature films” from the house of Screen Media. Currently, Popcornflix’s business hinges on an ad-supported model since the company aims to provide free streaming to users. Initially, the service was accessible only in the U.S. and Canada. However, Popcornflix gained too much popularity too soon and eventually expanded into other regions. Today, it is available in about 61 countries and boasts of over 15 million downloads in total.
With these many feathers in its cap, let’s find out if it actually lives up to the hype!
What’s on Popcornflix?
Popcornflix is essentially a free service; and with anything that’s free, you ought to be prepared for the “Ifs” and “Buts”. Though Popcornflix’s library of content is adorned by roughly 700 full-length feature films, we can’t say that they’re all fresh or of good quality.
The movies range across a horde of genres such as Horror, Comedy, Romance, Action, and Drama, mostly sourced from Screen Media Library; like we mentioned earlier. These include the good old classics, foreign flicks, and indie films. Some of the most popular ones on the platform include Fight Club, The Godfather, Forest Gump, Clerks, and Fast and the Furious series.
In addition to movies, Popcornflix has recently also made huge strides to add high-quality documentaries to its library; these even include titles which have been aired on major TV networks such as National Geographic, BBC, and Discovery Channel. Some of the most exciting ones are the Wildest Series, Untamed with Davey Hughes, Road Cops and Commandos, and War Horse: The Real Story.
Not enough? Well, Popcornflix shines in its selection of horror movies, cult-comedies and kids’ shows. In fact, the company has gone so far as to launching two separate websites focusing on individual genres. One is called Popcornflix Kids (featuring children programs) and FrightPix (featuring horror movies). Apart from third-party produced content, Popcornflix also offers original web-series.
In comparison to its rivals, you could say that Popcornflix has a far superior content than Tubi TV and a considerably inferior library when stacked against Crackle. Overall, it does seem to have a pretty decent selection of movies if “different” is what you’re looking for. Plus, as per our research, the company plans to add at least 50 movies per month; that translates to new content almost everyday.
How Does It Perform on the Interface Front?
As far as the interface goes, Popcornflix fares better than most of its adversaries by virtue of its simplicity and neatness. It took only a few minutes for us to figure out how the app/web works. However, its important to note that there are a few marginal differences between the Popcornflix app and the Popcornflix website.
In our opinion, the interface on mobile apps and apps on other devices are way more sophisticated and well-organized than its web counterpart. It also offers a better page-navigation and browsing experience overall. To make matters worse for the website, we faced quite a lot of issues with regards to streaming, on parameters such as speed and quality.
The layout is however, fairly satisfactory. On the top of the homepage, you’ll find two main tabs: TV and Movies. Under movies, there are several categories such as “All Movies”, “New Arrivals”, “Most Popular”, and “Documentaries”. You may even choose a particular genre like Horror, Action, Romance, or Comedy. As you scroll down, you’ll see that the titles are grouped under sub-categories like Popcornflix TV, TRASH TV, and 90’s TV. If you move your mouse over a title, it’ll display information such as the run time and the story line. Under TV section, you can easily find latest TV Shows which are available for free streaming.
While the video player on the platform is extremely easy to use, it does have a few limitations. You can enter/exit the full screen mode, scrub the clip, and control the volume. You cannot however, turn on/off the subtitles or adjust the video quality. Speaking of video quality, Popcornflix does not offer the best video quality. In fact, most of the titles are available in DVD quality, which kind of seem worse than DVD quality in reality.
Thankfully, we did not really encounter any buffering issues.
Country-Wise Availability and Supported Platforms:
Earlier, Popcornflix was only available in North America. Now, users can enjoy the service from about 61 countries including France, Mexico, Poland, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey; in addition to the U.S. and Canada. You can stream the content so long as you have devices operated on the following platforms – Roku, iOS, Android, Windows 8/10, Xbox 360, BlackBerry World, Chromecast, Samsung Smart TVs, and Amazon Fire TV. Alternatively, you could also use your PC or laptop and stream on their web platform. However, we’d suggest that you avoid browsing on their website since it affects the overall user-experience by a huge margin.
Are There Any Paid Plans?
Popcornflix was conceived with an aim to provide free content to entertainment seekers; hence, all the titles can be streamed for free. However, since it is all for free, users are charged by means of brief commercials which run once every fifteen minutes of 20-30 seconds duration each. Although these ads are ignorable, they do tend to get pretty annoying if you’re binge-watching stuff. In that case, you may opt for an ad-free rental at $0.99. Having said that, it is important to remember that the service does not really endorse paid plans or an ad-free model so it may not be possible to rent all the titles available on Popcornflix.
It all comes down to your budget and choice with respect to content. If you’re looking to replace a subscription-based service such as Netflix or prefer watching big banner films and latest releases, look elsewhere! Popcornflix is ideal for those who have an appetite for bizarre films and classics. Also, it’s perfect for those with a restricted budget since you can stream unlimited content for free. Furthermore, Popcornflix serves as a great B-grade movie fix if you’re up for some “cheap thrills”.