Do you have a favorite TV show that you wanted to watch but can’t because it airs while you’re still on your way home from work? Do you fight with your siblings or parents over what show to watch on the TV when you’re at home?
If your answer is yes to either one of these questions, then what you need is an app that will give you access to live TV. If you’re worried about paying for additional service when you already have cable at home, don’t worry because Pluto TV is absolutely free.
This article will talk about the Pluto TV app, its features, and how to download and use it. If you want to know more about this app, continue reading below.
- Understanding The Concept Of Streaming Television
- Getting To Know The Pluto TV Streaming Television Service
- About The Pluto TV App And Its Supported Devices
- Trying Out The Pluto TV App
- Downloading And Installing The Pluto TV App
Understanding The Concept Of Streaming Television
For you to understand how Pluto TV works, I must first discuss what streaming television is, which is the kind of service that the Pluto TV app provides. In essence, streaming television refers to the digital distribution over the internet of TV content as streaming media.
Both streaming television and streaming online video technologies are mostly concentrated among on-demand services, such as Netflix, Tubi, Crackle, and of course, Pluto TV.
Streaming television became popular in the US in the mid-2010s, alongside the increased popularity of smart TVs. Networks have also embraced the technology, and many of them have partnered with streaming providers to distribute their shows.
Competition And Broadcasting Rights In The Streaming Television Market
To take advantage of the internet boom, conventional TV stations have begun operating internet television platforms to offer on-demand services. This allows people to watch their shows even after they have been aired.
Since not only TV stations started streaming shows, service providers had to pay for broadcasting rights or, in this case, streaming rights. Sports programs and US sitcoms are among the highest-priced shows in terms of streaming rights.
Since some streaming TV services like Pluto TV provide their content for free, they generate revenues by other means. Most of them earn through advertisements and subscription fees to remove these ads and enjoy additional features and content.
Getting To Know The Pluto TV Streaming Television Service
As I mentioned earlier, Pluto TV is an internet television service categorized as advertiser-supported video on demand (AVOD). It is owned and operated by ViacomCBS Streaming, a division of the mass media and entertainment conglomerate ViacomCBS.
Since it’s an AVOD service, Pluto TV generates its revenue from video advertisements that appear as ad breaks while users watch videos on the platform. This is similar to how conventional television programs were structured to have ads in between.
The content that Pluto TV offers are licensed directly from providers, and currently, the company has formed deals with more than 170 content owners and provides over 250 channels and 100,000 unique hours worth of programs.
A Brief History Of Pluto TV
Pluto TV was co-founded by Thomas V. Ryan, Ilya Pozin, and Nick Grouf on March 31, 2014. It was launched as a beta website providing curated channels of existing online content from different video sharing platforms, such as YouTube, Vimeo, and DailyMotion.
The website also featured some other content from partnerships with original web content services and television networks, including Funny or Die, QVC, Refinery29, RocketJump, and TYT Network. Over the years, Pluto TV raised more funding and formed partnerships with numerous content providers.
The Pluto TV app was launched in 2016, while a traditional video-on-demand service was launched in May 2017. On March 4, 2019, Viacom completed its acquisition of the company.
About The Pluto TV App And Its Supported Devices
While the original Pluto TV service is accessed through the website, it has since been available to various devices through its app version. The devices that can install the app are Android smartphones and tablets, Apple iPhones and iPads, fourth-generation Apple TV, and Amazon tablets.
Pluto TV is also compatible with the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Roku devices and Roku TVs, TiVo Stream 4K, Google Chromecast, and several Android TV models.
To transform your smartphone into a remote, you need to activate your Pluto TV accounts on them. These devices are Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, and the Sony PlayStation 4 video game console.
A Quick Look At Pluto TV’s Channels And Shows
Pluto TV categorizes its channels into various sections, including Featured, Entertainment, Movies, Sports, Comedy, Kids, Latino, and Tech + Geek. While I found some versions of the cable networks such as MTV, VH1, BET, TV Land, and AMC, they were not the same as a standard cable or satellite package.
News channels were familiar names, with CNN, NBC News, CBS News all available through the app, but most of the content was curated, pre-recorded clips instead of a live stream. Similarly, sports channels focus on past games, highlights, or analyses instead of live matches.
Meanwhile, reality TV shows and sitcoms are mostly the same as those found on other free streaming services, such as 3rd Rock from the Sun, 21 Jump Street, and Hell’s Kitchen.
Trying Out The Pluto TV App
After I decided to use the Pluto TV service, I wanted to test it first, so I used the free version. I attest that it is certainly free of charge to download and use the app, and there was no need for me to register for an account to start using it.
However, I still created a Pluto TV account because doing so gave me access to special features, such as the ability to designate favorite channels and be able to resume what I was watching using a different device.
Since I was aware that Pluto TV was an AVOD service, I expected to see ads while watching shows. Based on my experience, ads appeared as frequently as commercials usually do with regular TV programming.
Half-hour shows had around four ad breaks, lasting between 20 to 30 seconds.
Simple And Easy To Navigate User Interface
I found the Pluto TV app’s user interface very easy to use because its design is simple and straightforward. The default screen is the Live TV tab, where I was able to see which shows are currently airing on which channels. There is a menu that allowed me to sort the live channels by genre.
The second tab I found at the bottom is labeled Movies & Shows, and when I tapped on this, the app shifted from live TV to on-demand. Here, I searched for the movies and series I wanted to watch as long as they’re available on the service.
The last tab I saw at the bottom of the screen was My Pluto, where I can make changes to my Pluto TV profile.
Downloading And Installing The Pluto TV App
As I mentioned before, I created a Pluto TV account to enjoy the features that come with it. Since the app is available to both Android and iOS devices, I could download and install it on my Android smartphone and my iPhone.
You will find the app under the Entertainment category on the Google Play Store as Pluto TV – Free Live TV and Movies for Android users. It is currently rated at 4.1 out of 5 stars based on more than 350,000 reviews from users.
This Android app has been downloaded over 50 million times. To start downloading it into your device, tap on the Install button. Wait for it to finish downloading, and it will automatically initiate installation.
Pluto TV For iOS
Meanwhile, iOS users will find the app as Pluto TV – Live TV and Movies on the Apple App Store. It currently has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars based on over half a million reviews from users.
This version of the app has a file size of 112.8 MB and requires your device to be running on iOS 12.1 or later for the iPhone and iPod Touch and iPadOS 12.1 or later for the iPad. On the other hand, Apple TV owners must make sure that their unit is on tvOS 12.0 or later.
To begin the download and installation process, a simple tap on the Get button.
The Bottom Line
Overall, the app was a great way to watch my favorite shows that I usually miss due to their live airing schedules. Gone were the days when I have to ask somebody to record them on VCR to watch them when I get home.
Honestly, I didn’t mind the occasional ads that appear while I was watching and just thought of them as opportunities to rest my eyes. If you think the Pluto TV app is something you might enjoy, don’t hesitate to try it out.