IMDb TV offers a free-to-watch streaming option for people cutting the cable TV cord. The streaming service is part of the Amazon-owned Internet Movie Database (IMDb), which provides encyclopedic insight about more than 6.5 million movies and TV shows. The service has added functionality with Amazon, such as being available as a separate channel, which makes IMDb TV a particularly good cord-cutting option for anyone with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.
IMDb TV launched in January 2019 as an ad-supported platform that enables free streaming via the IMDb website. It is also accessible on Amazon Fire devices and has its own section in the Prime Video app. In addition to watching movies and shows, users can enjoy trailers of upcoming films and leave reviews and ratings of the content they have watched.
What To Watch On IMDb TV
IMDb has a relatively small content library in comparison to some of the paid-for on-demand video streaming services that viewers may be accustomed to. However, it still manages to offer an enjoyable lineup of movies and TV shows.
Some of the best movies available on IMDb TV include Donnie Darko, in which Jake Gyllenhaal plays a troubled teenager and Sam Raimi’s 2002 version of superhero favorite Spider-Man, which stars Kirsten Dunst, Tobey Maguire and Willem Dafoe. Users can also enjoy The Big Short, which digs into the causes of the 2008 financial crash and stars Brad Pitt, Christian Bale and Ryan Gosling.
IMDb TV features curated sections that help users find the movies and shows best suited to their taste. Its “Top Rated Movies” category includes films like Monster, in which Charlize Theron plays infamous serial killer Aileen Wuornos and The Woodsman, starring Kevin Bacon as a man who returns to his old town after 12 years in prison to start a new life. The Illusionist, in which Edward Norton plays a magician who uses his powers to woo a woman from a higher social standing, is also available.
Viewers looking for a bit of comedy are well served by movies like slapstick classic Airplane starring Leslie Nielsen and a couple of Will Ferrell hits in Bewitched and Elf. Users can also enjoy Will Smith playing a professional “date doctor” in Hitch and Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist starring Michael Cena.
There is also plenty of fun for all the family with movies like Paddington, which features a young Peruvian bear traveling to London to find a new home, as well as popular animated films like Megamind, Monsters vs. Aliens, Muppets From Space and Stuart Little 2. Other family favorites include Max, which is about a military dog that is adopted by a family after suffering trauma, the classic NeverEnding Story and racing action film Speed Racer. There are plenty of other options such as crime-busting heroes in a half-shell in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Whale Rider, about a young Maori girl who believes she is destined to be her tribe’s next chief.
The platform also offers several intriguing documentaries, including The U.S. vs. John Lennon, which explores The Beatles’ star’s rise from musician to anti-war activist and conspiracy film Zeitgeist: The Movie. It is also home to several docuseries like Ancient Aliens, which discusses the similarities between mythology and science, crime series Cold Case Files and The Zodiac Killer: Case Closed, which focuses on the hunt for one of America’s most infamous serial killers.
Television content on IMDb TV includes the service’s own original productions. This is led by two animated series, Corner Gas and You’re Not A Monster. Other IMDb TV original content consists of shows that provide users with insight into their favorite movies and shows. This includes Casting Calls, which delves into the roles that famous actors were nearly cast for as well as interviews with celebrities and trailers for upcoming movies.
The service offers plenty of high-quality binge-worthy TV series, of which the pick is probably Friday Night Lights, which focuses on the on and off-field events in the lives of the coach and players of the Dillon Panthers, a Texas high school football team. The series has a star-studded cast and features Connie Britton, Jesse Plemons, Kyle Chandler and Tyler Kitsch.
Other standout series include law comedy Ally McBeal, all 14 seasons of classic drama Dallas, sordid secrets and gossip aplenty in Desperate Housewives and superhero thriller Heroes. British comedy Miranda is another popular option.
IMDb TV also features a number of crime and investigation dramas. This includes classic detective series Colombo, Fringe, which stars Joshua Jackson and Olivia Dunham solving strange phenomena with unusual techniques and British police investigation series Midsomer Murders.
Free Video Streaming
The key appeal of IMDb TV is its price — viewers can watch all of the content on the service for free. To stream a movie or TV show, users simply need to log in through their Amazon, Facebook, Google or IMDb account. Content comes with commercials, but for the most part, disruptions are kept to a minimum. A 90-minute movie typically contains around 10 minutes of commercials.
Users can also create personal watchlists that track their favorite content and help them keep an eye on movies and shows they may want to enjoy at a later date. Despite IMDb TV being available through Amazon Prime Video, the watchlist does not transfer to the paid service. However, IMDb TV does now have its own channel on Amazon, which makes it easier to search the service by category and genre.
Despite being a free service, IMDb TV does not scrimp on video quality and provides viewers with three levels of streaming playback. This starts with Good playback quality, which uses 0.38 GB/hr. There is also a middle-tier, Better, which offers high-definition (HD) images and uses about 1.4 GB/hr. Finally, users can also opt for the service’s top option, Best, for 4k streaming quality. This last choice uses about 6.84 GB/hr.
Of course, watching IMDb TV through the Amazon Prime Video channel will see streaming quality differ. Amazon uses a similar streaming quality rating of Data Saver (0.14 GB/hr.), Good (0.27 GB/hr.), Better (0.77 GB/hr.) and Best (1.82 GB/hr.)
The IMDb TV service is compatible with any device that provides access to its web player through the IMDb site. This includes Android and Apple mobile devices, Mac and Windows computers. It is also available on Amazon Fire tablets, Fire Stick and Fire TV Cube. IMDb TV can also be accessed on any device that viewers use to watch Amazon Prime Video.
Building a Streaming Community
IMDb TV creates an entertainment community by enabling users to leave ratings and reviews. Titles listed on IMDb include users’ insights into the plot and key information about the cast and general movie trivia. This helps IMDb TV feel like more than simply another online video streaming service in a busy marketplace. Additionally, IMDb also awards badges to users that regularly contribute ratings and reviews on content.
The service also has original programming that covers trending entertainment news and provides additional information about celebrities and popular content on other streaming services.
At the time of writing, the IMDb TV site featured a montage collated from Netflix’s Tiger King as well as quirky content like IMDb’s guide to the best Easter Eggs in films. It also has a separate section for trailers of upcoming content, such as Extraction, Fast and Furious 9, The Batman, Top Gun: Maverick and Wonder Woman 1984.
Can I Cut the Cable TV Cord With IMDb TV?
IMDb TV offers an interesting option for people looking to cut the cord on cable TV. Despite being a free service, it still manages to provide a strong lineup of top-quality movies and a good choice of engaging TV series. In addition to a good content selection, IMDb TV also provides viewers with the latest inside entertainment and showbiz news, as well as sneak previews and trailers of upcoming movies and TV shows.
While it lacks the sheer size of content library and original programming of most paid-for video streaming services, IMDb TV is certainly an interesting option for cord-cutters looking to bolster their current viewing choices. IMDb TV’s Amazon ownership and availability as a channel on Prime Video may make it particularly appealing to existing Prime Video subscribers. And while it is not a true cable replacement, the service works well as a supplement to more comprehensive streaming services like Hulu, Sling TV and Philo
Current as of June 2020*
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