Are you looking to cut the cable TV cord? You’re not the only one.
An increasing number of people are ditching their cable service for more flexible and affordable streaming options. But depending on the amount of research you’ve done, you may be finding that many streaming services’ prices (with all the bells and whistles) add up to about the same price as a cable subscription.
So what if you’re someone who wants lots of channels at your fingertips but doesn’t want to pay top dollar?
If this sounds like you, you should definitely check out Xumo. It’s a great resource if you’re thinking about cutting the cable TV cord.
Xumo is a free over-the-top streaming service that offers over 180 channels, as well as a library of on-demand movies — all without the rigmarole of a monthly subscription.
The idea behind Xumo is simple enough: install the app on your phone or smart TV and pipe linear channels directly into your device. Xumo’s bizarre mish-mash of ad-supported offerings includes everything from ABC News Live to CNET, FOX Sports, History Channel Shorts, TMZ, Vogue and more.
While Xumo has the look and feel of traditional cable, it won’t provide access to popular and premium channel offerings like Cinemax, HBO or STARZ. In other words, you won’t be able to “keep up with the Kardashians” — or any other cable network shows. So if it’s a cable replacement service you’re looking for with a comparable library of live TV and on-demand content, Xumo probably won’t cut it for you.
However, if you’re gung-ho about the live-channel lifestyle and aren’t super picky about which channels you have access to, Xumo is worth checking out. It’s got a cool mobile interface and tons of off-the-beaten-path content, as well as some on-the-beaten-path gems, including popular shows like the History Channel’s American Pickers.
Channels on Xumo
Xumo provides access to several free TV channels. New channels are added to the app every week, so there’s always fresh content in the ever-changing lineup.
And while Xumo’s lineup is limited, there are plenty of recognizable names among its offerings.
Kids & Family
TV & Movies
Xumo also offers channel categories like Lifestyle, Music, Pop Culture, Science & Tech and Fashion.
While Xumo’s streamable movie lineup changes every so often, you’ll be able to browse a mix of typical genres like Action, Kids and Family, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller and more. You probably won’t find any brand-new movies, and the selection of big-name blockbusters is pretty sparse. Some of the more popular titles available at the time of this writing include Atlas Shrugged, Bernie and Kill Switch.
But one of the neat aspects of Xumo is that they have some interesting categories including Biographies, Black Cinema and even an entire channel dedicated to the cult-classic Rifftrax for any Mystery Science Theatre nerds out there.
Xumo Costs And Plans
Perhaps one of the nicest things about Xumo — aside from the fact that it’s 100% free — is that you don’t need to set up an account with a username and password to install it on your smart TV or smartphone. In a world where it seems like just about every company wants access to your contact info, this no-strings-attached perk can’t be understated.
To watch Xumo on your television, you’ll either need a smart TV or an external streaming device like Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV or Roku. Xumo is compatible with a number of major smart TV brands, including Hisense, LG Electronics, Magnavox, Panasonic, Philips. Sanyo and Vizio.
You can also access Xumo on Android and iOS devices or watch it from your computer by heading to Xumo.tv.
Xumo’s has an intuitive, basic interface. It doesn’t have many features that come with paid streaming services. For instance, Xumo doesn’t have parental controls, DVR capabilities or access to new releases or original content. Since it’s a free service, what you see is what you get — there’s not a whole lot you can do to customize it.
The platform offers a simple, vertical menu on the left with options like Channels, Movies, and Settings.
The channel menu displays as an overlay to whatever program you’re currently watching, so you can listen to shows or movies as you browse content.
Xumo features a variety of channels that can be filtered by category, such as News, TV and Movies, Sports and more.
Movie titles are divided by genre, like Mystery, Adventure, Kids and Family and so on. You can scroll left or right through each genre’s offerings to explore available titles.
Remember, Xumo is ad-supported, giving you a viewing experience similar to watching a YouTube video. The nice part is that, like with YouTube videos, some ads will let you skip them after five seconds.
Xumo Mobile Interface
Unlike its TV and desktop applications, which feel a little clunky, Xumo’s modern-looking mobile interface is easy to use and aesthetically pleasing.
A menu bar across the bottom displays options like On Now, Channels, Search, and Settings.
In the On Now section, you can scroll vertically through channels as live content plays in the top third of the screen. When you flip your smartphone horizontally, the orientation automatically changes to full-screen, so you can watch content comfortably using the full width of your device.
In the Channels section, you can search for content by genre.
In the top right corner of the app, you’ll see the option to cast Xumo onto your smart TV from your phone.
Playback And Streaming
Xumo’s playback is solid, especially for a free service. It’s recommended that you have a minimum internet speed of 5 Mbps, as your image quality will match that of the broadcaster Xumo is piping content in from (usually 720p). There’s no 4K Ultra HD feature. It’s also important to note that when watching Xumo content, you can’t pause or rewind the live TV stream.
If you’re someone who likes to switch shows frequently in one sitting, you’ll notice a 20-30 second commercial break just about every time you change the channel. Not ideal, but as an ad-supported free platform, it comes with the territory.
Can I Cut the Cable TV Cord With Xumo?
If you live and die by keeping up with water cooler chit-chat and knowing every premium channel you could want is at your fingertips, it’ll be to your benefit to explore paid services like Hulu + Live TV, as Xumo isn’t meant to be a full cable or network TV replacement. You can always add the free Xumo app to your streaming device, or watch it on your desktop computer or smartphone.
However, if you love exploring content you’re not used to seeing on regular cable, network TV or streaming services, Xumo is a gold mine of quirky, interesting and off-the-beaten-path content. Best of all, it’s free, so why not take it for a spin to explore alternative content and expand your media horizons?
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