Entertainment TV Save money with these free, legal Netflix alternatives

Save money with these free, legal Netflix alternatives

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The age of streaming video-on-demand is upon us, with Australians spoiled for their choice of entertainment options.

Be it Netflix, Quickflix, Presto or Stan; movies, TV or both, audiences can dine on an all-you-can-view buffet of entertainment and never run out of options.

“But, it all comes with a price!” you scream. True, but it doesn’t have to.

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A number of free video-on-demand services have grown in popularity recently, thanks to the increasing amount of ways we can now enjoy content.

From cult classics to Hollywood blockbusters, genre-defining TV and B-grade blinders: if you can’t find anything to watch, you should check yourself for a pulse.

Accessible on a variety of platforms – from desktop and mobile screens to gaming consoles, Smart TVs and streaming media players like Apple TV – the only cost for these services is the gigabytes it takes to stream them. Here are our favourites.


Do blockbuster movies and premium TV comprise the bulk of your entertainment diet? Well you’re in luck, because you’ll find a boatload of them on this easily accessible and free service.

Despite the occasional ad, Crackle is a great source of film and TV from the big guns of entertainment: think Sony Pictures Entertainment, Lionsgate, MGM, Universal Studios, and more.

You may also know this network as your gateway to the Jerry Seinfeld vehicle, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, which features A-list guests like David Letterman and Stephen Colbert.


Consider Popcornflix the online equivalent of a late-night, cult entertainment TV channel. Dodgy horror movies, straight-to-video shockers starring A-list talent, comedies that challenge the definition of the very word: you name it, you’ll find it buried here.

As always, there are some diamonds among the lumps of coal firing up this popular entertainment service, so dig around to find yourself an undiscovered new favourite.


Naruto Shippuden, Ushio and Tora, Squid Girl, Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!, Future Card Buddyfight Hundred. If these names mean nothing to you, skip ahead. For anime fans, the buck stops with Crunchyroll.

This service streams more Japanese animated TV than you have hours alive to watch, offering an impressive catalog of old and new series, some within an hour of becoming available worldwide.

A premium version of the service is also available, for $6.95 per month, which removes ads and fast-tracks anime episodes directly from Japan.

Carbon TV

For fans of outdoor-centric entertainment, Carbon TV is your free source of entertainment with niche appeal.

We’re talking hunting, fishing, monster trucks, shooting, water sports and country-style cooking, with a little DIY and comedy thrown in for good measure. Sounds American? You bet it is.


Less a traditional streaming TV service and more a user-driven platform for gaming and related entertainment, check out Twitch to catch up on latest release information, game tutorials, light entertainment chat shows and a lot more.

Follow your favourite individuals, shows or companies to stay up-to-date on announcements and trailers on a variety of games: from tabletop to console, handheld and PC.


Catch Up TV

As well as independent services like Crackle, many free-to-air TV channels offer catch-up services via the web. Acknowledging the continuing migration of audiences to digital on-demand viewing, channels like the ABC have even started releasing entire seasons of new TV shows to encourage binge-watching, like the recently aired hit series, Glitch.

SBS On Demand, TenPlay, Plus7, 9Jumpin and the ABC’s iView all offer movies and TV, as well as the occasional online-only special, like the ABC’s recent Fresh Blood TV series.

Content is usually available for a limited time, so ensure you catch up swiftly.

Do you have a favourite legitimate streaming video-on-demand service not listed here? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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