We’re all familiar with Netflix, Stan, and Amazon Prime Video, but we’d like to introduce you to Tubi, a less well-known and rather odd cousin in the streaming family.
Fox bought Tubi, a streaming service that is available for free, in the beginning of 2020. It was initially introduced in the US in 2014, but it wasn’t until late 2019 that it reached Australian shores.
In case you were unsure, it is also authorized. Tubi is entirely ad-supported, in contrast to the subscription structures used by other sites. If you live in Australia, trying Tubi won’t set you back any money.
Even said, there aren’t quite as many advertisements as you might anticipate. The help center for Tubi claims that their ad breaks are brief (one to two minutes long) and only interfere with your watching around once every 15 minutes.
We tested it by watching a movie and a few TV shows, and we only saw a handful of advertisements. In all likelihood, you’d capture more during a MasterChef episode.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Tubi?
It should go without saying, but Tubi’s biggest asset is the fact that it doesn’t cost you anything to watch.
Other pros of the free streaming service include the fact that it’s available on an impressive number of platforms, with Android, iOS, Xbox, Playstation, and several Smart TV brands included on the list.
As for the cons, the fact that content caps out at 720p is a pretty big one. The inability to download content to your device and watch it later is another clear area where Tubi can’t keep up with the competition. Even newcomers like Paramount + support offline playback.
While the advertisements that you’ll get when watching Tubi are another con compared to the option streaming services out there, they’re not as much of an imposition as you might expect.
The size and diversity of the library of TV shows and movies on Tubi is a mixed bag.
While those who are fans of B movies and similarly sketchy cinematic fare may find something to like about it, it’s a far cry from the modern and prestige content you can find on other streaming services.
What’s Worth Watching on Tubi?
It’s what you came here for, right? To find out if the content is worth a few unskippable ads? In our opinion, you really can’t go wrong.
Tubi’s Australian offering launched with over 7,000 titles; however, the company expects to expand the catalog to match the US and Canada’s 20,000-strong service.
There seem to be three major categories of content on Tubi: Classic films and TV series, quirky independent flicks, and docos, and B-movies – a LOT of B-movies.
In the classic corner, we have a surprisingly good range of iconic TV series and even films by the likes of Hitchcock (the 1954 thriller Dial M for Murder) and Stanley Donen (Charade, starring Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant).
There’s also a decent selection of old-school spaghetti westerns starring John Wayne, Charles Bronson, and Peter Fonda. Otherwise, if you feel like channeling your inner detective, there are nine seasons of Midsomer Murders and eight seasons of Crime Stories to keep you busy.
As for the indie picks, there’s the 2016 comedy-drama Miss Stevens, starring Timothee Chalamet, 2018’s Sometimes Always Never with Bill Nighy, and the super creepy but incredibly riveting 2009 documentary Cropsey.
Now, on to the really fun bit – the B-movies. Did you know there was a Titanic 2? Or a Triassic World? Neither did we, but they exist, and you can find them (along with one of the biggest mockbuster selections we’ve ever seen) on Tubi.
There are literally thousands of low-budget, Sharknado-Esque creations floating around, just waiting to be watched. We’re talking Alien Predator (not to be confused with Alien vs. Predator), Avengers Grimm: Time Wars (nope, not Avengers: Infinity War), and, my personal favorite, the Indiana Jones Jack Hunter trilogy.
How Can I Watch Tubi?
Even though it’s a free streaming site/service, Tubi has most of the bells and whistles of the subscription-based behemoths. The website is intuitive and easy to use (although the search function could use some work), and you don’t even have to sign up to watch content.
Like Netflix and Stan, you can create a watch list, but don’t expect any AI-assisted fancy recommendations based on what you’ve watched or rated.
For all your on-the-go B-movie needs, the iOS and Android apps are both really robust. However, they lack the ability to download content for offline watching, so you’ll probably end up chewing through quite a bit of data.
Prefer to watch Tubi on the tube? Done. They’ve got an app for Apple TV, Android TV, Samsung, Sony and Vizio Smart TVs, Xbox and PlayStation, and Chromecast support. We tested the Tubi app on a PS4 and Chromecast device, and both were extremely smooth experiences.
What’s the Picture Quality Like?
Let’s rip the bandaid off: Tubi definitely isn’t 4K. It’s not even 1080p. In fact, the best you can expect is 720p – and even then, many older films and TV series can’t even hit that.
Realistically, no one’s watching Tubi show off their new state-of-the-art telly. But it’s still pretty good for what it is – free.