Why would anyone need more than Hulu or Netflix?
One of the things I love about living in France is watching French movies. One of the things I hate about living in France is watching American and British films dubbed into French. (Dubbed American movies represent the bulk of films in French theatres). This is how I came to rely on Hulu and Netflix- I was sick of watching dubbed lips out of sync. That and the fact that dubbed movies get lost in translation and sometimes sound weird.
Check out Homer Simpson’s voice in French. He sounds like a drunk Forest Gump. (play video clip below).
Alternatives to Hulu and Netflix
Below is a list of streaming sites. Some are membership sites like Hulu and others are à la carte sites. I also included a few worthwhile Free streaming sites which are good if you don’t mind the ads which are similar to what you would see on YouTube.
What: Independent, international and obscure foreign films
Subscription Cost: $10/month or pay $90/year upfront
Fandor is, without a doubt, one of my most favourite sites to watch these days. I honestly did not consider myself an indie movie lover until I started watching Fandor. There are over 8,000 handpicked independent, obscure movies and foreign films for you to choose from in every genre you can think of and then some. Many you won’t find anywhere else. Think of Fandor as the Indie version of Netflix. You’re sure to get your fix with Fandor. Try it free for 14 days. Have you seen or heard of the movie called Melancholia starring Kirsten Dunst?
What: Good and great handpicked HORROR FILMS
Subscription Cost: $4.99 a month or pay $49 upfront per year
I was screaming from fear and for joy when I discovered Shudder because there is nothing but handpicked streaming horror films to die for from around the world and the price of admission is a scream at just $4.99 per month. Shudder is backed and put together by AMC Networks (producers of Breaking Bad) and DramaFever. Yes, you do see some of the usual free, public domain stuff but not the crappy quality and not the really bad crap because the site’s library is curated by horror aficionados Sam Zimmerman and Colin Geddes. If you’re not sure what to watch, there’s also a constant live stream of horror movies playing on the site. It’s almost like the old days of cable TV where you turn it on and see what’s playing. You never know when a movie is going to start or end, and you don’t know what’s coming next. There are plenty of foreign films too, but you can easily switch on subtitles. I dare you.
What: Warner Brother timeless classics
Cost: $9.99 / Month (Free 30 day trial)
I was initially really excited about Warner Archive because I love the Warner classics. The product of 3 major movie studios, Warner Brothers, owns a massive catalogue (maybe the largest in the world) of American movies and TV shows including westerns, film noirs, musicals, comedies, pre-code classics and more. Many of which are not available for purchase anymore. The site works like a revolving door for its content. Their massive collection of movies and TV shows get rotated in and out each month to keep the site Fresh I guess. I love the idea, but I think ten bucks a month is too much for what it is. If it had all of its library available or most of it available to me at any one time then I could see the value of paying ten bucks a month but as it is Netflix is cheaper, and Hulu is cheaper, and they have HUGE libraries available all the time. There are usually only 13 or so TV shows and 160 movies available at any one time (as of 2016). I could not find Gone with the wind, Casablanca, A streetcar named desire, The shining and a bunch more that are in the Warner collection. *Sad face. Check it out for yourself. Maybe you’ll get more value out of it than me which is why I did not rule this site out.
Online Video, Movie and TV Show Sites (Pay as you go –rent or buy)
If you would rather rent or buy movies and shows rather than subscribing to a monthly plan, here are your best options.
What: Anime and Japanese dramas
Cost: $$4.95 / month (free 2 week trial)
Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z fan? Get access to over 8,500 streaming anime episodes and movies commercial-free in HD!
What: Independent feature films
– I believe this site has around 1,500 + independent feature films. You won’t see any current blockbusters here however it’s worth a look. It’s free to use and perfectly legal. The site makes money from ads.
Here is an excellent alternative to major streaming services. The ShoutFactoryTV library has a relatively large curated library full of cult TV shows, movies, comedy, original specials and more. Think Godzilla, Elvira and Mystery Science Theatre.
Watch most of your favourite channels on Amazon
Amazon is special and deserves a little explanation. It has two models.
- The pay as you go model, Amazon Instant Video, where you can rent or buy movies on demand.
- It also has a subscription model which gives you access to thousands of movies and TV shows through Amazon Prime Video. Plus you get all the benefits of being a member of amazon prime. I’ve listed all the benefit below.
You can also add on specific channels to your prime video account like Starz, shudder, Smithsonian Earth, Comic-con and many more. I listed 48 addons, but there are more. You get the convenience of watching all your movies, TV shows and various channels through Amazon rather than surfing to the individual sites. Pretty slick.
What: Rent or buy the latest big-name movie releases and TV shows.
Cost: Pay $3 to $20 for each movie or TV show depending on if you buy or rent the videos.
Amazon Prime members get Video plus + + + +
Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial to switch from pay as you go to a monthly membership which gives you access to all of the following
- Amazon Prime Video: Watch unlimited streaming of thousands of movies & TV Shows Anytime with Amazon Prime. The selection is not as good as Amazon Instant, but it’s still pretty good.
- Amazon Prime Music: Unlimited streaming of millions of songs with Amazon Prime.
- Access to borrow over 500,000 eBooks. You can borrow one book per month and never pay any late fees.
- If you own a Kindle E-Reader, Fire tablet, or Fire phone, you can rent eBooks for free
- Unlimited photo storage on Amazon drive (this alone is worth the annual membership fee).
- Free 2 day shipping (on eligible purchases in the US only).
Cost: Amazon Prime is $99 per year, which turns out to be $8.25 per month.
Subscription Channels you can add to your Amazon Prime Subscriptions
Pretty close to a la carte TV if you ask me. Sign up for a basic Amazon prime membership- $99 per year, which gives you all the benefits listed above. Then choose an add-on subscription for a very reasonable monthly fee of 2.99 to 8.99 depending on which add-on you choose. You can subscribe through the website or a mobile app.
Each subscription comes with a free trial, that ranges from 7 to 30 days afterwhich time you pay a monthly fee ranging from $2.99 to $8.99. I have listed a few channel add-ons below but there are many more to choose from on Amazon.
Monsters and Nightmares – $2.9 9/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
The creepiest, most terrifying horror films of the last decade.
Full Moon -$6.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Horror, fantasy, sci-fi, comedy, cult, and decades of bizarre genre films.
Fear Factory – $2.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
eerie, fun flicks that bring the bump in the night.
Shudder – $4.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Curated by horror aficionados devoted to all varieties of horror.
Starz – $8.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Captivating original series and hit movies.
Showtime – $8.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Award-winning Original Series, hit movies, sports, and more.
Cinefest – $4.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free
A uniquely curated collection of films for the movie buff in everyone.
Tribeca Shortlist $4.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Movies worth watching. A diverse selection of films and features handpicked by actors, directors and more.
UMC- Urban Movie Channel $4.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Quality urban content showcasing feature films, documentaries, original series, stand-up comedy and more.
History Vault – $4.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Hundreds of hours of curated historical videos.
CurisosityStream -$5.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Nonfiction programs exploring science, technology, history, and nature.
Smithsonian Earth – $3.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Captivating nature & wildlife documentaries, stunning Nature Scenes, and fascinating shorts.
Nature Vision – $2.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free
Hours of uninterrupted footage of the world’s most beautiful and pristine places.
Spacerip – $2.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Breathtaking collections of space and astronomy videos.
The Great Courses – $7.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Video learning in science, art, and more.
Xive TV – $4.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Exploring history, science, nature, adventure and mystery.
Daring Docs – $2.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Thoughtful and provoking documentaries on hot topics and social issues.
Dox – $2.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Award-winning documentaries from cutting edge filmmakers around the world.
Sundance now Doc Club – $6.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
A handpicked curation of award-winning documentaries.
Quello Concerts – $7.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Thousands of full-length concerts and award-winning music documentaries on demand.
AcaciaTV -$6.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Hundreds of fun and effective workouts for every fitness level.
BeFit -$5.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
The best workout solutions for everybody. Transform Yourself.
Gaia – $9.95/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Yoga, meditation, documentaries, and original programming to expand your horizons
Video Game Comic Con Genre
Contv – $4.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free
TV shows and coverage from Comic-Con events nationwide.
Humour & Comedy
Comedy Central Stand-up plus – $3.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Original stand-up specials and series from your favourite comics.
Hooplakidz Plus – $2.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free
Nursery rhymes, yummy recipes, arts and crafts, educational videos, and lots more for parents and kids.
Ameba – $3.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Kids shows, movies, music, and much more.
Dove Channel – $4.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Trusted and safe family entertainment.
Up Faith And Family $4.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
High-quality movies and TV shows for the whole family.
Lifetime Movie Club – $3.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Featuring a great selection of new and classic Lifetime movies.
Indie or Cult
IndieFlix Shorts – $2.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Award-winning short films from 50+ countries and 1200+ film festivals
Acorn TV – $4.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
World-class TV from Britain and beyond.
Warriors and Gangsters – $2.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
High octane action and adventure flicks that kick things into high gear.
Travel & Food
Tastemade – $4.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Food, travel, and lifestyle for the connected generation.