Pluto TV vs. Tubi: Which Free Streaming Service is Right For You?

remote pointing at tv

Pluto TV and Tubi are two of the best free over-the-top (OTT) streaming services, providing thousands of hours of movies and shows in a safe and free way. Even though neither really works as a complete cable or dish alternative, both services nicely supplement other video-on-demand (VOD) subscriptions like Disney+. And it is all free — even though you will have to sit through a few commercials. These services may not be exactly what you get with paid services like Sling TV, but it is hard to beat free. 

Tubi features content from major Hollywood studios like Lionsgate, MGM, Paramount, as well as premium channels like Starz. Tubi also agreed to a deal with NBC Universal in 2019 for distribution of 400 movies and episode titles. Over 25 million users visit Tubi actively every month. This more than doubles Pluto TV’s 12 million-plus monthly active users. Pluto TV’s parent company is ViacomCBS, and thus it provides access to networks like BET, Comedy Central, and MTV, along with news sources such as CBS and NBC, and even FOX Sports. 

Plans and pricing for Tubi vs. Pluto TV 

 

Pluto TV Tubi
Price Free Free
Number of titles 2,000+ 50,000+
Number of channels 250+ N/A
Original content available? No No
Streaming quality SD-HD 720p
Live sports streaming? Yes No

 

Comparing the Pluto TV vs. Tubi experience

User experience 

Of the two services, Pluto TV is the closest to a traditional TV experience. Its interface permits searching and scrolling — it also functions as a channel guide. In the menu on the top left, you can access the Live TV, On Demand, and Trending sections. On the top right is an icon through which you can access the account settings menu. The Pluto TV smart TV app is a little different — your menu bar appears on the left side of your screen. 

Tubi puts tons of emphasis on its on-demand collection of shows and movies, and its interface reflects this —  the interface works like a scaled-down version of Netflix. Categories like Most Popular, Comedy, and Horror are populated on a dark background, and there are sideways scrollable titles for each section. 

App usage

By installing the Pluto TV app on your smartphone, smart TV, or casting device, you will be able to use your phone as a remote control. All you need to do is select the Remote feature on your Pluto TV mobile app and sync it with your device. The number of ads you encounter on Tubi seems to depend on the device you are using, but it could also be randomized. 

Device compatibility

Pluto TV: 

  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Android devices
  • Android TV
  • Apple TV
  • Chrome Web browsers
  • Google Chromecast
  • iOS devices
  • PlayStation
  • Roku
  • Smart TVs 
  • Xbox

Tubi: 

  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Android devices
  • Apple TV
  • Google Chromecast
  • iOS devices
  • PlayStation
  • Roku
  • Smart TVs
  • Tivo
  • Web browser
  • Xfinity X1
  • Xbox

Personalization

With both Pluto TV and Tubi, you get a few personalizable features, but nothing to write home about. For one, Tubi lets you save shows in a queue for later. It may be a small perk, but it is a step in the right direction when it comes to forming your viewing list. Also, Tubi requires you to have an account to watch mature rated-R content. 

You can watch both free streaming services without an account. But if you signup, you will have better control of your experience. Pluto TV lets you hide channels you do not like. You are also able to favorite channels you do enjoy so you can find them quickly. 

Features

Neither service offers the ability to save content or watch programming offline without an internet connection. This is not surprising since both services are free. DVR storage takes up space is usually only offered by paid services like fuboTV. Even Hulu does not allow you to download content with its entry-level plan. And subscribers to Hulu’s Ad-Free plans can only download select content for offline use. 

Most streaming services flaunt the ability to stream content on multiple devices at once. But when your service is free like Pluto TV and Tubi, the ability to stream the same show on multiple screens is a given. Each person in a household can create their own free account and watch as much as they please. 

Pluto TV content vs. Tubi content

With both Pluto TV and Tubi, you are going to sift through a lot of mediocre content. But there are plenty of diamonds in the rough, including Tubi’s curation of classic films and Pluto TV’s ViacomCBS offerings.

Pluto TV has over 75 live channels and provides access to live sports, including college baseball, basketball, and football. Viewers also have access to FOX Sports and PGA Golf. Users can watch old professional football games on NFL Channel or tune into Pluto 007 for classic Bond films. There is even a channel dedicated entirely to American Gladiators. A decent catalog of on-demand movies and shows also comes with the service. It features episodes of American Pickers, Bajillion Dollar Propertie$, and Ice Road Truckers. The service’s movie selection also has a few gems in CitizenFour, The Act of Killing, and The Virgin Suicides

With access to Hollywood studios like Paramount Pictures, Tubi actually has a pretty impressive movie library. Its library features films like AI. Artificial Intelligence, Akira, Carol, Minority Report, Road to Perdition, and We Need To Talk About Kevin. Tubi also has a collection of classic and reality TV shows, including choices such as Duck Dynasty, Hoarders, and Unsolved Mysteries. There are also many shows that crossover between both services like Hell’s Kitchen and Degrassi. On top of all of its on-demand content, Tubi also has curated A&E, FilmRise Classic TV, and Lifetime channels.

The final cut 

Pluto TV and Tubi may not create content like Netflix, but they do give you plenty of TV shows and movies to enjoy. Whether you are trying to round out your Amazon Prime Video subscription with a service closer to traditional TV or simply do not want to pay for a streaming service, both Pluto TV and Tubi are good options. And fortunately, you do not have to choose since both are free. Just navigate to either website or download their respective apps through your devices. No signup process is necessary. 

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