Cord cutters have no shortage of places to watch movies and television shows online. Between the paid options such as Netflix and Hulu, and the endless number of free services, it’s possible to find just about any content that you want to watch.
However, one service that people frequently overlook is IMDb TV. Possibly because they’ve never heard of it. What is IMDb TV? Who can use it? What type of content is available? And is it worth your time? Let’s take a closer look at IMDb TV.
What Is IMDb TV?
IMDb TV is an entirely free service for watching TV shows and movies. Unsurprisingly, it is operated by IMDb.com. Most people are aware of the website thanks to its impressive catalog of ratings, reviews, storyline summaries, and cast lists.
What some people don’t realize, however, is that IMDb is owned by Amazon. And it’s Amazon that has driven the creation of IMDb TV, which was initially launched as IMDb Freedive at the start of 2019.
The content on IMDb TV is ad-supported, so you’ll have to sit through the interludes at the beginning and during the videos you watch. There is no way to pay to remove the ads, and the ads are unskippable.
Where Is IMDb TV Available?
At the moment, only users in the United States can watch IMDb TV. However, in an announcement that accompanied the rebrand from IMDb Freedive to IMDb TV in June 2019, IMDb confirmed that it will be expanding into Europe.
For now, if you live anywhere other than the United States, you will have to use a VPN to watch IMDb TV. MakeUseOf recommends ExpressVPN and CyberGhost thanks to the services’ low price and high levels of reliability.
Which Devices Can You Watch IMDb TV On?
The only official standalone IMDb TV app is available for Amazon Fire TV devices. However, you can also watch IMDb TV through any web browser by visiting IMDb.com/tv/.
While there are no dedicated IMDb TV apps for Android and iOS, you can watch IMDb TV using the standard IMDb apps. Just click the “IMDb TV” category to see what movies and TV shows are available to stream.
What TV Shows and Movies Are Available on IMDb TV?
IMDb is tight-lipped about the precise amount of content available on its service. What the company has confirmed, however, is that the amount of content trebled at the time of the rebrand.
IMDb TV has deals in place with many of the leading TV and Hollywood studios, including Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Entertainment, and MGM Studios.
These deals mean that, unlike many free TV and movie services, there is a solid amount of critically-acclaimed content for you to dive into. Some of the best movies on IMDb TV include La La Land, Snatch, Donnie Darko, and Captain Fantastic. La La Land won six Oscars in 2016. There are also plenty of older classic movies. For example, Apocalypse Now, Rain Man, and Lord of War are all on offer.
Some of the most popular free TV series on IMDb TV include Midsomer Murders, Colombo, Alf, Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, The A-Team, and Dallas.
If you can’t find what you are looking for, keep an eye on the listings. IMDb is adding new content all the time.
IMDb TV does not stream live TV channels.
How to Find Content to Watch on IMDb TV
Unfortunately, finding shows on IMDb TV is not straightforward. Although the homepage offers some broad seasonal categories, such as for Christmas and Halloween, the service lacks navigable genre categories that are commonplace on most streaming apps.
That might be to disguise the fact that the content library is a bit thinner than IMDb would like to admit. Or maybe it’s simply because IMDb TV is relatively new and therefore still under active development.
On the positive side, you can quickly tell whether a movie or TV show is available on IMDb TV when you’re using IMDb’s website directory. If the title is on offer, you will see a prominent link labeled “Watch for Free on IMDb TV” that you can click on.
Are There Parental Controls on IMDb TV?
Another area IMDb TV is lacking in is parental controls. If you watch via your web browser there are no parental controls available. Which, given that the service includes kids’ TV shows and movies, will be concerning for parents.
The way IMDb TV displays its content doesn’t help matters. For example, check out the image above. There is a row of wholly-unsuitable-for-kids sci-fi movies directly above a row containing family shows like Hey Arnold and Looney Tunes.
On the Amazon Fire TV app, the situation is slightly better. IMDb can pull your viewing restrictions and PIN settings from your Amazon account.
Are There Watchlists on IMDb TV?
The only other significant feature worth mentioning is the presence of watchlists. Watchlists are one area where IMDb TV excels. The service leans heavily on the IMDb database of content to provide much better watchlist usability than services like Netflix and Hulu.
You can order your shows by rating, runtime, number of user ratings, your own ratings, popularity, and IMDb ratings. You can also easily filter by either movies or TV series, rather than having everything in a single list.
Is IMDb TV Worth Using?
So, is IMDb TV worth your time?
Look, we’re never going to turn down another way to watch free content, but at the time of writing IMDb TV feels like it’s still a work in progress.
The issues with content navigation and parental controls need to be resolved. Similarly, even though some decent shows and movies are on offer, the size of the library needs to be expanded before it becomes a viable alternative to some of its competitors.
If you’d like to learn more about watching TV shows and movies online, here’s how to watch free live TV on Android TV.