Best free TV Streaming service: Hoopla, Kanopy for tv streaming and movie streams

The lastest free TV streaming service for cord cutters: your public library. Cord cutters already have many free TV streaming services to choose from, but almost all come with a large dose of advertising.

Hoopla Digital and Kanopy are exceptions. Both broadcast services work with hundreds of libraries across the United States to provide a treasure trove of movies, television shows and documentaries without advertising. Assuming that your local library participates, all you need to access this content is a library card.

Although Hoopla has been around since 2013, this week the company launched its first native TV applications on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV devices (but not the third generation model currently) and Android TV devices. Kanopy began working with public libraries in the United States last year and now offers applications for Apple TV and Roku.

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Hoopla Digtal Best free TV Streaming service

Here is what you need to know about these new streaming applications:

Hoopla Digital free movie streaming and TV streaming service provider

The Hoopla catalog is a rotating mix of conventional and independent rates. You will always find many new releases in the service, and there is a lot of low-quality material to examine, but as with other free streaming services, it is always possible to find at least some things that are worth seeing. (The "popular" section currently includes Terminator 2: Judgment Day, The Soloist and Shutter Island.)

To register, you must create a free Hoopla account, specify which library it belongs to and enter your library card number. Some libraries will issue you a temporary online card if you are not yet a member, but you will probably have to go through the local branch to get a real card in no time. The various reports that Hoopla works with approximately 7,000 libraries in the United States and Canada; A complete list is available here.

After registering, Hoopla requires you to "lend" a title before looking at it. This gives you a certain amount of time to look (usually two to three days, according to my experience) before having to borrow the title again. (You do not have to worry about late penalties, the videos are automatically returned after the viewing window expires).

The amount of titles you can borrow per month depends on the library. Variety says that some libraries only allow five titles per month, which I can borrow a dozen, and Luke Bouma of Cord Cutters News says he can borrow 50 per month. Keep in mind that a single TV episode counts as a title, so riding a bike for a full season can chew your limit in a hurry.

Hoopla's current service is not perfect. The videos seemed a bit pixelated and too compressed on both Apple TV and Fire TV, and if you want to browse the entire catalog by genre, you should use the Hoopla website. (TV apps only show a limited selection, although you can still see everything you've already borrowed from the broader catalog.) However, movies and shows loaded quickly and played back smoothly.

Kanopy TV service provider

Compared with Hoopla, the Kanopy catalog is decidedly less conventional and more ingenious. It includes some films from The Criterion Collection (like Federico Fellini's 8½) and award-winning documentaries (like The Reagan Show). And instead of just working with public libraries, Kanopy also interacts with several university libraries in the United States.

The process to register, however, is similar. After creating a Kanopy account, you must provide a library card number, and I also had to enter the same PIN I used to verify items at my local branch. There is no "loan" mechanism like Hoopla, but similar restrictions apply: your library dictates how many "credits" of viewing you get per month, and you have three days to look before you have to spend another credit. (In my case, Kanopy allowed the same 12 titles per month as Hoopla, but both counted separately, for a total of 24 titles).

Kanopy TV applications offer many ways to browse the catalog, including a useful "Oscar Winners and Nominees" section, and a separate menu of Topics that seem tailored to educators. The Kanopy website also has a clear function of "playlists" to join multiple videos and create shorter clips of larger videos, although unfortunately, this is not available on Apple TV or Fire TV.

Like other free streaming services, Kanopy and Hoopla are unlikely to replace the need for a paid service such as Netflix or a package of streaming channels such as Sling TV. Instead, they are best viewed as supplements, providing content that those other services do not offer, or saving them money that they might otherwise have spent on renting a movie. It's worth checking them out, especially if you've become reluctant to advertise in your video transmissions.
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