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Netflix and Hulu have some new competition from free streaming services like Crackle and Pluto TV. These newer services have a different business model from the subscription systems that we’ve seen from Netflix, Hulu, and HBO NOW. Instead of offering paid memberships, Crackle and its ilk are totally free and ad-supported.

Among these new services is Tubi TV, a new but fast-growing service that recently acquired a bunch of new content from Lionsgate and MGM. Tubi TV is available for a bunch of different platforms, including a couple of the major streaming boxes. Should it be a part of your streaming arsenal? Here is our full review.

User Experience

Tubi TV's web app interface
Tubi TV's web app interface

Tubi TV works like most streaming services do. You'll get a pretty standard interface with scrollable rows of movies sorted by topics and genres. The Tubi TV catagories are pretty clever: they include “Not on Netflix” and “Highly Rated on Rotten Tomatoes,” among others. The smart choice of categories made it really easy to find the best content on Tubi TV. The service seems to be aware of the fact that most users will be turning to it as a second option after major services like Netflix, and rather than running from that, they've embraced it.

The interface was easy to use on all of the different platforms we tried, including the mobile apps, web app, and Roku channel. The service will remember where you left off streaming on your device, though this memory isn't maintained when you switch devices.

Content

Tubi TV has made some efforts to improve its content library lately, and it will surely gain some more content in the future. For now, however, the content library remains far behind what paid services like Netflix and Hulu can offer. Tubi TV offers a relatively limited selection of big-budget, well-received films. The service pads its collection with a ton of filler movies that you're unlikely to have ever heard of. The TV show collections are similarly bursting with filler – there's even a knock-off version of Toddlers and Tiaras called Baby Beauty Queens.

There are some spots where Tubi TV's content library shines, however. They do well with their “Cult Favorites” category, and they have some decent documentaries, foreign films, and indie films. Clearly, Tubi TV is held back primarily by its budget and business model. It will be interesting to see how they grow their library in the coming months and years.

Streaming Quality

The Birdcage streaming via Tubi TV on iOS
The Birdcage streaming via Tubi TV on iOS

Streaming quality was very solid across most of the different platforms we tried. We didn't have to deal with much buffering or loading (there were occasionally short times after the commercials). The picture isn't always in the highest definition, but it never dips to terribly low quality, and there was no crashing during our trials. The stream was exceptionally smooth on almost every platform we tried – we observed some limited choppiness on the web app (using Wi-Fi), and that was it. We used the Verizon network and Wi-Fi when testing the mobile devices.

Platforms

Tubi TV has pretty robust platform support. In addition to their web app, they offer versions for iOS, Android, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung, Xbox One, and even the old Xbox 360. We tried out Tubi TV on the web app, iOS, Android, and Roku.

Tubi TV is particularly well integrated on the Roku, where it's a part of Roku's universal search feature.

Price

Tubi TV is free, of course, but you'll pay for it in the form of ads. Ads run for a few minutes at a time and will interrupt your viewing about once every ten minutes. They're pretty frequent, so the experience is similar to watching a movie on a television network (minus the editing, of course).

Verdict

Tubi TV is still held back a bit by its content library, but the service's clever categories (“Not on Netflix,” “Highly Rated on Rotten Tomatoes”) and its integration with Roku's universal search make it easy to find the best it has to offer while ignoring the large amount of filler. Streaming works well, and the user interface is quite good.

Tubi TV doesn't beat the paid streaming services, of course, but that's not really what it's meant to do – at least not yet. If you can stand the ads, there's absolutely no reason not to use Tubi TV to supplement your Netflix, Hulu, or HBO subscription. We recommend this service.

81 thoughts on “Tubi TV Review

  1. Richard says:

    I just watched my first (and only) movie on Tubi TV, “The Big Easy”. For about half the movie they showed 5 1/2 minutes of movie interrupted by 2 1/2 minutes of commercials (yes, I timed it!). I expect to see commercials, but this was an annoying experience I will not repeat. Goodbye Tubi.

    1. John Thom says:

      They’re losing me also, based on the huge amount of ads they now run.

      1. Carolyn Morton says:

        I am not happy with tubi right now in the beginning they offered great horror movies now I’ve gotten to the point I no longer wish to watch this channel, they keep the same movies tooooo long, instead of posting new ones !!!! I checked yesterday and they had new movies. When I checked today they are no longer there. Very, Very Very disappointed.

    2. Hekmlen says:

      I love Tubi tv, but I wish they had a place to hold liked movies, great movie addition and only a few ads. Its pretty good for a free service.

      1. Raeanne says:

        They have a cue service

      2. Gerry says:

        I uninstalled Tubi tonight…every other second the movie cut off. It took me 4 hours to watch a two hour movie

      3. Elke Costa says:

        The ads are SO annoying I want to scream.

    3. Shreks toes says:

      Omg Tubi is good ungratfulllll

  2. Reed says:

    It’s actually a grest service. It’s FREE and the ads are actually less than broadcast TV. They listened and now there are less ads. Awesome selection and getting better. Highly recommended.

  3. Scott Carlson says:

    I like their selection of movies, especially horror and other grind house and genre movies. I’d actually dump Netflix for Tubi TV if they offered a commercial free pay option.

    1. Rachael Johnson says:

      I have Netflix and Hulu but Tubi TV is great…I can always find something…

    2. Tami Miller says:

      overall good experience, I don’t like hearing spanish-speaking commercials when I’m watching movies in English. Please

  4. Floridagirl says:

    I personally love Tubi! I don’t mind the commercials at all. For me it’s a no brainer, cut the cord and watch commercials. Or keep paying 1,600.00 a year to a satellite company. My home has adjusted well to living without satellite television. And honestly we have so many more choices on what to watch. I’ve always said that I miss the 70’s and 80’s when things went at a slower pace and life was simpler. So what if we can’t fast forward through some commercials. Take a deep breath and embrace the commercials. Don’t be in such a hurry to rush through everything in life, stress less!

  5. Bett says:

    I mind the commercials. I mind ALL commercials. And so should you. Read The “Hidden Persuaders” by Vance Packard, about the ad industry, for why. Written in 1957, it remains relevant to this day. If you suffer ads gladly then you’ve been bought and sold. This is why I cancelled my Hulu subscription. And now we’re seeing ads in movies – movies we’ve PAID to see. Yet the sheeple say nothing. I will not be disabling my ad blocker for this disaster of a “service.”

    1. Eric says:

      I did read “Hidden Persuaders” in the 70’s and again a couple of years ago. I am allergic to adverts. Tubi plays some of the dumbest ads: like the one that convinces you that those that like to shop at aldi are illiterates that have substandard IQ levels. Or the no-stop pain killer addiction advert, that taunts you into desiring painkillers. Tubi will go down the tubes if it can’t figure a way to do better commercials or pay-to-stop-ads program.

  6. Jay says:

    22 commercial breaks in one movie is way too many. Even more annoying is that it was the same commercial every time.

    1. Lisa says:

      Thxs for informing me!

      1. Erica says:

        I think tubi is great I love it .! Yes some commercials but a lot less than real tv. It’s free that’s great

  7. Lady Highlander says:

    Tubi TV sucks. Sorry people, we repeatedly tried to watch one film on Tubi and were repeatedly kicked off for no reason. First for trying to pause the move (duh, everyone can pause these days); second, we got bumped off trying to fast forward (a NO NO in Tubi land); third, we were watching and ENDURING every 5 minutes commercials and dared not touch anything, and as the move faded to black with us happily awaiting a commercial, BANG, back to our Roku home screen, WHAT!!! We did nothing, Tubi, but you scorned us. SO, TUBI, YOU SUCK! And yes I will happily pay Netflix and Amazon not to be annoyed by you!

  8. John says:

    Holy S***, the ads are terribly annoying and I had to stop watching…

  9. Vlad says:

    I discovered Tubi while using Roku’s search function. The film I was looking for, Jacob’s Ladder (1990), starring a young Tim Robbins, is an under-rated psycho-drama that has never been broadcast on network or cable television. I was delighted to find it on Tubi. While I admittedly would have enjoyed the film more were it not interrupted by commercial breaks, Tubi has distinguished itself from its competitors by even offering this hard-to-find gem.

    1. Libby fizer says:

      I have been watching Tubi for about a week now and I love it, the ads don’t bother me I love the movies enough that I don’t mind. It’s so easy to sign up for too. Love it

  10. David L says:

    Tubi restarts Roku 2 over and over, it sucks.

  11. Uri says:

    Commercials are way too often. Movies are 90% B movies, not even worth watching. Let alone putting up with so many commercials.

  12. Victoria Mathis says:

    Yes, the commercials are very annoying and far too frequent. I would prefer to pay a nominal fee to skip the ads. However, Tubi TV offers a wide selection of films and actually includes romance and dramas, something that’s not easy to find on streaming TV. I’m very happy about finding the screen gem, Irma Green, for fans of classic movies, it’s a true winner. Every now and then, a classic film no matter the age makes even a commercial tolerable.

  13. Val says:

    I thought I was the only one who got “bumped” repeatedly off Tubi. It’s the only service I’ve ever been shut off. Won’t waste my time again. The choices of view are terrible, ads are too frequent and REPETITIVE… worse than cable TV. I dumped Netflix a year ago because their content didn’t seem to change… same movies over and over.

  14. Shannon says:

    Tubi is starting to piss me off. Whenever I go to rewind back to a part in the movie I missed, Tubi then goes on to play 1/5 commercials. It happens every time I try to ffwd or rewind. If this continues, I will get rid of Tubi TV. I get that I am watching it for free, but to play endless commercials and not to mention the same ones, and to sit through 3 mins of commercials every time you ffwd or rewind is asinine!

  15. Annette says:

    One of the worst apps out there! First time I tried watching a movie several months ago, it would play the same commercial over several times in a row. Then I would get kicked out of movie if i tried pausing. Contacted developer which stated an update to the app would be coming out in a couple of weeks that would fix this issue. I tuned back in several weeks later to try and watch the same movie. While it stopped playing the same commercials several times in a row during one break, there were still too many commercial breaks. I left it alone for a little over a month. Today, I tried going into the app to watch a different movie and found that I could not get into app either by signing in or registering. Every time I reach the field to enter my birthdate (which I’ve known all my life), it tells me it is an “invalid birthdate!” Wait… What? App cannot find my email address even though Customer Support used my email to contact me after registering my first complaint! Ain’t nobody got time for this crap!!! Buh-bye Tubitv!!!

  16. Robert Boyle says:

    I was trying to watch a documentary called “Gay Sex in the 70’s” but the screen kept going red.

  17. Jack says:

    It’s free and a larger selection than I thought… and the ads go by quick. And it’s free. Not meant to beat a paid streaming service, and it’s free.

  18. Renee says:

    Commercials, commercials, and more commercials IN SPANISH? I live in Miami which is basically South America but forcing the Spanish commercials down my throat every few minutes is a HUGE negative. I can find most of what this lame app has on YouTube with the options to skip the advertisement after 3 seconds. There are plenty of other freebee options out there without this advertising business called Tubi TV.

  19. Blake says:

    For a free service it’s fine. Sure the ads are annoying, especially if you’re use to ad-free streaming but ads are your price for free movies. I like that there are movies and shows that aren’t on other streaming services. With that said, I wouldn’t recommend cancelling your Netflix subscription but rather supplement it with Tubi TV as a serviceable alternative. I want to add that I would pay half the price of Netflix for an ad-free option.

  20. Jamaica says:

    I’m actually starting to HATE Tubi TV! It was OK at 1st, but then I got super annoyed! It freezes sooo much. Like WTF I miss half of the movie!!! Plus the commercials every 3 minutes! Ugh never again! I would not recommend this at all.

  21. Susi Linares says:

    My movie have been buffering min after min. Is there a way you can stop this!?

  22. jonmc says:

    Terrible on Roku, audio goes out of sync, crashes continually.

  23. Dough says:

    They don’t have Sofia the First… that’s all my little girl watch… if she can’t watch Sofia I will just keep paying for Netflix…

  24. Cholt says:

    Slow loading. After the commercial, the movie restarted at a random location already viewed. It took me nearly 2.5 hours to watch a 1.75 hour movie! I will give it One more try, but so far, hate it.

  25. Peggy Anteau says:

    Just got the free app on my Sony smart TV. Tried watching a movie, but after the first three commercials, the movie would not stop. Blank screen. Don’t know what the problem is.

  26. B Forrest says:

    OK. I expected ads from a free service. The movie selection is good and I found movie choices superior to the options I have from Netflix. But, how many times can I watch the same commercial! 2 out of 5 times it is the stupid Toyota SUV commercial. I mute it every time, I don’t know how much money Toyota paid. Dear Toyota and TubiTV, I don’t even remember what you are selling. I found the repetition so annoying that I ignore it time and again.

  27. Max Berry says:

    Thanks for all the reviews. 33% commercials are too much for me. The only thing worse is pro sports like NFL commercials that sometimes reach 44%. I stopped watching the Bears after 40 years of fandom so I will now cancel my trial with Tubi. Corporate greed is destroying democracy and destroying common sense on how many ads can you show and still be productive.

    We are now so overloaded on advertising that I shut it out and rarely turn any programs on that will invade my home to sell me junk I do not need or want.

    1. Joy B says:

      the service is free, so i am not sure what your trial period means…. just because a commercial comes on, does not mean you have to buy something. I tune it out, run in the other room, let the dog out, grab a drink from the fridge, etc. I love the movie selection.

  28. Nicholas Leo says:

    Tubi TV needs to charge and stop the ads… Their content is good and the crazy amount of commercials ruin it all…

  29. Yoshi Smith says:

    The only problem I encountered with Tubi TV was when there were ads. Occasionally it would restart the movie so I had to manually place it back where the movie left off. Other than that Tubi TV is definitely something I will be using a lot.

    1. Mohsen Kelarestaghi says:

      Love tubi tv, very smart app, low volume when commercials are playing and great choice of movies and it’s free .

  30. Ano says:

    Pretty lame service with the commercials restarting back at “1 of 2” about ten times if you hit the left or right button to skip forward or back a few seconds. Why can’t they just do it the way Hulu did it back before Netflix was even online, back in 2010. Show a two-minute commercial prior to the movie or TV show or give option to have several 20-second interruptions.

  31. Lisa Mansavage says:

    Like it, but way, way too many ads in between movie. Very distracting!!!

  32. K Seniuk says:

    Tubi TV is an ok service. I think I’d be willing to pay for it (under $10 a month) just to avoid the commercials… and why are they the same commercials over and over… makes me not want to buy the product. Not very smart marketing.

  33. A Baker says:

    Never could get the movie to play past the beginning credits. Crashed 3 times. Back to Netflix.

  34. PFC Smuckatelli says:

    Yep, too many commercials for me also. And to make matters worse it’s the same commercial over and over and over and over… Bye bye Tubi.

  35. Jennifer says:

    Dude its free!!! Whats wrong with you people? Commercials are paying for the free movies, come on dammit.

  36. Sue says:

    Seems pretty good so far, apart from the fact that the subtitles on the German film I watched were a) 50% absent and b) absolutely tiny. Good is I’m trying to improve my Germans skills! Other than that, not bad for a free service.

  37. Derek Washuck says:

    Tubi is garbage. The head of the company says 5 mins of commercials every 30 mins, try 5 mins of commercials every 10 mins. That’s 12 times every 2 hour movie, and there should be only 4 by what they said! So screw these liers! I would rather pay for Netflix, fiber optic high speed internet, satellite, high definition TV, and PlayStation Vue/Xbox Live!

  38. Mags says:

    What the hey! I started watching TubiTV this week and only seen 1 ad while watching my first movie then the next day maybe 2 ads tops. Today 5 before the movie started, 2 minutes later 3, 2 minutes 4! If that happens tomorrow I’m gone!

  39. Rod says:

    Watched one movie so far, 2 minutes of ads in the beginning and then a 30-second ad every 30 minutes. It was an older movie, I imagine newer movies will have more ads. No buffering issues with my Fire Stick.

  40. Wendy says:

    Really like Tubi! Yes there’s commercials, yes they’re repetitive (sometimes 5 of the same ad in a row). But otherwise it’s free, so I’m happy to deal with the commercials. Gives me a minute to stand up, stretch, run to the kitchen or bathroom. Cable TV charges a monthly fee and there’s ads. I remember when having cable meant no ads. Good selection of movies. Works just fine with my Roku 3. No buffering or anything else (let me not be jinxing myself).

  41. Gabrielle says:

    Great shows and movies, commercials are very short and entertaining. In the beginning the commercials would load very loud. Perhaps someone complained to the FCC about the volume of the commercials because as of late they been on a normal if not lower volume than the program you’re watching. It’s way better thank Crackle which loads the same one commercial at extremely loud volume, and doesn’t load correctly on Roku 3.

  42. Brenda says:

    Tubi TV and Crackle have way too many ads! They need to take a lesson from the free Roku Channel which has ads that you hardly notice. One ad at a time and very very short!

  43. Old Or says:

    I’m not clear on when you get to watch C free and when you have to watch with commercials. Which, by the way, ARE TOTALLY ANNOYING WHEN THEY SHOW THE SAME ONE OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER… What are they thinking? Maybe one day we will have to CHOOSE the commercials we have to watch to keep watching our shows.

  44. Michelle says:

    The number of commercials must depend on what you are watching. I’ve watched a couple of older Australian TV shows on Tubi (City Homicide & Packed to the Rafters) and they had very few ads, sometimes only a couple at the beginning of the episode and none during. Tubi only had the first 3 seasons of Packed to the Rafters so now I’m watching the rest on a free trial of Hulu (supposedly with limited commercials) and the number of ads is completely ridiculous for a paid service. There are several mostly older British/Australian shows on Hulu I’d like to watch but with the amount of commercials so far, I’d rather stick with Tubi or buy DVDs.

    1. des says:

      I agree with you

  45. Jim says:

    Finally a great reason to CANCEL Netflix! I could care less about commercials, if I don’t have to pay that’s fine by me. I was blown away by the extensive content. My biggest complaint about Netflix is they divide half their content up into discs and streaming, so you have to pay twice to get the entire library. Rip off. And we all know how often they add new content to the streaming part. like… NEVER! I mean I could literally sign back on to Netflix (not that I will again) in 5 years and it will have the same movies streaming as it does now. Bye Bye Netsux!

  46. Darrell says:

    Hmmm. Seems my Tubi experience is a little different than the bulk of the reviewers. I’ve now watched a couple short films, and three regular length movies (1.5 hours +/- a bit). I’ve seen a total of one 15 second commercial for coke (“Nailed it!”) about twice per hour of watching. That’s it. Perhaps living in Canada gives me some advantage if the ads are doled out regionally…

    Interface on my iPhone was OK. Not so great on the website. There’s no real sense of a home space – you are dumped into your “queue” or your “continue watching” space, which includes every movie you’ve watched up until the closing credits! There are also so many movies in my continue watching page because just clicking on a movie to see what its about seems to start it playing. Then you have to manually remove the movie from your history to get rid of it. They definitely need to work on their online interface. You expect this limited interface control on a mobile device, but not on the website.

    I live in the country, with a slower streaming service. Don’t know how Netflix achieves it, but its handling of streaming limitations is superior to Tubi (which is to be expected). I had movies stall quite often on the website location. Or the sound would continue but the picture would freeze. I also tried watching a movie across several platforms. It would sync to the correct place in the movie only about half the time. Oh, another pet peeve: on the mobile service the captions default to “on” for some reason – and will turn themselves on after each commercial, or after each time you pause or stop watching and then go back to the show for any reason. That got kind of annoying.

    All in all I thought the service is adequate for the price, but could certainly benefit from improvements. Not a Netflix replacer, but as a free service it certainly complements the paid streaming subscription services.

  47. christopher kowalski says:

    Most of Tubi’s movies are just plain bad…The only feature l enjoyed was “SHACKLETONS CAPTAIN” ,a documentary based movie that was really good and well done…The good thing is that Tubi is free but most of the movies are the ones nobody else will feature. They are sub rate with unknown cast members…l’ve started to watch many movies only to delete after only 10 minutes of viewing because they are just so lame…With that said l don’t find Netflix much better… I’m a movie buff but get fatigued scrolling through movie after movie trying to find quality entertainment…Sometimes l have to wonder how these movies ever get financing in the first place…

  48. Desert Guy says:

    How do I stop auto play where another movie starts automatically after I’m finished watching a movie. I am getting tired of seeing the same movie over and over again after I’m finished watching a movie I’ve chosen.

  49. Joy B says:

    I finally cut the cable cord earlier this year. We have a smart tv, and subscriptions with Hulu+, Amazon and Netflix, but i LOVE TUBI. There are so many movies that I like, many classic hollywood, golden age era movies. Some lesser known but i have enjoyed. I have not watched any shows, so only have the movie experience. I don’t find the commercials troublesome at all. .. Hey this is free stuff, and to me, a lot of choices on movies that i like. I always have a huge que of things to watch next.

  50. Jus post says:

    Choices of movies area ok. Some top box office, mostly B movies I’m never going to be interested in. Commercials are unpredictable with occasionally only one, most times two or three and even I’ve experienced several minutes of breaks. Constantly fighting jumps of up to two minutes of lost movie time where I have to stop and set the movie back. Almost doesn’t seem worth the hassles free brings when you’re constantly fighting with jumps in play and the long commercials.

  51. Valerie says:

    The movies are wonderful but the commercials freeze and if you go back they start again, over and over again until you give up and leave without watching to the he conclusion of the movie. Not worth the frustration when there are so many free sites out there!!!!!!!

  52. des says:

    Tubi Tv is great. I actually enjoy it. I could finish one of my favorite series called “wolf blood” than to Tubi Tv. I LOVE IT

  53. Dorothy McCaleb says:

    I absolutely love TUBI!!! I love watching cooking programs that are not competitions and TUBI has them! Thank you!!!

  54. Steve says:

    I watch Tubi on my tablet, and I really like it. Sometimes there’s a problem loading a movie with the app. If that happens, I go to the website. I guess I have a really good ad blocker. I’ve never seen an ad. acommercial.

  55. Dawn Sutherland says:

    I won’t watch a channel or app that shows me ads in any language other than English. When I went to Germany I spoke German, spoke French in France, now I’m in America so I speak ENGLISH!

  56. m rugs says:

    Tubi tv signed me up, took my information, changed my browser and who knows what else, and then I couldn’t even play the movie that was advertised as “free”. Tubi tv = terrible.

  57. Matt says:

    Tubi tv puts extra junk on your device. It changed my browser, and then the movie I wanted to watch “”for free”, was not available at all.

  58. Lloyd says:

    I am having a buffer problem. The videos keep starting and stopping. I don’t have this problem with Netflix or Crackle. I am using wifi, but I don’t think that is the problem. Tubi does not seem to offer any kind of customer service. I guess I’ll just stay with Netflix.

  59. jayefromjersey says:

    I found this site by watching something on my regular tv station on demand and thought I would check it out. I am so glad that I did. The choices are phenomenal! I absolutely love the movies! As an African American I have foundit difficult to find black movies. The movies are so good! And as far as commericals all networks have them, I did not find any more on this station than the norm. Actually seems to be fewer and they do not last long at all. It is a relaxing change to have tubi now.

  60. M says:

    Tubi freezes up on me most of the time….Not impressed….

  61. Judi Online says:

    Great article, thank you so much for sharing

    1. Stephen Lovely says:

      Thank you for reading!

  62. Robert says:

    The commercials volume is so loud it ridiculous!! I dont use this app anymore just for that reason

  63. Pat hunt says:

    There are many technical difficulties viewing movies, hopefully, this review is read and needed changes are addressed. The movies are continually playing back scenes , additionally, skipping segments of the viewed movie. This is more than frustrating. Unfortunately, we cannot contact Tubi for direct comments and for troubleshooting.

  64. Anonymous@yahoo.com says:

    Most bootleg movies ever,horrible sound and quality,too many ads and don’t rewind or or fast forward or you’ll really have to deal with them. Not worth it. Just pay the few bucks with Hulu or something!

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