Vizio has launched a new streaming service called WatchFree. It provides access to over 100 linear channels for free with ads.
The service is being launched in partnership with Pluto TV and gives users living in the US free access, with ads, to TV channels without a cable TV box.
- “With the TV landscape continuously evolving, we’re excited to offer consumers a comprehensive entertainment solution packed with free and unlimited content offerings,” said Bill Baxter, Chief Technology Officer, VIZIO. “Powered by Pluto TV, WatchFree is a next-generation streaming service with an easy-to-navigate, cable-like interface that delivers creative and thoughtful content selections.”
Vizio says that the WatchFree service offers access to news, sports, movies, TV shows, and other types of programs found on the included TV channels such as Fox Sports, NBC News/MSNBC, Pluto TV Movies, Action Movies, Black Cinema, News 24/7, Frontdoor, Cats 24/7, Crime Network, MST3K, and The Surf Channel.
Rather than an app, the service can be found on its own dedicated input by pressing the input button on the remote control. It is possible to remove, if you are uninterested in using it.
At this point in time, it is not clear whether Vizio has plans to collect user data for retargeted ads when you are using the service. In 2017, Roku launched a similar initiative with its Roku Channel focusing primarily on movies and has made it clear that it is collecting lots of user data in order to make its TV platform a “next-generation ad platform”. Whenever a TV service is free, there is reason to be extra cautious, if you value privacy.
The WatchFree service is rolling out now and will be “available on nearly all VIZIO SmartCast TVs”.
Vizio WatchFree – full channel list
11 70’s 80’s 90’s Action Movies Adventure TV Anime All Day Awesomeness TV Big Sky Conference Black Cinema Bloomberg TV Business News 24/7 Cats 24/7 Cheddar Classic Movies Classic TV Clevver CNBC CNET Cool Cracked Dash 1 Dash Alternative Dash Indie Discover Docu TV Doggystyle DramaFever Electro City Euphoria FailArmy Fight Flicks of Fury Food TV FOX Sports Frontdoor Fuego Geek & Sundry Glory Kickboxing HIVE IGN IMPACT Wrestling Internet Gold JASH La Isla LittleThings Live Music Replay Loud Love Songs Main Stage Man Up MinecrafTV Monstercat Monstercat Moonlight Mystery Science Theater 3000 NASA TV NatureVision NBC News - MSNBC Nerdist New Detectives News 24/7 Newsmax Nosey People TV Pluto TV Cars Pluto TV Her Pluto TV Movies Pluto TV Movies 2 Pluto TV Sports Popsugar Pure Soul Ratpack Red Cup Reggae King Rifftrax Science TV Shout! TV Sky News Slow TV Sports News Stadium StandUp TV Subdustrial The Bridge The City The Cross The Feed The Oldies The Onion The Strip The Surf Channel The Young Turks Network Today’s Top Story Top Stories by Newsy Vibes What the Funk WHAT?! Wipeout World Poker Tour Xive TV Y2K