Is Pluto TV Right for You?

If you’re exploring your streaming options, you’ll undoubtedly come across Pluto TV as one of the most popular free choices.  First launched in 2014 and purchased by Viacom in 2019, Pluto TV is a free streaming service that features 200+ channels. While Pluto is popular and free, be sure to review the full channels and details about the platform to ensure it’s right for your streaming lineup. 

Pluto TV Review

1 Ratings(s)

Free and useful in a pinch

While Pluto TV is free, it doesn’t provide a direct replacement for cable service due to its lack of traditional channels and entertainment options.*

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What are people saying about Pluto TV?

"Pluto TV, a free live TV service, offers enough programming to be useful in a pinch, but you won't get many premium entertainment, news, and sports channels, let alone extra capabilities." - Ben Moore, PCMag

"Instead of ditching traditional cable channels for internet streams or vice-versa, Pluto TV mashes them together - giving you hundreds of channels of content you can flip through without having to drop a single dime of your own money." - Nick Pino, TechRadar

"It may lack the high-quality channels and on-demand content that signing up for a subscription to a premium video streaming service guarantees, but it still offers viewers an impressive range of entertainment." - Rob Latham,

*Disclaimer:  Streaming service ratings are calculated as an average from authoritative sources around the web.  The views and options expressed do not necessarily reflect the official views of SmartMove.

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What do you need to get Pluto TV?

Pluto TV can be accessed through a variety of apps including smart TVs, streaming devices, mobile apps and desktop apps.  Pluto can also be watched directly on any web browser.  As with many other streaming services, all you need is an Internet connection and you’re ready to watch with Pluto TV.

What do you get with Pluto TV?

Pluto TV is not a complete replacement for the top streaming services as it is missing many top channels.  Due to the partnership with Viacom, Pluto TV has started to offer noteworthy content such as A&E Networks, CNN, Showtime, Comedy Central, and BET.  Overall, Pluto TV is organized by content type that feature a mix of major nationwide channels and Pluto-branded channels.  These categories include:
  • Movies – Included a large number of Pluto TV branded channels as well as the Paramount Movie Channel.
  • Entertainment – Features premier channels like Showtime, TV Land, and AMC as well as classic favorites like Degrassi, Star Trek, and The Price is Right.
  • News + Opinion – Get your news from major channels like CBSN, CNN, NBC News, Sky News, and Bloomberg Television.
  • Reality – Includes content from MTV, Spike and VH1.
  • Crime – Watch all your favorite crime shows like CSI, Cops, and the Forensic Files
  • Comedy – TV Land Sitcoms and Comedy Central content highlight the comedy offerings.
  • Classic TV -  All your old favorites from Happy Days to The Addams Family.
  • Home + DIY – Includes American’s Test Kitchen and a number of Pluto TV branded channels.
  • Sports – Watch your favorite sports from CBS Sports, Fox Sports, the NFL Channel, Major League Soccer, and more!
  • Gaming + Anime – All your favorite gaming content from IGN.
  • Music – Music from MTV, Vevo, and Hillsong
  • Latino – 20+ Spanish language channels
  • Kids – Content for your kids from Nick and Nick Jr.
  • Local – CBSN from a variety of major cities across America.

What channels are on Pluto TV?

Pluto TV is a free streaming service with 250+ channels that offers you the ability to watch movies, live programming, and even your favorite television shows without paying one cent. However, which of the Pluto TV channels should you start out on?
  • Stories by AMC (135)
  • NFL Channel (708)
  • CBS News Channel (204)
  • Hell’s Kitchen Channel (294)
  • Survivor Channel (296)
  • Showtime Selects Channel (127)
  • Among many more! See their updated channel list here.

How is Pluto TV different than a traditional streaming service?

Pluto TV is completely free.  You don’t need to register, create a login, or provide any credit card information to start watching.  However, you’ll have to watch a few ads during your programming with a typical 30-minute show including four commercial breaks.  Creating an account unlocks special features like favorite channels and the ability to resume watching across devices. 


How does Pluto TV compare?

See how Pluto TV compares to the top streaming services with SmartMove's Streaming Service Comparison Table here!

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Pluto TV Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get Pluto on my TV?
If you’re on Roku, you’ll need to download the Pluto TV app.  If you’re using a streaming device such as a Firestick or a mobile device, check the app store to find the Pluto TV app. 
What are the best Pluto TV Channels?

According to various lists, the top 5 best channels on Pluto TV are:

  1. Star Trek - Channel 150
  2. Stories by AMC – Channel 135
  3. Degrassi - Channel 144
  4. CBS News – Channel 204
  5. Hell’s Kitchen - Channel 294
Is Pluto TV really free?
Yes, but it does have ads.
Does Pluto TV have viruses?
No, but it does have several security flaws, namely attached bloatware. Make sure that if you download Pluto TV, you pay close attention to the installation and opt out of unnecessary add ons.
Does Pluto TV use data?
No. It relies on an internet connection.
How much Internet does Pluto TV use?
You need an internet connection that has a speed of at least 3 mbps to watch Pluto TV. If you have several people sharing the internet connection and streaming video, you will need up to 7 mbps of bandwidth.
Who owns Pluto TV?
ViacomCBS currently owns and operates the free streaming service.
Does Pluto TV have ads?
Yes, this is how the streaming service is able to keep their content free.