One of the main attractions offered by a Smart TV is the integration in the TV menu of applications that facilitate our access to certain services of a very different nature, like what happens on mobile phones. and tablets. They simplify access so that you don’t have to do it from a classic web browser and offer an interface adapted to the dimensions of the screen.
Among all the categories that can be found in the application stores of each operating system, those that allow you to watch films, series and various videos stand out, whether in streaming or locally, and especially ones that do it for free, like which we’ll discuss below.
Plex is an application with which you can turn your computer into a multimedia center which you can access from the television and which is able to recognize most of the files that you have stored locally on a computer, NAS or similar. It is compatible with almost all current audio and video formats and allows you to organize your folder by videos, photos and music, encrypts connections if you connect remotely and allows you to connect to other online channels such than TED, Comedy Central or SoundCloud.
When you set it up, you can access your files from any device. To do this, you must first install the Plex Media Server application on the computer where you have the media files you want to use, then the Plex client on your television, being a cross-platform software compatible with models with Andorid TV, LG TVs with WebOS, Panasonic with Firefox OS, Samsung models with Tizen OS and Hisense with VIDAA.
More information | Complex
It is another of those applications to display multimedia content that cannot be missing on any device, especially on television. Kodi is completely modular and you can adapt it to your needs by changing its interface with themes and with a system of add-ons with which to add different types of functionality according to your characteristics and needs.
These add-ons or add-ons allow you, for example, to be able to watch different Internet TV channels on Kodi, view weather forecasts or connect to services such as Plex, SoundCloud or YouTube. There are also others for listening to the radio and accessing some of your cloud storage services. It is compatible with different operating systems on PC and mobile, but its development for TVs is focused on Android TV.
More information | Kodi
RTVE à la carte
Radio Televisión Española has an interesting application that you can not only use to access contemporary programming with your favorite programs whenever you want on the channels of La 1, La 2, Canal 24h, Teledeporte and Playz, but you can also browse the large amount of older content that it offers that has been compiled over the years.
It is present on most of the current platforms, including Android TV or WebOS, although on some it has received interesting updates, as is the case with Samsung televisions, where it has received a significant improvement the last year.
More information | RTVE
VLC Media Player
The legendary VLC Media Player is another one of those apps that needs to be on any list of essentials for any platform. It is a full-featured free media player available for Android TV that lets you play files saved on hard drives, devices, and even network transmission protocols.
Supports most media formats you can find today, including MKV, MP4, AVI, MOV, Ogg, FLAC, TS, M2TS, Wav, and AAC, and codecs are included, no separate downloads. It also plays subtitle files that have been added with the same name as the media file and receives regular updates.
More information | VLC
In October 2020, the international rollout of Pluto TV was announced, a free video-on-demand service that engages on an ad-supported display (AVOD) system with over 40 free channels, no sign-up or subscription required. of any kind.
Access to the service can be done from its own web platform on pluto.tv, but it is also possible to enter through dedicated applications on Apple TV, Android TV, WebOS, Tizen, Amazon Fire TV and operating systems mobiles.
More information | pluto tv
If you are looking for hours of entertainment, YouTube cannot be missing on your TV. This is an app that usually comes pre-installed as standard on most models, giving you access to all sorts of videos, be it music, tutorials or news, as well as your favorite playlists.
Its version for Smart TV is easy to use, with an interface adapted to be easy to use with the TV remote control, option for subtitles and to browse all the channels you have followed with your user account. All this with its free mode with ads or a paid version without ads.
Another detail to keep in mind is that if you also have the YouTube app on your mobile, you can connect to the Android TV app with Chromecast technology, and thus search for the videos you want on your device and send them to television.
More information | Youtube
Rakuten is a movie, series and documentary streaming service where you can choose how you want to consume its content. Either pay a monthly subscription, rent and buy the movies, or watch the content for free, but with ads.
It is available on LG, Panasonic, Hisense, Samsung TVs and models with Android TV, so you can access it from virtually any TV on the market. The subscription costs around €6.99 per month and the price of renting a movie varies from €0.99 to €4.99.
More information | Rakuten
MiTele is Mediaset España’s official app to access content from its group, which includes Telecinco, Cuatro, Factoría de Ficción, Boing, Divinity and Energy. In the app you can watch series and programs on demand such as La que se avecina, Elementary, Gran Hermano or Cuarto Milenio, to name a few.
There is also access to live programming and if you want to see the content without ads you have to subscribe and pay 4 euros per month to get MiTele Plus. It is cross-platform, being available on major operating systems such as LG, Samsung, and Android TV.
More information | My TV
Atresplayer is somewhat similar to MiTele, but this time from distributor Atresmedia, the group that includes the channels Antena 3, La Sexta, Neox, Nova, A3Series, Flooxer, Novelas Nova, KdZ and Mega. In the application you can consult pay-per-view programs and series for free, watch live and it also has an Atresplayer Premium service, with previews and without advertising for 2.99 euros per month.
It is available on Samsung and LG Smart TV systems, as well as manufacturers that use the Android TV operating system. You can also use it on external devices like Google Chromecast, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick or set-top boxes with Android TV.
More information | Atresplayer
Samsung TV Plus
Among the advantages of its smart televisions, Samsung has the TV Plus service, a free entertainment platform accessible from the menu of the main interface of the television offering access to certain channels and generic entertainment programs.
In Spain it has about 40 varied channels with new additions every few months such as Live, Fuel TV, Planeta Junior, Qwest, Rakuten or the most recent Cines Verdi TV channels. Of course, it’s only available on Samsung TVs, so if you have a model from another brand, you won’t be able to use it.
More information | Samsung