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Cutting Cable Made Easy: 3 Sites for Better Searching & Browsing of Instant Streaming Services

Searching Streaming Sites like Amazon and Netflix

Many guys are ditching cable these days in favor of other content delivery options, and rightfully so. Cable offerings are an antiquated way of finding and paying for entertainment. There’s a huge markup of content, most of which is never watched but a required part of the bundle. Say what you will though, cable does have one advantage over the new methods: channel surfing.

For all the amazing improvements services like Netflix and Amazon Instant have brought to streaming movies and TV shows on the web, there has been one consistent, glaringly painful problem. There isn’t a very useful way of browsing and searching for programs to watch.

There are several sites out there, but we’ve found three that make finding and discovering (good) content much easier.

Finding

CanIStream.It is a search engine for streaming. Type in the movie or TV show you’re looking for, and it brings up a profile, listing your options for viewing it. These include instant streaming options from the major players like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and others, as well as streaming rentals and places to make a digital purchase. A one-stop-shop for finding out if a program is available on the services you use.

Browsing

All streaming services lack a good way to browse available content, and few offer a full list. The Stream Me Up feature at WatchItStream.com is a random movie and TV show finder that presents you with a title and description with ways to watch. If it’s not your thing, there are Pandora-style options for ditching, saving, and modifying the engine’s options.

A smart option for finding the good stuff amongst the 40 year old sitcoms is the Netflix finder at the crowd-sourced ratings site Rotten Tomatoes. You can adjust the acceptable average review, release date, genre, age rating, and even search by actors and directors involved.

The classic Instantwatcher.com is still useful, but less so than the others. It appears to have been designed in 1995, which makes user-interaction difficult.

Do you have a smart way to find good things to watch on streaming services? Support the content revolution and share them with the rest of us in the comments!

 

About

Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page.

  • Hockeyguy1

    The only reason I keep cable is live sports. Anyone have a solution where the feed isn’t horrible?

    • Noob

      MLB and NBA both offer streaming services you can watch on your computer or through your blu ray player. The NFL locks up the broadcast rights to games, so if you’re a football fan, you’ll have to settle for whoever is playing Sunday on the over the air broadcast channels.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dtbrown101 Dylan Brown

        Well, to be fair, the MLB streaming service is terrific and incredible and a tremendous bargain…except that they black out local games. So if your favorite team is NOT the one that is closest to your home, the At Bat is a killer deal…I find this is rarely the case though.

        I know you can get an NFL Sunday Ticket for something like $200 a season and watch it on most video game consoles, but I’m not sure if they do the same thing with local games.

        • http://www.facebook.com/tom.wilkins Tom Wilkins

          You can pay for a program called hidemyass. My friend has the MLB package and hidemyass allows you to set your location. That way he is able to watch local games.

      • Eric

        Im an MLB and NHL fan, both offer streaming thru a subscription. Its killer. I found not being hooked to ESPN has been one the the best things I did for my life. I used to watch it 3-4 hours a day. Now that I don’t I realize what a waste of life that is. Who cares what a bunch of overpaid babies are doing. Join a softball, bowling, soccer league around you. Its so much more gratifying.
        If football is your sport you follow, its only 16 games a year, go to a local bar. Its more fun there anyway.

    • Lita Schule

      I would like to find a solution for watching soccer matches, preferably something that I could stream via my web ready TV or PS3. Any soccer fans have any luck with this? It would be my only reason for buying cable, and the soccer channels aren’t available with basic…

      • Angel Velazquez

        I don’t have cable, but I watch all of my soccer games via thefirstrow.eu
        Downside is that it tends to be very laggy, and there’s a medium risk of viruses

    • martylane

      I’ve been happy with ESPN3 for college football. If your game is on ESPN, or ESPN2 it is often blacked out on ESPN3. But if your team sucks like mine does, their games never make it to ESPN of the Deuce, anyway.

    • MoPep

      http://gofirstrowus.eu/ I would use an adblocker if I were you, their ads are horrendous.

  • martylane

    Along with streaming sites, don’t overlook Window Media Center. You’ll need an appropriate PC (often called a “home theater pc” or HTPC), a usb tv tuner or tv tuner card, and an antenna. The free HD signal an antenna receives is better quality than the HD signal over cable. WMC has a browseable channel schedule like cable, and you can record broadcasts ahead of time. WMC will even display a lineup of upcoming movie broadcast you can record. This service, along with the streaming sites makes it even easier to cut the cable.

    • http://www.facebook.com/tom.wilkins Tom Wilkins

      Also check out XBMC. great interface for the HTPC. I am using my computer that i built 6 years ago with this.

      If you want to walk on the illegal side, Look into use usenet account with SABnzb+ and sickbeard. Sickbeard uses usenet to automatically download any tv shows after they air.

  • Ricardo

    I killed my cable almost 3 years ago, and haven’t missed it yet. Between Netflix, Hulu+, the free videos that come with Amazon Prime, and the free movies from Crackle, I have a hard time keeping up with all the things I want to see!

    I catch sports and watch the news on my TV via digital rabbit ears. Mind you, they don;t get everything, but it never really bothers me after I consider the $800+ annually I used to pay for cable.

  • Guest

    This is Bradley, one of the founders of WatchItStream.com. Thanks for the write up. If there’s anything that you would like to see improved on the site, just drop us an email.

  • http://twitter.com/WatchItStream Watch It Stream

    This is Bradley, one of the founders of WatchItStream.com. Thanks for the write up. If there’s anything that you would like to see improved on the site, just drop us an email or send us a tweet.

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