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Where to watch free films and TV online

Watching films and TV shows online can be cheap and convenient, but you could be breaking the law if you use dodgy websites. Here's where you can watch TV and films for free.

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Can you watch free films and TV online?

Yes, hundreds of sites let you download or stream your favourite programmes for little or no charge, so you have plenty of options.

However, many of these sites could be breaking intellectual property laws that protect the media industry from people distributing their work without permission.

Stream a film from an illegal source and you could receive a warning letter from your service provider, and even face your internet speed being clipped or blocked completely.

Films are only protected by copyright for a certain period of time, depending on when and where it was originally published and the country in which you live:

    If a film or TV show is still protected by copyright, then the website must have permission to distribute it.

    GOV.UK's guide to UK copyright law

    Where can you stream video online?

    If you're struggling to find the movie or TV programme you want to watch online, you can search for it using a search engine like FindAnyFilm.com, which lists the cheapest places to watch films and TV shows online legally.

    This means you can quickly find if there is a free stream available, or if you will have to pay to watch your film online.

    The Industry Trust website also includes links to legitimate streaming websites

    Other sites to try

    There are several legal websites that let you stream series and films for free:

      Here are the best ways to watch TV and films for less

      TV on demand

      One of the best and easiest ways to watch TV and films online for free is to use the on demand services run by the major UK TV channels.

      Each allows you to stream copyright protected content for free without breaking the law.

      However, the main catch with TV on demand services is that movies and shows are only available for a limited time after their original broadcast.

      BBC iPlayer

      The most well known catch up TV service, BBC iPlayer allows you to catch up on a variety of TV shows and films previously broadcast on any of the freeview BBC channels.

      It also has a series catch up feature, which means you can watch all the previous episodes of some TV shows online for free.

      BBC iPlayer is funded through the TV licence, so you will need a valid licence to stream shows or films.

      BBC iPlayer

      ITV Player, 4OD & Demand Five

      ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 all operate catch up TV services which can be viewed for free online.

      The main difference between the other TV on demand services and BBC iPlayer is that they are partially funded by advertisements, embedded in the programmes just like the TV channels themselves.

      ITV Player

      Channel 4's On Demand service

      Channel 5's Demand 5 service

      Pay for sites

      If you cannot find the film or TV show you want to watch or would like to choose from a more extensive list, then you may need to pay to view it online.

      Many pay to view sites also offer free trials or welcome credits, so you may be able to watch for free and then cancel before having to pay a subscription fee.

      Visit Get It Right From A Genuine Site for more details

      Amazon Instant Video

      Amazon's Instant Video service allows you to pay to rent or buy thousands of TV shows and films online.

      Alternatively, an Amazon Prime membership includes more than 15,000 TV episodes and movies as part of the annual subscription.

      Is Amazon Prime worth it?

      Amazon Instant Video

      Netflix

      Netflix also offers a wide range of films and television programmes available to stream if you pay a monthly subscription.

      Netflix

      NOW TV

      NOW TV offers thousands of movies and TV shows that you can stream on your laptop, TV, tablet, phone or console.

      You can pay a monthly subscription to watch sports, movies or entertainment.

      NOW TV

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