This quirky new video service streams cult classics, schlocky gems, and more for free


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Ever wish you could watch the Weird Al Show again? A new streaming service called ShoutFactoryTV is bringing the cult classic and several others to smartphones, set-top boxes, and the web.

ShoutFactory’s library isn’t huge, and much of it’s forgettable, but dig around and you’ll find a few gems, including old Jackie Chan films, episodes of Abbott & Costello, and some classic Twilight Zone. The service also includes plenty of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (and a fair share of B-movies with no parody attached).

Much of ShoutFactory’s content is also available on Hulu, and the site’s media player actually has Hulu branding on it. But the company says it owns the rights to all of its video, and is licensing much of its content to Hulu. (Prior to launching the streaming service, ShoutFactory distributed its videos through DVD and on-demand channels.)

In any event, ShoutFactoryTV is free and ad-supported on all platforms, including phones and tablets (through any web browser) and set-top boxes (just Roku for now, though a promo video hints at a future Xbox version). By comparison, Hulu requires a Hulu Plus subscription for mobile and TV access.

Why this matters: ShoutFactoryTV is just one of several ad-supported streaming services that you can watch through your television, joining other efforts like Crackle, PopcornFlix and channel-specific offerings. While none of them are going to fulfill all your needs on their own, it’s always good to see the patchwork grow a little larger—especially if you’re thinking about cutting the cable TV cord.

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