Can I Stream It? – The TV Guide For Cable Cutters

A few years ago, my wife and I took the plunge to “cut the cord” on cable television. We just weren’t watching enough TV to justify paying for it, and we wanted to see if we could do without it. So we decided to go the streaming route where we would get our TV shows through Hulu Plus and Netflix, and our movies through Amazon, Netflix, and iTunes. To this day, we are glad that we have made the choice to do this.

But, one of the things that we have always had a hard time with is figuring out where and when a movie or show is streaming. For example, sometimes a TV show is on Hulu Plus, but not on Netflix, or a movie is available on iTunes, but not on Amazon or Netflix. A part of me wishes that all the different services would release shows and movies at the same time, but we know that is a pipe dream.

That’d leave you with the arduous task of searching between all the services, if it weren’t for a new app: Can I Stream It?.This web app takes the headache of trying to figure out what is playing on what service, and I have really liked using it. Here’s why.

Can I Stream It?

Can I Stream It is designed just to help you figure out whether something is available to stream or not. You can search for both movies and TV shows on all of the popular streaming services from their search box. From there, the app finds the movie or show and gives you a synopsis of it as well as its availability on different services.

Synopsis of movie search

Synopsis of movie search

Then, you can see not only if the movie is avilible for streaming or rental, but also if it’s available for purchase as a digital download or DVD/Blu-ray. is that not only can you see whether a movie is available for streaming, but you can also see if it is out in other types of viewing. You’ll see the price right under the service, so you can even decide which option is the most economical for you, and then rent or buy the movie (or order it on physical media) just with a click on the service’s icon.

Services that you can check on

Services that you can check on

Other Features

One other feature that was really nice to see was the reminder feature. Sometimes a movie is not out for the service that you prefer to watch or rent it on, so you can instead set a reminder for when the show comes out on it. The main thing for this feature is that you have to set up an account with Can I Stream It? so that it can remind you in the future. That way, if you only want to rent a movie on iTunes, but not purchase it, you could get a reminder when it’s ready for rental.

Media reminders for the services that you select

Media reminders for the services that you select

Another feature is that it has a separate Chrome web app that is handy to have. Instead of having to open up the website every time you want to search for a movie, you can just click on the Chrome extension icon and the search box comes up in a window. You have all of the same functionality that I mention above, but just in a more compact, mobile-style space.

Chrome web app version

Chrome web app version

Social Features

There are a few social features in this web app as well. You can share your movie selection – including the streaming or purchase options – to Facebook and a variety of other social networking sites using their share button. You can also get a link for your search, as well as embedding code to post on your website if you choose. It seems as if this feature is geared for those that are movie bloggers.

Sharing my search to Facebook

Sharing my search to Facebook

I would love to see more social features, as I think that not only can this be a good service to check on the availability of movies and shows, but also a good platform to interact with others. I would love to have the ability to interact and to see what people are searching and streaming. It would be nice if you could rate movies and shows as well. For me at least, I tend to make my decisions off of people recommending something to me, and this would be a good way to do that.

It Has The Potential

Overall, I really like the functionality of Can I Stream It? and I believe it has great potential. Of course their one killer feature is that it is your one stop shop to see how you can access a specific movie or TV show. But, I think it can be more than just that, and that over time I would love to see them build in some social features.

The one thing that I was not a fan of was all of the ads that they had on their site. Although they were strategically placed and very relevant to the content, it was still annoying. It would be nice if they could find a way to find a different revenue stream other than the ads. It’s not that they were intrusive, in my opinion, they just dragged down the quality of the site. Here you have a decently looking site that has some good features and to me, the ads bring down the quality.

On another related note, Can I Stream It? also have a slew of mobile apps for just about every platform out there, and I tested the iPad one out and really liked it. If you are like me and have started to watch less cable television and are streaming more of your shows, you have got to check this slick web app out.


Summary

Check to see the availability of a movie or tv show on a variety of services with Can I Stream It? Terribly useful and nicely put together, but ads bring down the design of an otherwise great service.

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