Stremio is a sprawling nexus where you can find any video content, no matter what platform it originally aired on. Movies, web channels, YouTubers, TV shows, live news, Twitch.tv - it's all under one roof.
Everything in one place
It's like a grocery store for video.
The success of streaming services like Netflix has caught on like wildfire, and now everybody else wants to do it too. There's Netflix, Hulu, YouTube TV, Sling, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Now, Apple TV, ... the list goes on. Unless you're willing to shell out hundreds of dollars a month, there's no way you can subscribe to all of them at once. Sorting through them is equally irksome. If you're tired of hunting through paid subscription services to find a needle in a haystack, Stremio is about to make your life much easier.
Stremio is a free app for Android that has practically any video content you can think of. Whether it's an old Western, a Twitch Streamer, an opera, or a romantic comedy you'll be able to find it immediately by typing it in the search portal. It's like a grocery store for video. Using the search bar you can look for specific films or TV shows, or you can just type a genre or a channel for a list of choices. Picking an item tells you a synopsis, the genre, cast, director, run time, release date, and the IMDB score. There's often even a trailer. The right rail lists any service on which the content is available. It might be a dozen different platforms, it might be just one. Either way, you can access via that platform with a simple click.
The obvious caveat is that you still won't be able to watch any of this for free (unless it was free already like something you'd find on YouTube). As such you'll still need to rent whatever it is you want to watch, and/or sign in to whichever viewing platform you selected, clients such as FandangoNOW, YouTube, Amazon Video or Google Play Movies. You'll need to walk through the mildly irksome rigmarole of stringing your Stremio account through Google Chrome, but it's worth it; you inevitably saved time searching through various subscription services, and got to compare prices to boot.
Another cozy feature with Stremio is that you can use it to build your own library of favorite movies and TV shows. Doing so is as simple as hitting "add to library" on a movie or channel page. You can then access your library at any time, and can pick up right where you left off or manage your favorite series. There's even calendar function that keeps track of upcoming release dates for movies, or available streams from your favorite Twitch celebrities. When an episode airs Stremio looks over the network for a stream source, automatically notifying you once it becomes available.
Where can you run this program?
Stremio runs on Android, MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Linux.
Is there a better alternative?
The most obvious comparison to Stremio would be other cross-platform media services like Plex or Kodi, two platforms from which Stremio has openly drawn inspiration. Like Stremio, Kodi and Plex let users stream movies, shows, live TV, Twitch, YouTube, and the like. While Stremio installs add-ons online and ties them to your Stremio account, Kodi installs them locally, which means it won't be available should you choose to link your account to other devices. With Kodi you're also required to look up your add-ons manually. Stremio lets you install whichever one you need with a single click, and is generally a more intuitive platform.
While Stremio is easier to use, Kodi is much more versatile. There are hundreds of third-party add-ons available with Kodi, and as a result it's a far more customizable experience. Kodi also has skins and themes to choose from, a small perk that we were only mildly disappointed to see lacking in Stremio. We mentioned that Stremio took inspiration from contemporaries like Kodi and Plex, but it set out a different goal to begin with: Stremio is targeted more towards towards entertainment video and becoming a mainstream solution for easy viewing, while Plex and Kodi are more about familiarity and personalization. As a result Stremio will never be as customizable boast as many features as Kodi, but it's much quicker to learn how to use.
Our biggest complaints about Stremio are not based on features lacking in Plex or Kodi. Rather they're more about the often frustrating number of roadblocks between user and content. Trying to open YouTube links or clicking on recommended videos will often bring up a message that reads "error retrieving information about this." Over the course of five minutes we ran into that same message at least six times, each time related to different content. These error messages are automatically sent to the dev team (and they must get a ton of these daily). Streaming TV shows will undoubtedly require downloading extra add-ons, as very little works smoothly from the get-go. Logging in via Facebook can also be touchy, and will probably take a few attempts before it works the way it's supposed to. We ended up just creating a direct account with Stremio instead.
The best thing about Stremio is that it doesn't replace services like Hulu, Amazon Prime, or Netflix.
For that we are grateful; the last thing we need is yet another service we have to pay for. Instead Stremio is a free hub service that enhances the HTPC experience. It makes it much easier to find the title you're looking for, and it's an awesome umbrella under which you can connect to whichever services you are subscribed to. Whether you'll find Stremio useful depends largely on how varied your interests (and their related content publishers) are.
Should you download it?
Yes! We think Stremio is an amazing app. It's legal, isn't going to tax your device, and it runs smoothly. If it turns out you don't agree, you didn't spend a penny on it!