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The CW for Windows is a free TV streaming app. This app features the latest episodes from The CW. But, as it turns out, the network produces a wide selection of popular shows like Riverdale, The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and Jane The Virgin.
Still, you don’t have to enter any info other than your Windows ID, your @live.com email address and your password. No credit cards, no lengthy profile creation, and no subscription fees. This is a free app. Once Windows verifies compatibility with your system, you are set.
Sleek and shiny TV watching
The app opens on The CW home page. It’s a dark background with clear, bright images. Three headers: Home, Shows, and Settings run along the top, while the Netflix-style grid lines the rest of the page. Browse TV shows divided by the latest release with one category, Drama Club.
It’s quicker to use the shows tab at the top of the page to find what you want to watch.
As fast as the app feels, it’s a bit wonky to use. There is no right-hand side scroll bar to glide down the page. You have to use the arrow keys to scroll through titles. It’s a counterintuitive approach running counter to the rest of the TV apps.
When you find a show and click on it, the most recent program appears at the top, so you have to scroll down to the bottom to find the older shows. Binge-watching isn’t easy.
The CW app doesn’t offer all the episodes. You’ll find the latest eight, ten, or a dozen episodes, an introduction to each episode, and the airing date. To get older episodes, you will still need to turn to another TV-streaming service because you won’t find them here. The CW app only carries the most recent programming.
Bonus content and special features
This app does have a nice perk. You will find heaps of extra content for most of the shows. Some programs involve multiple bonus features like behind-the-scenes filming and celebrity interviews. You can watch upcoming previews and one-of-a-kind extras featuring stars from your favorite shows.
It’s a fun twist that could make the program worth it for the most TV-obsessed.
When you love a program and you don’t want to miss a thing, you can set reminders. Never again will you forget your favorite shows. Sign up for push notifications. You’ll receive a nudge when the show is going to air so you can clear your calendar, grab your popcorn, and tune in.
For The CW all the time, you can access The CW Seed from The CW app. It’s found at the bottom of the home page.
The CW Seed is all-original digital content only appearing on the app. Shows like Secret Circle, Everybody Hates Chris, DC’s Constantine: City of Demons, and all the episodes from Whose Line is it Anyway? are a few of the shows you can find. It’s convenient cross-network access.
Where can you run this program?
You can use the CW app on your Windows computer using Windows version 10 or higher to run the app.
Is there a better alternative?
Some TV networks, like ABC and ABC Family and NBC offer free TV like The CW. But these other networks make you wait days or up to a week (or more) before new segments air. The Cartoon Network offers cartoons all day, every day but like The CW, it’s free.
Other networks have some locked content so you can’t sit and watch what you want without entering in subscription details from your TV provider. It’s an annoyance happily missing from the app. The CW still comes out ahead.
It is different from other more familiar subscription programs like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. The TV-streaming platforms are premium apps, but they do allow access to far more programs and sticks to one thing but it does it well.
In some cases, you’ll find overlap between shows so you can watch the older seasons of your favorites. If you can’t stand the wait, or you are into a show that isn’t a part of the Netflix line-up just yet, you’ll have to use the CW app for immediate access to the new stuff.
The app has been a part of Netflix for several years and releases content into three other TV-streaming services. It isn’t hard to find these network shows. If you can avoid spoilers, your CW network show will release the entire season onto the service eight days after the season ends.
It is convenient to access a specific network from one place, especially from an app that looks so good. Yet it’s also unnecessary, if you aren’t a die-hard CW fan. Frequent ad interruptions ruin what could have been an otherwise positive viewing experience.
Should you download it?
Yes, The CW is a great free TV app if you can get past the commercials. With all unlocked content and new programming added fast, it’s an easy “yes” for the true TV fan.
- Stream the latest episodes of The CW
- Free to use
- No login or subscription needed to begin or continue using the service
- Some computers crash when using the app
- Another app for programs limited to The CW network
- Episodes are packed with commercials