5 Best Free Video Streaming Sites

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Introduction

Online web streaming is one of the most popular Internet activities. Whether you want to watch video from across the world, news recaps, TV shows, tutorials, or funny videos, you're guaranteed to find something you like at one of the top five video streaming websites.

 

Rated Products and Services

YouTube  

The most popular video streaming website


Our Rating: 
5
License: Free
YouTube offers: 16:9 aspect ratio; high quality video playback; support for nearly every video format; a large audience for your videos; the ability to embed videos on a blog or website; video reply feature; customizable personal video page; and the ability to limit video access.
While the website is wildly popular, it does have a few problems. There is an excess of spam comments; a video limit of 100MB; and only standard-quality videos can be embedded on blogs or websites.
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Vimeo  

A sophisticated and free video sharing website


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free
Vimeo has an easy-to-navigate interface; the ability to create and moderate video groups; high definition video support; up to 1GB video uploads for premium accounts; community forums; and an artistic user base.
Because Vimeo is so frequently used to upload large movie files, it can take over an hour to convert a single video.
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Metacafe  

A Popular Video Streaming Site with Pageview Payment System


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free
Metacafe has a popular pageview payment system, which allows users to be remunerated for their videos. In addition, videos can be downloaded with a link under the video or embedded on blogs or websites. The website has many high-quality tutorials.
Metacafe increased its video resolution, and many of the videos are now pixelated due to up-sampling. Many videos are clones from YouTube.
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Hulu  

The first website to legally offer a wide array of free TV shows


Our Rating: 
3
License: Free (Ads)
Hulu videos can be viewed in 360p for slower Internet connections. Popular clips are available for recent and popular TV shows and movies. New series are available, with new episodes appearing up to a week after being aired on cable. The website is completely free. Videos can be purchased and downloaded. A personal queue can be created for favorite content.
Videos can no longer be embedded in blogs and on websites; high definition video streaming is not available for most videos; and ads are displayed three or more times per video. Website is available to US residents only.
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Veoh  

A video content website offers a large supply of free TV shows


Our Rating: 
3
License: Free
Videos stream in higher quality resolution. The original video files can be downloaded and saved to a hard drive for later viewing. User submitted content can be embedded in blogs and websites, shared directly with friends, and saved to a personal favorites list.
Commercial videos are only available for users located within the US.
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More Streaming Site Options

For completeness here's a list I put together of over 40 additional streaming sites. If you can't find something you like here, you are not really trying :>)

  • ABC.com: ABC, like NBC, now offers a wide array of streaming videos, including full episodes of their most popular TV shows
  • Archaeologychannel.com: The Archeology Channel offers hours of free streaming video based on culture, humans, and archeology
  • Archive.org: The National Archives streams footage of past events and old documentaries, including space documentaries from the '70s
  • BigContact.com: Big Contact allows users to create their own channels, and offers several professional streaming channels for anyone to watch
  • Blinkx.com: Boasting over 32 million hours of video footage
  • Break.com: This video website is marketed towards men, and has a list of daily video picks on their homepage. The videos are outrageous, funny, and short
  • BroadbandSports.com: Sports videos on all types can be found on Broadband Sports, including recaps, highlights, athlete videos, and personal sports videos
  • Clipshack.com: This website features sort clips, recaps, and small videos of random content
  • CollegeHumor.com: Their version of videos focuses mainly on the humorous end and focused toward the college demographic
  • Comcast Xfinity: Comcast's fancast has been renamed to Comcast XFinity Videos. This shows a variety of free tv shows along with much content you have to be a subscriber to watch
  • Crackle.com: More of an Indy/off beat TV shows and movie website, you can watch webshows and other shows you can't find on TV
  • Current.com: Currently in Beta, this website has a wide array of modern video content, and is very similar to YouTube
  • Dailymotion.com: Dailymotion is similar to Current TV, and offers a wide range of random video content
  • DevilDucky.com: This website features favorite videos grabbed from many different sources and aggregated together. The website contains small videos, TV shows, movie trailers, news recaps, fan videos, and more
  • DocumentaryStorm. "DocumentaryStorm is a website dedicated to free full-length documentaries gathered from all over the net. The main objective is to spread knowledge, index the thousands of educational videos on the internet and an all around freedom to investigate human ingenuity." With thanks to anonymous poster Harry for this suggestion :)
  • Ifilm.com: A standard video streaming website
  • Museum.tv: Docufest is an online video archive website with access to theater reenactments, historic video and radio streams, and interviews
  • NBC.com: NBC now streams dozens of episodes for free, including Heroes, According to Jim, and the Biggest Loser
  • Newgrounds.com: An awesome and high quality website featuring user submitted satire, animation, and humor videos
  • Open-Video.org: This website is a 'shared digital video collection', and has lecture, documentary, educational, and historical videos, as well as others, for free streaming
  • Ourmedia.org: Our Media lacks a professional site, but has dozens of channels to search
  • Phanfare.com: Phanfare is a unique video sharing website, as it is meant to be used with an iPhone, and makes uploading, sharing, and viewing mobile videos easier than ever
  • Revver.com: You'll find a wide array of content on Revver, most of it high quality and serious. There video base includes interviews, skits, product reviews, movie reviews, animations, and tutorials
  • Sevenload.com: Sevenload is a sleek, professional-looking video streaming website with categories such as Music, DIY, Arts, and Politics
  • SpeedyTV:User uploaded streaming videos and movies as well as sorted videos from other locations
  • Starz Play: Starz Play is offered from Verizon, and allows users to stream hundreds of blockbuster movies and the Starz TV channel for $10 per month
  • Stickam.com. Stickam is a twist on the modern video streaming site - you can browse hundreds of live streaming video feeds and interact with the other viewers via a chat box
  • StreetFire.net: This website has thousands of videos, most of them dealing with cars in some way
  • StupidVideos.com - As the name of the website suggests, don't expect to find enlightening videos here. However, if you're looking for some good laughs, there's nowhere better than Stupid Videos
  • ThatVideoSite.com: This website pulls the most popular videos from a wide range of websites and lists them all on the homepage for your viewing pleasure
  • The News Hour The PBS News Hour. miss an important news speak, coverage, or documentary? The News Hour has regular updates of free, streaming news coverage
  • Trueveo.com: Trueveo streams content from dozens of different sites, including Hulu, Lifetime, and GQ
  • TVDuck: Provides links to other Internet sources streaming movies and TV shows
  • UStream.tv: UStream TV is another live streaming website, allowing users to chat with each other while watching and participating in live video streams
  • VideoBomb.com: The website is a basic, bland video streaming site with random videos.
  • Videosift.com: Video Sift works very similar to the popular website Digg. Users add videos, and other users 'sift' through them, pushing the good ones to the top, while the poor ones fall to the bottom
  • vids.Myspace.com: Myspace TV offers a wide array of video content, including personal videos, vlogs, and TV recaps

 

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Comments

IMO it's unfair to list as a con what "spam" comments that nor YouTube or content providers have no reasonable control over. Spam was first used to refer to unsolicited email. By posting comments for public consumption or post original comments to the content one is in essence soliciting responses. Googles/youtubes attempt to encourage/force the use of real names on YouTube had the potential to move abuse from inside the web into the world where people actually live. A crank angered by a John Doe on the web is likely to harass every John Doe they can find a phone number for. Actually comment on YouTube are some of the most useful on the web, particularly since YouTube got rid of the character limit and allowed inserting of all URL'. Yea you have to ignore the stupid crap, but that's a small price to pay for free. tmy gmail account associated with YouTube isn't my primary email account. The only time a make point to visit my gmail account is when I'm expect something from the google help staff or from the google/YouTube forums. Generally I scroll through the mail and based on the subject mark expect email to be moved to a folder for reading, the remainder is block deleted. I rarely engage in YouTube comment peeing contests

Hi usadoug, thank you for the comment! You make a good point. I am the same way! rarely will I spend time actually reading comments. YouTube also allows the uploader to disable/remove comments. However I think sometimes comments can border on abusive and/or irrelevant to the video completely. And if something can be done to filter comments more, it should be done. Wouldn't you say? 

I love You-tube it's full of varied videos lot's of different content but it seems google are trying to upset 90% of it's you tube users by forcing them to have a google plus pages , I can no longer comment on you tube videos until I accept the T&C's of having a google plus page which I don't even want , it's seems not enough people were using google plus so they decided to MAKE people use it ( not really the way to go )

One doesn't have to use Google+ to use you tube, why not setup G+? When using YouTube I given the choice to use my long time anonymous YouTube user name of my G+ name. In the event the ability to comment is so important to anyone they should decide to stop viewing YouTube content after telling the google/YouTube and the content providers of that decision, and carry through with that decision. Clearly YouTube's hope was to clean up comments by having comments associated with what are thought to be real names civility would ensue. Did take sever exchanges with someone at YouTube to discover how I could still use my long time YouTube user name at YouTube, not my G= associated name. Sometimes getting what you think is right takes effort, and patience. Yes policy can change tomorrow. I'm ready to be allowed to watch the videos without commenting, or walk away from YouTube, I doubt few others are ready to do so as well. Anyway not in enough numbers to influance policy.

As an alternative to youtube there's torch music ( http://music.torchbrowser.com/ ). It's a relatively new service that uses the youtube library, but it works better in that it doesn't have covers or spam stuff, and the adds don't break up the video flow. Totally free too.

This has been very helpful. Thank you,

VideoLectures.NET is an award-winning (best educational product of the decade award from UN and UNESCO) free and open access educational video lectures repository. The lectures are given by distinguished scholars and scientists at the most important and prominent events like conferences, summer schools, workshops and science promotional events from many fields of Science: http://videolectures.net/
Interesting site .. I hadn't seen that one before.