The best Netflix alternatives

Step off the beaten path and broaden your telly horizons

Sure, you could spend the next decade systematically watching everything on Netflix, but with TVs and mobile devices becoming smarter, it’s easier than ever to broaden what you watch.

From classic TV shows to art-house films to popcorn-crunching blockbusters and poignant saas-bahu shows, a monthly subscription is the new way to make sure you’re never anything less than fully entertained.

Try out the services below, and don't forget to set your phone to silent:

Mubi (₹370/month)

If Netflix is a 500-screen multiplex, Mubi is a cool indie cinema with a nice bar. Netflix has over 30,000 titles in its media library; Mubi has just 30, including a selection of Indian classics.

The list remains that size but a new film is swapped in each day. The quality is high: everything’s worth watching and major blockbusters sit among the more artful selections. The app works with Chromecast, Apple TV, consoles and smart TVs and there’s even an Apple Watch app for picking films (not for watching on your wrist though, that would just be silly).

We'd recommend Clerks and Satyajit Ray classics from the 1950s - they're black and white and loved by critics.

Download for Android here

Download for iOS here

Indieflix (US $5/month)

Indieflix sells itself as a selection of independent films, especially short films, but beyond the artful two-to-20-minute pieces you'll find Indian shorts on, it’s a nostalgic VHS bargain bin full of low-budget grindhouse films like Laser Mission and Midnight Cop.

So, you might find it a little niche, but you could always just use the free one-month trial to enjoy some Hasselhoff (below). Indieflix has an iOS app that doesn’t support Chromecast or offline viewing, but you can bigscreen it via Roku.

 

Watch Bail Out - Rotten Tomatoes reviews include the phrase “garbage, but… the good kind of garbage” in this Hasselhoff flick. And The Pink Mirror - India's first film on drag queens.

Download for Android here

Download for iOS here

 

WWE (₹650/month)

This one's for hardcore WWE fans, with a vast amount of content from WWE, WCW, ECW, WCCW and more. This includes vintage matches, original shows, reality shows, documentaries, legends discussing, er, legends, and a wide-ranging video-on-demand library with almost 5000 hours of content.

Some of this content is exclusive only for the network, like WWE Money In The Bank. We'd also recommend Camp WWE - an animated short-form comedy series that's clearly not for kids.

Go check out the free one-month trial (don't you love those!)

Download for Android here

Download for iOS here

Voot (₹free)

If names like Soadies, Sinskaari and Chinese Bhasad tickle your fancy, then Voot!

Here are the tags that appear in the Ratings: Infrequent/Mild Profanity or Crude Humor; Infrequent/Mild Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References; Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence; Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes.

It's a mobile-first video-on-demand platform, part of Viacom 18 Digital Ventures, and promises to work with Google Chromecast soon. Of course, there's also your regular, Colors, MTV, Nickelodeon, MTV Indies, TV shows and movies.

Download for Android here

Download for iOS here

Hooq (from ₹249)

Thai, Korean and Indonesian horror. Need we say more? Fine, we will: Hooq lets you stream, download and watch thousands of movies and TV series from your phone, laptop or tablet.

This includes the latest Bollywood blockbusters, Hollywood rom-coms, TV series, B-grade Hindi films (there, we said it) and, yes, the afore-mentioned Thai horror films.

 

Go use the free trial, quick.

Download for iOS here

Hotstar (from ₹free)

With a high focus on sports, and content in eight languages (Hindi, English, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi and Bengali), Hotstar claims to be home to some of the longest-running and highest-rated TV content in the country.

You pay 199 per month to watch premium TV series like Veep, The Wire and True Detective, but there's plenty of free content too.

Download for Android here

Download for iOS here

nexGTv (₹free)

Sample user-generated content from shows and exclusive content like India’s first mobi-series ‘It’s My City’ starring Priyanka Chopra as... take a guess?

Herself. You get access to 150+ Live TV channels, along with a huge content library comprising movies, TV shows and videos. There's also a kids-special app, nexGTv Kids’, which curates entertaining and educative content for kids aged between 2 to 10 years.

 

If these are not enough, you've also got Spuul, Wynk and YuppTV for your movie fix, with newer, odder-sounding options coming up each week. Tune in!

Download for Android here

Download for iOS here