- Content moves across platforms due to licensing deals and the emergence of new platforms like Peacock.
- Use a voice control remote to easily find and search for your favorite shows and movies.
- Apps like JustWatch, ReelGood, and SeriesGuide can help you track and find content across different streaming platforms.
Last month, your comfort show was on Hulu, but now it’s gone. How are you supposed to fall asleep now? Tracking your favorite shows and movies across platforms can be frustrating. With the help of a new remote and a few apps, you can find your show again in just a few seconds.
Why Content Moves
First of all, why do shows and movies seem like they’re always playing tag? If your go-to rom-com left Max to go to Netflix, it probably has to do with the expiration of a licensing deal. Streaming platforms pay to show content they don’t own. When their license term runs out for a particular title, the content may find a new home elsewhere.
Shows and movies may also move because the license owner starts its own platform. For instance, when NBC started Peacock, NBC content disappeared from Hulu.
Some platforms are beginning to license more content to competitors. HBO has begun licensing some of its content to Netflix, for example. However, content in digital form will remain on the move for some titles, so it’s good to know how to track it down.
Use a Voice Control Remote
Many remotes allow you to use voice search to find a program by title. If you see a microphone button on your remote, you can press it and wait for the beep. Then, say the name of the movie or show into the top of the remote. Your remote will then communicate with your TV or streaming app to search for the title.
To use voice control with Amazon remotes, simply hold down the blue Alexa button or the black and white microphone button on the remote. Say “Find [title]” into the remote while holding the button. For instance, “Find ‘You’ve Got Mail’.” Release the button when you’re done speaking. Look at your TV screen to see which options are found. Your TV will display both free and paid options.
Search on JustWatch
JustWatch is a free service that is easy to use. The interface is well organized, and you can filter results to show only content available in HD and 4K formats. JustWatch lets you know if the title requires a subscription or if it can be purchased independently. If it can be purchased, the price is listed.
You can use JustWatch from a computer browser or an app on your phone or tablet. If you download the app on your smart TV or a streaming device like the Amazon Fire TV Stick, you can get your mobile device to communicate with your TV. The app is available for iPhone, Android, and Smart TVs. You can also download the app on streaming devices like Roku, Amazon Fire TV Stick, and Chromecast.
Open the app or launch JustWatch on a computer. Use the search bar to find a title, then review the viewing options. Platforms that carry the title are displayed in the “Watch Now” box. If you click on an icon, such as Hulu, your current device will open the Hulu app.
Go to your Account page by clicking the yellow icon in the top right corner of the screen, and then select “Connect Your TV.” Once your devices can communicate, you can hit the “Play on TV” icon above the “Watch Now” table. This opens JustWatch on your TV and lets you select the app you want to use to watch the content from there.
Use the ReelGood App
ReelGood is another free app that lets you quickly find a title. ReelGood stands out for a few reasons. First, you can tell the app which streaming service you use, which will narrow recommendations on the home page to content you have access to. It also prioritizes those platforms in search results.
ReelGood also lets you create a ton of lists. Their default lists include “Want to See” and “Seen It,” but you can create custom lists for any purpose. This means ReelGood not only helps you find content you want but also lets you track it. ReelGood is not yet available for Roku devices, but you can watch it on Apple and Android mobile devices, Android TVs, Fire TVs, and LG Smart TVs.
You can search for a title using the search bar and choose a selection from the drop-down menu that populates. Click the “Streaming Availability” button under the title.
Hit the “Play” arrow next to the platform you want to use. The platform will open, and the show or movie will begin to play.
If you have the ReelGood app downloaded on your Smart TV or streaming device, you can also hit “Play on TV” (seen above), and the content will begin playing on your television.
Look on SeriesGuide
SeriesGuide is useful for tracking content, but it isn’t available to all users. Unfortunately, the app doesn’t have an iPhone-compatible version, and the developers say there is no plan to create one.
However, if you are an Android user, you’re in luck. This app is great for creating content lists and finding out where content is streaming. The search engine is powered by JustWatch, but this app has more complex series tracking capabilities. In addition to Android devices, SeriesGuide can also be installed on compatible devices using the Amazon App Store, including computers running Windows 11.
Key features of SeriesGuide include notifications when a new episode of a series is released and a “Prevent Spoilers” setting. If you enable spoiler prevention, the thumbnail image and plot details for upcoming episodes will be hidden until you’ve watched them. It’s worth noting that unlocking all features requires a paid sign-in, which is $5 per year. However, you can search for shows and movies and create basic lists for free.
To find a title on SeriesGuide, choose “Shows” or “Movies” from the toolbar. Then, go to the search bar by clicking on the magnifying glass in the top right corner of the screen.
Enter the name of the title and choose the thumbnail from the search results. Click “Stream or Purchase” under the title’s thumbnail photo. The first time you search, you will have to select your region from a menu.
A list of locations where the show or movie is streaming will appear on a new screen.
Googling your favorite show or movie isn’t difficult, but it can be even easier to find content with an app or modern remote. Signing in to the apps instead of using them as a guest usually unlocks additional features, like tracking content progress.