If you love movies then you will love Popcorn Time. It is a free app that can be downloaded to your computer, smartphone or tablet, and it contains hundreds of movies and T.V. releases.
But, in an age when streaming is becoming more and more popular, and companies are creating ever more extensive libraries of on demand viewing content, how does Popcorn Time compare?
Netflix and Amazon are leading the way when it comes to streaming services, however Popcorn Time has a few tricks up its sleeve too. In this article, we review this app with regard to its ease of use, range of content, quality and performance. So read on if you want to find out whether Popcorn Time is the app you have been waiting for!
What Exactly Is Popcorn Time?
Popcorn Time is a multi-platform, BitTorrent, computer software programme that allows you to watch thousands of movies and T.V. shows on your computer and smart devices.
Unlike other streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Video, Popcorn works as a torrent, meaning that the movies and shows available in its library are those that are being downloaded and streamed regularly online.
When you select a movie from the library, it becomes temporarily downloaded in your cache, and automatically deletes after you have viewed it. The advantages are that the quality of your viewing experience is not hindered by buffering, as is often the case when you stream content.
The downside is that the content is entirely dependent on what other people are watching, and therefore niche and lesser known gems are hard to find.
Popcorn Time is easy to download and install, and very easy to navigate once you are in. It allows you to watch your favorite movies and shows no matter where you are – even when you are on the move.
Once downloaded, the content stays in your computer’s cache until it has been viewed, then disappears so as not to use up precious computer memory space. The design and range of content are both fantastic, however the program does have a few technical drawbacks that impede the overall user experience.
Popcorn Time was originally designed for Windows, and did not have much wider compatibility. However, the developers have since expanded the program to be compatible with a far wider range of devices and platforms.
Popcorn Time is now available for Mac, Android, Android TV, iOS, Linux and Windows. This means that whether you have a Lenovo or an Apple Mac, you can still download this program and enjoy the wealth of content it has to offer.
There is a Popcorn Time mobile app (which we will speak about later), which runs smoothly on mobile devices. However, this is not the original Popcorn Time program and movies cannot be downloaded and watched on it.
Some users have experienced great disappointment having confused the two, so be sure that you are installing the full program and not the app if you want to watch movies on the go.
The program is suitable for casting to larger screens from a mobile device using chromecast, Apple TV or DLNA, however some users have noticed that the toolbar is difficult to get rid of when you do this.
Popcorn Time used to be an illegal download site, but it has now officially joined up with android and is completely legal to use.
The partnership has also helped to improve lots of the technical glitching and viewing performance issues that were a problem in the past. It is now a highly popular and wonderfully compatible program that anyone can use.
Range Of Content
There are thousands of movies and TV shows available to download on Popcorn Time thanks to the fact that it is a multi-platform program. None of the content on Popcorn Time is original, it is all sourced from elsewhere using BitTorrent technology.
The thing about torrents is that they rely on existing and active online trends, and therefore the content on the program is reflective of what is popular and regularly viewed at the time. This is ideal for anyone who loves keeping up to date with the latest releases and most popular shows.
However, for those who prefer niche films, golden oldies and little known treasures, Popcorn Time is not ideal. There are barely any classics in this library, and even fewer obscure film-buff favorites.
The program is available in 44 languages however, and it does have a good range of subtitled films for those who love foreign language movies. The subtitles are really good on this program, and this feature does afford the library a greater range of content than it previously had.
Popcorn Time is particularly excellent when it comes to movies and big blockbusters. However, some users have experienced great frustration when watching TV shows on the platform.
This is because, due to the torrent technology, not all the episodes in each series are guaranteed to be available. If certain episodes are less popular then they may be mysteriously absent from the library, which is highly irritating if you are halfway through a series as it can leave you dangling from a very dramatic cliff!
The best idea is to check that all episodes are available on the program before you embark on a series on Popcorn Time. This way, you will avoid disappointment.
Ease Of Use
Popcorn Time is wonderfully simple to install onto your devices. We found that there were multiple video tutorials online, guiding us through the installation process. However, for anyone who is just a little bit familiar with downloading computer programs, Popcorn Time is a total doddle.
Once installed, the program itself is very well designed and well laid out. Its ease of use has been compared to the likes of streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon, because the interface is so user friendly and simple.
The main page is filled with large movie tiles that are large enough for you to see exactly what movie they represent. The library has a clear and well organized drop-down menu for sub categories which makes choosing what you would like to watch very stress free.
The same is true for the available TV series and programs, with content divided into comedy, drama, romance and documentaries amongst other things.
When you make your selection, the program temporarily downloads the content to your device’s cache and then the integrated media player plays the movie seamlessly. Once finished, the content is deleted from your computer so that it does not use up lots of memory space and slow your computer down unnecessarily.
The Popcorn Time popcorn bucket characters add a quirky and fun element to the program and make it very distinct and attractive in its design.
Although using torrents means that Popcorn Time does not have as wide a range of content as other movie and TV services, it does mean that the viewing experience is really smooth and high quality.
All too often we have our viewing pleasure interrupted by pixelated patches and buffering circles. But because the content is temporarily downloaded when using Popcorn Time, the buffering and connection issues are eliminated. You can enjoy uninterrupted viewing in HD quality, which is a real bonus for users.
Of course, there are inevitable drawbacks to using torrents too. Popcorn Time is subject to glitches and it is hard to save content and ensure that it is still there the next time you check.
The way that the program flickers as it is cast to large screens is frustrating, however it is not the case for all users. The most annoying aspect of this software is that it does not have all the episodes of the TV series in its library. As long as you have been pre-warned about this situation however, you can avoid disappointment.
The Popcorn Time mobile app is not to be confused with the full computer software program. It too is free to download, however it is more of a search engine and title library than anything.
This app is useful if you want to look up movies, movie facts and cast members. However, the app does not allow you to download and stream the content like the full program does.
Instead, it has lots of trailers that you can watch, and is best thought of as a handy browsing tool that can help you decide exactly what you want to watch on the main site.
We can hardly believe that Popcorn Time is completely free. There are no annoying adverts that interrupt your viewing, and no hidden charges or subscriptions along the way.
When you consider how few other free services like this exist, it really is a huge bonus and makes Popcorn Time a highly popular program. Sure, you get slightly more variety and control with Netflix and Amazon, but this program is free and it delivers just as much content and quality as its far pricier competitors.
There is no doubt that Popcorn Time is great value for money, because it doesn’t cost you any money! Now that is a bargain!
What We Love:
We love the easy installment of Popcorn Time, and how simple the site is to navigate. We love that once selected, the content plays smoothly without glitches or interruptions from buffering as it is temporarily downloaded to your device.
We love the fact that this program is free and compatible with any device so anyone can enjoy movies and TV shows no matter where they are. We even love this program’s dramatic past, and the fact that it has been shut down by ‘the man’ so many times, but keeps being brought back by popular demand!
What Could Be Better
Popcorn Time has a few areas that need improving, in particular its range of content. We wish that more obscure and nerdy film-buff movies were available in its library, and that you could guarantee all episodes of each available series are present.
Overall, Popcorn Time is a fantastic free resource which allows you to watch hundreds of movies and TV shows on your smart devices and computers. We love it!