Guide to alternative streaming services for at-home entertainment

Sick of subscribing to the basic streaming services? See these affordable streaming options. 

A week into quarantine, we are all starting to look a little rough. Everything on our watchlists have been exhausted and you can only build a fort made out of toilet paper, which you roundhouse kicked another human being to buy, so many times until it gets boring. 

To spice up your viewing, here are some new ways to stream instead of binge-watching “The Office” for the 10,000th time while drool runs down your left cheek.

Kanopy

Yes, Kanopy is more of an educational service, but check it out before you go back to mindlessly shoving Goldfish into your mouth, humming “I Dreamed a Dream.” Kanopy has some niche and interesting films for your inner film geek. 

The best part of Kanopy is you get it free as a university student, so just pop in that Zagmail and start browsing. It’s actually surprising the amount of content available and nothing is better than having a wine night and watching some experimental director’s debut movie or, better yet, some funky French film that surely fits a quarantine state of mind.

Universal Studios Movies

Are you trying to watch some of the hottest movies still in theaters? There is a method better than illegally pirated footage of some man filming the movie from his iPhone. In light of the coronavirus, Universal Studios has released all of its movies still playing in theaters onto streaming platforms like Xfinity, Apple TV and Amazon. 

If you keep rewatching trailers for “The Hunt” or “Emma,” this is your chance to live your dream to fruition. And if you want a full theater experience, then pour some soda onto the floor, make it nice and sticky, and have one of your friends talk loudly or text with full brightness while you try to enjoy the movie. It truly is the little things that make the difference.

Disney 

If you are looking for more of an experience rather than entertainment, you need to check out all of the virtual tours and rides from Disneyland, which, ironically, are not sponsored by Disney. 

There are countless point-of-view videos for any and every ride at Disneyland. Nothing is more frightening or entertaining than walking in on your roommate with their nose pressed against their television, while they move their body in accordance with how the virtual ride is moving. Pretending to be somewhere else is an incredibly healthy coping mechanism. 

The Metropolitan Opera (MET)

If you are someone who has better taste, or who simply just likes to lie to the people around you about being a closeted reality TV addict, the MET has really pulled out all the stops. 

“During this extraordinary and difficult time, the Met hopes to brighten the lives of our audience members even while our stage is dark,” reads the MET official website. “Each day, a different encore presentation from the company’s Live in HD series is being made available for free streaming on the MET website.” 

Each performance runs for 23 hours and is available from 7:30 p.m. EDT until 6:30 p.m. the next day. Fortunately, these streams are also available on Apple, Amazon and Roku devices, which means going to the theater has never been so easy. Just because we are locked in our houses doesn’t mean we have to lose our appreciation of the theater. 

Quarantine is a rough time, but let’s face it, there is no reason to start changing yourself into someone who actually gets their work done on time. There is no need to change out of those sweats you have been wearing for five days straight. Just sit yourself back on that couch, which is already starting to mold to your body, and experience some streaming opportunities that really only come under extreme conditions.

Spencer Brown is an arts & entertainment editor.

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