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SideReel is unlike most of the online movie rental websites we’ve reviewed here. It’s chiefly a search engine which lets you find TV shows from other websites but it also allows you to stream a range of movies. You can view free movies from the US, Canada and the UK, or access paid movies if you prefer those on offer. Their choice of movies is however very limited, and it’s better suited to avid fans of TV shows.
Our first big problem is this: finding a show that will play for you can be difficult sometimes. First you need to find the show on SideReel.com (this usually isn’t too hard because there’s a decent search engine or you may browse the shows). Once you’ve found a program, the site throws up a few options for sites that you can access to watch it. Sadly we discovered that many of these were dead ends or that you needed to sign up to a separate site to watch the video. In some cases you were encouraged to pay a fee, or the videos were simply very poor quality. Many of these issues may be down to where you live: from the US, trying to watch some of the UK shows caused problems at times. This may be down to licensing.
There are several movies to stream without any charge and some pretty good titles are available. However the options can be very limited and you won’t find any new releases on here. Most of the movies we looked at were from the 1990s or earlier, so if you’re looking to watch the latest Hollywood blockbusters then you’ll need to look on another website.
SideReel.com is fairly well built and allows you to track your favorite shows, check when they’re on, locate past seasons and more. This is all easily done and signing up takes just a couple of minutes. As a member you are provided with the option to build a profile page which lets others learn about the sortsof movies you enjoy watching. You can also sign in using Facebook or Twitter, allowing you to share your viewing preferences with friends. Support is acceptable but not great, with an FAQ and the ability to email staff.
All of this taken into account, we felt that Side Reel could be a useful site if you have the patience to hunt around for shows and see past the annoyance of dead ends and low quality. If you’re happy watching older movies without the HD (or even SD) standard and you don’t want to pay anything for entertainment then this could be a site worth visiting.
Click on the button below to check out Sidereel.com for yourself...