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Peacock free streaming service: worth the try?

Peacock has a new free streaming service available in the United States. Think of it as cable meets Netflix. 

To use Peacock, all you have to do is, apart from turning on a VPN in case you’re not in the States, provide an email and a password of 10 characters. That’s it.

Once you open the iPhone, iPad or Android app, you will enter the “Channels” section. Don’t get too excited though, this is a compilation of TV capsules and not a live stream.

The “Trending” section has football highlights, The Office shorts and Kelly Clarkson singing a cover of Cranberry’s Linger, among other trending videos on Peacock.

The tab where the magic happens is “Browse”. It contains TV shows and films, ala Netflix. But, as I just subscribed to the free tier, there are lots – and I mean, lots- of paid stuff.

Peacock wants you to get premium

For example, the first episode of Intelligence, featuring David Schwimmer (aka Ross, from Friends) is available at no cost. But, if you want to watch the other five episodes of season one, you will have to “Get premium”.

There are two tiers, and both include a certain amount of ads. You get a full week trial, but then it is 5 or 10 bucks for the privilege of “unlocking everything” with advertisements thrown in your face now and then, even if you paid. (My bet is Netflix is heading towards this, but thank the streaming gods, it is not the case… for the time being.)

I mean, it’s good to have a free option. You can watch things like Jurassic Park or The Matrix with a few ads. But you’re at the mercy of what Peacock decides to make available without charge.

This may be the first step towards the “free tier” standard. Like it already happens with Spotify. But when it comes to video, I prefer to pay for no ads at all. And I can imagine a lot of people think the same.

Nevertheless, it’s worth giving the free option of Peacock a spin.