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Samsung TV Plus vs Pluto TV: The Ultimate Comparison Guide

March 14, 2024

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Samsung TV Plus and Pluto TV both offer ad-supported free TV, but have key differences in content, availability, features and device support. This in-depth comparison guide examines 10 factors to help you decide which streaming platform is the best fit.

Introduction

Samsung Tv Plus
Pluto Tv

As cord-cutting becomes mainstream, free ad-supported streaming TV services like Samsung TV Plus and Pluto TV are rising in popularity. They give you easy access to live channels and on demand programming without needing a cable or online TV subscription.

Both options provide extensive libraries – over 190+ channels on Samsung TV Plus and 300+ channels on Pluto TV spanning categories like news, sports, movies and more. However, there are some notable differences that make one platform better suited for certain viewing preferences and devices.

This comprehensive comparison guide dives into the key distinctions around content, availability, features and usability to help determine if Samsung TV Plus or Pluto TV is the superior free streaming service for your needs in 2023. We break down their individual strengths and weaknesses, so you can decide which best fits your lifestyle.

Content Variety and Depth

The primary reason for using these ad-supported platforms is their wide range of viewing options that rival paid alternatives. But Samsung TV Plus and Pluto TV have diverging approaches when it comes to content.

Number and Type of Channels

Samsung TV Plus focuses on offering a tightly curated selection of around 195+ live TV channels spanning categories like news, movies, sports, music and more. They partner directly with networks and content providers.

Whereas Pluto TV takes the “more is more” stance, with over 300 unique live TV channels – including ESPN on Pluto TV and niche categories other competitors don’t offer like dog and cat channels, anime, slow TV and radio stations. Their goal is to serve as an aggregator pulling many providers together.

Pluto Tv Live Tv Channels

So while Samsung TV Plus wins on quality, Pluto TV prevails on quantity and diversity of viewing options. Those wanting a tailored set of top programming may prefer Samsung, while viewers craving constant discovery lean towards Pluto TV.

On Demand Libraries

Both platforms supplement their live channels with on demand programming as well. These selections allow you to watch movies, shows, documentaries and viral videos whenever it’s convenient for you rather than only during scheduled airings.

Pluto TV definitely has the largest on demand library, with thousands of hours of iconic shows, cult favorite films, true crime series and more reminiscent of Netflix or Pluto TV alternatives.

Pluto TV definitely offers the largest on demand library between the two, with thousands of hours of content spanning iconic shows, cult favorite films, true crime series and more. Their VOD catalog brings an experience reminiscent of Netflix or Hulu.

Pluto Tv Demand Library

Meanwhile, Samsung TV Plus has a more limited, but steadily growing, array of on demand movies and shows. It’s mainly focused on enabling live channel flipping rather than extensive binge watching. So hardcore cord cutters are better served by Pluto TV in this department.

Original Programming

In terms of exclusive originals you won’t find anywhere else, Samsung TV Plus currently leads in this area – partnering directly with networks and studios on specials tied to their brand IP.

For example, Samsung TV Plus worked with MGM Studios to produce an original series called “Stargate Atlantis Recon” based on the popular sci-fi franchise. They smartly leverage partnerships others don’t have access to.

Pluto TV’s original content is largely still in development, though they have some branded series and plan to grow this as a key differentiator down the line against competitors. But as it stands now, Samsung TV Plus has the edge for those wanting fresh exclusives.

Availability and Supported Devices

Since these are free streaming platforms, you want the service available on as many devices as possible for maximum convenience whether watching at home or on the go. Samsung TV Plus and Pluto TV vary greatly here though.

Regions and Countries Supported

Pluto TV clearly comes out ahead for global accessibility and reach. It’s supported on major streaming platforms like Pluto TV on Firestick, mobile devices, smart TVs and more. Allowing abilities across countless platforms.

As of 2024, it’s supported in the United States, parts of Europe and Latin America. Their app and web access makes Pluto TV content viewable by a large worldwide audience.

Whereas Samsung TV Plus is only available in a handful of countries so far including United States, Canada, Korea and Brazil. Expansion plans are underway for Europe and beyond, but currently Pluto TV is simply reachable in far more locations.

Full List of Compatible Devices

In terms of devices supported, Pluto TV is accessible nearly everywhere – smart TVs, mobile devices, streaming boxes, gaming consoles and laptops/desktops via their website. Full app downloads exist across platforms giving Pluto TV one of the most robust device ecosystems among free streaming options.

But since Samsung TV Plus comes pre-installed on all 2016 or newer Samsung smart TVs, it enjoys seamless built-in integration on one of the world’s most popular television brands purchased by millions globally each year.

It’s also accessible on Samsung mobile phones and tablets, along with laptop/desktop web browsers. But those without Samsung devices lose access. Roku, Fire TV and Apple TV streaming devices are not currently supported despite rumors of future expansion.

So while hardcore cord cutters wanting freedom across many gadgets find more value from Pluto TV, for existing Samsung households the proprietary Samsung TV Plus setup delivers a turnkey experience.

Streaming Features and Functionality

More than just the sheer amount or variety of stuff to watch, the feature sets enabling control and customization of how you access content also determine which free streaming platform best fits your preferences.

Interface Customization and Controls

One advantage Samsung TV Plus offers over competitors is greater personalization options since it’s built into Samsung smart TV software. You can customize channel lineups, remove networks you dislike from guide listings for a more tailored experience.

Samsung Tv Plus Interface Customization And Controls

Pluto TV allows far less customization of the main viewing interface. Channels do feature numbers making traditional flipping easier and their web/mobile apps have some sorting preferences, but largely Pluto TV prioritizes content breadth which reduces guide personalization.

So Samsung TV Plus brings flexibility cord cutters desire. But channel surfers may enjoy Pluto TV’s more familiar cable-esque always-on flow.

Ability to Favorite Channels

Speaking further to customization, profile features enable greater control over your content feed. On Samsung TV Plus, signing into a Samsung account lets you tag favorite channels for quick access rather than endlessly browsing.

Samsung Tv Plus Ability To Favorite Channels

You can also use universal Samsung smart remote apps on phones/tablets to control the big screen Samsung TV Plus app and save preferred networks. This tighter hardware/software environment integration gives Samsung an advantage to Pluto’s sprawling but less unified ecosystem.

Pluto TV does allow signed-in users to follow favorite shows for airing reminders. But lack of true channel following reduces opportunities for improved personalization based on viewing habits compared to Samsung TV Plus.

Local Channel Availability

In addition to national cable networks, getting local news and regional sports coverage matters to many cord cutters. Here Samsung TV Plus pulls ahead by offering localized affiliate feeds of ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox stations based on your location and IP address.

Samsung Tv Plus Live Tv Channels

So when viewing Samsung TV Plus, you’ll get access to local broadcasts covering weather, traffic, politics and teams from your geography rather than being restricted to just national news and sports networks.

Pluto TV has discussed plans of bringing local affiliate channels on board but currently lacks them. So local TV fans gain more relevant programming through Samsung thanks to wonderful world of geo-targeting.

Smart TV and Smart Home Integration

As a proprietary element of Samsung’s whole ecosystem beyond just televisions, Samsung TV Plus enjoys seamless integration with their other devices and partners.

You can use Samsung TV Plus mobile apps as remote controls, easily cast content streaming on Galaxy phones/tablets directly to Samsung televisions. All part of a unified environment.

Samsung Tv Plus Mobile Apps

Pluto TV has no such hardware ecosystem benefits, but they do feature integrations with major smart home assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for voice controls. Allowing abilities like launching Pluto TV hands free or searching genre stations through Alexa. Nice quality of life perk.

So Samsung provides better internal experience between owned products, while Pluto TV focuses on bridging together more external third-party platforms.

Advertising and Pricing Considerations

A benefit of both Samsung TV Plus and Pluto TV is they allow access to tons of premium movies/shows/channels completely free with no subscriptions, fees or accounts required if you don’t want one.

Of course, the trade off is you will encounter advertising while viewing content on either platform. But there are some key differences in frequency and payment options as well worth considering.

Ad Frequency on Both Platforms

Pluto TV is supported almost entirely by video advertising, meaning you will see commercials while content is playing – typically in breaks between show segments similar to regular television. Some users report seeing the same spots repetitively.

Samsung TV Plus takes a different approach of overlaying semi-transparent banner promotions for brands along bottom of the screen rather than video spots interrupting viewing. These out-of-the way ads have higher relevance to content airing.

So viewers who don’t mind the familiarity of TV commercials may lean Pluto TV, while those wanting less invasive advertising favor Samsung TV Plus. But neither has found the perfect ad balance yet.

Additional Payment Options

One way to eliminate ads on streaming platforms is paying for premium subscription tiers when available. Pluto TV does offer a commercial free package called Pluto TV Premium for $5 per month with some extra channel access as well.

Samsung is reportedly developing similar paid tier plans for Samsung TV Plus that reduce ads during programming along with unlocking additional sports, movies and other content. But as of now, no premium offerings exist meaning Pluto TV caters better to those open to paying to ditch distracting ads.

Ease of Use and Navigation

Despite expansive libraries, streaming services lose their value if content is poorly organized or tricky to surf. The sophistication of menus, guides and discovery tools greatly impacts watchability.

In this arena, Pluto TV holds the edge for cord cutters less familiar with smart TV interfaces – especially those coming from traditional cable setups.

Menu Categories and Discovery Tools

Pluto TV features an easy to understand channel grid guide very similar to cable, allowing mindless flipping through categories like Drama, Comedy, Movies, Sports, News among others. Colorful tiles and descriptive genres make finding content suited to any mood simpler. No advanced digital literacy needed.

Pluto Tv Menu Categories

However, Samsung TV Plus uses a more stripped down, text-based menu system organizing networks alphabetically rather than themes. Less visuals and reliance on deciphering channel names themselves can frustrate those wanting push button entertainment. But the universal Samsung TV menus foster quick learning.

So while channel guide veterans can adapt fast to Samsung TV Plus, Pluto TVs more graphical interfaces benefit cord cutting newcomers overwhelmed by endless streaming choice. The right UI reduces choice anxiety.

Account Login and Profile Features

One benefit of signing into an account on streaming platforms are expanded recommendation and watch list abilities thanks to viewing data. This allows services to better understand your taste.

Pluto TV does offer account creation to track favorite shows and activate new features like offline viewing. However, their core service works fine without any login making it quite frictionless to start streaming top channels immediately.

Meanwhile, Samsung TV Plus lacks robust recommendation engines or saved watch lists unless you sign-in to a Samsung account, which then unlocks advanced features like scheduling reminders when shows re-air. So logging in brings more value on Samsung TV Plus.

This difference comes down to whether you want quick access without needing yet another profile, versus tighter customization of an extended streaming experience through account creation.

Video and Streaming Quality

When it comes to streaming free live content over the internet, video resolution and audio quality varies greatly across platforms and can deeply impact user experience enjoying programming.

Both Samsung TV Plus and Pluto TV offer full HD 1080p video streams on select content alongside standard definition 480p/720p feeds depending on channel and availability. sports and films typically get the high-def treatment whenever possible.

Audio quality maxes out at Stereo 2.0 on both providers – though only some channels like movies or music stations take advantage while basic talk formats stick with standard Mono audio.

Extras like 4K resolution or Dolby Atmos immersive sound are not supported on either free platform yet. So audiophiles and home theater owners may be disappointed but streaming fidelity differences between Samsung TV Plus and Pluto TV remain fairly negligible for most mainstream users.

Bottom line is while video and audio quality is sufficient for casual viewing, premium subscribers accustomed to flawless streams will notice quality and compression artifacts occasionally in action on fast cuts, dark scenes or concert footage as trade off for the free price.

Exclusive Perks and Add-Ons

Some other miscellaneous factors that distinguish Samsung TV Plus and Pluto TV are bonus features unique to each platform beyond just core channel and show offerings.

A few special elements provide value depending on your streaming interests.

Special Features of Samsung TV Plus

As mentioned earlier, Samsung TV Plus allows tighter smart TV integration and control features thanks to proprietary software and hardware optimization. However, some users have reported issues with Samsung TV Plus not working properly on certain models. This includes options like:

  • Using Samsung Galaxy device apps as remote control
  • Casting Samsung tablet/phone screens or media to TVs
  • AI-powered voice assistants and smart home controls
Samsung Tv Plus Casting

These capabilities provide lifestyle conveniences beyond merely watching shows, since Samsung TV Plus sits within a broader ecosystem.

Bonus Content Libraries in Pluto TV

While Samsung TV Plus focuses on integrating streaming into Samsung-specific environments first, Pluto TV puts all effort into content breadth which has cultivated some unexpected exclusives such as:

  • Premium movie marathon channels from Lionsgate, Paramount, MGM
  • Retro TV blocks pulling classic shows from MTV, VH1, TV Land
  • Curated sports talk & commentary programming through partnership with FanDuel

So media buffs gain more to explore through Pluto TV’s aggressive content aggregation network spanning partnerships.

Original Programming and Brand Partners

In addition to licensing popular films and series, streaming services are also ramping up investments into developing their own exclusive original shows to stand out against competitors.

When it comes to signature programming you won’t find on any other channels or platforms, Samsung TV Plus and Pluto TV operate on diverging production strategies.

Overview of Original Shows

As outlined previously, Samsung partners directly with well-known entertainment brands to co-produce extensions of popular franchises that highlight Samsung’s industry leadership through display picture quality, surrounding sound and smart home capabilities.

For example, beside the aforementioned Stargate Atlantis series continuation, Samsung TV Plus also worked with Paramount Global and CBS Studios on exclusive Road Trip spinoff content showcasing iconic vehicles and locations featured in series history utilizing Samsung technology innovations to capture it all vividly.

Meanwhile, Pluto TV focuses less on using originals to flaunt technical specs but rather trusts in the creative expertise of their studio partners to cultivate new hits appealing to their audience. Formats span competition game shows, late night style commentary on trending topics, true crime docu-series and more.

So Samsung TV Plus originals emphasize breakthrough viewing experiences, whereas Pluto TV aims simply to blend into the zeitgeist of rising pop culture phenomena through diverse shows made for viral chatter.

Co-Viewing and Branded Channels

Further differentiating streaming services today is offering brandedsubscription channels from major franchises leveraging fan loyalty while monetizing through sponsorship revenue share.

Pluto TV has made this a priority, launching customized programming blocks from titans like Star Trek, MTV, Spongebob, Survivor, WWE wrestling and much more by curating assorted series under unified channel themes people already crave. Fans now have one-stop hubs for beloved universes.

However Samsung TV Plus trails competitors when it comes sub-channels for iconic intellectual property. Instead, Samsung pursues advanced advertising integrations that associate brands with content genres through algorithmic alignment optimizing contextually relevant sponsorships.

So partners gain screen exposure in harmony with programming viewers are emotionally engaged in rather than random commercial separation. This drives higher ROI.

But bottom line, entertainment devotees simply seeking more content from cherished franchises in one spot will be more impressed by Pluto TV’s breadth of branded networks.

Pros and Cons Comparison Tables

With so many in-depth factors to weigh, here are consolidated pros/cons charts breaking down the main strengths and weaknesses clearly at a glance to evaluate which free streaming provider ranks higher overall:

Samsung TV Plus Key Pros

  • Smoother performance and integration on Samsung devices
  • Cleaner interface with greater customization controls
  • Local affiliate TV channel availability
  • Original exclusives in partnership with studios
  • Potentially less frequent video advertising

Samsung TV Plus Key Cons

  • Far fewer channels and less on demand choice
  • Unsupported on most non-Samsung streaming platforms
  • Confusing text-based menus and guides
  • Lacks identity through branded genre channels

Pluto TV Key Pros

  • Compatible across countless devices like iOS, Android, Fire TV
  • Intuitive cable-like channel flipping experience
  • Massive content variety spanning 300+ channels
  • Top studios contribute exclusive originals
  • Ad-free paid package option available

Pluto TV Key Cons

  • Interface lacks deep customization options
  • No local affiliate network integration yet
  • Frequent repetition of video advertising
  • Only 2.0 stereo audio supported

FAQ

Still feeling overwhelmed about choosing the best free streaming TV option for your household? Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions comparing Samsung TV Plus and Pluto TV:

What content do Samsung TV Plus and Pluto TV have?

Samsung TV Plus offers around 195+ live channels focused on movies, news, sports and more. Pluto TV provides over 300 live channels spanning even more niche genres like comedy, anime, viral video clips alongside mainstream movies/series channels.

Both offer on demand programming as well, but Pluto TV maintains a much larger video library with thousands of hours of movies and shows to binge.

So while Samsung has enough variety for casual viewers, diehard cord cutters wanting maximum choice turn to Pluto TV.

Which platforms support Samsung TV Plus and Pluto TV?

Samsung TV Plus comes pre-installed on all 2016 and newer Samsung smart TV models, with app access on newer Samsung Galaxy phones/tablets too. Meanwhile Pluto TV offers full apps on all major devices – iOS, Android mobile, Fire TV streaming boxes, Apple TV, Chromecast, web browsers and select smart TV brands.

So Pluto TV runs on way more gadgets. But Samsung TV Plus brings specialized integration given Samsung’s unified ecosystem.

How often are ads shown on each service?

Pluto TV relies entirely on video ads interrupting programming in regular commercial breaks much like broadcast TV. Some report repetitive spots. However Samsung TV Plus overlays shorter banner promotions along bottom rather than videos.

So those highly annoyed by excessive commercials may tolerate Samsung TV Plus better. But you’ll encounter ads either way as necessary tradeoff.

Which has the better user interface and menus?

If you’ve used traditional cable TV guides before, Pluto TV will feel most familiar with its channel grid system and highly graphical flipping experience. However Samsung TV Plus uses basic text menus that can frustrate beginners.

Pluto TV streamlines channel surfing while Samsung TV Plus offers settings for advanced customization.

Bottom line – which free streaming service reigns supreme?

In the battle between Samsung TV Plus vs Pluto TV, Pluto TV clearly comes out ahead for most mainstream cord cutters wanting more content variety spanning both live channels and tons of on demand choices across virtually any device.

However, Samsung device households, especially those with newer smart TVs, find tremendous value in Samsung TV Plus being built-in with extra integrated controls and originals.

So power users wanting ultimate interoperability and choice are better served by Pluto TV. But Samsung loyalists will appreciate Samsung TV Plus most. It depends on your gadget ecosystem and preferences.

Hopefully these answers help provide enough information to pick the free streaming option that best fulfills your household viewing needs. Both Samsung TV Plus and Pluto TV offer outstanding free entertainment worth trying as cable alternatives.