Spotlight On Crackle

Crackle streaming video service provides back catalog movies and TV shows for free. Videos have advertising embedded, similar to Hulu. Crackle is run by Sony Pictures, and all the video content is from the Sony Pictures catalog.

Offering Price
Crackle FREE

Places To Watch Crackle

Crackle supports most playback platforms, though there’s a distinct Sony bias to it. Crackle is only supported on Sony TVs and Blue-ray players, and the Sony PS3 is the only game platform that Crackle supports. Fortunately set-top boxes are well supported, with Roku and several other less-well-known platform. The full list of supported devices is available on the Crackle website.

PlayBack Device Crackle
Android Devices YES
iOS Devices YES
Roku (TV) YES
Playstation 3 (TV) YES
XBox 360 (TV) no
Wii (TV) no
Blue-ray Players YES

Crackle Video Bitrates

Like many other Sony-owned properties, Crackle is very secretive about what they’re doing. There aren’t published specs or details about their codec and bandwidths. The approximate bandwidths can be calculated by measuring the amount of internet traffic generated over time. After a few experiments, I’ve determined that the video quality is on par with everyone else. I could not determine the video codec.

Standard Def Audio Quality Bitrate 1 HR TV Show Size
Best 480p Stereo 1.1 Mbps 0.50 GB
Good 360p Stereo 800 kbps 0.35 GB

Before using Crackle, check that your internet provider gives enough bandwidth to get the video quality you’re expecting.

Crackle Conclusions

The Good: Crackle is a good addition to a streaming video channel set. It brings content that isn’t available anywhere else and is free to play.

The Bad: Crackle is obviously a Sony property. They’re opaque about plans and what they’re doing. They bias toward supporting Sony consumer electronics and have no interest in expanding beyond Sony content. With no high definition offerings, the Crackle content is limited to lower quality ranges.