Retrovision Review

My Thoughts on Retrovision, a Free Movie & TV Show Streaming Service

Screenshot of The Movie 'Bonanza - The Gunmen' at Retrovision
The Movie 'Bonanza - The Gunmen'.

Retrovision not only lets you stream free, legal movies and classic TV shows, but you can also download films free of charge to watch offline, which is more than most movie streaming websites allow.

Read on to learn more about my experience with Retrovision - what I think of the advertisements, movie selection, video buffering, and more.

Categories Aren't Consistent

The categories at Retrovision aren't consistent and I'll explain what I mean by this with an example. There are categories of movies called Comedy, Crime, Dramaand War, among others. The first two have subcategories that are part of the film name, such as Dick Tracy for movies that contain that name in the title, while the last two genres have subsections like Cult Film and Kung Fu.

So some of the categories listed at Retrovision explain movies by their name, whereas others will explain the type of film, or it's genre. This isn't a huge concern, but I think it's a bit strange the way it's setup, and may make finding movies harder than it should be.

If you're not finding movies through the regular menu at the top of the website, Retrovision has a menu icon on the top right that lets you view all the categories and subcategories at one time, which certainly helps. This means you can see all the sections on the screen at once. This is also where the search bar is, which is otherwise hidden.

Less Than DVD Quality Videos at Retrovision

I tested ten different videos in various genres to find that they were all less than DVD quality. Around half of the films were black and white, but even the colored movies were less than standard quality.

Though I can hardly compare Retrovision to other movies streaming sites and their quality of films because the ones here are classics, and thus are very old.

If you're looking to watch movies of higher quality, I recommend SnagFilms, Watch DocumentaryTop Documentary Films, or, all of which have a handful or more of high definition films.

Retrovision's Player Options

Movies hosted at Retrovision have a full-screen button along with regular controls like fast forwarding, rewinding, and volume control.

There could be other video players at Retrovision that have different options, but I only encountered these two.

Most Videos Don't Have Advertisements

Of all the movies I tested, none of them that were hosted from Retrovision had in-video advertisements, which is wonderful when you compare it to other movie streaming sites such as Sony Crackle and Yidio, which both show commercials throughout their videos.

Some films may have advertisements but it seems that the videos hosted on Retrovision's own website are free from commercials.

My Video Buffering Experience With Retrovision

Some movie streaming websites, especially those that offer high definition films, can have issues with videos buffering. If you have a slow network connection or are streaming multiple movies at once, you could easily notice videos randomly pausing or even restarting altogether.

Fortunately, I didn't find any problems whatsoever with videos buffering from Retrovision. I was able to fast forward, start new movies, and rewind without anything but a slight delay. Retrovision's movies actually seemed to load much quicker than similar movie streaming websites.

Retrovision Has a Nice Mobile Website

I tested Retrovision's website on an iPhone and found that it worked out pretty well and fit to the screen size perfectly. You have access to all the same menus as the desktop version, even the large one I talked about above, and all the movies I tried to watch were viewable.

I'd say it's unfortunate that there isn't an installable app for watching Retrovision's films on a an iPhone, but since you don't need to login to an account to watch the movies, there really isn't anything that would work best in an app format, so the mobile optimized website is sufficient.

There is, however, an Android app called Classic UHF that, according to the Retrovision website, "has most of my public domain library." See my list of free movie apps for other websites that have a dedicated mobile application.

Retrovision: Final Thoughts

If it's old classics you're looking for, both the desktop and mobile version of Retrovision will serve you well. Plus, the lack of advertisements and smooth video playback are certainly more reasons to check it out.

Below most of the films I watched was a download button that lets you save the movie offline and watch it even without an Internet connection, which is a great option to have.