The MPAA isn't the first organization that you'd expect to start helping you find movies and TV shows to watch online, but it turns out the association has become pretty cooperative. It's launched a new site called WhereToWatch that lets you search for a movie or TV show and find out where you can legally stream it, rent it, or buy it. The site will also tell you where to get what you're looking for on DVD or Blu-ray, and if a movie is still in theaters, it'll look up nearby showtimes too. It's a surprisingly nice and useful service, especially given that the MPAA has a bad history of working against consumers, rather than with them.
WhereToWatch sorts through around two dozen services
WhereToWatch sorts through Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, Amazon, Xbox Video, and nearly two dozen other services to determine where you'll be able to watch something. That means it's sorting through a lot more services than what you'd find on similar sites like Can I Stream It — though both sites have the major services that you'd want to see anyway. WhereToWatch's results appear to be pretty good, though the services are listed as a "beta" and it presented at least one false positive in a quick test.
Still, this is an easy way to find where you can watch whatever it is that you're looking for, and that's going to be increasingly useful going forward. Netflix isn't the watch-anything service that it used to be, and it's not evident that we'll ever see a replacement for that. Fortunately, sites like WhereToWatch and Can I Stream It have been popping up to hunt down movies for you. That isn't quite as easy as knowing that one service will have everything, but it's still a very quick way to start streaming.