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Streaming Video and media

General Information about films and documentaries available from WCU Libraries, as well as online open source, Pay-per-view, and educational use

How to find a film?

How do I find something I can watch right now?  All WCU students, staff, and faculty have access to thousands of streaming videos through library databases. Here is a step-by-step video on how to find them in library search

If you still don't see what you need we may have it in our DVD collection; the Innovation Media Center can loan you a USB player or you can book a room with viewing equipment. 

If you know which film you want and we don't have it you can send a request for purchasing. If you need to discuss your needs please contact a subject librarian

There are also Pay-per-view (Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, etc.) and free online sources you can use.

Physical collection and spaces

Over the years we have accumulated a collection of over 10,000 films and documentaries, housed on the first floor of FHG library, at the Innovation Media Center (IMC). You can use our catalog to find titles you want to watch, and some may be assigned to class reserves for recommended or required viewing. IMC offers USB players, digital cameras and other equipment for class or personal use. There are also rooms which can be booked for small group viewing

Library Databases

The following is a selection of the streaming video databases licensed by the WCU Libraries.  Content in these databases is primarily subscribed or temporary licensed, so the publisher choses and curates the content, and videos can come and go according to their contracts. For a full list of streaming video databases use A-Z Databases with the "database type" set to streaming video.


Open Access and Commercial Sites

There are also many sites offering free content. Most have commercials, selection is often limited, but we have found many requested films on these sites. Sometimes you have to sign up and just like the subscription sited content comes and goes so keep that in mind when using for assignments.  Here are some sites offering free access that we have used. There are lots of suspect sites out there but here are some we have used.
  • TubiTV - Offering both movies and T.V., TubiTV does include commercials but they have an extensive catalog

  • Netflix - Netflix offers free screening of select documentaries in an educational setting.  There are limitations, and the films must be accessed by a Netfilx member.

  • Netflix YouTube - Netflix has a YouTube channel with a choice selection of free documentaries available to anyone. Established in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the large number of students learning from home.

  • Vudu - In addition to their Pay-per-Play selection, Vudu has some free films and T.V.  There are commercials and there is a lot of B and even D list films but they have a "fresh only" filter that will only show movies that have a Rotten Tomatoes Fresh rating.

  • Peacock - has a selection of free movies, TV shows, and a small selection of live sports and news


Here are some of the big players in Pay-Per-View video streaming.  You may have used one or more of these and you may already subscribe to one or more.  You can often find free trials and bundle deals. Check to make sure the service has want you want before you sign up.  Streaming is still relatively new and constantly changing; some producers are striking out on their own and some are joining with established services.  
  • Netflix - They started by offering DVD rentals by mail and were one of the first video streaming services.  Netfilx started their streaming service in 2007, and creating their own content in 2013.  They offer a free 30 day trial and then charge a monthly fee.

  • Amazon Prime Video - Included with Amazon Prime membership, some videos are free and some are available for an additional rental charge.  Rentals are active for 30 days but must be viewed within 48 once the video has started.  In 2015 Amazon started partnering with third party providers to offer "channels" with content not otherwise available on Amazon.  Most channels require an additional subscription fee but many also offer a one week free trial. 

  • Hulu - Launched in 2007, Hulu doesn't offer as much original content, they do have a very extensive selection of Television shows.  They offer tiered pricing starting with a basic package that includes commercials, commercial free, and a premium package that adds online DVR storage and live T.V. access. A 30 day free trial is available. Hulu also offers "add-on" options for other providers such as HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime.  Hulu also has package deals with other services like ESPN+ and Disney+ 

  • Disney+ - At the end of 2019 Disney launched their own streaming service, pulling most of their titles from the other platforms.  In addition to Disney productions the platform includes content from National Geographic, 20th Century Fox, Pixar, and both the Star Wars and Marvel franchises. Disney+ offers a 7 day free trial.

  • HBO Max - HBO has been in business for nearly 50 years .  While they were pioneers in cable television, they didn't start streaming until 2010, with their HBO Go service.  In 2020 they updated the service and rebranded as HBO Max.  HBO has a large catalog of original content and also Warner Studios material, their parent company.

  • YouTube -  It started as a video sharing service now they offer Pay-Per-View movies and a subscription service.  Their main offering is live T.V. but you can find movies available for single use rental.

  • Other subscription services include, The Criterion Channel, AcornTV, Sling T.V., Crunchyroll, Peacock T.V., Paramount Plus, CuriosityStream, PBS Documentaries, and Shudder.  Many of these, and others, are available as add-on in Amazon Prime. Many niche interests have their own streaming channel. There are a lot of lesser known options available that might have what you're looking for.

  • Single title Pay-per-View providers of single user rental videos include, iTunes, Apple TV, Vudu, and Google Play

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