These are difficult times with many tightening their belts, yet at the same time finding themselves with more free time. But even if you are on a strict budget there are many ways to enjoy Star Trek without actually spending any money, including some new limited time free offers from companies looking to help during the pandemic that is keeping so many of us under quarantine. So, we have put together a number of ways Star Trek fans can watch, read, listen, and more without leaving home or spending any money at all.
Stream all Star Trek TV shows at CBS All Access free for a month
If you missed our report two weeks ago, then you should know that right now CBS All Access is offering a free month of the streaming service for new subscribers. CBS All Access has the entire library of Star Trek televisions shows as well as their exclusive originals Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Short Treks and Star Trek: Picard. The free month offer is available until April 23rd. To take advantage: CLICK HERE to try CBS All Access FREE for 1 month. Use code ALL to redeem.
Both Hulu and Netflix currently offer free 7-day trial periods and have the Star Trek television library (with the exception of the the CBS All Access exclusives). If you are an Amazon Prime customer, then the Trek TV library is also available via Amazon Prime Video.
Stream (many) Star Trek movies with Hulu free trial and more
Access for streaming the thirteen Star Trek feature films gets more complex as they tend to move around from service to service as rights deals kick in and lapse. CBS All Access currently has Star Trek: Nemesis, which is also available on the ad-supported Crackle streaming service, along with Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Hulu (who offers a free week trial) has all the TOS movies with the exception of Star Trek IV, and they also have Insurrection. Amazon Prime Video also has most of the TOS and TNG era films. As for streaming the Kelvin films for free, the only one on a streaming service with a free 7-day trial is the 2009 Star Trek film on Fubo. If you already are a cable subscriber, some of the films are available on demand if you have Epix, Syfy or FX.
If you’re trying to figure out what’s where, try the JustWatch app, which allows you to search for individual titles and then tells you where to find them, both for free and at various price points.
Star Trek audiobooks and ebooks available free for a month with Scribd
Another service that is offering a free month currently is Scribd. The subscription site offers unlimited ebooks and audiobooks including a number of Star Trek titles. Scribd’s Star Trek collection includes many of the latest releases as well.
Books and movies also available digitally at your local library
Of course the streaming subscription services above are only offering free access for limited periods and to continue to enjoy them you will need to pay to subscribe. However, a great resource for free digital media that many people overlook is your local library. Most libraries these days, have a wide variety of ebooks, audiobooks and comic books to borrow. Many also offer access to streaming video services for film and television. As most physical libraries are closed during the pandemic, many are making it easy to get digital library cards online, providing access to their digital catalogs without leaving home. Some libraries are also waiving late fees to make it easier to rejoin and start borrowing again. For books and audiobooks most libraries offer their collections via the app Libby, with Hoopla being the most popular service libraries use for video. The apps are entirely free and available via a number of platforms. Availability for each library varies, with the bigger cities offering more selection.
Reruns available free over the air with Heroes and Icons
You can also get your Star Trek TV the old-fashioned way, right over the airwaves, and entirely for free. Heroes & Icons is a digital broadcast television network that mostly airs reruns of classic television. Their weekday and Sunday schedules include a five-hour block of Trek shows: Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Enterprise. To catch H&I TV you will need an antenna, which can be picked up for less than $20. You can find out where to tune in for your city at handitv.com. The network is also available via a number of pay TV services, with the channel listings available at that same link. If you do have a pay TV package, BBC America also airs re-runs of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Star Trek Online and mobile Star Trek games are ‘free to play’
If gaming is your thing, you can always check out the massive multiplayer game Star Trek Online which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. The MMO is always releasing new content and you can start playing the game for free. However, the game does include a number of in-game purchase opportunities which are geared to making your play easier and more fun. But if you are a frugal Trekkie, there are still hours of Star Trek gaming you can enjoy without paying for anything. Star Trek Online is available on PCs as well as Playstation 4 and XBox One. To get started visit the official site.
If you are looking for mobile Star Trek gaming fun for your Apple or Android phone or tablet there are currently three main options to check out. Perhaps the most popular these days is Star Trek: Fleet Command, a strategy game set in the Kelvin universe. Star Trek: Timelines is a strategy roleplaying game that spans the prime universe eras. And Star Trek Trexels II is a ship management game with an 8-bit animation style. While free to download and play, each of these games also offers in-game purchasing.
Free Chief O’Brien at Work coloring book
As a way to help his fellow fans during this time, cartoonist Jon Adams (see our 2017 interview) has created a free downloadable 300-page coloring book based on his popular web-comic Chief O’Brien at Work. You can download it by CLICKING HERE.
How are you Star Trekking on a budget?
Do you have other suggestions for ways to enjoy Star Trek for free? Offer them up in the comments below.
Nice article. Love what Heroes and Icons does every weeknight, it’s fantastic.
I will continue binge watching Deep Space Nine on Easter Sunday with my family and close friends. I have a free trial of Hulu and Netflix for one month.
It was a nice article in a time of crisis.
I’ve been preaching the H&I gospel since 2016. They started the All Star Trek block for the 50th anniversary. My only gripe is TOS used to be aired uncut, but not anymore.
..my goodness, I thought they were new!
H&I also has only the remastered versions — there’s some good there but people should also see the show as aired with original FX, either DVD, laser or VHS. That channel is a terrific way for new people to catch up, though.
Just acquired TOS on laserdisc. I almost forgot how good the non-remastered episodes looked when not viewing a 3rd generation syndication VHS recording.
Les Bian Romulan, I hear you — I ALWAYS switch to the unremastered versions when watching the Blu-rays. Some of the effects shots are a bit gnarly, but it’s worth it to see the hard work those 1960s technicians put into the effects.
I watch Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, TOS, The Next Generation, Voyager, and Enterprise on Netflix and Hulu. I don’t CBS All Access to watch Star Trek on Easter Sunday.
I used Audible to listen to Star Trek audiobooks for free. Sometimes I play free Star Trek games on my Xbox and my phone.
I am currently on a Pork furlough (luckily on full-pay) and am working my way through my TOS (My favourite Trek) DVD box sets. I also have a stash of Round 2/AMT Trek model kits to complete (again, TOS!) and am aware how lucky I have things, compared to some other folk.
I hope all of you, wherever you are, stay safe and well
Wow, getting paid to stay home? Goodwill here is deigning to cover us a month of Kaiser till end of April, but laid everybody off (except I guess admin and top management) w/o pay 2 weeks ago. They didn’t send anything about this to unemployment till April 6th, so I still haven’t been approved even though I applied back on the 23rd.
We finally got an update in the mail yesterday indicating that when they recall us and if they reopen your particular store, you have two days to show back up to work or your position is forfeit, which is hardly reassuring considering our region didn’t have its stores close till there was a public outcry from customers feeling the employees were in danger and that caused TV stations to start calling admin about it. So I imagine they are going to open as soon as they are legally able, and probably before we get any decent stock of PPE, or a workflow that doesn’t require us to be exposed to such a range of unchecked material coming through the dropoff door.
That’s hardly a thrilling propsect for somebody who already has COPD, had a 5 week pneumonia a few years back and is diabetic, married to a woman with 11 year+ still undiagnosed immune system issues that require her to be on the stuff that Trump’s big mouth prematurely just caused to become utterly scarce. If it wasn’t for the sporadic freelance writing income (made even more limited because so much I’d been writing about — WW84, CANDYMAN, and three stories on NO TIME TO DIE — got bumped back to Fall/Winter), I’d never have made the rent or utilities this month.
I’ve got my DVDs/Blu-Rays of TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY, and all of the films. I’m good.
I’m with you, Lyle. In Maine, we had major power outages from Thursday into today. Thanks to my collection, I was still able to watch DS9 on my laptop! That’s why I insist on having Trek on physical media – I just don’t trust the cloud.
..H&I TV is carried over the air here, as yet on cable. If you have an amplified..electricity required for the signal booster..internal or external HD antenna, this channel comes in on non-compressed, high definition quality, better than satellite or cable picture and sound and runs all the (real) Trek series every night from Sundays through Fridays! I don’t care for nor watch regular broadcast networks, so it’s refreshing to rewatch the reruns without having to subscribe to anything!
I prefer streaming like Netflix but having an antenna is not bad.
I work from home and snow is falling outside. Star Trek is the only thing that keeps me from going insane. The world is becoming hell and I try my best to survive and stay positive.
the frugalest and easiest is to steal it from a store or online or a library… but the next best thing is just cbsaa for the series… it’s like 6 dollars a month and you get every show… obviously incl the new ones… i have a few friends who love trek and were dying to see picard but didn’t want another streaming service… i get it… it’s overwhelming and annoying as we shift from cable to this stuff and it’s gotta figure itself out… but if picard had been a movie instead, they would have had zero issues spending 15-20 dollars doing to see it. which is the same as 3 months of cbs to watch picard weekly… all 3 said to me “i know i know”… makes no sense… then when cbs had the free month they all signed on… SIX DOLLARS!!!!! at some point someone’s gotta bundle these streaming services and it’ll be just like cable again lol
Many Star Trek novels are available in used bookstores… cheap!
Library sales are great for finding Trek books.
But for the fact that I have plenty of episodes from all the series I watch saved up to last me for the next two months, I’d definitely spend all my time rewatching Star Trek from The Cage to the latest episode of Picard.
I’ve been enjoying the mobile Star Trek game Trexels 2. It is free, but you can pay money for more stuff, but I never do and enjoy it all the same. Lots of Star Trek Easter eggs.
BTW: Anyone know when or if CBSAA will get ALL the Star Trek movies? I thought that since the Paramount+CBS merger that CBSAA will get a lot of Paramount movies, and it would make sense to get Trek movies.
ALSO: Is there anywhere to stream TOS with the OLD effects? I have the Blue-Rays and can watch TOS with the old effects with those, but I wish I could just throw it on my phone or smart TV whenever.
CBSAA moves the Star Trek movies on and off the service, seemingly at random. Early on I think all of the TOS and TNG movies were up briefly, but there are times when there are no Trek films. The Kelvin Trek films have never been on their movie selection.
Download a paper model of your favorite Starship, print it out, add scissors, white glue and a few hours and you have a model for your ready room. http://Www.jleslie48.com is a good place to start, and an internet search will lead to others. All free and go from relatively simple to very detailed and complex. Make it so!
There’s a App for a service called Tubi which should also be available if you have a smart TV, Tubi has a bunch of the original films available. Netflix also has different “Star Trek” series available as does “Amazon Prime”.
For fans in Canada looking for a deal, crave, BellMedia’s OTT service, is offering a 30-day free trial direct subscription for those who have never subscribed before. (This seems better than some 7-day free promotions to subscribe through TV providers.)
All previous Trek series, plus Discovery, Picard and Short Treks are available.
Yeah so many thinks Star Trek isn’t in reruns anymore when you can literally catch it every night on multiple channels in America. I was so happy to learn BBC America was now airing DS9 every week. This and all the streaming options is what keeps this franchise alive and probably why we have new shows now. I think way more people watch the old shows in reruns than they do shows like Discovery and Picard because there are just so many more options.