First off, the interface on Google TV is great! Media is sorted by type (Movie, Television, Originals, and Collections) as well as by Genre. You can also easily see new media, an alphabetical listing, and what’s popular right now with other users.
One thing many users won’t notice, because the design is so good, is that Crackle is not an app like we normally think of one; it is what is called a “leanback channel”. This is actually a webpage that has been formatted and optimized for TV viewing.
How is it free? How can you watch feature presentations without paying for it? Ads. There will be commercials. Just like watching a show or movie on a “regular” tv network there are periodically brief interruptions (about 30 seconds every ten minutes) advertising a product of service from Crackle or a third-party vendor.
The selection of movies and shows is limited right now, compared to NetFlix or Hulu, but I am sure that will improve. It has some content that is not available on Netflix, such as Defendor (I am a Woody Harrelson fan). The majority of content is from the late 80s, 90s, and early 2000s, but don’t take this to mean that it is all stuff you’ve seen before or wouldn’t want to watch. The tv shows include such classics as “I Dream of Jeannie” and “The Three Stooges” to minisodes of “Breaking Bad”. Direct to video, “B”, and hit movies are included in the available titles as well. There are also some decent “Originals” (I finally got to see Woke Up Dead), meaning web tv series that they sponsor.
Picture quality depends on two things, the show and your internet connection. Assuming you have a good connection to your router (wired or wireless) and a decent download speed then it is all about what show you’re watching.
So why take the time to go through Crackle? Free movies and TV, as they add more content it’ll get even better! I would recommend getting a Crackle account and signing-up for notifications of future content updates. Crackle also has Android and iOS apps for use on phones and tablets. Crackle is owned by Sony.