Hallmark’s SpiritClips service brings you family-friendly programming and inspirational movies. You need to sign up for a subscription and then you can watch films and short videos on your iPad or Android tablet, as well as your main computer back home.
New Internet-capable TVs can also download the corresponding apps and bring you the movies on a big screen. Favorites include, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” and “Hoosiers.” Hallmark doesn’t carry R-rated films or movies with excessive violence or nudity. It stays away from political or controversial topics, but it specializes in movies such as, “The Karate Kid,” and they produce some of their own original movies, with an extensive movie library for kids.
Sign Up for SpiritClips
You can sign up on the main Hallmark website or via one of the apps from the Apple App Store or the Android app store Google Play. You have to access the stores from the mobile device you want to use to play your movie because the app you get may depend on which device you are using.
Once you have a subscription, you can watch movies and clips on any of the supported devices, which includes iPads, iPhones and Android tablets and phones. You can activate up to six devices on one account, but you can only watch two movies on two different devices at the same time. The cost, as of September 2013, is $4.99 per month or $35.99 per year. Both are for unlimited viewing.
You get excellent movie playback with any good High Speed Internet connection, but you need 3G or 4G LTE if you’re using a mobile device on the cellular network. You also have to keep a close eye on your bandwidth. Movies use up a lot of your data allowance and, if you have a cap of only several gigabytes, you may exceed it and start paying extra after several movies.
The exact number depends on the movies and on your device, but it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your data usage when you first sign up. Watching your movies via WiFi wherever possible reduces your mobile data use and helps keep you from going over your cap.
Once you open your app or log into the site, you see rows of movie titles, each row a different type. Recently there were Hollywood favorites, such as “The Black Stallion,” as well as a SpiritClip Original, “The Last Mile,” and the kids movie, “The Secret of Nimh.”
You can browse further to find hundreds of additional titles. When you hover over or tap on one of the movies, you see a short summary of the plot and the running time. Once you start watching a movie, you can’t save it or mark it for future viewing. To find it again, you have to browse for it or perform a search for the words in the title.
If you select a movie without having a subscription, you are asked to join with an offer of a free week to try out the service.
The Hallmark SpiritClips Facebook page features announcements of new movies and fun postings by Hallmark. Visitors can post comments on movies they have seen or comment on the Facebook page.
Hallmark posts links to stories relevant to particular movies and general interest links. SpiritClip videos with commentary on movies, clips from movies and other video clips are scattered throughout the postings. You can get a good idea of what new movies are available and what people are watching.
You can get an overview of what SpiritClip movies are about by looking at clips on YouTube. Hallmark has uploaded promotional clips and clips from movies, so you can watch segments that are several minutes long and see what comments other viewers have posted.
You may also find the “Behind the Scenes” videos interesting. They’re short videos about one of the stars of a movie or the director. You can visit the YouTube site on your computer or get the YouTube app for your mobile phone or tablet.
The Hallmark SpiritClip service delivers heartwarming content to your home and mobile devices. You can leave your kids with an iPad or Android tablet connected to the site without having to worry about inappropriate content. The movies are ideal for viewing as a family and can generate discussion around the dinner table. For young families, you can usually find a life lesson and a positive ending, but older kids and teenagers may want something with more gritty reality.
With its low cost and ease of use, you can subscribe to Hallmark SpiritClip as a complement to services such as Netflix, with its more comprehensive selection, or just for your young kids and an occasional family movies night.