There are a number of Catholic movies available on Netflix.com (and it always varies by country and region), but you have to dig a little to find them. What if there was a streaming service for Catholic content, a ‘Catholic Netflix’, wouldn’t that be amazing? Well, there is! And it is called Formed. And it is $9.99 / month for individuals. The service can be offered at a parish level for your ENTIRE congregation, see their site for details on that. My parish doesn’t offer it yet, so we are focusing on the individual price. So for $9.99 you can have tons, and I mean tons of really rock solid, Catholic Video, Audio, and Books!
UPDATE JUNE 2017
Formed.org has just released their first app. It is awesome!
Scott Hahn, Bishop Robert Barron, YDisciple. Catholic topics like the Church, parenting, Divine Mercy, and the Saints. Really focused topics like Saint John Paul II, the Holy Spirit, and Catholic Catechism of Adults. There is so much more too.
Augustine Institute, you remember them? Of course you do, you may even see them each weekend? They are the company behind the Catholic Study Bible App, and the ones that put together those amazing displays of Catholic CD’s that you see in parishes. Augustine Institute has a CD of the Month Club, and a MP3 of the month club, as well as a massive and growing library of really solidly Catholic digital content, including the Bible Study App! They have come to the forefront of video streaming on demand as well, and created Formed. It’s a continuously growing platform, with new content (I get their emails) regularly added.
The Formed Service is The Catholic Faith. On Demand.
They have brought in some very significant content, including titles from Bishop Robert Barron, like Catholicism. I first purchased this from Amazon.com when it was first released, and the quality is top of the line. One reviewer on Amazon says:
In addition to rock solid scholarship and theology, the DVD series is filled with beautiful cinematography, which is used to illustrate the theological points in the series. As Fr. Barron points out, the Catholic Church is and always has been a Church that embraces both the “right and left brain” of humanity. It is a Church of science AND art, and the imagery in the DVD series is far more than fluff or filler.
But the great thing about Formed is that it is right there, as much as you want, whenever you want it. You don’t have to buy the DVD collection for over $50.00. You can watch it all for $9.99 / month. For the same price as buying the DVD set, I could have five months of Amazing Catholic Content! Video, Audio, and Even Books on Demand. ALL. THE. TIME.
For the first time, in breathtaking, high-definition cinematography, the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Catholic Faith are illustrated in a rich, multimedia experience. Journey with acclaimed author, speaker and theologian Bishop Robert Barron to more than fifty locations throughout fifteen countries. Be illuminated by the spiritual and artistic treasures of this global culture that claims more than one billion of the earth’s people.
Parish Content, or Group Study or Group Retreat
Formed has a number of video retreats as well. This is awesome. And the quality of these are what you would experience if you were to go out and purchase the DVD’s. One Example is the 33 Days to Morning Glory Retreat with Fr. Michael Gaitley. In this series, and you get the whole series, you can download the participants guide and the leader guide, to go along with the Video. Again, this is really amazing, because these things bought on their own would cost much, much more.
These are just two of the titles that are available in their long list of titles. There are a lot more, and include things like Sacramental Preparation.
What About Our Kids
Our kids cannot be left out of this incredible offering can they? You will be very happy to see titles like The True Story of Fatima, Ben-hur, The Odyssey, Francis the Knight of Assisi, and many more. This is where I can feel safe, letting my kids watch this and learning about their rich and deep Catholic faith. Everything has it’s place, but Dino-Trux, and Sesame Street don’t offer my young kids a chance to experience or learn about the Eucharist, the amazing love of Jesus, or the miracles of Fatima.
Formed.org gets a huge thumbs up from us at CatholicApps.com and we whole heartedly recommend it. IT is is THE place I will be going for Lent, Advent and bible studies. Obviously, we are very digital focused, but I think that if you have an Android phone or tablet, iPad or iPhone, you can benefit from this.
And of course it streams easily.
How to Watch Formed.org This is the Nerdy Technical Section
Right now, you can only watch Formed from within a browser, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer. However, if you can airplay or cast from your devices, you can watch it on your home TV. We are a family in the Apple world, so we have appleTVs connected. Here is how we do it:
- Set up your AppleTV device
- Connect your iPhone/iPad to the same wifi network as your AppleTV
- On your iPhone/iPad swipe up from the bottom of your screen to open Control Center.
- In Control Center, tap AirPlay Mirroring, then select your Apple TV from the list. If an AirPlay passcode appears on your TV screen, enter the passcode on your device.
- Navigate to FORMED in your Safari (or Chrome) browser. Once you’ve selected a video to view turn your phone to landscape and enter full-screen mode.
It’s really that easy.
For Android and Chrome devices it is a little more complicated, and it depends on your setup. This is from their support documents, which by the way is great for finding lots of helpful things.
If you use Google Chrome as your browser you can stream videos or movies from FORMED with a Chromecast to your SmartTV. This device will allow you to stream FORMED from your computer, tablet or smart-phone to your SmartTV.
*We’ve found the easiest way to cast FORMED is by using a computer with the chrome browser, rather than casting from a phone or tablet.
Casting From Your Computer:
Instructions for installing and “casting” (the term for streaming your video to your TV from Chrome) are below:
- Plug the Chromecast into a USB port on your TV and follow the instructions provided in the Chromecast manual to connect to your wi-fi.
- Download and install the Google Cast Plugin to your Chrome browser on your computer. Ensure that this device is on the same wi-fi as your TV.
- Connect Chrome to your SmartTV.
You will then see the Chromecast icon (a rectangular box with a slanted wi-fi signal in the lower right corner) in the top right of a “cast-eligible tab” – one for which you can cast to your TV. Click that icon and select your TV from the list. Your browsing screen should then be visible on your SmartTV screen. You can then control the video through the player on your computer. *Please note: Chromecast causes a duplication of the download (as it simultaneously downloads it to your computer/device and TV). Thus, if you have a low speed/wi-fi connectivity this may interrupt the video stream to load. If this is the case we recommend using a direct connection (HDMI).
Casting from Android Smart Phones/Tablet:
If using an Android Smart Phone you will need to download the Google Home App to mirror your Android phone’s screen to the the to your TV through Chromecast.
- Connect your Android Phone to the same Wifi as your Chromecast
- Open the Google Home App
- In the top left corner of the home screen, tap the Menu button and select Cast Screen / audio
- Select your ChromeCast Device. Your phone’s screen should now be mirrored on your TV screen.
- Navigate to formed.org in one of your phone’s browsing Apps.
- Turn your phone to landscape mode and select a video and click the full screen icon.
- Your FORMED video should now be visible in full-screen mode on your TV screen.
Casting from Apple iPhones:
Mirroring through Chromecast is not available for iPhones or iPads. For this reason you will need to download a separate App to your iPhone/iPad in order to cast with Chromecast to your SmartTV.
There are multiple mirroring Apps available for iPhone/iPad in the App store, for instance the Video & TV Cast For ChromeCast App, which is a free App. To use this App follow the below instructions.
- Connect Chromecast to your TV
- Download a mirroring App to your device
- Sync the App with your Chromecast Device (must be on the same wifi network)
- Use the built in browser within the App to pull up formed.org
- FORMED will open within the browser. And your iPhone screen should be mirrored on your Smart TV if not you will be prompted to cast the video.