SHOWTIME Review

ProsCons
  • Several Oscar-winning movies
  • Excellent original programming
  • Can be purchased as an add-on through other video streaming services
  • More expensive than other video streaming platforms
  • Relatively small content library
  • User experience varies depending on place of purchase

SHOWTIME is a premium network that offers an attractive option to people cutting the cable TV cord. It provides viewers with access to movies and shows on-demand or via several live channels. The network can either be purchased directly or as an add-on channel via other streaming platforms, such as Amazon Prime Video, fuboTV, Hulu, Sling TV and YouTube TV.

SHOWTIME is home to standout video content, including Oscar-winning movies, classic films and a good selection of original TV shows. However, users that are looking for endless amounts of content will find the SHOWTIME library lacks choice compared to other online services.

What To Watch On Showtime

SHOWTIME’s movie selection is headed by several films that have taken home the Oscar for Best Picture. These include a couple of star-studded classics such as Shakespeare in Love, featuring actors such as Geoffrey Rush, Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes and The English Patient, starring the likes of Colin Firth, Kristin Scott Thomas and Ralph Fiennes. This list also includes Spotlight, which focuses on the true story of a team of journalists played by Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams that uncovers systemic abuse in Boston’s Catholic Church.

Viewers who are looking for something light-hearted and funny are in luck with The Holiday, starring Cameron Diaz, Jack Black and Jude Law. Comedy fans can also enjoy Superbad, which follows a day in the life of desperate college students played by Jonah Hill, Michael Cena, Emma Stone and Seth Rogen.

The network is also home to a host of cult-favorites, such as all three installments of the Back To The Future trilogy, Good Will Hunting, with Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Robin Williams in a tale of a volatile high school janitor with a brilliant mind, Mel Gibson’s breakthrough movie Mad Max and science fiction classic Total Recall starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Horror fans are also in luck with Sixth Sense, an M. Night Shyamalan movie starring Bruce Willis as a psychologist who uncovers the truth behind a young boy’s ghostly visions. The catalog also has The Babadook, in which a monster from a mysterious book plagues a child’s dreams. Viewers can also enjoy all four films from the Scream franchise.

Top TV shows on SHOWTIME include the network’s own original programming. This includes political thriller Billions, starring Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti, and action-packed drama Homeland, which features Claire Danes as a volatile CIA agent. Other high-quality original content includes psychological thriller Penny Dreadful, which features some of the most terrifying characters from fiction. Viewers can also enjoy The Affair, which follows an extra-marital relationship from multiple perspectives. Dominic West, Joshua Jackson, Maura Tierney and Ruth Wilson star in this critically-acclaimed film.

SHOWTIME also has a variety of intriguing documentaries available. These include docuseries like Active Shooter: American Under Fire, which looks at the effects that mass shootings have had on victims’ families and Dark Net, which offers eye-opening insights into the darkest reaches of the Internet. The catalog also includes The Circus: Inside The Craziest Political Campaign On Earth — an exploration of the Donald Trump era of politics. It also has an Emmy-award winning series of documentaries from Vice, which follows reporters into the frontline of civil uprisings, global conflicts and the world’s biggest geopolitical stories.

There are also several feature-length documentaries available, including 100% Julian Edelman, which tracks the NFL star’s rise to SuperBowl MVP and an expose on Death Row Records founder Suge Knight in American Dream / American Knightmare. Viewers can also enjoy the inside story on one of basketball’s greatest players in Kobe Bryant’s Muse.

On top of this on-demand content, SHOWTIME also offers up to 16 multiplex channels, including:

  • SHOWTIME
  • SHO
  • SHO 2
  • SHOWTIME Showcase
  • SHOWTIME Beyond
  • SHO Extreme
  • SHO Next
  • SHO Women
  • SHO Family Zone
  • Flix
  • The Movie Channel
  • The Movie Channel Xtra
  • SHOWTIME Costs And Plans

    When bought directly from the network, SHOWTIME is available for $10.99/mo. following a 30-day free trial. Viewers can get an annual subscription for $109.90, which represents a discount equivalent to 3 months. This guarantees viewers enjoy commercial-free access to SHOWTIME’s award-winning content.

    Viewers can also sign up for SHOWTIME as an add-on channel through various live and on-demand video streaming services. The network costs $10.99/mo. when purchased through services such as Amazon Prime Video ($12.99/mo.), fuboTV ($54.99/mo.), Hulu ($5.99/mo.), Sling TV ($30-$45/mo.) and YouTube TV ($49.99/mo.)

    SHOWTIME User Experience

    SHOWTIME provides consistent user experiences across its mobile and web interfaces. Users can enjoy simple video playback controls, which include classic fast-forward and rewind features rather than the 10-second skip modes that several other video streaming services now commonly offer.

    Its apps use highly visual tile formats with movies and TV shows categorized into broad content headings Series, Movies, Sports, Documentaries and Comedy. Within those, content is organized by New and Noteworthy then broken down into smaller categories such as Action, Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Family, Horror and Sci-Fi/Fantasy. Importantly, SHOWTIME remembers the movies and TV shows that viewers have been watching across all devices.

    However, it’s important to remember that people who subscribe to SHOWTIME through a third-party streaming service, such as Amazon Prime Video, fuboTV, Hulu, Sling TV or YouTube TV, will be subject to the viewing experience of their provider.

    Device Compatibility

    SHOWTIME can be watched on any device that permits access to either the SHOWTIME website or its range of mobile and smart TV apps.

    The full list of compatible devices is as follows:

  • Amazon Fire and Amazon Kindle Fire
  • Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
  • Android phones and tablets with Android 4.4 or newer
  • Android TV, including HiSense TV, LeEco TV, NVIDIA Shield, Sony BRAVIA, Xiaomi MiBox
  • Apple mobile devices with iOS 9.0 or newer
  • Apple Mac OSX 10.10 or newer
  • Apple TV 3rd generation and newer
  • Facebook Portal TV
  • Google Chromecast
  • LG Smart TV with webOS
  • Oculus Go and Oculus Quest
  • Roku Streaming Device 2nd generation and newer and Roku TV
  • Samsung Smart TVs
  • Windows 10 or newer
  • Xbox One
  • Streaming Quality
  • SHOWTIME is available in HD quality video (1080p) depending on the viewer’s internet bandwidth. SHOWTIME recommends viewers have a downstream bandwidth of 5 Mbps or higher and adjusts its stream based on the quality of the internet connection. SHOWTIME advises viewers to watch its content via a 4G or higher connection and strongly recommends its app be used with a Wi-Fi connection for the best video quality and to minimize data usage.

    Showtime subscribers can also take content on the go to watch as and when they like, with the number of movies or shows they can download depending on the amount of storage space they have available. When downloaded to a mobile phone, users can choose between Standard (540p) and High (720p) quality. Tablet viewers have access to 1080p streaming. Of course, a higher bitrate provides an improved viewing experience but will take up more space on the mobile device.

    Live streaming TV Channels

    In addition to enabling viewers to watch movies and shows on-demand, SHOWTIME provides a choice of up to 16 multiplex channels. This includes eight channels that run around the clock: Sho, Sho 2, Sho Extreme, Sho Next, Showcase, Showcase Beyond, Showtime and Show Women. These are joined by The Movie Channel and Movie Channel Extra in some regions.

    However, viewers that sign up for SHOWTIME through a third-party provider will find the live services they have access to dependent on the number of channels their provider offers. For example, Amazon Prime Video and Sling TV both offer nine live Showtime channels, but Hulu only has one.

    Standout Original Programming

    SHOWTIME’s original content makes it an ideal option for cutting the cord on cable. Big-name dramas like Billions and Homeland are joined by shows like Ray Donovan, which sees Liev Schreiber playing a law firm mediant and hit serial killer drama, Dexter.

    Additional original programming includes the US version of cult British TV series Shameless, which features William H. Macy and another British show in medieval drama The Tudors, which follows the exploits of King Henry VIII.

    Can I Cut the Cable TV Cord With SHOWTIME?

    SHOWTIME offers a strong option for people looking to cut the cord on cable TV. The SHOWTIME service alone provides a solid range of video content — its original programming alone is a good enough reason to give the streaming service a go. The addition of high-quality movies and the option to watch content on-demand or live make the service even more appealing.

    But the factor that may swing cord-cutters is that it can be purchased as an add-on service through their existing streaming provider. This makes it an ideal choice for bundling with on-demand services with larger content libraries, such as Amazon Prime Video or Hulu. Viewers interested in a more comprehensive viewing experience might consider purchasing a SHOWTIME subscription through a live TV provider such as Sling TV or YouTube TV. SHOWTIME also comes with a 30 days free trial, which is perfect for checking out what the service has to offer.

    Current as of May 2020*

    Malin Curry

    Article Author

    Disclaimer: This article may have had additional images, links or data that was added by this site's editor.

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