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Great originals and a standalone streaming option
8 / 10  Review Rating

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has called HBO his company's biggest rival, likening the Netflix-HBO battle to baseball's Yankees-Red Sox rivalry. But while HBO may be the biggest premium channel wading into the streaming market space, it's far from the only one. Rivals Starz and Showtime are also making progress as standalone streaming subscriptions.

Of the two competitors, Showtime is probably the bigger deal. So how does Showtime measure up to the competition? Here's our complete review.

User Experience

After clicking on the menu button in the Android app
After clicking on the menu button in the Android app

The Showtime user experience is pretty pleasant, and it's consistent across different platforms. Showtime's apps tend to open up to full-page swipe-able tiles that link to shows they're trying to promote, but once you've clicked on the menu button, it's pretty easy to find what you're looking for. Content is sorted into categories (some of which overlap). The movies appear in rows, while the series appear in tiles that are stacked vertically. Clicking on a movie gives you information like the release year, rating, duration, stars, director, etc.

In the series menu on iOS
In the series menu on iOS

The video controls are familiar – play, pause, fast-forward, and rewind (none of that ten seconds forward/ten seconds back business). The apps remember what you watched recently, even if you watched the content in question on another device – a nice touch, and something that isn't always the case with services like this.

Overall, the apps are sleek and well-designed, if a little bit pushy about promoted original content. The Showtime user experience is a good one.


Like HBO and Starz, Showtime offers streaming Hollywood films alongside its own original content. Showtime's original series include Homeland, Ray Donovan, and The Affair, plus now-concluded hits like Dexter. That's a solid lineup that probably tops Starz's offerings in the minds of most viewers, though it remains a step behind HBO, which still offers the best original series of any premium channel (and perhaps of any OTT service of any type).

A sampling of Showtime's original content, as seen in the web app
A sampling of Showtime's original content, as seen in the web app

In addition to their original fictional series, Showtime has some cool sports series. NHL fans will be particularly interested in Showtime's All Access: Quest for the Stanley Cup series.

In the movies department, Showtime offers some decent films – once again, their selection seems to best Starz while falling short of HBO. At the time of this review, notable films available on Showtime included Boyhood and Snowpiercer. As with the other premium channel OTT services, Showtime's movie selection is much smaller than the Netflix and Hulu catalogs, but includes films that are newer than what's generally available on those streaming services.

In addition to all of this on-demand content, Showtime allows subscribers to stream the channel live. You can choose between Showtime East and Showtime West.

Streaming Quality

Showtime's streaming quality was very solid. I was able to stream on multiple devices at once on my Wi-Fi while still maintaining smooth HD streaming. There wasn't any notable difference between most of the different devices I tried – it seemed a little worse on Android, but the difference wasn't that huge. For the most part, Wi-Fi devices worked just as well as wired ones.

Showtime's apps offer live TV in addition to their on-demand content. I was pretty impressed to find that their live TV streams were more or less on par with their on-demand streams in terms of streaming quality.


Showtime is available through a web app and for iOS, Apple TV, Android, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV. I tried it out on all of these platforms and found that the experience is pretty similar no matter which method you use. The app design is consistent, and the streaming quality is pretty similar across all platforms (it seemed slightly choppy for us on Android when using Wi-Fi, but it was still pretty solid on that platform and was perfect on all other devices). There's also Chromecast support on the mobile apps.

Be aware that Showtime offers two apps. There's the regular Showtime app, which is the app that your OTT login will work with, and there's Showtime Anytime, which is for users with cable logins.


At $10.99, Showtime is cheaper than HBO and about the same price as Netflix or Hulu. That makes it notably pricier on a per-title basis than Netflix or Hulu. As with HBO, you're really paying for access to the original series.


Showtime's apps are sleek and reliable, and its streaming quality is top-notch. Their content is solid, and for fans of their original series, subscribing is a great idea.

The only thing holding Showtime back is its place in the OTT pecking order. $10.99 for this content isn't a bad deal, but many users will prefer HBO's original series and Netflix's movie selection. Is there a place for Showtime as an add-on service serving viewers who already subscribe to those other services?

I think there is, though each cord cutter will have to device on his or her own budget. Showtime's offerings and apps make it worth checking out on a free trial basis at the very least.

24 thoughts on “Showtime Review

  1. Zachary Dunn says:

    You left out Android TV in the supported platforms section. Their description on the Play Store says it supports Android TV and the store shows compatibility with my Nvidia Shield TV.

    1. Lisa says:

      Showtime is a rip off..was charges even tho i signed up for the 30 days free..i was charged..i give u guys 0 stars..never again..i will put a bad review up every day

      1. Maggie says:

        Exactly! I never clicked on Showtime for their free trial. I contacted them and was assured I didn’t have an account and then was charged. They gave me the run around in countless emails until I finally got it taken care of. Dishonest and fraud company that I would never do business with.

      2. RAY K says:

        THANK YOU ! All I need to know to NEVER subscribe under any circumstances.

  2. Michael says:

    Showtime is the biggest piece of s*** I’ve felt within 30 years. Every time I try to access in the evening it doesn’t work!!!

    1. kevin says:

      Totally agree !

      1. Anonymous says:

        The content is has sucks. From its library the best content is the porn that is it and even that sucks.

  3. Corey Utterfuck says:

    their customer support is garbage. literally every request I make is responded with automated responses. They take days to reply and its now been weeks and nothing has been resolved. I have yet to talk to any humans while their website is still bugged. Avoid!!!

  4. Brando says:

    Can’t believe they canceled Ray Donovan I think that showTime made a big mistake The fans are very unhappy that there is no finale for this great show I hope that showtime will reconsider and at least give the fans in finale that they deserve

  5. steve ward says:

    Except for Ray Donovan,Homeland, Billions, and Shameless the rest is lefwing trash. They have become an arm of the demorat party sorry to say. If not for the one’s listed above no way I’d subscribe..

    1. RJ says:

      Homeland started out so good! Then about season 6 or 7 it, too, became leftwing trash… with the character of the National Security Advisor being way to empathetic toward the Taliban and basically showing that we (good ‘ol U.S.) can’t do anything right in the middle east. Cancelling Showtime!!

  6. valerie v chanh says:

    showtime literally is garbage all the movie kept buffering and won’t work its not even worth the free trial. canceled this garbage app.

    1. kevin says:

      Yes, it is total crap. Never can get anything in the evening. Could not pay me to use it.

    2. Anonymous says:

      Don’t like the content. Only reason I have it is because it came bundled with spotify, hulu, showtime for 5 bucks all 3.

  7. RJ says:

    Homeland started out so good! Then about season 6 or 7 it, too, became leftwing trash… with the character of the National Security Advisor being way to empathetic toward the Taliban and basically showing that we (good ‘ol U.S.) can’t do anything right in the middle east. Cancelling Showtime!!

  8. Leddon Stevenson says:

    Yeah it sucks I think I’m going to cancel my subscription. I would whether watch basic cable!!!

  9. Eddie Ramos says:

    I’m sick and tired of watching the same movies over and over again, they take like 3 months to change movies and I’m stuck watching the same movies for months.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Showtime are antisemite apologists that have no guts to stand up against something so blatantly racist because all they care about Is money and they have no morals or moral compass

    1. Maggie says:

      Service sucks. Consumer fraud. No customer service. Dishonest.

  11. Lisa says:

    Showtime sucks…was suppose to have 30 days free but got charged..never again..ur shows rather get hbo..

  12. Maggie says:

    This Showtime is dishonest and fraudulent. They posted a charge on my credit card when I never signed up. I asked to see where I had signed up …no response. I was given the run around….just a bunch of automatic emails. Finally got it cancelled and got the amount refunded when I informed them I would contact the Atty General’s office. And then they send an email asking how satisfied I was….and I push submit and it doesn’t go thru…..not satisfied….in my opinion, not a safe company to get involved with. Dishonest and beyond consumer fraud.

  13. Eddie b says:

    Why does showtime show the things for months .what a bad way to do business. Are ur programers sleeping on the job. I’m turning it off.

  14. Brandan says:

    I bought the Woodley v Paul match and they’re streaming this jit in 720p
    save ur money, it’s not worth it lmfao

  15. Anonymous says:

    Boycot!! Check the documentary trailer.( Everything is going to be all white ). Suck

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