For more than a decade, Starz has had a prominent place among the few premium cable pillars. They developed a reputation for carrying a large range of movies and a few top-notch TV series in the 2000s.
Starz has been forced to make the same move to streaming platforms as rival networks HBO and Showtime. Have they produced a quality product?
The whole scoop on Starz’s streaming service is provided in the following piece, along with some forecasts.
We’ll analyze the advantages and disadvantages, talk about the channel’s distinctive content, and go through its shortcomings.
Finally, we’ll address any outstanding queries regarding the Starz streaming service. Therefore, let’s get going right now!
A Summary Of Starz’s History
In 1994, the first season of the premium cable channel Starz premiered. The channel was owned and operated by the film production company Lionsgate from the start.
Between their beginnings and the present, Starz has spawned a dozen specialty channels designed to appeal to specific populations.
By 2016, virtually every premium TV rival had switched to an on-demand service model. After HBO, Netflix, and Hulu, Starz followed the trend and became one of the first three or four premium content services.
Nowadays, Starz streaming provides many TV series, movies (particularly those from the Lionsgate family), and original programming.
In 2016, Starz affiliates Starz Encore and MoviePlex also debuted a streaming profile. In 2021, Starz will have more than 14 million members.
Starz Short Review
Starz has yet to break through to enjoy the popular success of their sister channels, HBO and Showtime. Their user interface lacks the intuitive design that distinguishes the elite streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu.
But Starz is gathering steam (their burgeoning audience numbers testify) and finding their niche.
Starz understands this service isn’t supposed to stand in for a massive wall-to-wall streaming platform.
Instead, Starz is more like a service to add on to the large tentpole platforms like Amazon Prime and Netflix. So Starz’s lack of original content and TV shows equals its budget price and highly connective app.
Finally, Starz streaming has a small but loyal audience who enjoy their unique content and giant movie library (currently over 1,400 titles).
Starz might best be called a premium add-on streaming service. The lack of 4k support and a slow UI will improve soon, too.
All in all, this streaming platform is above average, great for its price, and growing into a more central streaming service as Lionsgate dedicates more money to develop.
CEO Jeff Hirsch recognized the need for more original content, too–promising 16 new series soon.
Starz Pros & Cons
Before we move on to the review, let’s step back and outline the pros and cons behind Starz streaming. Keep in mind that streaming services change and improve offerings regularly.
- $8.99 Starting price point is much lower than other streaming services
- Extensive library of over 1,400 films and TV shows (more than HBO and Showtime combined)
- Holds more Certified Fresh and IMDb content than rivals
- Supported by a wide range of streaming devices
- Excellent but minimal original content
- A smaller selection of TV shows
- User experience on the Starz app is subpar
- Completely on-demand service, so you can’t store favorites on a DVR.
Starz Content Library
Starz has struggled to attract a subscriber base with the volume and fanatic support of HBO Max, Netflix, and Showtime.
Yet Starz commands an impressive backlog of movies (and TV shows to a lesser extent). After scanning through their library, it’s hard to understand why Starz doesn’t have more fans.
Starz’s film collection was initially composed of Lionsgate company products. Today, the platform has broken out to include more films than heavyweights HBO Max and Showtime combined.
Starz boasts popular and critically-acclaimed films. They store more movies in the IMDb top 250 than HBO Now and Hulu. Now that Lionsgate acquired Starz in 2016, their film catalog exploded.
Cult classics like Men in Black: International, Wet Hot American Summer, Venom, and Dazed and Confused are some of the most popular titles across all streaming platforms.
But Starz hasn’t shied away from adding serious critical darlings like Pulp Fiction, Chinatown, Days of Heaven, and Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.
Many award-winning movies not available on Netflix and Amazon Prime are well worth checking out on Starz. You might even say they specialize in stocking all the niche movies that only big-name platforms overlook.
Starz has a good lineup of children’s programming too. Users can navigate through the film library using tags like Kids, Classics, Action, Cartoons, and Romantic Comedy, making it easy to find the perfect movie or anime for a child or adult.
TV shows are where Starz falls behind the competition. Currently, they only stock around 90 shows. That’s about a third of the amount of Netflix and HBO Max.
Nevertheless, their TV show selection isn’t anything to scoff at. They host Outlander, Luther, and the massive success Power, just to name their top offerings.
Most users wouldn’t turn to Starz first as a source of great TV programming. But the shows they do offer are often exclusive and have an ardent following.
Starz’s original content is also limited when compared to industry giants Netflix and HBO Max. Since Starz costs the same as Netflix, some potential customers might consider Starz a less valuable subscription service.
But Starz has targeted a market and a subscriber base with Outlander, DaVinci’s Demons, and American Gods.
Starz’s original content attracts a lot of die-hard fans. In the coming years, the company leadership is moving towards producing much more original content to introduce a broader subscriber base to Starz’s library.
Starz Viewing Quality & Offline Downloads
Starz does not yet allow 4K downloads, as was already mentioned. Starz on-demand is sadly far behind most streaming services, where 4k quality is the standard, due to this flaw.
However, there are still a few intriguing viewing options to discuss with the provider.
It is hard to verify the Starz viewing quality because the video prevents screen captures. Thus it was difficult for us to compare Starz to other streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu.
The quality is still good enough. We weren’t distracted by it while viewing or kept thinking about 4K.
We saw very little loading during viewing, and we were pleasantly pleased by how few interstitial advertisements we had to endure.
True, you won’t have unbroken access to the television like Netflix. Instead, you’ll watch brief commercials before movies and in-between TV shows.
There is no issue if you wish to carry Starz stuff with you. The program allows users to download movies and TV episodes offline.
Remember that not all material can be downloaded and that you’ll need an updated iOS or Android mobile device to view downloaded content.
Only the downloading device retains the downloaded content. Therefore, avoid the error of taking your phone on a long journey just to discover that your downloaded movies are still on your laptop at home.
- Sony Smart TV products with Android 5 or above
- Current versions of Web Browsers: Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari
- Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod with iOS 8.1 and above
- Samsung Smart TV products with Smart Hub
- Xbox One and Xbox S
- Kindle Fire tablets with Fire OS 5 or above
- All Kindle Fire phones
- Amazon TV and Amazon Fire Stick
- Microsoft Windows 8 and above
- LG TV products with WebOS3 and above
- Android 4.1 and above
- Android TV, including Nexus Play, Razer Forge, and Nvidia Shield
- Apple OS X 10.5.7 or above
- Apple TV from the 3rd generation and above
Remember that Starz is entirely on-demand. Users cannot now record material or access a library of recorded content as they could with a DVR. However, you may utilize the UI to add stuff to a playlist you can view later.
The implementation of a DVR service by Starz would significantly increase its audience accessibility. In the future, we hope the business will enhance this function.
The user experience is enhanced by simultaneous broadcasts (up to four streams at once) and password sharing.
Additionally, logins are quick, and the instant you come back into your account, all of your sorted stuff displays immediately away.