Whether you’re already a Starz subscriber looking for a change or a new buyer thinking about signing up, you probably enjoy your TV and movies on-demand. In its 4th decade of delivering pay-TV, Starz must be doing something right. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t Starz alternatives worth looking at.
With a network of 17 channels as part of its single-tier plan, Starz offers a wide range of movies and shows to choose from. And on top of its extensive library of curated content, it’s got a growing list of original titles.
Without veering too far from what Starz does best–offer quality on-demand shows and movies–some other options worth considering are Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Epix, HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix, Paramount+, and Showtime.
We’ve carefully looked at all of them to arrive at our top choices across 4 key categories: price, home theater features, add-on channels, and original content. Read to the end to see our top overall pick for the best alternative to Starz.
Epix: Cheapest Starz alternative
Epix was born out of licensing fee disagreements in 2008 between Showtime and a trio of Hollywood studios–Paramount, MGM, and Lionsgate. The joint venture wasted no time signing agreements with other studios, and now offers a wide range of new and old movies, original TV shows, documentaries, and specials.
Just like Starz, Epix was launched as a premium cable and satellite TV network, but is now also on-demand as Epix Now, which is available through a variety of platforms, including its own app.
Epix pricing and packages
There are other services, such as Paramount+ and Hulu that cost less than the $8.99/month Starz sets you back. But they both contain ads. The cheapest alternative is therefore Epix, with its single-tier, ad-free plan that’s just $5.99/month.
You can subscribe to Epix through numerous TV providers, such as Comcast and Cox, and even other streaming services, like DirecTV Stream and Sling TV. Just keep in mind that prices may vary unless subscribing directly by downloading the Epix Now app.
Epix pros and cons
Epix’s main attraction is its library of 15,000+ films, from classic hits to modern day blockbusters. However, if TV shows are more your thing, there are better choices out there than Epix.
If you’re looking for something that’ll put your home theater to the test, you may want to look elsewhere. 4K is only available on Apple TV and Roku devices, and the majority of audio is stereo, while select content is available in surround sound.
To see what’s playing on Epix today or over the next week, check out our handy Epix Schedule Guide.
Disney+: Best Starz alternative for home theater features
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One of the downsides of Starz is that almost all of its content is in HD (up to 1080p), and it offers none in 4K. And while most shows and movies are in 5.1 surround sound, it doesn’t support Dolby Atmos. Disney+, on the other hand, has it all and more.
Disney+ pricing and packages
Disney+ is a bit cheaper than Starz, but is going to be getting a price hike in December of 2022. If you’d like more diverse content and some sports, you can add Hulu and ESPN+ by getting the Disney Bundle.
ESPN+, Hulu, and Disney+.
Bundle and save 25%.
Amazing value for the whole family.
7,000+ TV episodes
4 simultaneous streams
Disney+ home theater features
There are 100+ titles in 4K UHD and HDR10, with select titles in the more dynamic Dolby Vision HDR format. You’ll also find nearly 800 titles in 5.1 surround sound, with 100+ being in Dolby Atmos.
If that’s not enough to put your home theater to the test, a handful of titles are available in IMAX Enhanced, including blockbusters like Avengers: Endgame, Black Panther, and both Guardians of the Galaxy films.
Disney+ Pros and Cons
Disney+ is priced very competitively and supports an impressive list of devices. It’s got parental controls, space for 7 profiles, and allows up to 4 simultaneous streams. And the Star Wars, Pixar, and Marvel films are precisely what home theaters are made for.
However, the lack of diverse and mature content on Disney+ can be a drawback for many. There are signs that the library might expand in this sense, so it’s something to keep an eye on. But until then, the Disney Bundle with Hulu and ESPN+ will have to do.
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Amazon Prime Video: Best Starz alternative for add-on channels
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While Starz itself is an add-on available through many services, a direct subscription with Starz doesn’t give you the option to add more channels. (Most of the on-demand services in the Starz price range are the same way.) However, Amazon Prime Video stands out from the crowd and has plenty to offer.
Amazon Prime Video pricing and packages
As a standalone service, Amazon Prime Video costs the same as Starz. It’s also included with an Amazon Prime membership, which also gives you tons of other perks like free two-day shipping and more.
|Amazon Prime Video|
30-Day Free Trial
$8.99 / month
2 simultaneous stream
Amazon Prime Video add-on channels
Amazon has the most add-ons available of an on-demand service. You’ll find a specialty channel for everything from British TV to Broadway at competitive prices. Some of the premium channels available on Amazon Prime Video are Cinemax, Epix, Paramount+, Showtime, and Starz.
Amazon Prime Video pros and cons
If you’re already a regular shopper on Amazon, being a Prime Member is probably worth it, and it includes Prime Video. If you’re not a frequent online shopper at the world’s biggest market, Amazon Prime Video still makes things easy by having your channels–and more importantly, your billing–all in one place.
However, the limit of 3 simultaneous streams might be a deal breaker for some people, like those with large families, especially as there’s no option to upgrade. Also, you won’t find add-ons for Disney+, ESPN+ or HBO Max, which you’ll find on other services like Hulu.
Check out our Amazon Prime Video Review for a deeper look at all the pros and cons.
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While Starz has been improving its lineup of original content, it still doesn’t have as many big draw must-watch shows as other platforms. Netflix, however, is currently the undisputed champion when it comes to original content among streaming services.
Netflix pricing and packages
Netflix raised its prices (again) last month, but the Basic plan is still a penny under 10 bucks. Netflix’s most popular plan, Standard, is $15.49/month and offers better resolution (to 1080p), 2 streams instead of 1, and lets you download to 2 devices as opposed to one.
Netflix original content
Since its first original TV show, House of Cards in 2013, Netflix has been making hit after hit. Its original shows and movies have received countless accolades. Its original content is a big draw for subscribers, with bingeworthy shows like Stranger Things, Ozark, and Narcos.
Some other original award winners and nominees made by Netflix are:
- The Crown
- Dave Chappelle: Stick & Stones
- Making a Murderer
- Orange Is the New Black
- The Power of the Dog
Netflix pros and cons
Netflix continues raising prices, which always nudges people to start shopping around. What used to be a great deal, is now arguably the most expensive on-demand service on the market.
The lack of 4K on all but its most expensive Premium plan won’t sit well with home theater enthusiasts, and the paltry 2 streams that come with its most popular plan aren’t a big selling point for families.
For our in-depth matchup between the two services check out Starz vs Netflix in 2022 – 7 things You Need to Know.
Our verdict: The best alternative to Starz
Starz offers a fair amount of content. However, its limited home theater features, lack of options to add more channels, and modest slate of original content leaves a lot of room for improvement. Amazon Prime Video costs the exact same as Starz, but it offers a whole lot more.
Supporting a wider range of devices than Starz, Amazon Prime Video streams in 4K UHD, HDR, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, and 5.1 surround sound, depending on content and device.
Furthermore, a long list of channels (including Starz) can be added à la carte, and its original content has been nominated for multiple Emmys and Academy Awards, including Being the Ricardos, Bosch, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.