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The cheapest way to watch Showtime without a cable subscription
You have options.
If you want to watch Showtime online, and you don’t subscribe to cable, you’re in luck. Thanks to live TV streaming, it’s never been easier to enjoy this premium movie channel from the comfort of your own home. You just need an internet connection and one of these services. Each one has its perks, and the cost differs dramatically, so we’ve broken down the essential information below to help you make an informed decision.
How to watch Showtime online without cable
If you don’t subscribe to any other streaming services and all you want is Showtime, Showtime Anytime is your best bet. This is Showtime’s own streaming service, comparable to HBO Now. For $11 a month you get access to Showtime’s current roster of movies, along with its complete collection of original series. Anytime’s streaming interface is clean and easy to learn, instantly familiar to anyone who’s ever used a service like Netflix before. But Showtime Anytime is cheaper as an add-on to another service—as you’ll see below—than as a standalone service.
Devices: Showtime Anytime works on almost every major streaming device on the market. It can be used on Amazon Fire devices, Android TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku devices, Samsung smart TVs, Xbox One, iOS and Android devices.
Cost: $8.99 a month + Hulu subscription
If you already subscribe to Hulu, adding Showtime through the Hulu app makes plenty of sense. You won’t need to learn a new app, and you get the same great content as what’s available via Showtime Anytime. Best of all you’ll save $2 a month. Hulu with Limited Commercials is $7.99 a month and Hulu with No Commercials is $11.99. Both unlock Hulu’s entire collection of movies, shows, documentaries, anime, and must-see Hulu originals. The only difference, as you might’ve guessed, are those commercials. (You can also add Showtime for the same cost via Hulu with Live TV, which is exactly what it sounds like.) It’s worth noting that if you’re a new user, Hulu’s interface has a bit of a learning curve, thanks to its often complicated menus, but Hulu provides a great viewing experience once you learn the ropes.
Devices: Hulu supports every major streaming device on the market: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire devices, Chromecast, Xbox 360 and One, PlayStation 3 and 4, Android TV, iOS, Android, and your web browser.
3. Amazon Prime
Cost: $8.99 + the cost of Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime is a hard deal to beat for many people. After all, what other streaming service gives you free two-day shipping with your movies? At $99 for a year, Amazon Prime can take a bigger bite out of your wallet at once, but it adds up to a little more than $8 a month. Subscribing to Showtime through Prime costs the same as through Hulu, just $8.99 a month. Where Amazon Prime has the leg up on Hulu is its channels interface. Amazon’s menus are simple and clear. Your normal videos are listed in the main menu of Prime, with your extra subscriptions like Showtime or Shudder stored in the clearly marked “Your Channels” tab. We personally prefer Amazon’s interface, but go with the service you already subscribe too.
Devices: Amazon Prime is available via smart TVs, Blu-Ray players, Roku, Android TV, TiVo, Amazon Fire devices, PlayStation 3 and 4, Xbox 360 and One, iOS, Android, and, of course, your desktop browser.
- The best movies on Amazon Prime
- What’s new on Amazon Prime
- The best documentaries on Amazon Prime
- Ranking the best Amazon originals
4. DirecTV Now
Cost: $8 per month + DirecTV subscription
If you cut the cord because you hate your cable company but still long for a cable package, especially one that includes Showtime, DirecTV Now is a great solution. Its basic TV package comes with 60-plus live channels for $35 a month, with the option to add Showtime for $8 per month. DirecTV Now’s interface is a familiar grid system found in most cable systems. Subscribers get both Showtime on-demand and various live TV channels.
Devices: DirecTV Now is a solid service that works on almost every device, with the notable exception of PlayStation consoles. Amazon devices, Roku, Android TV, Apple TV, iOS and Android, browsers, and Chromecast can all stream DirecTV Now.
- The best movies on Showtime and Showtime Anytime
- The best documentaries on Showtime
- The best Showtime original series of all time
- How to watch Showtime boxing without cable
5. YouTube TV
Cost: $11 per month + YouTube TV
YouTube TV, which costs $35 a month, is the streaming website’s foray into the world of streaming TV. Showtime is the sole premium movie channel available on the service. Think of it as a cable package you access through YouTube. Channels include Bravo, FX, ESPN, and more. Where YouTube TV sets itself apart from the competition is its sharability, with up to six accounts per household included with each subscription. That makes it easy to share your logins (not to mention the associated costs) with multiple friends if you’re living on a budget.
Devices: YouTube TV is available on an impressive number of devices, with the notable exception of Sony’s PlayStation devices. YouTube TV works with Chromecast, Android TV, some Samsung and LG smart TVs, Xbox One, iOS, and Android devices, with Roku and Apple TV apps coming in 2018.
6. PS Vue
Cost: $10.99 per month (or $8.99 per month for PS+ subscribers) + PS Vue membership
PlayStation Vue is Sony’s very own streaming TV option, offering a collection of leading TV channels and on-demand content starting at $39.99 per month. Adding Showtime to your membership costs $10.99 per month, or $8.99 per month if you’re also a PlayStation Plus subscriber. For PlayStation owners who are looking to have both Showtime and streaming TV on their system, PS Vue is the only game in town. Sony’s kept other streaming TV services off its device, so while you can use Hulu on a PlayStation, you can’t use its Hulu with Live TV. If you don’t want streaming TV options, however, there are cheaper ways to watch Showtime on your PlayStation.
Devices: PS Vue works on PlayStation 3 and 4, Roku, Amazon Fire devices, Apple TV, iOS and Android, computers, and yes, even Google Chromecast.
- The ultimate guide to live TV streaming
- How to cut the cord and stream like a pro
- 40 incredible movies you can watch for free online
- The best movie apps for every budget
7. Sling TV
Cost: $10 per month + Sling TV subscription
As a streaming cable service, Sling TV is a good deal, offering a small package of 30 premium channels like AMC for just $20 per month. Adding the $8 per month for Showtime brings your costs up to just $28 per month, making it perfect for people who want to watch ESPN and premium movies on the same service. Sling TV has an easy-to-learn interface, and while its channel offerings may be smaller than others, it includes big names like CNN, BBC America, AMC, and more.
Devices: Sling TV is available on a wide range of platforms: Roku, Amazon Fire devices, Apple TV, Chromecast, Android TV, Xiaomi, LG or Samsung smart TVs, iOS or Android, a computer, and Xbox One.
Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance.
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John-Michael Bond is a tech reporter and culture writer for Daily Dot. A longtime cord-cutter and early adapter, he's an expert on streaming services (Hulu with Live TV), devices (Roku, Amazon Fire), and anime. A former staff writer for TUAW, he's knowledgeable on all things Apple and Android. You can also also find him regularly performing standup comedy in Los Angeles.