Showtime in 4k? Nope. - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 24 Old 02-10-2017, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Showtime in 4k? Nope.

What's currently the best format for streaming Showtime? Are there any available 4k and/or HDR options?
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post #2 of 24 Old 02-10-2017, 06:34 PM
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There are no 4k/UHD options for any premium cable service at the moment.

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post #3 of 24 Old 02-10-2017, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Bummer. Thanks for the response!
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post #4 of 24 Old 02-11-2017, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
There are no 4k/UHD options for any premium cable service at the moment.
That's interesting in light of how HBO & Showtime actually led the way with HDTV, being among the first networks to offer a dedicated HD channel along with Mark Cuban's HDNet. My guess is they will begin offering 4k before any of the broadcast or other cablenets do.
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post #5 of 24 Old 02-11-2017, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by archiguy View Post
That's interesting in light of how HBO & Showtime actually led the way with HDTV, being among the first networks to offer a dedicated HD channel along with Mark Cuban's HDNet. My guess is they will begin offering 4k before any of the broadcast or other cablenets do.
Back then, cable systems had nothing BUT bandwidth and cable subscriptions were growing. My thought about 4k is that it's not quite the leap for those networks as HD was. I think, for them, it was more about getting movies shown in 16:9 than anything else. Neither network jumped on 3D or 1080p, either, IIRC.

That said, if anyone's going to do it, HBO will. Most likely starting with DirecTV. And adding another $5 to an HBO subscription.
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post #6 of 24 Old 02-11-2017, 12:18 PM
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4K seems to be streaming's domain. I watch Netflix "originals" in 4K. Though I have a Nvidia Shield TV device I have yet to get Netflix to work in 4K on it. YouTube will work in 4K on it but some reason it looks like YouTube has high bitrate VP9 encodes when the point of VP9 was to compete against HEVC with quality encodes at a lower bitrate. I watch Netflix in 4K on a Roku TV.

One thing about 4K even if you don't have any 4K sources is that 1080p upscaled looks even better.
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post #7 of 24 Old 02-13-2017, 11:32 AM
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OTOH, with Amazon, Hulu and Neflix offering 4K of some of their originals it sort leaves Showtime and HBO in the dust so I wouldn't count them out.
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post #8 of 24 Old 02-13-2017, 11:56 AM
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HBO still masters all its shows at 2k, including their flagship programs like Game of Thrones and Westworld. Same goes for Showtime. But actually, Starz has just recently moved to a 4k production workflow for a lot of their shows. And if you have a Samsung TV on Comcast cable, you can use their UHD Sampler App to stream Outlander and Power in 4k, besides a few NBC and Syfy shows.
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post #9 of 24 Old 02-13-2017, 02:46 PM
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I didn't know Starz had 4k! Have to check it out when I get back (don't remember if I put starz play on my set). But now that Starz has some 4k content, I would assume others would not be far behind. I already use HBO Go more than watching it on cable. It has more content (than cable's on-demand), and things are on when I want. Hopefully they will jump to 4k soon as well.

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post #10 of 24 Old 02-13-2017, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Pablorock View Post
I didn't know Starz had 4k! Have to check it out when I get back (don't remember if I put starz play on my set). But now that Starz has some 4k content, I would assume others would not be far behind. I already use HBO Go more than watching it on cable. It has more content (than cable's on-demand), and things are on when I want. Hopefully they will jump to 4k soon as well.
As far as I know, Starz does not stream 4k through their app. The only way to see it is through the Comcast UHD Sampler app which is exclusive to Samsung TVs.
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post #11 of 24 Old 02-14-2017, 05:21 AM
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Originally Posted by puddy77 View Post
As far as I know, Starz does not stream 4k through their app. The only way to see it is through the Comcast UHD Sampler app which is exclusive to Samsung TVs.
I didn't get a chance to check it out last night (was watching something else and I need to update and activate the app. For some reason, every time I try to use it, it needs to be activated). I'll report back if it is available for us "regular folk".

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post #12 of 24 Old 02-16-2017, 12:22 PM
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Very few cable boxes can decode hevc I think. My old cable box I just replaced couldn't even do h.264 only mpeg-2
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post #13 of 24 Old 02-16-2017, 05:55 PM
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Yeah it would be nice if they at least streamed 4k on their apps.

On a related note, WTF is with STARZ not allowing access to their app for Comcast subscribers?

Guess they will offer 4k streams if they think they can wring out an extra cent to add to their revenue streams.

As opposed to offering it so they get incremental subscribers to their premium channels. All premium channels other than HBO and Showtime should be working harder to attract subscribers.
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post #14 of 24 Old 02-17-2017, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
Yeah it would be nice if they at least streamed 4k on their apps.

On a related note, WTF is with STARZ not allowing access to their app for Comcast subscribers?

Guess they will offer 4k streams if they think they can wring out an extra cent to add to their revenue streams.

As opposed to offering it so they get incremental subscribers to their premium channels. All premium channels other than HBO and Showtime should be working harder to attract subscribers.
Actually, it's the other way around. Comcast won't let subscribers use the app: http://www.multichannel.com/news/cab...arz-app/404340
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post #15 of 24 Old 02-17-2017, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
There are no 4k/UHD options for any premium cable service at the moment.
directv has 3 4k channels, 1 free
not cable but only 4k tv service unless streaming
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post #16 of 24 Old 02-18-2017, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by pdasterly View Post
directv has 3 4k channels, 1 free
not cable but only 4k tv service unless streaming
Yes, we know. By "premium cable service," I meant channels such as HBO, Showtime, Starz, Cinemax, etc. D* has an on-demand movie channel (non-linear), a demo loop channel and the occasional one-off event channel. That's all covered in the DirecTV master thread. There are no cable networks, standard or premium, that are available in 4k from any source.

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post #17 of 24 Old 02-18-2017, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
Yes, we know. By "premium cable service," I meant channels such as HBO, Showtime, Starz, Cinemax, etc. D* has an on-demand movie channel (non-linear), a demo loop channel and the occasional one-off event channel. That's all covered in the DirecTV master thread. There are no cable networks, standard or premium, that are available in 4k from any source.
xfinity has an app available, has limited shows but they look great
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post #18 of 24 Old 02-20-2017, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Jason Merrick View Post
What's currently the best format for streaming Showtime? Are there any available 4k and/or HDR options?
As others have stated, Showtime isn't available from anyone in UHD (4K) or HDR, despite the fact that at least some of their shows have been filmed and mastered in UHD, such as Masters of Sex. Hopefully we'll see them offer a UHD version of their service now that they're competing as a streaming service against Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. My guess is that the biggest hold-up is that cable systems just aren't ready to offer UHD channels yet and Showtime relies on those partners to reach the bulk of their subscribers. If Showtime offered UHD content in their standalone streaming service before cable systems could also accommodate it, it probably wouldn't go down well.

But to answer your question, here's what I've found as to the quality of various streaming options for Showtime. HD picture quality (1080p) is best if you're getting Showtime as an add-on to your Amazon Prime Video subscription through the Amazon app*. It also has DD 5.1 surround sound. Unfortunately, though, you can't access the live Showtime channels through the app, only via Amazon's website on a computer.

Next after Amazon, I'd say the HD picture quality looks pretty much the same whether you're subscribing through the standalone Showtime app or as an add-on to Hulu in their app. The Showtime app is better, though, in that it has the live channel (both east and west coast feeds) right in the app; if you get Showtime through Hulu, you have to go to their website to view the live Showtime channel. I think the Showtime app may also offer DD 5.1 sound on some devices, while Hulu only offers stereo sound for all content.

You can also subscribe to Showtime through the PS Vue app. Unlike the three sources above, I've never tried it via PS Vue, so I can't directly comment on their HD picture quality. I believe all PS Vue content is delivered in 720p, so I wouldn't expect it to be as good a source as Amazon.

Overall, I've found HD picture quality from any of those sources to equal or exceed what I got back when I subscribed by satellite. (HBO, on the other hand, has really inferior HD picture quality from their streaming services HBO Now and HBO Go. I'd much rather watch HBO on satellite or cable.)

*I've found that if you're using the Amazon Video app on a device that can decode HEVC content (such as a smart UHD TV, the Fire TV Box 2, the Fire TV Stick 2, or new Rokus that can do UHD), Amazon will send Showtime streams to your device encoded in the more efficient HEVC codec. Unfortunately, the picture quality is actually worse, more compressed. It's still probably slightly better than from Hulu or the Showtime app. But it looks best from Amazon on older devices that can't handle HEVC!
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post #19 of 24 Old 02-20-2017, 01:21 PM
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Odd, I find the HBO Go streams to be better than HBO HD on Comcast.

And what's more, I can stream it from my iPad to Apple TV and it looks sharp and I get Dolby Digital Plus sound vs. just AC3 from Comcast.
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post #20 of 24 Old 02-20-2017, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
Odd, I find the HBO Go streams to be better than HBO HD on Comcast.

And what's more, I can stream it from my iPad to Apple TV and it looks sharp and I get Dolby Digital Plus sound vs. just AC3 from Comcast.
Well, I honestly haven't had cable in many years, so maybe Comcast's picture quality was worse than I remember (or it's gotten worse in the intervening years). In the past seven years, I've had HBO (and Showtime) from Dish, AT&T Uverse, and DirecTV. Both HBO Now and HBO Go definitely look worse than what I saw on DirecTV and Dish (both of which are generally thought to offer better PQ than Comcast). Their streaming apps may even be worse than what I saw on Uverse a few years ago, which was pretty bad.
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post #21 of 24 Old 02-20-2017, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I would be watching on my new Bravia TV which does use HEVC, so that muddies the waters. I've also seen some complaints that the Amazon Showtime add-on delays new episodes by quite a bit, which would be frustrating if true.
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post #22 of 24 Old 02-20-2017, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Jason Merrick View Post
Well, I would be watching on my new Bravia TV which does use HEVC, so that muddies the waters. I've also seen some complaints that the Amazon Showtime add-on delays new episodes by quite a bit, which would be frustrating if true.
I've always found that Amazon makes new Showtime episodes available as soon as they air on the live channel, with the exception of political docu-series The Circus, which wouldn't be available until a day or so later. There's probably also a delay in boxing matches (which air live on Showtime). Also, I'm not sure about the Inside the NFL series. But as for all other content (scripted series, movies, etc.), I've always found that stuff to be immediately available regardless of which app you use to you subscribe: Showtime, Hulu or Amazon.
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post #23 of 24 Old 02-20-2017, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
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That's good to hear. My main interest in Showtime is for scripted series -- Homeland and Billions.
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post #24 of 24 Old 02-21-2017, 10:57 AM
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I would suspect that the Showtime add-ons are simply streaming their shows from Showtime's CDN. The PQ on Hulu is also excellent especially on shows like "Billions".
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