Certainly HBO/Cinemax, Showtime/TMC and Starz/Encore are familiar names in households across the country, offered by nearly every service provider. However, while name recognition is alive and well, the differentiation between these channels in the mind of common consumers leaves plenty to be desired. All are what you would call “premium movie channels,” but as fans of film above all else, which of the Big 3 stays truest to this moniker? Let’s take a look.
1. Starz/Encore With arguably the best selection of movie channels on the market, Starz grades out as the best choice for movie lovers simply because it chooses to focus more on movies. What it lacks in terms of portfolio diversity (you won’t find any Starz Sports Specials), it makes up for by doing one thing and doing it well. Though in recent years Starz has branched out somewhat recent years, in an attempt to match the success of HBO and Showtime original series, Starz currently broadcast only 4 such shows. The Starz Super Pack gives subscribers access to Encore as well, specializing in blockbuster Hollywood movies.
2. Showtime/TMC Showtime’s original series are entertaining and well-done, if you are into that sort of thing, and Showtime’s movie selection is top notch. The Movie Channel provides some additional balance with a blend of major releases and less heralded titles deserving more recognition. Perhaps the biggest gripe is the issue of timeliness, as newly released movies are subject to a longer time frame before making their way from the big screen to your TV screen. Read the rest of this entry »