Tuesday, April 26, 2016

TV Tuesday - Showtime & Homeland

The series "Homeland" was recommended to us, and Hubs wanted to give it a try. Unfortunately, it's not one available on Netflix or Amazon Prime. It was available at our local library on DVD, but I've gotten so spoiled by instant streaming that the thought of putting the disks on hold, picking them up, and having to return them by their due date seemed like a lot of work!

I noticed Hulu(a Showtime promotion) was offering a couple episodes free. I figured that would be a good test to see if it was a series we wanted to continue. We were interested, so ...

Did you know there are several ways to get a free trial of Showtime without going through a cable company? And with a subscription like this, you have access to all the content on demand. You can get a trial directly through Showtime, or through various services (Roku, Hulu, Amazon). We did our free trial a bit ago ... and if I remember correctly, we actually got three free trials going through different services.

First I went directly through Showtime. It was a 30-day free trial, and I could access it through the Showtime channel on my Roku, or add the credentials to my PlayOn and even record the shows. As I mentioned, it was a little bit ago, but I don't believe I had to provide any credit card information for the free trial, so when it ended, I just didn't have access anymore. I could continue it for $10.99 a month. Looking at the fine print now, it looks like you DO have to provide a card and have to proactively cancel before the trial to avoid being charged.

After our Showtime trial ended, our Roku was offering a free trial. I didn't think we could do a "free trial" again, but we were able to. With our Roku program, we do have to have a credit card number on file, and it would have been billed automatically when the trial ended. We happened to have a credit card on file that expired right before our subscription ended so ... we just didn't update that and our trial ended, no billing. I do think it would have been fairly easy to cancel regardless, using the "manage subscriptions" option on the Roku site. Now it looks like Roku is offering a 2-month free trial with the purchase of a new Roku box (applies to new Showtime subscriptions only). I'm sure the terms and offers are always changing. To continue with Roku, it would also be the $10.99 per month.

Amazon also offers a free trial through them. It's only seven days. But it's monthly fee (as an add on to your Prime membership) is just $8.99. $2 less than directly from Showtime or Roku. I guess it's because you are already paying for a service and this is an add on? Glancing at Hulu, they offer the same add on price of $8.99. We did end up paying for a month of Showtime on Amazon, but it was quite easy to cancel (log into your account online, under "Digital Content" go to the "manage digital subscriptions" tab. I just clicked, and it didn't renew once that payment period was done.

I'm often wary of free trials ... one that I have to proactively cancel to avoid being billed. I know many people have complained that it IS difficult to cancel via the various services, but I didn't find it bad. Through our free trials, and then one month of payment, Hubs and I were able to get through all five seasons of Homeland. We sampled some of the other shows, but I think we'll wait, and then maybe pay for a month and binge again if there is something we want to watch. 

My brother mentioned he was watching Homeland too ... which was a little surprising, because being a cable show, there are language/sex/violence issues beyond what he and his wife usually partake of. He said that they were renting via VidAngel. VidAngel has will edit out whatever you want (you have the choice to mark your edit choices) and you can watch a "clean" version ... all for $1 (with their "buy back" program). My brother said they rent all their movies from VidAngel now, and have enjoyed Homeland (although a series can get a little spendy at $1 per episode). It's another option for anyone who wants to see a "cable" show without the "cable content" that always always accompanies it.

Hubs and I enjoyed Homeland ... Hubs had never been able to get into "24", and I honestly think I liked "24" a bit better. We were years behind on our viewing, but I honestly prefer to watch a series like this back to back on a binge, rather than waiting weeks and months between episodes and seasons.

So that's one thing we've been watching ...
Have you watched "Homeland"?  

1 comment:

  1. I watched the first seasons (two or three seasons maybe) of homeland....then life changed and I don't have showtime anymore!



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