In the beginning of TV, we had a handful of broadcast channels with and a lot of commercials to support a thin supply of programming. As things opened up with more TV stations and increased choices of cable TV, a broad selection of specialized programming was born. Now, our choices seem unlimited with the streaming services through providers like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Home Box Office Inc., Hulu and many others.
Premium channels used to only be offered as extras and add-ons to standard TV packages. But today, they can be subscribed to as special, paid-for packages offered for TV or streamed online through apps. They’ve become a gateway for us to go deeper into our interests, creating an appetite for more and better original series and movies, documentaries, old favorites, sports, specialty interests — the list goes on.
The choices are spectacular, but our pocketbooks can only bear so much viewing pleasure and pricing that can easily add up. If you happen to be an avid aficionado of the best TV and streaming content, this article can help you choose the best premium channels for your tastes, whether it’s SHOWTIME, CINEMAX, HBO Max, EPIX, The Movie Channel, Starz or others.
Premium channels allow TV customers to enjoy the latest NFL and NBA games, Hollywood movies, 3D animated series, British crime dramas, original series (such as Outlander or Pennyworth) and a library of family-friendly options. In addition, they produce original programming that sweeps awards shows (think Game of Thrones) and lead many to wonder if we’re in a new golden age of TV.
Premium channels often come at an extra price (or can be included in a premium TV package), but they typically provide extra value with the quality and extent of their programming as well as the lack of advertising. The growing demand to have premium channels stream online — and sometimes to multiple devices — has been amplified by the growing prevalence of reliable broadband internet.
The problem is that since there’s so much choice out there for premium channels — representing billions of dollars in production costs — it can sometimes be hard to know where to begin. Before you commit to an add-on premium package to your existing services, a little research can help ensure you get what you really need.
To decide which premium and related channels are best for you and your family (or your couch buddies), you should start by taking a careful look at your current viewing habits and what you really like and want more of. Then, consider the available premium channels and see which ones offer the content that matches your viewing pleasures. Often, your choices include:
You can catch more games with sports packages, such as:
Whether you want original programming, blockbuster movies, family favorites, award-winning documentaries, action-packed thrills or quiet but deep dramas, some of the best choices for premium movie channels include:
On-demand TV shows and movies — sometimes called video on demand or VOD — allow you to watch select content on your own schedule, enabling you to play, pause, fast-forward, rewind and re-watch the content as much as you wish. Usually, you subscribe to an on-demand service with a monthly subscription fee.
For example, with Frontier® FiberOptic TV, you can get access to thousands of on-demand shows and movies through our ever-expanding library. You can choose from approximately 150,000 on-demand entertainment choices in categories, such as:
For an extra monthly fee, you can also have Frontier’s Whole Home DVR, allowing you to watch TV programming on up to 10 TVs in your home, recording up to 12 hours of shows simultaneously, with a whopping 12TB of storage space.
Many programming services also offer both live programming airdates and on-demand content. For example, Hulu offers a mix of streaming live TV shows and a selection of on-demand new and classic shows.
If you like thought-provoking documentaries, CuriosityStream — a service from the founder of the Discovery Channel — provides documentaries on topics from space exploration to ancient civilizations or current topics like the coronavirus and more. If you’re more into popular NBC network shows and a great collection of streaming movies, you’ll want to check out Peacock. Its free tier of streaming content boasts more than 13,000 hours of programming, while its premium service has more than 20,000 hours.
You get the snacks, we've got the channelsView Channel Guide
For the best premium content viewing experience, you should balance what you want to see with cost. For example, with sports, you have many choices that can add up quickly, costing you hundreds of dollars per month potentially if you go too subscriber happy.
So, is there a particular sport and league you want to watch, and even a single team you would like to follow? The more specific you are about what you really want, the better chance you have to keep pricing under control and new add-ons to a minimum.
If you like to watch a lot of hit movies and original programming, then choices like Netflix, Amazon Prime and HBO Max might be good. However, if you want something more specialized, such as old and new favorite British murder mysteries, then Acorn TV is a good bet.
Another important thing to consider when choosing premium channels is the availability of an app that allows you to stream content wherever you are. Frontier® TV Everywhere allows you to watch live TV shows on the go, check listings and download shows and movies to enjoy offline on your computer, smartphone or tablet.
You can also use your Frontier ID to sign in for exclusive content from other top streaming apps (provided you have subscriptions to those services directly or through Frontier).
With Frontier TV, you have access to the best premium programming out there. Whether you want to tune into one of the top news networks, see live games, watch local programming, have access to thousands of on-demand shows and movies or watch your choices on the go with an app, Frontier has TV services to cater to most entertainment wishes.
Frontier TV plans vary by location. Check availability and plans to see what great premium channel viewing options you can access.