STARZ is trailing other premium streaming channels such as HBO Max, Showtime, and Paramount+ by not offering any 4K, HDR, or Atmos formats in their library.
This is disappointing for Ultra HD TV owners who might want to watch newer shows such as Power Book III – Raising Kanan, Becoming Elizabeth, P-Valley, BMF, and Little Birds in 4k, to name a few. Long-running series The Girlfriend Experience with 37 episodes would be great to stream in 4k. A new series, The Serpent Queen, premieres on Sunday, September 11 but will likely not offer 4k.
How do you know if a show or movie is in 4k? There is usually a label under a title’s description that would indicate 4k, UHD, or Ultra HD (all mean the same thing) — 2160p resolution, a format that offers 4x the amount of pixels as 1080p (Full HD) and even more than 720p/1080i (HD). If Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos are offered, those logos are also shown.
If you do have a Starz subscription and notice a movie or show in 4K it may be because you purchased the title through Apple TV, Amazon, or another platform where it’s available in 4k. For example, if you own the movie Spider-Man: No Way Home in 4k the movie may display in the Starz library as 4k with Dolby Vision and Atmos. However, the movie may only play in HD depending on where the stream is served from. Streaming from Apple TV plays in 4k but streaming directly from Starz only plays in HD.
Hopefully, Starz will step up their game with some 4k content soon. HBO Max, Paramount+, and Showtime don’t have nearly as much 4k as Disney+, Netflix, and Prime Video. A small selection of Ultra HD content on Starz may go a long way with consumers who are getting used to some very high-quality video and audio formats.
If you’re wondering about how Starz stacks up to HBO, Showtime, and other premium channels on cable and satellite TV systems, there is no advantage. Traditional cable platforms still only offer 720p or 1080i at best, unless a title is available On-Demand in 1080p (Full HD) quality. 4k channels are only available in limited capacity and typically require special equipment to display.