To enjoy premium content from providers like HBO or Showtime does not mean that you must spend a fortune. We show you how to test and go through premium programs on Roku or Apple devices.
When it comes to cut the cable and watch programs online, you've probably heard the term "premium content". Premium content consists of programs that you need a subscription to watch. Examples would be Game of Thrones on HBO or Homeland on Showtime. But you don't necessarily need to subscribe to these premium services to view the content.
Note: It is important to mention here that you do not need a real Roku or Apple TV device to watch premium content. Roku allows you to obtain premium channels through The Roku Channel, which can be accessed through the Roku application and online at therokuchannel.com. And Apple allows you to get premium channels through its Apple TV application (not to be confused with Apple TV +) on your iOS devices.
See Select free premium content
If you just want to try a premium program, both Roku and Apple provide a limited amount of unlocked premium content.
For Roku, start The Roku Channel and scroll down until you see the "Unlocked series premieres" row. Here you will find programs from Showtime, Starz, Epix and others. You can watch the first episode of the first season completely free.
For Apple users, start the Apple TV application on their iPhone, iPad or Apple TV. Then, scroll down to the "Free series premieres" section. Here you can watch the first episode of the season of a variety of programs from HBO, Showtime, Epix, Starz and others.
Sure, this option only offers you a free program, but it's free for free. And it is a good way to test a program to see if it is worth investing. Note that at the time of writing this article, only Apple has free HBO programs.
Subscribe and cancel
And, of course, there is always the option to register for a free trial and then cancel. Most premium services offer a free seven-day (sometimes longer) trial where you have full access to all shows. This allows you to quickly traverse a series and test several programs more broadly. The trick is to remember to cancel before the test is over. It is easier to cancel right after signing up. Or, set a reminder on your calendar the day before the test ends.
For Apple, premium content is found in the "Channels" section of the Apple TV application that is available on iOS 12.3 and higher. For more information, see our article on how to subscribe to premium channels (and cancel) in the Apple TV app.
You can do the same with Roku through The Roku Channel in the section Premium Subscriptions For more information, see our article on how to subscribe to premium on-demand channels through Roku.
It is not the majority of users friendly method to get premium content for free, but it works. In addition, you may find that you enjoy premium channels enough to continue the subscription. Remember, these cable cutting options make it easier than ever to review new channels and cancel them whenever you want. And it is much easier than going through your cable or satellite provider.