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Starz app lets you subscribe and watch for $9 per month without a cable subscription

For $9 per month, anyone in the US with an Internet connection can subscribe to the new Starz app, available for Apple and Android Mobile devices as well as for the new Apple TV and Chromecast.

David Katzmaier/CNET

Following the lead of HBO Now and Showtime, premium cable channel Starz has launched a standalone subscription service. For a monthly fee of $8.99, anyone in the US with an Internet connection and a compatible device can binge on original series like "Outlander" and "The Girlfriend Experience," and movies like "Ant-Man" and "Inside Out."

The new app effectively consolidates the existing Starz Play, Encore Play and MoviePlex into a single app called "Starz." Previously shows and movies from those apps were only available to people who subscribed to Starz and Encore through their cable or satellite TV provider. Cable subscribers can still get access to the new app as well if they authenticate using their cable login.

I tested "Starz" quickly on the new Apple TV and it worked well, allowing me to subscribe via iTunes once I created a Starz account. The Apple TV app is typically nice-looking with that box's excellent transport controls. No other TV devices have the native app yet--the Amazon Fire TV, Android TV (Nvidia Shield) and Roku boxes I checked all still have the old Starz Play and Encore Play apps, while the old Apple TV doesn't have any Starz apps.

The iOS and Android versions of the Starz app for phones and tablet worked well too, and offer the very convenient option to download TV shows and movies for offline viewing. The iOS version worked with both AirPlay (which is the only way to use it with the old Apple TV ) and Google Cast, and the Android version with Google Cast, so you can watch the app on a TV using a Chromecast or Android TV device.