One of the only things keeping cable subscribers tied to their providers is the never-ending stream of quality content being pumped out by HBO. Whether it’s Game of Thrones, True Detective or The Leftovers, many of us can’t help but gather around the television on Sunday night for hours on end, but it doesn’t alleviate the pain of that $100+ subscription. That’s why it might be time to take advantage of one of the little known secrets of the cable industry.
HBO might want to call up Netflix to get some tips for how to deal with heavy streaming demand for incredibly popular television series. It seems that HBO Go, the video streaming service available to HBO subscribers, crashed on Sunday night amid huge demand for the premiere of the fourth season of Game of Thrones. HBO acknowledged the problem shortly after 9 p.m. on Sunday and said that HBO subscribers should check to see whether the show would be available through HBO On Demand on their cable service. HBO also reminded frustrated viewers that they could catch a repeat of the episode at 11:00 p.m. on HBO proper. It’s somewhat surprising that HBO has seemingly underestimated demand for the Game of Thrones premiere, especially since the show is the single most-pirated television show in the world and since HBO itself has encouraged HBO subscribers to share their HBO Go account log-ins with their cord-cutting friends who don’t subscribe to the channel.
HBO’s nonchalant attitude regarding account sharing may have backfired last night. Because of overwhelming demand, HBO’s streaming service, HBO GO, essentially shut down for over an hour, according to many frustrated users. HBO GO’s official Twitter account promptly responded to the uproar, requesting that users “try again soon.” The service doesn’t have enduring issues very often, but the combination of a heavily hyped season finale, Matthew McConaughey’s recent Oscar win and the fact that detectives Cohle and Hart won’t be returning next year brought HBO GO to its knees. With the Game of Thrones season premiere just weeks away, we’re all hoping HBO can boost the infrastructure a bit to make sure those of us that miss the first few minutes can catch back up as quickly as possible.
It’s a generation behind, but it’s finally arrived. Sony announced on the PlayStation Blog that the HBO Go app will be available to PlayStation 3 owners starting on Tuesday. In January, HBO announced that the app would finally be coming to the PS3, nearly two years after it hit the Xbox 360. The team is currently working to bring HBO Go to the new consoles, although there is no release date for the app on either the PS4 or Xbox One yet. More →
Did you think you were getting away with something by saving $150 a year while using your friend’s HBO Go login instead of subscribing to HBO yourself? As it turns out, HBO not only doesn’t mind that you’re using someone else’s login to stream its pay TV content for free… it wants you to. In fact, according to the company’s chief executive, account sharing is a “terrific marketing vehicle for the next generation of viewers.” More →
It happened, cord cutters… it really happened. Following a report from DSLReports, it appears as though Comcast has made a new Internet service plan available in some markets that really is a cord cutter’s dream come true. The new offering, dubbed “Internet Plus,” bundles 25Mbps Internet service with HBO GO, local TV channels and Comcast’s Streampix streaming movie and TV show service for $40 per month to for a year. The service then jumps to $70 per month after the first 12 months, which is still a bargain for cord cutters compared to other options out there (personally, I pay Time Warner Cable $60 each month just for 30Mbps Internet service with no TV package). The new Internet Plus service is not available in all areas, it would seem, but it will go a long way to answer the prayers of many cable subscribers who have dreamed of ditching all of the filler in their cable TV bundles but couldn’t survive without Sookie, Nucky and the Khaleesi. A screenshot of Comcast’s unicorn follows below. More →
Apple on Wednesday announced that the HBO GO and WatchESPN apps are now available on Apple TV. The company also added support for news channel Sky News, East Asian media channel Crunchyroll and music channel Qello. Apple TV users now has access to more than 60,000 movies and 230,000 TV shows from the iTunes Store as well as content providers like Hulu and Netflix. More →
HBO’s chief executive Richard Plepler made waves earlier this year when he indicated that the company may expand its HBO GO offering to non-cable subscribers. The executive noted that in the future, HBO could potentially team up with Internet providers to offer the popular streaming service to customers separately from pay-TV packages. Cord cutters shouldn’t celebrate just yet, however. Jeff Bewkes, CEO of HBO’s parent company Time Warner, said on Wednesday that the company has no plans to offer HBO GO without a cable subscription. More →
While some companies are looking to end piracy across the entertainment industry, one major player doesn’t think it’s quite the crisis it’s often made out to be. HBO’s hit show Games of Thrones is the most-pirated TV show on the Internet with more than 4 million illegal downloads per episode, however the company’s programming president Michael Lombardo believes piracy is a “compliment” to the show and has actually helped sales. In February, Game of Thrones season two was released to record-setting DVD sales, becoming the company’s biggest first-day home video release with sales of 241,000 units, an increase of 44% over season one, and sales of individual episodes reached 355,000, up 112% from season one. More →
Cord-cutters rejoice: HBO’s chief executive Richard Plepler this week indicated that the company may expand its offering of HBO GO to non-cable subscribers. The executive revealed to Reuters that in the future it may team up with Internet providers to offer the popular streaming service to customers. More →
HBO excited subscribers on Tuesday when it announced during the D: Dive Into Media conference that its HBO GO and MAX GO iOS apps were updated with AirPlay support. The news meant iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users could finally stream content from their devices to Apple TV boxes connected to a television set. Following the announcement, AllThingsD pressed further to determine if the news meant that we might soon see true Apple TV support, or even an a la carte programming option. More →
HBO on Monday updated its popular content streaming app to support tablets running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. HBO GO allows HBO subscribers with select cable providers to stream HBO content such as Game of Thrones, True Blood, The Sopranos and a wide range of movies to their mobile devices. The application was previously available for Android 4.0-powered handsets, although tablets were suspiciously left unsupported until HBO last month updated the app with support for Amazon’s Kindle Fire. The latest update, however, does not include support for Google’s upcoming Nexus 7 tablet — the first device to run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. More →