HBO gets it: You want to be able to subscribe to its content without having to pay for a bunch of other channels you don’t want. However, just because HBO understands what you want, that doesn’t mean it care. Re/code’s Peter Kafka has an excellent post explaining why HBO isn’t going to pull a Netflix and offer a standalone online subscription, no matter how much you beg it to do so. More →
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.
Between the practical stunts, the engrossing performances and the beautiful locations featured on Game of Thrones, the special effects that tie the show together often go unnoticed. Mackevision, one of the visual effects studios working on the HBO smash hit, has shared a highlight reel of its work on season 4. The studio does everything from sprucing up the backdrops to crafting large cities to giving real-life sets a digital makeover with just enough medieval panache to pass as part of Westeros.
Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service won’t give you everything you can get on HBO… but it will still give you a lot. Amazon on Wednesday announced the first batch of shows that its Prime Instant Video and it includes every season of The Sopranos, The Wire, Six Feet Under, Deadwood, Rome, Eastbound & Down, Enlightened and Flight of the Conchords. You’ll also be able to watch at least some early seasons of current shows such as True Blood, Boardwalk Empire and Treme, although sadly for fantasy fans there’s no Game of Thrones on this list just yet. Other HBO content available through Amazon Prime Instant Video includes original movies Mary and Martha, Temple Grandin and You Don’t Know Jack, as well as original miniseries Band of Brothers, The Pacific, John Adams, Parade’s End and Angels in America. Amazon’s full press release announcing the available shows follows below. More →
Three years ago, Game of Thrones blew away viewers with what immediately became one of the most iconic openings in television history. Paired with an epic score, the introduction to Westeros was both informative and imaginative, spanning continents while focusing in on some of the key locations of the story. The opening matched the tone of HBO’s show flawlessly, which makes YouTube user NicksplosionFX’s Mario-themed parody even more delectable. With the help of an 8-bit remix of the ubiquitous theme, NicksplosionFX has recreated the opening scene inside of the Super Nintendo classic, Super Mario World. From Yoshi’s Island to Bowser’s Castle, the Mushroom Kingdom isn’t quite as vast as Westeros, but the parody is spot on. Check it out below. More →
Amazon and HBO on Wednesday announced a first-of-its-kind deal that will make HBO content available to Amazon Prime subscribers. Several popular HBO shows and mini-series will be included in the deal, and content can be streamed to computers, smartphones, tablets and TVs using Amazon’s various video-streaming apps. What’s more, all newly available HBO content will also be accessible on Amazon’s new Fire TV streaming set-top box. More →
Game of Thrones, the most pirated show of 2013, started its fourth season two weeks ago and it’s already breaking records just two episodes in. TorrentFreak reports that “The Lion and the Rose,” the second of episode of the show’s fourth season, garnered the largest torrent swarm ever recorded on Sunday night. Nearly 200,000 users were downloading the same exact torrent all at once, breaking the previous record of the season three finale, which raked in around 170,000 concurrent downloads. More →
The fourth season of HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones kicked off this past week. 6.6 million people tuned into the premiere, making it the most watched single episode of an HBO show since the series finale of Sopranos. Based on author George R. R. Martin’s fantasy novel series titled A Song of Ice and Fire, the show takes place in a mythical world consisting of four continents, one of which is Westeros. We’ve all seen the models of Westeros in the show’s opening credit sequence, but a group of Stanford researchers have taken things to the next level by creating a series of geological maps that shows us how the landscape of Westeros might have evolved over time. More →
AT&T is now following Comcast and Time Warner Cable by coming out with a low-cost option for subscribing to a basic cable package that will include HBO as a way to lure cord cutters back into the fold. As DSLReports notes, AT&T is offering U-Verse subscribers a basic TV package with HBO and 18Mbps Internet service for just $40 per month over the first year. The usual caveats apply, of course: The service is only $40 per month for the first year and jumps to $70 a month after that. The package also doesn’t include HD service, which will set you back by another $10 per month, and it will require you to pay a $99 installation fee. So really, AT&T’s offer isn’t as good as it first sounds but it could still be a welcome one for any Game of Thrones fans who want to watch their favorite show without forking over $100 or more per month for pay television services.
Ever since HBO first began production on Game of Thrones, fans of the series have been acutely aware of George R. R. Martin’s deliberate writing pace. Despite a 15-year head start, Martin has only recently released book 5 of his 7 book series, setting up the distinct possibility of the show surpassing its source material before Martin has time to finish book 7. In an interview with NewsOK, Game of Thrones show writer Bryan Cogman discussed that impending predicament. More →
The most pirated television show of the year last year will soon be back with a brand new season, and it’s certainly safe to call it one of the most eagerly anticipated seasons of the year. The season 3 finale of HBO’s hit show Game of Thrones was viewed by an estimated 5.4 million people as it aired, and more than 5.9 million people downloaded the episode illegally. It was easily one of HBO’s biggest single episodes, and now we’re less than one month away from the premiere of a brand new season. More →
Now that the first season of True Detective has ended, we’re all anxiously awaiting season 2. Which sleuthing duo will replace Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson? Has the story of the Yellow King truly ended? Will Rustin Cohle ever shave that awful mustache? It’ll be months before we have the answers to any of these questions, but for now, at least we have some very creative fans to take our minds off the extended departure of HBO’s best new series. In this video, YouTuber CREWgaming has “gamified” True Detective, shrinking Rust and Marty down to 8-bit (or so) proportions. It’s a fun distraction, but nevertheless contains plenty of harsh language and a few spoilers. You have been warned. More →