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HBO now available without Cable TV!
Old 03-09-2015, 02:48 PM   #1
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HBO now available without Cable TV!

I buried this in the "Dropped Cable TV Today" thread, but it deserves its own thread.

Woohoo! HBO announced today at the Apple Event availability on AppleTV and iOS devices starting April, no cable subscription required. Their entire lineup will be available.

Subscription price is $14.99 per month, and if you sign up in April you get the first month free. I expects it's like the other subscriptions in that you can stop and resume any month.

So HBO fans, here it is. Apple to offer HBO without cable service - Vox

Now, I want my STARZ! I expect that will be available soon - they'll follow HBO I expect.

I'm sure it's just a matter of time before the same service is offered on non-Apple devices.
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Old 03-09-2015, 02:53 PM   #2
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I'm starting to get the feeling that the telecomm's have come up with a new way to nickel and dime us to death, only this time cutting out the cable providers. We have sling (although a dish item) and now HBO. There will be more and is each one going to be $10 to 20$ a month? Plus whatever major league sports like the NFL, NHL, etc is per month. After a while, the total charges could be what we pay for cable now.

Although there is more chances to choose what you want in this scheme. People have been asking for custom package selections. Maybe this is close to that?
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Old 03-09-2015, 03:00 PM   #3
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I'm starting to get the feeling that the telecomm's have come up with a new way to nickel and dime us to death, only this time cutting out the cable providers. We have sling (although a dish item) and now HBO. There will be more and is each one going to be $10 to 20$ a month? Plus whatever major league sports like the NFL, NHL, etc is per month. After a while, the total charges could be what we pay for cable now.

Although there is more chances to choose what you want in this scheme. People have been asking for custom package selections. Maybe this is close to that?
That doesn't concern me, because there is a lot I don't watch. And we don't watch sports.

As long as I can choose to watch HBO some months of the year I'm way ahead. I won't feel compelled to watch new shows during their season which spans several months. I don't mind watching after the fact, and some shows become available on other subscriptions after the season ends. So this would be for very specific cases.

You can buy seasons of shows from iTunes, and they are more expensive than the monthly subscription, but it's a one time charge and you can watch at any time.

So it looks like you pretty much have an a la carte menu now. You can watch whatever months you want to watch, or whatever season of a given show you want to watch.
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Old 03-09-2015, 03:04 PM   #4
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In related news - Tivo announced today in an email that they've worked things out with Amazon Prime. So now Tivo premier users will be able to stream amazon prime without a separate device.

I've been chromecasting the prime content - but it's laggy/jittery... so this will solve that problem.
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Old 03-09-2015, 03:09 PM   #5
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DW just lifted her veto on dropping our Cable TV subscription! I installed an OTA antenna and she was amazed by the quality of the picture. HBO was her last excuse to hang on to Cable TV.
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Old 03-09-2015, 03:16 PM   #6
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In related news - Tivo announced today in an email that they've worked things out with Amazon Prime. So now Tivo premier users will be able to stream amazon prime without a separate device.

I've been chromecasting the prime content - but it's laggy/jittery... so this will solve that problem.
That's encouraging. We've been using AirPlay. Maybe Amazon will come out with their AppleTV app.

Even PBS has an app for crying out loud...
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Old 03-09-2015, 04:13 PM   #7
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I'm starting to get the feeling that the telecomm's have come up with a new way to nickel and dime us to death, only this time cutting out the cable providers. W
This.

Fast forward a few years, and we'll have all kinds of content providers willing to sign us up to individual subscription services (Netflix, HBO, AMC, Showtime, Starz, NFL Sunday Ticket). Somehow I do not think that the winner in this brave new world will be consumers...
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Old 03-09-2015, 04:14 PM   #8
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This.

Fast forward a few years, and we'll have all kinds of content providers willing to sign us up to individual subscription services (Netflix, HBO, AMC, Showtime, Starz, NFL Sunday Ticket). Somehow I do not think that the winner in this brave new world will be consumers...
Sure it is. What's the problem?

Right now I can't subscribe to a lot of that because I dropped cable TV, most of which was crappy low resolution and way too many commercials and you had to have TIVO or watch on their schedule.

As more streaming options become available you can decide what you want to watch and when and pay for the services you want just for the month you want them. Sounds a lot better to me.
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Old 03-09-2015, 04:24 PM   #9
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FWIW, the AppleTV device price dropped to $69, in case anyone cares.
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Old 03-09-2015, 04:27 PM   #10
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In other news, the cost of Internet will go through the roof. HBO is $10/mo through our Comcast cable, so HBO will be happy to have you sign up directly with them. Much of HBO is already available through Amazon Prime (which raised its prices fairly recently too).

(I do love TV )
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Old 03-09-2015, 04:28 PM   #11
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FWIW, the AppleTV device price dropped to $69, in case anyone cares.
Does Apple TV support Amazon yet?
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Old 03-09-2015, 04:33 PM   #12
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Does Apple TV support Amazon yet?
Only through AirPlay which works pretty well.

But I think it's just a matter of time. I'm not sure which side is holding up the Amazon Prime app for AppleTV, but if Amazon made a deal with TIVO (which means no hardware sales for Amazon), I imagine they will ultimately make a deal with Apple. Apple supports several other apps which compete with their own iTunes video programming.

There is one issue where I notice that Amazon sometimes says certain content can only be played on your laptop. This will then require AirPlay no matter what.
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Old 03-09-2015, 05:36 PM   #13
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This.

Fast forward a few years, and we'll have all kinds of content providers willing to sign us up to individual subscription services (Netflix, HBO, AMC, Showtime, Starz, NFL Sunday Ticket). Somehow I do not think that the winner in this brave new world will be consumers...
So the market looks like it is becoming fragmented, like the phone companies after the breakup of Ma Bell. Not that that is bad, it just looks like what is happening.

But it does look like the content is being treated like Apps: netflix has some shows, amazon has some, apple has some, roku has some.
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Old 03-09-2015, 06:36 PM   #14
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So the market looks like it is becoming fragmented, like the phone companies after the breakup of Ma Bell. Not that that is bad, it just looks like what is happening.

But it does look like the content is being treated like Apps: netflix has some shows, amazon has some, apple has some, roku has some.
Usually fragmented is better for the consumer.
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Old 03-09-2015, 09:36 PM   #15
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This.

Fast forward a few years, and we'll have all kinds of content providers willing to sign us up to individual subscription services (Netflix, HBO, AMC, Showtime, Starz, NFL Sunday Ticket). Somehow I do not think that the winner in this brave new world will be consumers...
I think this should be edited to say that SPORTS viewers will not be the winners in this new world. I'm sick of paying extra for college basketball and the NFL when I have 0 interest in them. Those of us who are using Netflix/Prime and have little interest in live TV programming will benefit from this breakdown.

The networks can try to keep all their content to themselves via app fiefdoms but even HBO allows older content on their competitor Prime. Those who need current TV shows will pay more while those of us who are willing to wait until it comes out a year later will save money.
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Old 03-10-2015, 06:14 AM   #16
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If HBO is successful it could also be an issue for Amazon Prime, which uses HBO programming to stand apart from Netflix. This kind of competition is usually good for consumers.
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Old 03-10-2015, 07:26 AM   #17
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We ran a show from Amazon Prime yesterday. Their own programming which is only available via them (Mozart in the Jungle). And no matter how you do it, having to stream via a laptop to your AppleTV is just not an efficient use of Internet and wifi bandwidth.
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Old 03-10-2015, 09:10 AM   #18
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New review of Apple TV with HBO Before you run out and buy the cheaper Apple TV with HBO, read this – Quartz
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Old 03-10-2015, 05:27 PM   #19
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We ran a show from Amazon Prime yesterday. Their own programming which is only available via them (Mozart in the Jungle). And no matter how you do it, having to stream via a laptop to your AppleTV is just not an efficient use of Internet and wifi bandwidth.

I agree, but I think Apple has fallen behind on this one and I'm not convinced Amazon is high on their list of partners to support. It's a shame they haven't evolved their AppleTV platform, but for whatever reason, they haven't felt this is a priority. Maybe too much focus on watches?

In our case, we had both an AppleTV and a Roku, the latter mostly for Amazon content. When Amazon introduced their Fire Stick last year for $20, I went ahead and ordered one to try it out. Since then, the AppleTV and Roku have been collecting dust. Amazon's device supports Prime, Netflix and PBS, which is majority of what we watch. We can also rent the occasional movie, which we used to do on the AppleTV.

The Fire Stick also supports SlingTV, Hulu, etc, for those that want more content. I even played around with a Plex client to see if I could watch recordings on an antiquated media center PC, but the transcoding on the PC required too much CPU.

As for the Fire Stick, it works well enough for our watching and as bonus, it's hidden behind the TV. Not to mention my wife hasn't complained once, which wasn't the case before. It's also $30 cheaper than the AppleTV.

What's ironic, at least for me, is that I really didn't want to like the Fire Stick. I would have preferred to stick with the AppleTV. But after using it for the last few months, it works well for what we need. It doesn't require an extra computer/iPad for other content, something my wife would never setup, and they have all the major content apps, excluding HBO, which is probably just a matter of time.
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Old 03-10-2015, 05:48 PM   #20
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I agree, but I think Apple has fallen behind on this one and I'm not convinced Amazon is high on their list of partners to support. It's a shame they haven't evolved their AppleTV platform, but for whatever reason, they haven't felt this is a priority. Maybe too much focus on watches?

What's ironic, at least for me, is that I really didn't want to like the Fire Stick. I would have preferred to stick with the AppleTV. But after using it for the last few months, it works well for what we need. It doesn't require an extra computer/iPad for other content, something my wife would never setup, and they have all the major content apps, excluding HBO, which is probably just a matter of time.
AppleTV has been evolving their platform as we've been seeing more and more channels available from more and more media content providers. And more capable hardware.

We may end up getting a FireStick or other Amazon Prime compatible device for watching their content.

Both companies could be equally dragging their feet. You never know.
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