HBO Go a step in the right direction
There are a million different ways to watch TV these days. You can record a show on your DVR, watch it on-demand on your cable box, view it on your computer or iPad using Hulu, Amazon Instant Video or Netflix and even go old school and buy it on DVD and Blu-Ray. And these are just a few of the available options! Unfortunately, each of these methods carries its own inherent limitations. Netflix, which was my preferred on-demand video source for years, restructured their prices and it was recently announced that Starz, one of their largest content providers, would be pulling the plug on their selection of streaming videos in 2012. Limited selection is the primary downfall of all these services, but what if you could get access to all a network’s programming in one place? That’s exactly where HBO Go comes in.
Unlike Xfinity’s on-demand or Netflix’s streaming, HBO Go offers all episodes from all seasons of popular shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm and True Blood. So, instead of only being able to see Larry David try to court a bisexual girl or get spooked by an ice cream truck, you can also relive the time he became a car salesman, or when he befriended a rap star, or the episode where he was going to star in The Producers on Broadway. HBO Go is perfect for catching up with your favorite HBO series or re-watching past episodes before a new season begins. Forgot how Margaret and Nucky’s relationship began? Get caught up with all 12 episodes of Boardwalk Empire before the new season starts later this month. Can’t remember how Eric met Godric? Go back and watch season two of True Blood before season four concludes next week.
The best part of HBO Go is that it’s HBO, a network with some of the best original programming around. You don’t get as many Emmy nominations as they have without having quality content and they’ve raised the bar for TV. Their documentaries are moving, their series fascinating and their specials entertaining. They’ve got the goods and now you can too, whenever and wherever you want. They own the content and they can distribute as much of it as they want on their app.
The only downside to this wonderful dream is that you have to subscribe to HBO through your cable or satellite provider to use it, which means you’re still tied to those dinosaurs and their bundled packages and tiered price structures. Pay-per-view services from Amazon or Apple TV offer good competition, but so far, if you want the full TV experience in one place, you’re stuck with a box in your living room.
HBO Go is a step in the right direction and will hopefully lead the industry to wake up and see that consumers are ready for a new kind of TV. With more people watching shows and movies on mobile devices and laptops, TV isn’t even TV anymore. And that’s why HBO is thriving. It’s not TV, after all, it’s HBO.