HBO Go is an online video service that offers a selection of films and TV shows from American premium cable network HBO. As well as a selection of theatrically released films it also offers original programs, movies, comedy specials, documentaries, sports and late night adult programming from HBO. It is currently only available as a complementary service to existing HBO television subscribers, with plans for a standalone subscription plan announced to launch in 2015.
On February 18, 2010, HBO launched HBO Go as a website that carried 1,000 hours of program content available for streaming in standard or high definition. Intended as a TV Everywhere service available only to existing subscribers of the linear HBO television channels. It is available to HBO subscribers of Verizon FIOS, AT&T U-verse, Google TV, Cox Communications, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, Dish Network, Suddenlink Communications, and Charter Communications.
HBO Go is the successor to HBO on Broadband, originally launched in January 2008 to Time Warner Cable customers in Green Bay and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Programming content available on the service consisted of 400 hours of movies, specials and original series (including 130 movie titles that rotated monthly) that could be downloaded to computers, at no extra charge for HBO subscribers; in order to access HBO on Broadband content, users had to be a digital cable customer that had a subscription to HBO, and used their cable company as their internet service provider.
HBO Go at launch was accessible only on computer browsers. Applications for iOS and Android were released in April 2011, making the service available on smartphones and tablets. In October 2011 Roku streaming players became the first television connected devices to support the service, and availability was later rolled out to the Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 3 consoles, Samsung Smart TVs, and Xbox 360 consoles. Availability on set-top boxes and gaming consoles is determined by individual cable providers in the United States with some omissions. Currently Charter does not support the Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV, and Comcast does not support the PlayStation 3, Fire TV and did not support Roku players until late 2014.
On October 15, 2014, following a trial of a similar service in Nordic Europe, HBO announced that it would launch an over-the-top version of HBO Go in 2015; it will be distributed as a stand-alone subscription service that will not require an existing television subscription to use. The decision marks a significant change to HBO's business model, as the service will market itself directly to consumers. The new offering will primarily target "cord cutters", who primarily use online video services such as Netflix for video content and television programming rather than having a subscription to a cable or satellite provider.
On December 9, 2014, it was reported that HBO had outsourced development of the over-the-top service's infrastructure to MLB Advanced Media. The network was previously working on a new platform codenamed "Maui" under the direction of its chief technical officer Otto Berkes, but HBO, especially after major service outages for HBO Go that occurred during several recent, high-profile season premieres, felt that outsourcing the service to a third-party would bring lower risk to the project (MLB Advanced Media also provides the infrastructure for WatchESPN and WWE Network). As a result of the decision, Berkes also stepped down.
HBO Go streams a selection of theatrically released films with a significant number of titles added and dropped every month. HBO original series are available on a permanent basis. New episodes of currently airing series are typically available for streaming at their airtime in the Eastern Time Zone. HBO Go does not stream several early HBO series such as Tales from the Crypt, Tenacious D, 1st & Ten, The Larry Sanders Show, Arliss, and Mr. Show with Bob and David.
- Amazon Fire TV (December 16, 2014)
- Android (April 29, 2011)
- Apple TV (June 19, 2013)
- Google Chromecast (November 22, 2013)
- iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch (April 29, 2011)
- PlayStation 3 (January 16, 2014)
- Roku streaming players (October 11, 2011)
- Samsung Smart TVs (February 17, 2012)
- Xbox 360 (March 27, 2012)
- Xbox One (November 20, 2014)
- Szalai, Georg (2010-02-17). "HBO GO heads to FiOS". Hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved 2012-10-05.
- Google Announces More Providers for Google TV, Internet Retailer, October 5, 2010.
- Cox To Offer HBO To Go, Multichannel News, March 2, 2011.
- DIRECTV to Launch HBO GO and MAX GO, April 12 DirecTV Press Release April 11, 2011
- Dish Network Offers HBO GO and MAX GO, Presenting More Than 1,800 On-Demand Movies and Original Series to Online Customers Dish Network Press Release April 21, 2011
- Suddenlink Takes HBO And Cinemax To Go, Multichannel News, April 26, 2011.
- Charter Officially Delivers HBO, Cinemax To Go, Multichannel News, July 21, 2011.
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- XBox Live Adds HBO Go, MLB.tv and Comcast Xfinity Apps PC World, March 27, 2012