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Media Android Movies Television Entertainment

Android, Chromecast To Get HBO Now 39

An anonymous reader writes: Google's I/O 2015 conference opened with a surprise announcement: that Chromecast, Android TV, and other Android devices will soon be able to offer HBO Now. "The announcement marks the end of a 7-week exclusive that Apple had on HBO's stand-alone streaming and on-demand video service," reports Digital Trends, and it also further weakens the exclusivity of cable TV packages. "Traditional TV subscriptions are slowly starting to slip," one newspaper reports, "as more people watch online video." Other online streaming sites are already confronting the popularity of HBO's "Game of Thrones" series, with Netflix already experiencing a 33% dip in their online traffic during the new season's online premiere and Amazon rushing to discount their "Game of Thrones" graphic novels, and the turmoil seems to be continuing in the online video space. "Shortly after the premier of the new season, HBO Now seems to have taken the top spot when it comes to internet traffic," reports one technology site, "causing a huge dent in Netflix's attempt to make it to the top."
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Android, Chromecast To Get HBO Now

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  • data caps (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 29, 2015 @05:25PM (#49802367)

    still no idea how comcast et.al. can be serious about data caps when this shift happens. people are used to letting their TV's sit all day on some random channel. if you do that with IPTV you're going to blow by 250GB or whatever in a week or so. caps are totally infeasible.

    • Or people just won't be able to leave Internet TV on in the background all day. All the services I use ask me if I'm still watching at least every couple of hours, so it seems that they want to avoid unnecessary use.

      Caps will have to go up, but ISPs and video services do not want people to use their bandwidth streaming 1080p video 24/7 to have something on in the background, so don't expect them to go away.
      • by Knuckles ( 8964 )

        Or people just won't be able to leave Internet TV on in the background all day. All the services I use ask me if I'm still watching at least every couple of hours, so it seems that they want to avoid unnecessary use.

        Caps will have to go up, but ISPs and video services do not want people to use their bandwidth streaming 1080p video 24/7 to have something on in the background, so don't expect them to go away.

        Maybe you are right, but this means is that these services cannot satisfy a very command demand people have, which traditional TV could satisfy. Something/someone will (have to) fill this hole

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      still no idea how comcast et.al. can be serious about data caps when this shift happens. people are used to letting their TV's sit all day on some random channel. if you do that with IPTV you're going to blow by 250GB or whatever in a week or so. caps are totally infeasible.

      Why not? TV is really profitable, internet service less so. If data caps means Comcast etc., keep people subscribing to cable, that's a more profitable combination than just selling internet service.

      And given Comcast can't give their own

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      Comcast cares not. It's easy $$$.

    • I suspect those people don't overlap with would be cord cutters.

      The people I know that do this like having the throw away channels for the background, because it doesn't take attention. They don't wanna pick a show, they wanna tune to channel x and tune out.

      By the time something similar is offered, hopefully ipv6 (ok, I lol a touch as I type that) will fill the need (it has multi cast I think).

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        By the time something similar is offered, hopefully ipv6 (ok, I lol a touch as I type that) will fill the need (it has multi cast I think).

        Then you'll have to buy IPv6 capable DVRs. But cable companies are moving that "into the cloud" (in fact, streaming services can be considered a form of DVR in the cloud), so unless you go tell your DVR to record some IP address at some time or you'll miss it... which seems to defeat the entire purpose of streaming a show. (And really, the chances two people will stream

  • Surprise? (Score:4, Informative)

    by drhamad ( 868567 ) on Friday May 29, 2015 @05:26PM (#49802375)
    How is this a surprise announcement? We knew Apple only had it as an exclusive for a few weeks.
  • Good Grief (Score:5, Informative)

    by cahuenga ( 3493791 ) on Friday May 29, 2015 @05:50PM (#49802477)
    a 33% dip in their online traffic

    Horseshit. Netflix traffic dipped down to a 33% share. You really can't screw up a writeup much worse than that.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Whether their traffic dropped by 33% or to 33%, what does it matter unless people were also canceling their subscriptions?
      • As link points out, it's the difference between a 3% drop and 33% drop.

        Just barely within the margin of error required for moonshots.
      • According to the original article Netflix traffic was up slightly. "Overall in the full report, Netflix remained the clear leader on North American fixed networks (as opposed to mobile) during peak usage times, up slightly to 36.5 percent of downstream traffic, with YouTube again a distant second at 15.6 percent." Do you have a link that shows the number of subscribers leaving Netflix? It sure looks like they're doing just fine based on the linked report.
    • Sure they could have screwed it up more. They could have mentioned that Alpha Centaurians have invaded Duluth, and are transforming Minnesotans into angry Communist half-snake half-jelly fish chimeras who chant "Serve the giant penis god!"

      Now THAT would be a screwed up writeup!

      • Sure they could have screwed it up more. They could have mentioned that Alpha Centaurians have invaded Duluth, and are transforming Minnesotans into angry Communist half-snake half-jelly fish chimeras who chant "Serve the giant penis god!"

        Now THAT would be a screwed up writeup!

        And equally as newsworthy.

      • Mind you if they invaded Duluth, they wouldn't hang around long.
  • Android, Chromecast To Get HBO Now

    Would it kill you to use the word "and"? Commas instead are so 20th-Century-print-media.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Friday May 29, 2015 @06:36PM (#49802733)

    Sure, it's HBO, and sure they have some stellar in-house programming; but it's one channel. People who are dumping their $60/month (and up!) cable TV plans aren't likely to pay $15 for one channel. Heck, Netflix is under $10. Even the old baboons that run Hulu don't try to charge that much for Plus...

    If you're on Comcast's lowest tier TV-included package - "Internet Plus" - HBO is a free add-on. Right now we're paying ~ $70/month total for internet plus Cable TV (The TV channels include HD and are basically a throw-in, it's how Comcast tries to hide how many of its customers don't want cable TV anymore). I can't imagine paying $15 for any single channel.

    • Sure, it's HBO, and sure they have some stellar in-house programming; but it's one channel. People who are dumping their $60/month (and up!) cable TV plans aren't likely to pay $15 for one channel.

      Two genuine questions here. First, if a disproportionate reason why a person has cable at all is for HBO, then $15/month is less than what they're paying for HBO + everything else, so it may well be worth it. How many users fit this particular category?

      Second, how much of HBO's back catalog is included? The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, and Dead Like Me are all still highly regarded series that have a good amount of rewatch value. HBO has also produced a wide array of well produced documentaries. Yes, everyone

      • Two genuine questions here. First, if a disproportionate reason why a person has cable at all is for HBO, then $15/month is less than what they're paying for HBO + everything else, so it may well be worth it. How many users fit this particular category?

        Admittedly that is a very good question. I would not think it's a large number, but then I am not in that group so of course I assume most people are like me rather than "them"! That's been proven demonstrably wrong on many occasions in the past, though...

        Second, how much of HBO's back catalog is included? ...

        I think most of it is, actually - but you incidentally hit on a different point. HBO GO (a different product than HBO NOW, which is what was being discussed here) also has the same access to the entire HBO back catalog - and anyone that has HBO (including

    • $15 a month to stream and binge watch season 5 of GoT immediately after the season is done is a quicker and cheaper than iTunes or Amazon.

    • If you don't have cable but have internet, $15/month for HBO might be worth it. Especially since you can add/drop at will. I see that once Games of Thrones is over, HBO Now will drop in some subscribers.
    • by trawg ( 308495 )

      If you're on Comcast's lowest tier TV-included package - "Internet Plus" - HBO is a free add-on. Right now we're paying ~ $70/month total for internet plus Cable TV (The TV channels include HD and are basically a throw-in, it's how Comcast tries to hide how many of its customers don't want cable TV anymore). I can't imagine paying $15 for any single channel.

      The way I see it (as an Australian that moved the US ~18 months ago and is agog at the variety of entertainment options), Netflix is awesome because it's a nice cheap catalogue of mostly older content that I either haven't seen or am happy to watch again.

      HBO for $15/mo seems reasonable to me because they have a (much smaller) amount of really amazing content (The Wire, Rome, Sopranos, Deadwood, etc) which I'll happily watch again and again, but they're almost always running the New Hotness (Game of Thrones

    • Sure, it's HBO, and sure they have some stellar in-house programming; but it's one channel.

      Not exactly - because it's not just "HBO Now", but also "HBO Then".

      That is to say, you aren't just getting current seasons of stuff like Game of Thrones - you are getting all the seasons they aired. Plus things that aren't even airing that were great - like Rome. Plus many more somewhat-current movies than Netflix has (although to be fair Netflix has a small number of near-current movies I actually like to watch, wh

    • Sure, it's HBO, and sure they have some stellar in-house programming; but it's one channel. People who are dumping their $60/month (and up!) cable TV plans aren't likely to pay $15 for one channel. Heck, Netflix is under $10. Even the old baboons that run Hulu don't try to charge that much for Plus...

      If you're on Comcast's lowest tier TV-included package - "Internet Plus" - HBO is a free add-on. Right now we're paying ~ $70/month total for internet plus Cable TV (The TV channels include HD and are basically a throw-in, it's how Comcast tries to hide how many of its customers don't want cable TV anymore). I can't imagine paying $15 for any single channel.

      Maybe, though I'm guessing a lot of people only watch shows from 3-4 channels on a regular basis and watch only a very small amount of programming for the rest. HBO is a very exclusive channel, but even if you did that for all those 3-4 channels you'd pay $45-$60 for almost all the programming you get currently, but commercial free and on-demand with a back catalog.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Assuming it's only a monthly commitment I'd pay for it for a few months a year, so I can binge. Of course it isn't actually available in my country, so for now I'll just carry on pirating.

  • Seriously, so very glad I bothered to read GoT and complete the main books rather than committing to the HBO series. Those silly fucktarts are going off in all sorts of directions with the story and none of that shit is going to correspond to any of the novels. Plus Emilia Clarke doesn't want to show her boobs anymore or do any of the sexy in-book story lines, so HBO can give away their service for free, I'll save my time for reading. When I want to watch a movie, I have all my favorites in my own online li

  • I signed up to Netflix. Got a month for free. Had a look at the content available. Twas mainly shit. Unsubscribed there and then.

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