HBO Now’s slicing the twine, however there’s nonetheless a couple of strings

HBO Now is cutting the cord, but there's still a few strings

Except for some particular web presents, till now the (legit) approach to get HBO has been simple — order it out of your cable firm. At this time Apple and HBO took a leap over that paywall by saying their partnership to launch HBO Now. The one drawback? That mixture brings its personal set of restrictions, and if you wish to a means round them then assist might come from probably the most unlikely supply: your cable firm.

HBO Now is cutting the cord, but there's still a few strings

HBO CEO Richard Plepler’s proclamation that “All it’s essential to get HBO NOW is a broadband connection and an Apple system”, is strictly true — you will have each of these issues to enroll. Because it stands at the moment, despite the fact that viewing is supported on PC or Mac by way of an internet browser pointed at, the one solution to truly arrange an account shall be by means of Apple’s HBO Now app. HBO tells Engadget that Apple has a 3 month unique as a digital supplier of HBO Now, so it is going to be at the very least that lengthy till somebody like Google, Amazon and even HBO itself might promote entry.

HBO was cable solely, now it is cable and Apple unique. Is that basically an enchancment?

– Richard Lawler (@rjcc) March 9, 2015

As I tweeted earlier, this example places Apple on the aspect the place cable corporations have been for therefore lengthy: locking out a sure phase of prepared-to-pay clients. It isn’t an issue in case you already take pleasure in your Apple TV, iPad or iPhone, however what for those who want one thing else? Oddly, the most effective hope for avoiding that ninety-day wait might come out of your cable firm. HBO says it is in discussions with some cable, satellite tv for pc and phone suppliers that would promote entry to HBO Now at launch, however nothing is about to date. Plepler advised Re/code in an interview that “we’re making an attempt to make the logical argument that that is an additive proposition” and it’ll get subscribers from individuals who have already got web with out TV service, as an alternative of accelerating twine-slicing.

Now that it is launching by way of Apple, corporations like Comcast and Verizon might not have as a lot of a selection to take a seat out, or pull stunts like locking down entry to HBO Go. Our different query is how a lot will it value if anybody else gives it, as an official FAQ mentions “costs might differ” throughout suppliers. Precisely how a lot cash Apple is making from the deal is unknown, so we’ll have an interest to see if somebody like Amazon might select to supply HBO Now entry for a lower cost, or perhaps rolled into one other subscription like Amazon Prime. After the ninety-day unique is over, Barbara Kraus of Parks Associates tells us that analysts consider “HBO will speak in confidence to further platforms together with PCs, permitting customers to enroll instantly,” identical to Amazon and Netflix already do.

HBO Now is cutting the cord, but there's still a few strings

So if you will get HBO Now, what is going to it’s like? A “restricted time” 30-day free trial supply ought to do lots to offer viewers a style for themselves. It seems like every part provided shall be similar to what we have seen from HBO Go, with entry to films, new TV exhibits like Recreation of Thrones, Silicon Valley, True Detective and Final Week Tonight with John Oliver, plus older collection like The Wire, Sopranos, True Blood and Deadwood.

HBO tells us that the $14.ninety nine subscription will permit for streaming on as much as three units directly, with no restrict on the variety of units you possibly can have activated. That is surprisingly login-sharing pleasant, and a shift from what we have seen with Sling TV, which solely permits one stream per account. Nonetheless, is it triendly sufficient to make up for a community that is not fairly prepared on your Android telephone, Hearth TV stick, or Xbox / PlayStation gaming console? You’ll make that decision in just some weeks.

We all know how we’ll be watchin’ @GameOfThrones season 5.