HBO Now: 5 Things to Know Before You Subscribe

You can now get HBO without cable thanks to the HBO Now service that is available on internet connected devices. You don’t need any type of cable subscription to use this service and you get access to HBO series, recently released movies and a lot of additional content including boxing and more.

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You can sign up for a free trial of HBO Now to test the service out for 30 days without any commitment. Now that your free trial from the start of Game of Thrones or other series is almost up, you are probably trying to figure out if it is worth keeping HBO Now.

HBO Now is $15 a month after that trial and you can quit and restart the service as you want without any penalties or hassles. It should be much easier than calling a cable company to drop HBO.

The HBO Now release arrived last year and is still a great option for watching Game of Thrones Season 6 and Silicon Valley Season 3, but that’s not all this service is good for. HBO Now also includes a variety of movies and the entire backlog of HBO shows including hits like The Wire, Oz, Veep and many more. You also get access to movies, comedy specials and sporting events.

Here's what you need to know about the HBO Now service.

Here’s what you need to know about the HBO Now service.

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Before you sign up for HBO Now, there are a few things you’ll want to know about the service. Instead of reading a lengthy FAQ, here are the most important things about the service.

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When Does HBO Now Get New Shows?

If you pay for HBO, you know that one of the benefits is watching the new episodes of hit shows right when they air. This includes big name hits like Game of Thrones and other series as well as Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

Can you watch Game of Thrones episodes live on HBO Now? The good news is that Yes, in most cases you can watch almost as soon as the live show starts airing. Here’s what HBO says on the issue,

“Yes. New episodes of original programming and theatrical films will become available on HBO NOW at the same time that they premiere on HBO. Live programming and some other programs have a delay onHBO NOW just like on HBO GO, but are added as quickly as possible, usually within hours of broadcast.”

While you may need to wait a few minutes for a new Game of Thrones episode to appear on HBO Now, you should be able to start watching on Sunday about the same time as everyone with HBO on their TV.

HBO Now Show List

The appeal of HBO Now isn’t just the upcoming content, but the huge backlog of great series and a wide array of movies. The movies on HBO Now change each month, but you will never lose access to the HBO Original Series.

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This is where a lot of value comes in. If you pay $15 a month just to watch Game of Thrones HBO Now is expensive, but you can also watch True Detective, Boardwalk Empire, The Wire, Veep, band of Brothers and many other great HBO original series. Here’s a look at the HBO Original Series that you will have access to.

The HBO Now movie list will change sporadically as the service rotates in new movies to watch. There is a good mix of newer movies and of favorites that are often hard to find on a streaming subscription service.

HBO Now vs HBO Go

HBO Now and HBO Go are similar, but different in key ways.

HBO Now and HBO Go are similar, but different in key ways.

Essentially HBO Go and HBO Now are the same thing, but HBO Now doesn’t require a cable subscription. In some cases HBO Now is cheaper than HBO Go. DirecTV charges $17.99 for HBO which includes HBO Go, but HBO Now is just $15 a month and it delivers the same features.

If you ask for a discount from DirecTV or Time Warner Cable you might be able to get a deal on HBO, and in turn HBO Go, but you will not find a deal on HBO Now.

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The biggest difference is that you can use HBO Now without a cable subscription. HBO Now originally launched on Apple TV, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch or on laptop and desktop computers in a browser. Since this time HBO has added support for HBO Now on Android and HBO Now on Amazon devices.

Can Families share HBO Now Access?

A common complaint about streaming services is that you can’t share the access with your family, but HBO understands or accepts that not everyone will want to watch the same thing on HBO at the same time. Here’s what they have to say about sharing HBO Now access with your family and watching different shows or movies at the same time on HBO Now.

“Members of your household can sign in to HBO NOW on multiple devices at the same time and watch videos concurrently, but the number of videos you can stream at any given time is limited for security reasons.”

It’s not clear what the limit is, but HBO Go is not very strict with usage.

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HBO Now Device List

The HBO Android release could come in July.

The HBO Android release arrived last year.

When is the HBO Now Android release? If you missed out on the news last year, you can now buy HBO Now on Android devices without a cable subscription. HBO added several options for Android and for Amazon Fire devices as well. Here are all the places you can watch HBO Now.

  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Apple TV
  • Chromecast
  • FireTV Stick
  • Android TVs
  • Roku
  • Samsung Smart TVs
  • Xbox 360
  • XBox One
  • Android Smartphones and Tablets
  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Fire Tablets
  • On Mac and PC

The biggest platform that is missing is the PlayStation 4. You can watch HBO Go on PS4 as long as you don’t have Comcast. However there is still no PS4 HBO Now app or support.