HBO Now: 5 Things to Know Before You Subscribe

You get HBO without cable thanks to the HBO Now service that is available on tons of 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. You may be signing back up for Game of Thrones Season 7, or trying out HBO Now for the first time.

You can sign up for a free trial of HBO Now to test the service out for 30 days without any commitment. We’ll walk through what you need to know about the free trial and about subscribing to 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 7 and Silicon Valley, 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 much 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

If you are an AT&T Unlimited Plus subscriber, you can HBO free on DirecTV or DirecTV Now instead of paying for HBO Now.

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.

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
  • PS4
  • PS3
  • Android Smartphones and Tablets
  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Fire Tablets
  • On Mac and PC

After a very long wait, we finally have support for HBO Now PS4 and PS3 streaming.

47 Comments

  1. TheThisGuy

    04/08/2015 at 10:04 am

    Guess I’ll keep pirating GoT until they figure out Android users are just as important to consider.

    Reply

    • nerdrage

      04/08/2015 at 11:27 am

      So you’ll keep pirating till this coming summer? That Apple exclusive won’t last long.

      Reply

  2. sebastien

    05/10/2015 at 6:28 pm

    Ill keep downloading got until hbo now is released on android too … But i will gladly pay for hbo now once i can . Been like 7 years or so that im downloading hbo shows because my cable provider is asking me to get a huge package in order to receive hbo . 15$ a month is more fair .

    Reply

  3. CherryBon

    05/11/2015 at 10:29 am

    I just used an old iPhone I don’t use anymore to make an HBO NOW account, and I watch on my laptop and stream it to my chromecast/remote desktop on my Galaxy.

    Reply

  4. Andrew Jackson

    08/06/2015 at 7:18 pm

    Will hbo charge the same day of hbo now subscription?

    Reply

  5. Jebus christmas

    09/26/2015 at 9:16 am

    HBO now IS on Android

    Reply

  6. Noelle Hance

    11/16/2015 at 7:05 pm

    Can you watch past seaons of Game of Thrones on HBO Now?

    Reply

    • itemforty

      04/24/2016 at 7:26 pm

      Yes, all seasons of the show are available.

      Reply

  7. Keith Roe

    04/24/2016 at 5:13 pm

    I have HBO Now and can stream all of the past episodes of ALL HBO shows, including GoT! I have mine through my Roku 3 and it charges my account the same day every month. As mentioned, first month is free.

    Reply

  8. Monica Ace

    04/24/2016 at 6:13 pm

    I signed up for HBO Now $15 a month , it’s 9pm and Games of Thrones season 6 episode 1 appears as an option but will not come on. Now it’s 9:07pm and Thrones still not coming on. Is the delay a few hours or a few minutes??????? I feel ripped off, HBO advertised live HBO, not delayed.

    Reply

    • Erinn

      05/22/2016 at 4:04 pm

      That’s weird because I got the episode on a few minutes delay from the 6 pm showing on the west coast. I wonder what was up with your service…

      Reply

  9. Monica Ace

    04/24/2016 at 6:18 pm

    False advertising – The advertisement displayed on my Roku TV screen for HBO Now says “Game of Thrones, HBO Now, new season now available, watch now”. When I click on it I can only watch seasons 1 to 5, the new episode for season 6 which is premiering right now at 9pm is disabled.

    Reply

  10. Mercedes

    04/24/2016 at 7:26 pm

    good

    Reply

  11. Mercedes

    04/24/2016 at 7:30 pm

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  12. Josh

    04/24/2016 at 8:00 pm

    How the hell is this supposed to work? I sign up for HBO Now, sign up on my iphone using itunes, try to play GoT, and it keeps asking me to Restart NOW For Unlimited Access. I’ve done this a dozen times already, only to be prompted to sign in. This is what causes people to throw and break their cell phones in fits of uncontrollable rage.

    Reply

    • SS

      04/24/2016 at 8:13 pm

      Did you get it to work? I’m having the same issue.

      Reply

      • Josh

        04/24/2016 at 8:23 pm

        No. Now I’m going to have to ignore computers, cell phones, and every other electronic device so no one spoils GoT tomorrow until I can find a *working* way to watch it (this is going to be nearly impossible since I work online).

        Why did I think it was a good idea to stop being a pirate? I may have to pay the iron price for GoT.

        Reply

    • Yousaf

      04/25/2016 at 12:14 pm

      I finally figured it out! When it gives you the msg to Restart, there is a thin line under Restart Now that says
      “Link your new subscription” click that and link your subscription! It will work!

      Reply

  13. SS

    04/24/2016 at 8:12 pm

    Same issue as Josh. I keep seeing “Restart NOW For Unlimited Access”.. Anyone found a fix?

    Reply

  14. Kelsey

    04/24/2016 at 8:14 pm

    Josh the same thing has been happening to me!! Not sure what to do!!

    Reply

  15. vk

    04/24/2016 at 8:17 pm

    same issue as JOSH, I am trying the same thing from 9 o clock. It is not working.

    Reply

  16. Sarah Frank

    04/24/2016 at 8:17 pm

    Me too, anyone found a solution?

    Reply

  17. Garvey

    04/24/2016 at 8:29 pm

    Same f!_!kin problem I’m have w+f HBAhOles

    Reply

  18. Tony

    04/24/2016 at 8:32 pm

    I have tried calling, tweeting and sent an email, but still nothing.

    Reply

  19. Josh

    04/24/2016 at 8:42 pm

    HBO Now’s phone number is 1 (855) 942-6669. You’ll probably just get a busy signal like I did. Sounds like someone rolled out yet another service that wasn’t up to the task.

    Reply

  20. pinkstar

    04/24/2016 at 8:43 pm

    I deleted the app and reinstalled. Working ok so far…

    Reply

  21. Morgan

    04/24/2016 at 8:44 pm

    Your appleID email has to match your registration email or it will keep you in the loop of renewing..

    Reply

  22. mynhauzen

    04/24/2016 at 8:46 pm

    Remove app, and install it again, and then enter you password and it will work

    Reply

  23. Jesse

    04/24/2016 at 8:52 pm

    Possible fix: Click the tiny box that says link your subscription. My husband just found it after over an hour of “renew your subscription” hell.

    Reply

  24. Tony

    04/24/2016 at 8:53 pm

    Nope! removed app, reinstalled and still in loop. I tried creating another account with a different email, but only got an ‘error occurred’ message and runs you through the same bs loop.

    Reply

  25. Josh

    04/24/2016 at 8:53 pm

    For the record, I deleted the app and re-installed it twice. This hasn’t worked for me. Also, my AppleID login credentials matched the HBO Now login credentials. So, good for you people, but I just lost three hours of my life I will never get back.

    Reply

  26. Josh

    04/24/2016 at 8:56 pm

    Bite my tongue. It just started working on the 60th attempt…

    Reply

  27. JennyD

    04/24/2016 at 9:03 pm

    EVERYONE! Listen to Pinkstar.

    I was having the same problem using an ipod to download the app and my mac to watch it.
    1. I had to sign into my mac user that has the same apple id as my itunes on my ipod (I have different user accounts with different id on my computer).
    2. I then deleted the app from my ipod and reinstalled it.
    3. I used the same username and password to sign in and it now works on both my ipod and mac.

    Yay! Thanks, Pinkstar.

    Reply

  28. Cynthiajparton

    04/25/2016 at 7:51 am

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  29. Michael

    04/25/2016 at 3:14 pm

    Nobody else has even mentioned my biggest complaint. Game of Thrones is not in HD on HBO Now. The previews and extras are HD. Silicone Valley was in HD last night. But Game of Thrones has never been in HD quality when I watch it on HBO Now. It’s not my internet because I’m getting over 8.5 mega bytes per second download speed and everything else I stream is in HD.

    Reply

  30. Tara Martin

    04/26/2016 at 7:19 pm

    Wondering if I can let Veep slowly release all new season episodes, then pay for a month and binge watch them?? Would be cheaper than buying the episodes on iTunes individually or the season.

    Reply

    • mister rowboto

      05/02/2016 at 12:10 pm

      Or you could just get the one month free trial then cancel everytime….

      Reply

  31. sadie

    04/27/2016 at 12:40 pm

    Did nobody read the previous comments on how to fix it!??! All of you are asking the same question when Yousaf commented,

    I finally figured it out! When it gives you the msg to Restart, there is a thin line under Restart Now that says
    “Link your new subscription” click that and link your subscription! It will work!

    READ!!!!

    Reply

  32. Christy

    05/08/2016 at 3:25 pm

    I just got HBO NOW, my question is can I watch Game of thrones at say 10:00? Or do i need to wait until the next day?

    Reply

  33. Anita L.

    05/09/2016 at 5:19 pm

    I discovered last night that I couldn’t access GoT at 9pm, which made for a lot of frustration. So I tried again around 9:15 pm and no problem. Total access. So I guess we/I just have to wait until after it’s started streaming.

    Reply

  34. Cheri Marks

    05/14/2016 at 2:01 pm

    Can I watch the season 6 episodes missed on HBO now?

    Reply

  35. RAYGE

    05/22/2016 at 3:27 pm

    This app is garbage. I’ve been trying to login/reset my password for weeks and it doesn’t work (-1000 error). I’ve cancelled my service and am just going to pirate all the shows. Their customer service is horrible and they never resolved this issue for me or other people who have the same issue.

    Reply

  36. mimi

    06/25/2016 at 7:00 pm

    I have used HBO NOW for the entire season of Game of Thrones. Well, one more left. I have every confidence that I will NOT be able to watch the finale on time. Every single show has been late, not there, skipped, something….every. single. show. when I finally get to see the GoT finale, i will cancel HBONOW for EVER!! I just hate it. IT does not work as stated.

    Reply

  37. David L

    11/15/2016 at 8:42 am

    Buyer beware… 5.1 surround sound is not officially compatible with ANY devices according to their support department however users have reported that some devices like the Roku3 and Apple TV do have 5.1 surround support. If you own an Andoid TV device I can confirm that as of writing this post 5.1 surround sound does not work and all movies and shows are in stereo mode only.

    Reply

  38. buddy derry

    12/18/2016 at 9:33 am

    I had HBO on Sling which showed HBO live but had fewer movies.And it also froze a lot when trying to watch shows from the vault.While I miss the live part of HBO Sling I love the way HBO Go plays

    Reply

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