HBO NOW debuted this month with the premiere of the new season of Game Of Thrones and I decided to give it a spin, because it’s free for the first month as long as you sign up this month, and I need to see Game of Thrones. After several weeks of using the service I have to say that it runs pretty well, at least on par with HBO’s other streaming service, the cable bound HBO GO. Unfortunately, I haven’t had an opportunity to try and stream Game of Thrones as it aired on the service, so I don’t have a reference for how well it runs under heavy load. Instead, my use of the service was at random times when it was most convenient for me.
Now this may just be my particular PC, but I do get all kinds of problems trying to stream HBO NOW with Firefox. It chugs and buffers constantly, making viewing on the browser an impossible task, and I’ve tried everything I can think of to get it to run smoothly on Firefox, but to no avail. Now as I said, that could simply be a problem specific to me and my PC, but if anyone else has issues with the service using Firefox I’d love to know. After failing with Firefox, I switched browsers to Google Chrome and had a much better experience. Game of Thrones streamed smoothly with only occasional and slight hiccups occurring. This was the HBO NOW experience I was expecting from the start, and I’m glad all it took was a simple browser switch to get it running.
As far as content goes, you’ll find everything HBO GO had. Including almost every HBO series past and current, A decent sized library of movies past and present, including new movies that you absolutely will not find on Netflix, HBO Sporting events, and of course a sampling of the cable network’s late night eroticism if you’re so inclined. So yeah, the service is definitely not lacking in content. Although the price of $15 a month may be a bit steep compared to Netflix and Hulu, HBO does deliver a large library of original world class content for that price and as a fan of much of their content, I find that it’s not too much of a price to pay. Like Netflix, but unlike Hulu, there aren’t any pesky ads to get in the way of your enjoyment of the programming offered.
Overall, HBO NOW is an excellent service, and the fact that it’s not tied to a pricey cable subscription makes it a worthy add on for cord cutters. If you are at all interested in HBO’s fantastic original programming but were wary of having to have a cable subscription, well now is the time to jump in and see what you’ve been missing. The only downside to the service is that, as of right now, you’ll need to own a recent Apple iOS device to subscribe, as Apple has an exclusivity deal in place with the cable network. Non Apple devices, however, will gain access to the service in the future. HBO NOW is available now for $15 a month through Apple iOS devices.
Have you had any experience with HBO Now? Let us know in our comments, and stay tuned to TVEnthusiast for more coverage of all of your favorite shows, and where you watch them.