TV fans are geared up and ready for the launch of HBO’s new stand-alone program, HBO NOW. This will allow fans of HBO’s excellent programming to be able to watch their favorite shows without having to spring for a cable bundle. The price is set at $14.99/month. Although one can add HBO to their current cable package for around that price, it’s a huge discount for the ever growing segment of the population that has forsaken cable (often costing around $80 for a basic package without HBO) for other services like Netflix and Hulu+.
The one little hiccup with this is that–unlike Netflix and others–HBO NOW is not offering their service as totally standalone across all platforms. For example, as one of my colleagues here at The Nerd Stash pointed out, Xbox will only be offering the HBO service tethered to another service called Sling TV; a service that provides access to a select few popular channels like ESPN, History, and AMC. Sling TV comes with a price tag of $20 which does not include the extra $15 for access to HBO NOW. As it stands now, HBO NOW is really only standalone if you have an Apple device.*
The conditions outlined by this press release issued by Time Warner as well as the FAQ section of the HBO NOW website indicate that, while you do need an Apple product (iPhone, iPad, Apple TV) to purchase your subscription to HBO NOW, you will be able to watch it on any internet-connected device at hbonow.com.
So if you don’t want to watch the season premier of Game of Thrones on a tiny screen and aren’t one of the tens of people who own an Apple TV, you’re still in luck.
*The HBO NOW FAQ does mention that they will be expanding to other devices in the future, but no devices or dates have been named at the time of this publication.