HBO NOW for PC Archives

HBO NOW for PC Archives

HBO NOW for PC Archives

HBO NOW for PC Archives

By Rachel OaksEdited By Mikayla Rivera

Share | Mar 25, 2020

HBO MAX updates: The new streaming service HBO MAX is scheduled to launch in May 2020. It will include all the current HBO streaming TV content, plus more movies and new original series.

One thing that HBO MAX isn’t sneak-peek-ing is a firm price. However, if you’re an HBO NOW customer before HBO MAX launches, it says you’ll be able to switch over for the same $14.99 per month.

Sounds like it’s the right time to sign up for HBO NOW, huh?

What is HBO NOW?

HBO NOW is HBO®’s streaming service for cable-cutters. Unlike HBO GO—which has a similar name and look—you don’t need a cable subscription to watch HBO shows online.

At $14.99 per month, HBO NOW costs about the same as a cable HBO subscription (though the traditional channel’s cost varies by TV provider).

But most importantly, you can be part of big premiers like Game of Thrones and Veep, and you can stream other HBO shows whenever you want.

Pros

  • Equivalent pricing to HBO through cable subscription
  • Big premier streams
  • No contract

Cons

  • Higher monthly price than Hulu or Netflix
  • No offline viewing
  • 24-hour delay for live shows

What you get with HBO NOW

HBO NOW collects decades of HBO’s original series—shows that redefined television. You can watch its exclusive archives as well as live premiers.

You’ll also find a rotating selection of movies, kids programming (like Sesame Street), stand-up comedy recordings, and thoughtful documentaries.

Most popular original shows:

  • Game of Thrones
  • The Sopranos

What you don’t get with HBO NOW

While HBO NOW uploads its big premiers for streaming, it doesn’t technically have livestreaming capabilities. Unfortunately, that means you can’t watch live TV, since those recordings haven’t been formatted for online viewing yet.

Instead, HBO NOW typically uploads live recordings within 24 hours of its cable TV premiers. You won’t get Last Week Tonight with John Oliver until the next morning.

There’s also a handful of HBO original series that haven’t made it onto HBO NOW. But over the past few years, some of its missing shows—like Mr. Show and Tenacious D—found their way to HBO NOW, so we’re still holding out hope for the rest.

Shows we wish were included:

  • Tales from the Crypt
  • The Corner

HBO NOW original series and movies

HBO NOW has over one hundred original HBO series, even more comedy specials, and over three hundred documentaries. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our recommendations below.

HBO NOW must-sees

Original SeriesStand-upDocumentaries
The WireChris Rock: Bigger & BlackerLeaving Neverland
The SopranosTig Notaro: Boyish Girl InterruptedBeware the Slenderman
Game of ThronesDave Chappelle: Killin’ Them SoftlyBeing Serena
VeepSarah Silverman: We Are MiraclesMommy Dead and Dearest
Curb Your EnthusiasmPaul F. Tompkins: Driven to DrinkGoing Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

If you’re not ready to get sucked into one of HBO’s epic series, we get it—we’ve heard that some people have lives beyond their TV. (Not us.)

Fortunately, HBO NOW also holds appeal for people who want to use HBO NOW primarily as a movie streaming service. Its rotating lineup of movies brings in fresh new films every month and saves you from standing in line for your Redbox rental.

Upcoming in March 2020, you can expect new movies like Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, Yesterday, and a bunch of lackluster films to fill up the roster. But hey, Fight Club is making a triumphant return, so maybe you can watch that for the twentieth time.

HBO NOW payment options

You’ll enter your credit card information when you sign up, and HBO NOW will charge the card once a month on the anniversary of your signup. That $14.99 covers the cost of subscription for the following month.

If you don’t want to pay automatically, you can turn off Auto-Renew. After your current month is up, your subscription will end until you renew your payment manually.

HBO NOW specs and features

Here’s what to expect from HBO NOW’s streaming experience.

Multiple streams

Multiple Streams

StreamsPrice
HBO NOW3–4Included

While HBO NOW comes with a number of streams, we don’t recommend sharing your HBO NOW subscription with every friend who wants to catch up on Game of Thrones—you’re risking identity theft on top of your to-watch list getting messed up.

Another problem is it can be hard to know how many simultaneous streams HBO NOW allows, since it dodges that question.

But at CableTV.com, we experimented with how many streams we could run at once. We were able to stream four shows on four different IP addresses, but during a later test we could only stream three.

So we can’t promise that you can stream that many—or that you can’t stream more. To quote one team member: “Maybe you can get away with four shows at once on a Monday at 3 p.m., but when it’s a Game of Thrones premiere, you only get one.”

But on most days, the kids can watch Land Before Time in one room while you check out Barry in another, and your significant other rewatches Six Feet Under for the third time to unwind during their business trip.

Still, it would be better to know for sure, instead of getting this great service with inconsistent features.

Playback features and commercial skipping on HBO NOW

On demandPrice
PausingYIncluded
RewindingYIncluded
Fast-forwardingYIncluded

Along with all the playback features that make streaming TV so great, HBO NOW offers a 10-second rewind skip. This is a great boon if your TV-watching buddy can never remember who’s related to who on Game of Thrones, and they regularly interrupt the show to ask.

But HBO NOW won’t interrupt your show—not even with commercials.

That said, at the beginning of most episodes, HBO NOW does promote its other shows in a 15- to 90-second clip. It doesn’t have a skip button for this, but you can fast-forward.

Be careful, though—if you overestimate how long the commercial will be, you could accidentally ruin a great cold open.

Also, HBO NOW, if you’re reading this: promote responsibly. We don’t need a commercial to see how funny 2 Dope Queens is during our 2 Dope Queens binge-watch.

Closed captioning on HBO NOW

The closed captioning service on HBO NOW is a real treat. It’s taken the feature beyond basic accessibility and into a customizable masterpiece, thanks to its variety of options:

  • 7 fonts
  • 5 font sizes
  • 8 colors for font, background, and caption window
  • 4 opacity levels for font, background, and caption window

Whether you want tiny captions that hardly disturb the eerie pastoral backgrounds of Sharp Objects or ones so enormous and bold you’ll never miss The Wire’s superb one-liners, HBO NOW has you covered.

Streaming quality and interface

The picture quality on HBO is fine, but not as striking as we’d like for its series’ beautiful visuals.

For example, the frame rate is slow enough that the fast-paced battles of Game of Thrones become choppy and blurry.

And HBO NOW automatically adjusts your streaming quality to fit your internet speeds. That’s great for avoiding buffering, but it would be better if it gave you the option to set the quality yourself. Sometimes it’s worth waiting to see everything in pristine condition.

Fuzzy dragons aren’t nearly as scary as crystal-clear ones.

The interface, on the other hand, is as flawless as Mahershala Ali’s haircut in the screenshot below.

The top image rotates through the hottest shows right now.

The home page is easy to maneuver and comes with show recommendations that are on point and unobtrusive. You can go straight to the latest shows, or dive deeper into one of HBO NOW’s categories:

  • Series
  • Movies
  • Kids
  • Comedy
  • Sports
  • Documentaries
  • Collections

The Collections section is especially helpful if you’re not sure what to watch next. It points you towards HBO’s essentials, new movies, last-chance-to-watch movies, and a handful of smaller collections things like “High-Octane Action Flicks” to spark your curiosity.

Now that’s an explosive combination.

HBO NOW app and device compatibility

In addition to using the HBO NOW website to stream on your computer, you can watch the HBO app on most streaming devices:

  • Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Fire tablet
  • Android phone, tablet, or TV
  • Apple TV
  • Chromecast
  • iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
  • PlayStation 4
  • Roku
  • Samsung Smart TV
  • Xbox One

However, in 2019, HBO NOW discontinued its app on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. If you need an excuse to upgrade your streaming equipment, HBO NOW might be the catalyst you’re looking for.

Promotions and deals

In the past, HBO NOW offered a student deal for $9.99 per month. Unfortunately, the deal is no longer available—but we’ll let you know if we see it come around again.

If you’re looking for other ways to get HBO, check out “What’s the Cheapest Way to Go for HBO?” We go into detail on how to get HBO for life with an AT&T Wireless plan and how much traditional TV providers charge for HBO subscriptions.

Our final take

HBO NOW gives you access to HBO’s premium shows any time you want—and it’s cheaper than an HBO subscription through most cable TV companies.

Moreover, we like the slick layout, viewing suggestions, and next-level closed captioning.

Still, we wish HBO NOW allowed you to set your video quality, instead of decreasing the quality to match low internet speeds. And it would be nice to watch Last Week Tonight when it comes out rather than the morning after.

But overall, HBO NOW is an excellent option for cord-cutters. Try it for Game of Thrones, and stay for decades of the best shows on TV.

HBO NOW FAQ

How does HBO NOW work?
Once you register an account with HBO NOW, you can download the HBO NOW app to watch HBO shows on your streaming devices. Or you can stream through your computer’s internet browser from the HBO NOW website.

What makes HBO NOW different from cable?
HBO NOW is delivered through your internet connection instead of a traditional TV connection. While you can’t watch what’s on TV, you can view any show on demand from HBO’s collection.

It also has no contract, so you’re free to unsubscribe whenever you like.

Is HBO NOW free?
No, HBO NOW costs $14.99 per month, but you can try it out for free with a seven-day trial.

Not sure your internet plan can handle streaming?

HBO NOW adjusts its image quality to match your internet speeds. This helps you avoid buffering, but if you want stunning video instead of a mosaic you can hear, it may be time to upgrade your internet.

You’ll need about 5 Mbps internet download speed for every individual stream. We recommend having at least 25 Mbps, which is the FCC standard for broadband internet.

To find faster internet providers in your area, enter your ZIP code below:

Can I watch HBO NOW on multiple devices simultaneously?
Yes, we were able to stream up to four shows at once on HBO NOW, but your luck may vary.

Can you watch HBO NOW offline?
No, HBO NOW doesn’t have any offline viewing capabilities. You’ll have to make sure you have internet access to watch the shows you want.

Are HBO NOW and HBO GO the same?
No. While both services help you stream HBO’s extensive library, HBO NOW and HBO GO have one big difference: you can sign up for HBO NOW directly, but HBO GO comes only through an HBO subscription with a seperate TV provider.

Either way, you’ll get the same excellent streaming content.

Is there an HBO NOW gift card?
Yes, you can pick up an HBO NOW gift card at retail locations like Walmart, Target, Best Buy, CVS Pharmacy, Rite Aid, or GameStop. Or you can send a digital gift card through eGifter.

How can you get HBO NOW?
Go to the HBO NOW website and start with a free seven-day trial. Try out the service, and if you’re a fan like we are, stick around for the monthly subscription.

About the Author
Rachel Oaks

Rachel has spent the past two years at CableTV.com writing articles that demystify hidden fees, DVRs, sound systems, and more. She makes door-to-door DISH and DIRECTV salespeople uncomfortable with her in-depth questions—but if that’s what it takes to get you the best TV experience, she’s happy to do it. In addition to writing for CableTV.com, Rachel’s work has been featured on Roku.com, TechGuySmartBuy.com, HowtoWatch.com, and SatelliteInternet.com.

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, HBO NOW for PC Archives

Free 7-Day HBO Now Trial + How to Save on HBO Max which Launches May 27th

We’re sharing all the best freebies including entertainment deals…

For a limited time, HBO Now is offering a FREE 7-day trial – no cable or satellite TV required!

This stand-alone streaming service gives you unlimited access to all of HBO’s original series (every season, every episode), plus hit movies, documentaries, sports, and exclusive comedy specials. Once you subscribe, you can stream HBO NOW on any supported device including tablets, phones, and TVs as well as on your computer.

When your free trial ends, you’ll be charged the monthly rate of $14.99 or you may cancel at anytime.


Want even more movies & TV shows? Get ready for HBO Max launching May 27th!

HBO Max launches on May 27th and is a brand new streaming platform which will include all your favorite shows and movies from HBO, Warner Bros and more.

If you’re interested in this new streaming service, now is the time to sign up as it is being offered for just $11.99 per month for the first 12 months if you sign up before the May 27th launch date. That’s a savings of $3 per month for an entire year!

And if you sign up now for HBO Max, you’ll gain instant access to HBO Now until the subscription to HBO Max begins on May 27th.

Hip Tip: Check out more ways to watch your favorite TV shows, movies, and sports for cheap or even free!


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HBO NOW for PC Archives

HBO Max vs HBO Go vs HBO Now cheat sheet: Who gets what

Past and present HBO subscribers trying to figure out HBO Max vs HBO Go shouldn't have such a confusing dilemma, but that's still the state of things today as HBO Max has arrived. 

And we just found out that all of this confusing mess is about to be cleaned up. While the below face-off is currently accurate, the branding around all of these services is changing soon. 

WarnerMedia, in a statement emailed to Tom's Guide, said that "Now that HBO Max has launched ... we will be sunsetting our HBO GO service in the U.S." Sunsetting, for those who don't speak corporate jargon, translates to "retiring."

The statement continued, "We intend to remove the HBO GO app from primary platforms as of July 31, 2020. Most customers who have traditionally used HBO GO to stream HBO programming are now able to do so via HBO Max," 

Further, HBO states that the HBO NOW branding is going away, as "the app and desktop experience will be rebranded to HBO."

So, we've put together a round-by-round face-off, which simplifies a lot out of the gate. Not only will you see that HBO Max and HBO Go have surprising similarities (designed to push people away from one and to the other), but you'll also figure out how HBO Now factors in. Here's everything you need to know.

Our HBO Max vs HBO Go face-off explains why everyone who currently pays for HBO Go should probably get HBO Max.

HBO Max vs HBO Go vs HBO Now: At a glance

HBO MaxHBO GoHBO Now
Monthly Price$14.99Typically $15 (set by your TV provider)$14.99
Annual pricing$11.99 per month for 12 monthsNot availableNot available
IncludesHBO original programming, licensed movies, HBO Max originals, WarnerMedia movies and TV shows, FriendsHBO original programming, licensed movies,HBO original programming, licensed movies
Does it include HBO Max?n/aUnlikelyYes
Supported devicesAccording to HBO, it will be on "phones, tablets ... streaming media players and game consoles" and Mac and PC browsers.Amazon Fire, Roku, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, PlayStation 4, Macs and PCs, Samsung Smart TV, Xbox One, TiVoAmazon Fire, Roku, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, PlayStation 4, Macs and PCs, Samsung Smart TV, Xbox One
AvailableMay 27NowNow

HBO Max vs HBO Go vs HBO Now: Price

This is the only category in this HBO Max vs HBO Go face-off where they're dead-even. HBO Max (just like HBO Now) will cost $14.99 per month, which is a penny shy of the $15 per month rate that cable providers typically charge for HBO channels — which includes HBO Go access.

By matching HBO's existing pricing, HBO is setting Max up to be the new default HBO for all, as it will offer more channels. All you'll need to do is call your TV provider and cancel HBO, and start a new subscription with HBO Max.

HBO Max vs HBO Go vs HBO Now: Supported devices

HBO says HBO Max will be widely available on "phones, tablets, Mac and PC browsers, streaming media players and game consoles," and announced device support includes Apple TV, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and select Samsung Smart TVs.

To give you an idea of what that list of devices will be, HBO Go and HBO Now are currently on Amazon Fire, Roku devices, Android and iOS, Android TV and Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, desktop web browsers on Macs and PCs, and Samsung Smart TVs. We think it's safe to assume HBO Max will eventually make it to all of those devices — and it's still a bit surprising that it launched without Fire TV or Roku.

The only device that HBO Go is on that HBO Now isn't on is TiVo. And I think that divide will stay true for HBO Max, as Go is meant for people who haven't cut the cord yet. HBO Go is meant to deliver a variety of ways to watch the HBO content people pay for through their TV providers. 

Those without a streaming box (we recommend our best streaming device picks) or a Smart TV won't be able to get HBO Max onto their TV.

HBO Max vs HBO Go vs HBO Now: Shows and movies

The difference between HBO Go and HBO Max is going to be found primarily in the content they offer. HBO will continue to have big-name shows, as the upcoming Game of Thrones Prequel: House of The Dragon will be on both standard HBO and HBO Max.

This tidbit confirms that HBO Go subscribers won't be shut out on all of the network's big shows, and will likely continue to get HBO's high quality premium programming. That includes shows such as Westworld, RUN and Insecure, as well as Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. 

But as its name suggests, HBO Max will have the maximum amount of HBO content thanks to HBO Max Originals. HBO, in an email to the press, said that HBO Max will pack 10,000 hours of "premium content." It's unknown how much content is in HBO Go/Now right now, but HBO did just start to stream 500 hours of free shows and movies, which is about as much new content that regular HBO released in 2018. 

And, as mentioned above, HBO Now will soon include HBO Max, so it's basically HBO Go subscribers who are out in the rain. Our guide to all of the HBO Max shows explains everything, but the Max Originals, as they're called, start on day 1 with the following titles:

  • Craftopia: A kid-friendly competition-based reality TV show starring YouTuber LaurDIY (aka Lauren Riihimaki). Contestants will be 9 to 15 years old.
  • Legendary: Voguing meets the streaming runway, with this competition show featuring judges such as Law Roach, Jameela Jamil, Leiomy Maldonado and Megan Thee Stallion and a cast that includes MC Dashaun Wesley and DJ MikeQ. 
  • Love Life: Anna Kendrick stars in this scripted series that tells many stories, chronicling her character's love life throughout her entire life. Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) is executive producing, as is Kendrick herself.

HBO Max will also provide a larger back catalog of TV that HBO Go doesn't offer. The day 1 HBO Max list includes:

  • Friends
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Doctor Who (including new episodes) 
  • Rick and Morty
  • The Boondocks
  • The Bachelor
  • Sesame Street
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
  • Batwoman (CW)
  • Nancy Drew (CW)
  • Katy Keene (CW)
  • The first season of DC’s Doom Patrol
  • The O.C.
  • Pretty Little Liars
  • The CNN catalogue of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown

HBO Max isn't just TV; it's also going to have movies you won't see on HBO. Those include every Batman and Superman movie from the past 40 years, plus Joker, The Criterion Collection and all 20 of the Studio Ghibli films.

HBO Max vs HBO Go vs HBO Now: Who's getting HBO Max for free?

Many HBO Now subscribers will get free access to HBO Max. You need to be paying for HBO Now directly through HBO (or Apple or Google) to get the upgrade. Those who pay for it through another service — such as Comcast, Apple Channels and Amazon Prime Channels — will want to "stay tuned for more details as we get closer to our launch date," according to HBO. We're still waiting on details.

Those HBO Now customers who are getting automatically updated to HBO Max will get an app update that transforms Now to Max. Subscribers who buy HBO via Charter/Spectrum, DirecTV and AT&T TV, Hulu, YouTube TV, Verizon, Cox and others will get HBO Max as well. 

I'm a Spectrum subscriber, and just used my Spectrum login credentials to sign in with HBO Max after I downloaded it. Easy peasy.

Select AT&T customers also get HBO Max for free, starting with anyone already paying for HBO via AT&T. The folks who get HBO Max through AT&T for free are: AT&T Unlimited Elite wireless subscribers, Internet 1000 members, AT&T TV Now Max subscribers, DirecTV Premier members or U-Verse U400 or U450 plan participants. 

HBO provides similar advice for existing HBO GO subscribers (i.e. those who "subscribe to HBO through a cable or TV provider").

HBO Max vs HBO Go vs HBO Now: Outlook

HBO Max isn't here yet, but this HBO Max vs HBO Go face-off pretty much seals the deal that HBO Max is best for everyone. Not only is it going to be everywhere that HBO Go is (minus cable boxes), but it will cost the same and provide a ton more content. 

HBO isn't even letting HBO Now subscribers make the choice, as it's adding HBO Max for free. So, stay tuned to see how HBO Max lands and if it changes the streaming media landscape.

Today's best HBO NOW deals
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