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HBO Go vs. HBO Now: Which streaming service is right for you?

HBO fans have it nice nowadays. Subscribers will watch their favorite shows and flicks whether or not seated ahead of their TV or on a tool whereas riding the bus to figure. This freedom comes from the company’s twin streaming services, HBO Go and HBO currently, which permit subscribers to expertise the wonders of Westworld and Westeros victimisation their PlayStation four, iPhone, or another HBO-compatible device.

With 2 other ways to stream the network’s desired library of original content, there are in all probability some those who are speculative what sets the 2 services but one another. Like all siblings, the 2 have robust similarities, however there are some necessary variations that render every distinctive.

Lets compare HBO Go against HBO currently. the nice news is, they need lots a lot of in common than you may suppose.


Every film, comedy special, and tv series HBO offers is out there irrespective of whether or not you decide for HBO Go or HBO currently, and most content is out there via each services at the identical time as its original broadcast. The interfaces for each apps are terribly similar — such a lot thus, in fact, that the strategies for navigating one can transfer to the opposite. They’re straightforward to work out, with useful sections that showcase each “featured” content and new releases.


So, what do the two services cost? Well, this is where things get a little tricky.

HBO Now costs a flat rate of $15 per month. It’s a stand-alone package, which means it doesn’t require a cable subscription to use. HBO Go, on the other hand, is free with an HBO subscription — but that’s the only way to access it. So, in order to use HBO Go, one must first have HBO; and in order to have HBO, one must be paying for cable or satellite — ostensibly.

There are some providers that offer HBO access to internet-only customers, who can simply access the content online. An HBO subscription can also be added to services such as Amazon Prime Video, PlayStation Vue, and Hulu. (HBO is not currently offered on Sling TV due to a contract dispute.)

The vast majority of users access HBO Go via a cable or satellite subscription. The monthly rate for HBO varies between providers and plans, and sometimes special offers will further reduce the price. Some providers have even dropped HBO subscriptions to as little as $5 a month, but you could be paying anywhere from nothing (via an introductory offer) to $20 on top of what you already pay for cable.


HBO Go has been around since 2010 and has collected a strong list of compatible devices therein time. once HBO currently was undraped in 2015, the service was certain to a near-exclusive cope with Apple, that meant it absolutely was solely offered on devices like the iPad, iPhone, and Apple TV.

Since the deal’s expiration in mid-2015, however, the corporate has steady additional support for HBO currently to a large number of devices. the most distinction between every platform’s compatibility isn’t the device, however the generation or version therefrom. Check the table below to search out out that of your devices are compatible with every streaming service.

Amazon Kindle Fire tabletsYesYes (details here)
Amazon Fire TVAmazon Fire TV 1st Gen+Amazon Fire TV 1st Gen+
Amazon Fire TV StickAmazon Fire TV Stick 1st Gen+Amazon Fire TV Stick 1st Gen+
Android phones and tabletsAndroid 4.1+Android 4.1+
Android TVAndroid 5.0+ (details here)Android 5.0+ (details here)
Apple iPadiPad 2nd Gen+, iPad Mini 1st Gen+iPad 2nd Gen+, iPad Mini 1st Gen+
Apple iPhoneiPhone 4s and neweriPhone 4s and newer
Apple iPod TouchiPod Touch 5th Gen+iPod Touch 5th Gen+
Apple TVYes (details here)Yes (details here)
ChromecastYes (details here)Yes (details here)
Google ChromeGoogle Chrome version 62+Google Chrome version 62+
Mozilla FirefoxFirefox version 63+Firefox version 63+
Internet ExplorerInternet Explorer 10+Internet Explorer 10+
Microsoft EdgeYesYes
PlayStation 3YesYes
PlayStation 4YesYes
RokuYes (details here)Yes (details here)
SafariSafari 11+Safari 11+
Samsung Smart TVsYes (details here)Yes (details here)
TiVoYes (details here) No
WindowsWindows 10+Windows 10+
Xbox 360YesYes
Xbox OneYesYes


So currently that we’ve lined that devices the 2 services support, it’s time to debate their several limitations.

Luckily there aren’t several, and most cater to access across multiple devices. during this regard, HBO Go is that the additional difficult of the 2. so as to use HBO persist a compatible device, you need to initial demonstrate the service through a cable or satellite supplier. this will be a touch tedious, however there’s no cap on the amount of devices you’ll tie to your account.

HBO currently conjointly permits limitless devices per account, however while not the authentication demand. merely sign up along with your HBO currently credentials, and you’re liberated to stream to your heart’s content — to some extent. each services can cap the amount of videos being at the same time accessed, that HBO claims is for security reasons.

So, if you’ve got many devices attempting to access completely different movies or TV episodes at the identical time, you may run into the message “You’ve exceeded the amount of synchronic streams,” forcing you to sign out or restart your device. If all you’ve got may be a few devices on-line directly, streaming ought to be primarily unrestricted.

Another option

If you’re not trying to pay the dough on AN HBO subscription, whether or not streaming-only or through your cable package, it’s value noting that there are literally quite few HBO-produced choices out there on Amazon Prime Video. Prime subscribers have access to a wealth of HBO-made content, and tho’ it’s not the identical volume as you’d get through HBO Go or HBO currently, it can be enough to create an infatuated HBO subscription shorter.

Which is better?

In the battle between HBO Go and HBO Now, which comes out on top? The answer to that question depends almost entirely on you. Both services have small idiosyncrasies, but nothing that makes one the clear choice over the other — each one simply appeals to a particular kind of user: cord cutter or cable subscriber.

HBO Go makes the most sense for people who are already subscribed to HBO because (surprise!) you technically already have it. For those who have cable without HBO, it’s a toss-up, as your cable provider may or may not offer HBO for less than $15 a month.

HBO Now is targeted at those who opt to eschew traditional cable subscriptions in favor of Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other à la carte streaming services, including PlayStation Vue. If you’ve cut the cord, HBO Now is not only your best option, it’s virtually your only option for watching HBO’s content — legally, anyway.

Since the list of HBO Now-supported devices has caught up with its older sibling, the differences between the two are purely circumstantial. In other words, the choice is yours.

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