Cord Cutting or Tell Me About HBO Now

I’ve been gradually cord-cutting over the last year. When I originally moved in to my house, I was making pretty good money so, being okay with the expense, I ordered the full package: all basic cable channels, HBO, Skin-a-Max, Showtime, Encore, IFC, the works, plus DVR and live pausing and all that shit. It spoiled me. I hung on for so long to those luxuries.

My first move was to tell the cable company that I wanted the cheapest package they could give me where I wouldn’t have to return any equipment - a tentative slice if there ever was one. It did save me about $100 a month, but I didn’t have shit for channels. It was such a weird, haphazard smattering. I had Fox ‘News’ and CNN but not MSNBC; I had AMC and A&E but not TNT or TBS. And I missed an entire summer of Red Sox games because the local sports package wasn’t included. It did include HBO and Showtime, though. Like I said - weird.

My next step was earlier this year, I went with the rock bottom, internet only, lowest priced package I can get from my internet provider - which is not a very good value, but it’s the only game in town. Now I subscribe monthly to PS Vue, which I’m generally happy with. For those not in the know, it’s live TeeVee, to the tune of around 75 channels at the full package. I go with the low end package, but that includes everything I really want. Think of a basic cable channel, PS Vue has got it, so that’s no problem (except Comedy Central, which sucks). I was looking at possibly going with Sling, but every review I’ve seen recommends PS Vue over Sling on every aspect, except price.

Now, here is my problem … there are several shows coming up on HBO which I really, really want to see. I’ve invested some time in some series (Crashing; Silicon Valley) and there are some other things I’m really keen to catch (Barry (Bill Hader’s joint); The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling). I can get HBO with PS Vue but only if I upgrade to the Dee-Luxe package - an extra $30 a month, to which my attitude is a hard “fuck that.”

So here we are staring HBO Now in the face. I think I understand how it all works but I’m curious if anyone here is a subscriber and what they may think of it, what the price point is and all that shit. Am I correct in assuming that I subscribe at their website and then download the app on my PS4 and that’s my interface? Is it live streaming or all On Demand? What is HBO Go, by the way? I don’t need a cable subscription to HBO to use it do I?

If this all pans out, I may ditch PS Vue and go with this other service I found in the bowels of PS4 apps called Pluto TV, which is free and has some interesting viewing included. It does have MSNBC, but no CNN or Fox. It also has The Young Turks network; 24 hour MST3k channel; a channel called Eye Candy which features scantily clad women gyrating about, and this awesome channel called Slow TV which is usually featuring an episode of “Train Trip” - a camera mounted on the front of a train as it travels through the European countryside. It’s oddly relaxing. Though the entire app is riddled with oddly placed commercial breaks.

TL;DR - Who’s got HBO Now? How’s it work? Do you like it? How much is it any-hoo?

I have HBO Go, not HBO Now, but from what I understand they are functionally the same.

HBO Go came first. It’s basically a way for HBO subscribers to access HBO shows over the internet. It comes for free with the HBO subscription HBO Now is HBO Go for people who don’t have HBO through their cable.

It’s On Demand, but it’s available as soon as the show starts airing. So if Game of Thrones starts at 9 PM, you can be watching the episode at 9:01 PM.

HBO Go requires a HBO TV subscription. HBO Go is internet-only and you don’t need cable, about $15. I subscribe for a few months to catch up on shows, then cancel to save money.

You mention PS4, I’m not sure how that works, but if they have their own sign up like Roku I recommend pick one and stick with it. I had some issues with Starz, where the website signup and a previous subscription through the Roku Amazon app conflicted and double-charged us. Don’t know if HBO will have the same issue.

Slow TV is on Netflix too, or at least some of them.

I said tell me about HBO Now! Now, dammit, now!

Kidding. But things are getting curiouser and curiouser. I’ve been doing some more research and I think I’ve figured out my next move in this 8-D chess game. I already have Hulu - just the $8 dealio. They now have streaming TeeVee, for five dollars less than PS Vue, but I would miss Red Sox games again this year, and I think there are few other missing channels. But I could add HBO to that package for $15 which would mean an over all increase in my monthly entertainment bill of ten bucks, but I’d have HBO.

On the other hand, that would lock me into Hulu to watch HBO and I couldn’t ditch it all and lean on Pluto TV.

Oh these evil times. I almost long for those halcyon days of my youth when we only got three channels and one of them was in French.

Okay … that plan’s out the window. No live Hulu TeeVee on PlayStation. Must be a competition thing. Unless I get a Roku stick, PS Vue is my live television choice.

Alrighty then, HBO Now, it is. Thanks for walking me through this, fellas. I don’t know where I’d be without you.

IMPORTANT UPDATE! Don’t close your journals just yet. It seems I can add HBO to PS Vue for $15, not the whole upgrading to the deluxe package rigamarole. But, dig this, they only offer a week free. If I go to HBO Now they offer a month free, but I have to download an app, from either Apple Store, Google Play or Amazon. Or as I call them, The Axis of Evil.

Damnit, I think I’m taking the cowards way out and just adding HBO to my PS Vue subscription. No glory for me, just the warm satisfaction of couch potatism writ large.