How can I cancel HBO and still watch GoT?

It occurred to me recently that I’m paying through the nose to get HBO and Showtime (on my Comcast cable subscription), and I virtually never watch anything there…except Game of Thrones.

So what are my alternatives? I don’t really want to wait until the next season comes out on DVD…when would episodes become available through other means? (Netflix straming? Comcast On Demand?)

I got HBO just for Game of Thrones but, after a while, realized I just wasn’t watching their other shows–worthy as they may be. So I dropped it.

Was planning to re-up for GOT, which begins March 31st. Will actually do so earlier since HBO will run all 5 hours of Parade’s End at the end of February. I have the DVD’s but want to see it in HD. And I want to thank HBO for helping underwrite something so excellent. Just need to turn off HBO once GOT is over–unless I’ve been enchanted by something new…

Need to use my time as an HBO customer wisely: to catch up with some of that other stuff on HBO Go or On Command. And resist any “free for a few months” offers of other channels; I never watched Showtime, ended up paying for a couple of months & then had to pay five bucks to get it turned off…

Don’t hold your breath for Netflix to get GOT. On Demand only works if you’re paying for the premium channel…

Netflix does have the first 3 seasons on DVD for viewing, but I agree with Bridget. It will probably be a long time before it gets to streaming, if ever.

Mattie, there’s only been two seasons so far, and only one is on DVD yet…

OP, wait until the season is over to cancel. Amazon and iTunes do not offer episodes during the season for subscription channel shows, and AFAIK they don’t even have last season’s episodes yet. I care less about GOT than True Blood, so last year I only subscribed to HBO while True Blood was airing and GOT was still being offered in-demand by our cable company. If it hadn’t been, I would have been sol until season two comes out on DVD next month.

Two options:

  1. Find someone else with HBO who perhaps rarely or never uses HBO to GO and ask if you can share their account to get it on your portable device.
  2. Simply cancel HBO now and re-subscribe again later - as far as I know from our cable company, there is no “extra fee” to cancel or re-subscribe.



shifty eyes

Yep, as far as I know, it would be completely legitimate for you to find a local friend who has HBO, have them come to your house and put in their HBO Go sign in information on your computer, and you all watch the show together via streaming. I assume if your friend gave you their info and didn’t come over, that would probably be a misuse according to HBO’s contract, but I don’t know for sure.

I really wish they’d make it available via iTunes and/or Amazon. I’ve been happy to pay for Doctor Who and The Walking Dead in those venues, but I get grumpy when something isn’t available during the current season!

Yeah, what chinchalinchin said.

In theory, you can wait until about a day or two after the season is over and sign up for exactly one month of HBO - they’ll have the entire season up on HBO GO pretty much immediately. You can watch them at your own pace and then cancel your HBO subscription after you’ve seen them.

Otherwise, yeah, no legal means to watch it. HBO knows they’ve got gold with this show and they’re kinda being jerks about it. But it’s their show, so their rules.

In prior seasons, what was the lag between end of the season and release on DVD?

HBO always releases DVDs just before the next season. Season 2 isn’t out on DVD for like another month.

Around here, there’s a bar that shows it, which is where I go to watch, even though I have HBO. You might be able to find something similar–it’s fun to watch with a crowd.

We canceled cable altogether and the only thing we’ve lost is (1) about $700 a year in expense and (2) an inability to watch shows on first premiere. Everything shows up on Netflix, Hulu, Vudu or (last resort) Amazon Video within a short time. Some even show up on the network website for a time, for free.

We haven’t watched TV as a whole for decades and have no need for the 100 or so channels most people consider essential. We have gotten sucked into a small handful of the top-quality shows, but as we did, we caught up on most of those via disc sets. I can live without seeing Downton Abbey tonight, or Justified on Tuesday… I can watch them at my damned convenience any time beginning in the next week or so.

I did just replace the streaming capability in our older Blu-Ray player with a Roku 2 XS ($70 at Sam’s right now), which of course brings almost universal streaming for free. With it, an $8 Netflix subscription, an $8 Hulu Plus subscription, around $5 a week on a Vudu movie, and picking up new TV shows on Amazon for about $1.80 an episode, we’re spending a huge amount less than cable and losing nothing.

I’d urge Dopers to rethink their TV strategy. Unless you watch a hell of a lot of cable content or have a very cheap package deal, are you really getting your $500-1000 a year back from your cable/satellite costs? Especially now that there are more selective broad-spectrum options?

so far, the “sign up after the season and watch them all on HBO GO” sounds like the best bet.

NitroPress: tell me about this Roku thing? What is it, what does it do? I don’t think I’d ever totally cut the cord, as I like having real-time HD sports – but I could possibly scale back dramatically.

Please don’t encourage violations of copyright law.

It’s a box about the size of a pack of cigarettes. Plug in a network cable, or connect it wirelessly to your home router, plug in its power pack, and jack the HDMI outlet into your TV. You just added HD Netflix, Vudu, Hulu, Amazon Video and about 500 lesser channels (400 of which are VERY lesser) to your system. There is no further charge except for your internet connectivity and any subscription channels or pay-movie fees.

There are three models, but the lowest does not do true HD and thus (IMHO) isn’t worth the $15-20 savings. There are two X models; the X-something does 1080p, and the XS does all that and play games, too, coming with a free version of Angry Birds for those who haven’t played it on enough platforms yet. It’s $79 direct and I found it at Sam’s last week for $69.

The one thing our BR player didn’t handle was Amazon Video, which is the “channel” that’s come to fill the gap between cable and cable replay, and longer-range sources like Netflix. Most shows are available episode by episode from Amazon for $2. In our case, we were paying around $15-20 an episode for the handful of shows we watched, so even if we pick up every new ep of SOA, Justified, etc. it’s vastly cheaper.

You can also throw the new-generation Roku in a drawer or cabinet, too, because the remote is Bluetooth.

On some networks, shows come out on iTunes for purchase the day after they air. I don’t have cable and watch Breaking Bad this way. I don’t watch any new HBO shows so I don’t know if they do this, but it’s worth looking into. I know Showtime does not put the episodes on itunes until the DVD is out or close (I’m dying to watch Homeland season 2).

Season 2 of GoT is available for streaming now at Amazon. I don’t know how long it’s been available. And I don’t know if it’s available to everyone or just to Prime members.

I don’t know if S2 was offered as it aired – I had HBO at the time and didn’t need to look elsewhere for it. But I’ll check this year. Even if it costs $2 an episode, that’s still slightly cheaper than an HBO subscription. And maybe it’s my imagination, but the picture quality is better when streaming than when watching “live”. We have non-digital cable and a non-HD TV set.

This is why Game of Thrones is one of the most pirated shows out there. Seems very short-sighted of HBO.

Ignore my post. I just checked, and the “free” GoT offering from Amazon was for an extra, not an episode.

Sorry! Next time I’ll check before I post.