What is HBO NOW?
HBO ruled TV for years — it was the premium alternative to average entertainment. Its standalone app HBO NOW thrives with much of the same original HBO sensibility, functioning like Netflix and delivering tons of popular content. HBO was years ahead of its streaming competitors in developing original series and movies. In addition to its vast well of premium original content, you’ll find documentaries and licensed movies that range from new releases to popular classics.
There’s often a bit of confusion when it comes to HBO NOW and HBO’s other plan, HBO GO. So, let’s take a look at the main differences. HBO GO and its on-demand library come free with a subscription through your TV provider. HBO NOW, on the other hand, is a standalone service like Disney+. You can also purchase a subscription through your TV provider. According to HBO’s website, the length of HBO NOW’s trial period differs by provider. You’ll get a free seven-day trial if you sign up directly through the service.
HBO NOW plans and pricing
The cost of HBO NOW varies depending on whether you get HBO through a traditional TV provider or another streaming giant’s app, like Amazon, Hulu, or The Roku Channel.
|Free trial length||7 days|
|Number of TV shows and films||180+ shows and 900+ movies|
|Streaming quality||1080p HD|
HBO NOW supported devices
The HBO NOW app is available across a wide range of devices, giving you the ability to watch your favorite HBO shows and movies anytime, anywhere.
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android devices
- Android TV
- Apple TV
- Google Chromecast
- iOS devices
- PlayStation 4
- Samsung Smart TV
- Xbox One
What to watch on HBO NOW
HBO is known for its original content. Long before Netflix and Amazon Studios were producing original shows and movies, HBO was changing television with The Sopranos and producing stand-up specials featuring the likes of George Carlin, Dave Attell, and Richard Jeni.
HBO’s content is categorized in its menu by:
Some of HBO’s series like Entourage, Deadwood, and Sex and the City were so successful that the company invested in follow-up movies. That’s because, more than any other premium service, HBO has a history of making great decisions when it comes to its original series. We’ve named a few already, but really, there’s no shortage of great shows. From miniseries like Band of Brothers to The Wire, which tops the list for many critics as the best show ever made, you’ll be treated to the cream of the crop in premium content.
Here are a few more HBO NOW series you might enjoy:
- Boardwalk Empire
- Bored to Death
- Eastbound & Down
- Flight of the Conchords
- Game of Thrones
- Silicon Valley
- True Detective
The movies available on HBO NOW are mostly popular licensed choices — films such as Annabelle Comes Home, Alita: Battle Angel, and Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. The service’s vast collection of movies is categorized genre — action, comedy, drama, family, horror/sci-fi, and more — to help you find what you’re looking for.
It’s no wonder many associate HBO with mature content. The premium network has a history of going to places where cable couldn’t or wouldn’t set foot. HBO garnered a reputation as the place to go for stand-up comedy, boxing coverage, and voyeuristic, late-night odysseys. But HBO is also for kids — there’s a platform section just for children, HBO Kids. Included in this section are kid-friendly series and movies. Subscribers can use the platform’s parental controls to prevent younger viewers from watching content housed outside of the Kids section. HBO purchased Sesame Street a few years ago, and now the timeless show is available on the app.
We’ve mentioned HBO’s relationship to stand-up comedy legends. And even though HBO faces competition from Amazon Studios and Netflix, there are still several talented comedians like Michelle Wolf and Whitney Cummings passing through its carousel of specials.
Unfortunately, HBO’s sports section doesn’t feature live sports coverage. But sports fans can enjoy HBO’s ongoing sports commentary series Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel and plenty of documentaries featuring athletes such as LeBron James and Serena Williams.
Outside of its original series, HBO’s documentaries are some of the best content available through the service. Its library features popular films like Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley, and I Love You, Now Die, among thousands of others. If you’re a documentary-fanatic, HBO’s catalog will keep you very busy.
Interestingly enough, Amazon Prime Video carries HBO content in its catalog, as well. But to keep up to date with shows like Real Time with Bill Maher, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and new episodes of Insecure, you’ll need a subscription with the real McCoy.
HBO NOW features
HBO NOW doesn’t have any storage capabilities. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to watch HBO NOW without an internet connection. Unlike Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, HBO NOW doesn’t provide viewers with the ability to enjoy content offline.
HBO NOW lets subscribers stream on up to three screens at the same time — well within the range offered giants such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
HBO optimized its HBO NOW app for current technological trends — particularly when it comes to virtual reality (VR) support. With a smartphone and a Daydream View headset, you can watch HBO content in virtual reality.
The final cut
Fans of HBO’s original series Game of Thrones, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and The Wire can enjoy their favorite shows on HBO NOW along with a well of original and licensed movies. The service is available as a standalone subscription or through many streaming providers. The standalone service offers a free seven-day trial if you’re interested in taking things for a test drive.
Did you know we have a YouTube Channel? Every week we have a live Cord Cutting Q&A, and weekly Cord Cutting recap shows exclusively on our YouTube Channel!