Tag Archives: HBO

Episode 128: Game of Thrones season 5, episode 1 recap

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We welcome everyone back to Westeros by way of recapping the first episode of season 5.

This gives us a way to discuss HBO Now, the new standalone streaming service from HBO that does not require a cable subscription.

Jeremy has already signed up for HBO Now. Have you?

We also discuss how much better HBO Now is than the old HBO Go. The big difference is that HBO has a new streaming partner to provide high quality video and service.

Listen to this week’s show:

 

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Show notes:

Episode 121: HBO Go without a cable subscription (above board this time)

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HBO Go will finally be available without a cable subscription.

This is huge news for cord cutters.  HBO is one of the big reasons that many people keep cable. But how much will it cost? I don’t think it will be cheap.

We also discuss the merits of CBS also offering a streaming service now as well. CBS is free, after all. So will people pay to be able to stream it as well on different devices?

We also discuss how streaming a la carte could work. We then discuss if this could be the catalyst for sports leagues getting rid of blackout restrictions?

Listen to this week’s show:

 

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Show notes:

 

 

 

Episode 110: The king of the neckbeards!

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We are really, really late on posting episodes. Why? Because I just had a baby. Maybe baby Cara will make a guest appearance or two on the show.

We have another episode launching very soon too.

We kick off this episode by discussing The Battle of the Wall, which was the most technically-stunning episode of Game of Thrones so far. But was it enough? Was it great?

Should Game of Thrones have more episodes per season? Is 10 hours of Game of Thrones enough Games of Thrones goodness for each year?

On to the tech discussions! We kick off the tech discussion at 14 minutes in about how smartphones will increasingly become the center of people’s homes with the ability to control lights, home security systems, temperature, etc.

We then discuss using smartphones for health and fitness as well. We really think these areas will truly make smartphones personal computers. This is the next big thing with smartphones (that and controlling cars entertainment systems).

And of course, we somehow discuss net neutrality again. Verizon and Netflix are not BFFs right now. Is it ethical to sell users “bandwidth” they are not actually getting? You can pay for 100 mbps on Verizon and still not be able to stream a 5 mbps Netflix stream because of Verizon.

That sounds like a bait and switch to us.

Listen to this week’s show:

 

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Show notes:

Episode 77: Microphone in the wrong computer

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Jeremy and I agree that the new Independence Day movie will be one of the best movies ever. Awfully (good) as Jeremy says.

That leads us naturally into a discussion about Netflix, Arrested Development and the future of TV shows on Netflix, Amazon and other streaming services.

We also discuss how HBO, Netflix and others don’t need as many successful shows as a broadcast network would need in order to be successful.

We also discuss the latest Apple TV update and how both HBO Go and WatchESPN require a cable subscription to use, which is a big change from the past.

Listen to this week’s show:

 

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Show notes:

HBO doesn’t want your money

HBO confirms that they don’t have plans, for the time being, on allowing people to purchase HBO without a cable subscription:

“Take My Money, HBO!” is a very simple Web page that was started this week by Jake Caputo, a Web designer who wants to be able to subscribe to HBO via the Internet. The page asks: “How much would you pay monthly for a standalone HBO GO streaming service? Enter a number and Tweet it to let HBO know we want it and we will pay.” The page quickly gained attention from others like Mr. Caputo who want to subscribe to HBO without having to subscribe to a cable or satellite provider like Comcast or DirecTV.

Of course, HBO’s message included the words “for now” — a reminder that as the economics of television change, so too could HBO’s calculations about its relationships.

This will change in time. Will it be a year? Five years? 10 years? I don’t know, but the market will break HBO. The people will break HBO.

The future is in streaming and mobile, two things HBO does terrible or not at all. HBO can’t keep delivering a product that doesn’t work for people without cable and doesn’t work for mobile users.

In the short term, I’d settle for HBO making its mobile product better.

In the meantime, HBO will continue to lead in piracy and people will continue to share HBO Go accounts and do group viewings. Make no mistake, people are watching HBO content. It’s HBO’s choice on how many people they want to actually pay for it.

Game of Thrones looks to grab the crown for most pirated show of 2012

Forbes reports that HBO’s Game of Thrones is on track to be the most pirated show of 2012:

While “Game of Thrones”‘ filesharing rates are probably driven in part by its appeal to the young, geeky male demographic that’s most prone to using torrent sites, HBO hasn’t helped the problem by making the show tough to watch online for the young and cable-less. The show isn’t available through Hulu or Netflix, iTunes offers only Season 1, and using HBO’s own streaming site HBO Go requires a cable subscription. (The situation was captured in thewidely read comic strip The Oatmeal, in which the author attempts the rage-inducing process of trying to watch “Game of Thrones” online before giving up and downloading it from a sleazy porn-ad covered torrent site.)

A frame from the comic strip The Oatmeal, which pointed out how HBO drives ‘Game of Thrones’ viewers to piracy by making the show tough to watch online.

“This is absolutely a reaction to the show’s not being available elsewhere online,” says Big Champagne’s Robinson. “It’s a very tricky game trying to create this kind of scarcity.”

I’ve written several times about the mistakes that HBO is making in the Internet Age. Perhaps most damning is the fact that HBO’s products and services don’t even work well for paying customers.

Erik Kain says HBO only has themselves to blame:

This underscores the larger problem with how so many companies in the entertainment industry think about piracy. Instead of thinking about the ways lack of access to media creates opportunity for piracy, and how increasing the access to products could help stave off illegal downloads, too often people want to take legal measures or implement digital protection on their products. These “fixes” always have easy work-arounds.

Meanwhile, the millions of pirated Game of Thrones episodes show that it’s not difficult at all for non-subscribers to enjoy the show. I’m willing to bet that a stand-alone HBO GO service would largely fix this problem, though nothing will stop piracy altogether.

Game of Thrones in particular appeals to young people — people more prone to be cord cutters. They’ll pay for a standalone HBO product, but aren’t going to get cable just for one network or show.