I have always been a fan of HBO’s amazing programming — from the glory days of The Sopranos and Sex in the City to today’s blockbusters, like Veep and Game of Thrones, HBO is one of my go-to choices for watching television (and I admit that I have my moments when I am definitely a tv addict). But, when I finally decided to cut the cable cord, because I was frustrated with what seemed like ever-mounting cable tv bills that crippled my monthly budget, I was worried that my days of being an HBO viewer were over.
Other than looking up episodes of my favorite programs on YouTube, which was an exercise in frustration (most of the times I could not find what I was looking for — and when I did, the quality of the downloads was often poor), there did not seem to be any viable options. That was until I found out from a friend about the channel’s new innovation — HBO Now. Unlike with its previous offering, HBO Go, HBO Now does not require me to have any cable television provider. I simply need to sign up for an internet subscription that costs me only $14.99 per month.
HBO Now: Temptation, but should I say yes?
As soon as I heard those initial details I was tempted … And my temptation grew when I discovered that I would still get all of the same great programming. I would not have to be days behind my friends on seeing the latest episodes. I would get live premieres, as well as all of the other sports and original programming that I loved so much. And when I started to do more research, I found out that HBO Now is fully compatible with my Samsung Smart TV that I use for almost all my tv watching — and it is also compatible with many other devices, including: Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Kindle Fire, and Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV stick.
HBO Now: Are there any hiccups? Not in my opinion!
But, still I had some hesitations … I think these were fueled in part by some bad experiences that I had had in the past with other television subscription services. I simply did not want to get roped into something that I was going to pay for every month that was glitchy or that I would never use.
And what finally tempted me: A free month’s trial! Who could say no to that?
My hesitations, however, were ultimately overcome by the fact that HBO Now offers a free trial subscription. I was able to try out the service and access all HBO programming for one month absolutely free-of-charge. During this month, I discovered that the service was even better than I had ever anticipated. There were no glitches and I could access anything that I wanted whenever I wanted it. What more could a television junkie hope for?!?!
Once I was convinced that the service worked exactly the way HBO promised it would, I was happy to sign up for the service—I am now on my second month of being an HBO Now subscriber and I am billed only $14.99 per month, no matter how many programs I watch. In October, for example, I was home sick from work and I swear I watched every program that HBO had broadcast — having all of this content only a mouse click away was a literal lifesaver.
HBO Now: Subscription Pricing
While the HBO Now service is very reasonably priced compared with many other television subscription services, however HBO recognizes that people have different budgets. And to meet these various budgets, HBO offers a $9.99 per month Now option for students. This is a great deal — and I know many of my younger friends definitely take advantage of it.
Even though I personally love my HBO Now subscription and plan to keep it for a very long time, this does not mean that the service is perfect. My friends who live in Canada are frustrated that they cannot subscribe—and I have had to miss some of my favorite programs when I have traveled outside the United States. At the moment, HBO Now is only available in the United States, and there are no plans to change this — at least not in the foreseeable future.
However, personally, I see this as a very small price to pay for still being able to get all of my premium cable programs without having to pay astronomical monthly cable television bills. Truth be told, discovering HBO Now has been one of the best parts of cutting the cable cord… at least for me!
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