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 HBO to offer stand-alone streaming service in 2015 
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Megatron
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Post HBO to offer stand-alone streaming service in 2015
USA Today wrote:
First Take: HBO's stand-alone service could open floodgates
Mike Snider, USA TODAY 4:42 p.m. EDT October 15, 2014

Could Time Warner and HBO have just broken the logjam preventing the move to a full-fledged Net-delivered TV future?

That remains to be seen.

A stand-alone HBO streaming service will debut next year, HBO CEO Richard Plepler said Wednesday at an investor meeting. He noted that about 10 million U.S. homes have high-speed broadband and no pay TV service. "That is a large and growing opportunity that should no longer be left untapped," he said. "It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO."

We knew that HBO, which currently has about 30 million U.S. subscribers, was being cagey by not including its most recent programs such as Game of Thrones among the content it made available to Amazon Instant Video subscribers in a deal announced back in April. Now, perhaps, we know why.

Already 55% of U.S. broadband households subscribe to a streaming TV service, according to Parks Associates. As consumer adoption of streaming has boomed and some pay TV customers are trimming — and a few cutting — the cord, content providers have put out feelers for stand-alone services to entice cord cutters.

Dish Network has secured Net TV rights from Disney, which could lead to a streaming service that potentially would include ABC and ESPN. And last month Sony sealed a deal to carry Viacom channels including Comedy Central on its in-development online TV service.

Until now, cable companies as well as Dish and competitor DirecTV have tried to placate pay TV subscribers by giving them "TV Everywhere" features to watch programs inside and outside the home. But, as with HBO's own HBO Go service, you must plug in your pay TV credentials to gain access.

What HBO says is coming is something completely different. A stand-alone HBO subscription service would require no pay TV subscription and could lead to other content providers following suit.

Or it could lead to an uptick in the intrigue that comes with negotiations between content providers and pay TV companies. Studios and networks that do not follow HBO's lead demand higher prices from pay TV providers for their content. Pay TV services in turn could attempt to punish HBO saying that their relationship is diluted by the stand-alone move.

HBO will continue to "work with our current partners," Plepler said. "And, we will explore models with new partners. There are 80 million homes that do not have HBO and we will use all means at our disposal to go after them."

Consumers who abhor pay TV will have to wait to see whether it's pay TV providers or content companies that blink in the days to come. It will be hard for other companies, especial networks, to follow suit, says Erik Brannon, analyst with market research firm IHS. "The business in pay TV is too lucrative to rock the boat. But this is a recognition that we are now in a new developing world," he said.

Still, TV lovers hope the ensuing action is as entertaining as Game of Thrones itself.

Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/pers ... /17302171/
Yes please. Where do I sign up? Now, let's see who else joins in the fun.....

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October 16th, 2014, 1:19 pm
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QB Coach - Brian Callahan

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Post Re: HBO to offer stand-alone streaming service in 2015
Showtime is the next obvious follower. They have an app on all the big set-top boxes now.

Then probably Starz. They announced they'd do it in international markets.

ESPN might make sense. But to buy ESPN sans cable, you're talking in the range of $30-35. Some people might be OK with that, though; I know lots of dudes who only watch that one channel.


October 16th, 2014, 1:35 pm
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Megatron
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Post Re: HBO to offer stand-alone streaming service in 2015
Looks like CBS is joining:
Quote:
Content companies are suddenly clamoring for cord cutters.

Now, CBS is jumping into the so-called over-the-top TV with its own live streaming service called CBS All Access.

Just Wednesday, HBO announced plans for a streaming subscription video service that doesn't require traditional pay TV service.

The $5.99-per-month service from CBS — the first of its type among major networks — will offer a catalog of on-demand episodes that includes full seasons from 15 shows including The Good Wife and Survivor. Episodes will be available on-demand one day after they air, too.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/pers ... /17347813/
Only thing I wonder about here is why is there a delay before they're available on-demand? Should be same day/night, maybe a couple hour delay IMO

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October 16th, 2014, 1:36 pm
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Post Re: HBO to offer stand-alone streaming service in 2015
Damages their relationship with paid TV providers. For example, CBS was blacked out on Time Warner cable last year because they couldn't agree on terms. This is going to make getting deals from the cable companies even more difficult. Offering a slightly second-rate product would cover that issue, I suppose.


October 16th, 2014, 1:41 pm
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Post Re: HBO to offer stand-alone streaming service in 2015
Blueskies wrote:
Showtime is the next obvious follower. They have an app on all the big set-top boxes now.

Then probably Starz. They announced they'd do it in international markets.

ESPN might make sense. But to buy ESPN sans cable, you're talking in the range of $30-35. Some people might be OK with that, though; I know lots of dudes who only watch that one channel.
Agree that the pay 'movie' channels are pretty much a no brainer for this type of subscription...I do wonder if the HBO deal will include Cinemax as well....

Blueskies wrote:
Damages their relationship with paid TV providers. For example, CBS was blacked out on Time Warner cable last year because they couldn't agree on terms. This is going to make getting deals from the cable companies even more difficult. Offering a slightly second-rate product would cover that issue, I suppose.
Yeah, I can see that. These paid TV providers might (finally) be getting nervous..if more channels go the 'a la carte' route, which many consumers have been asking for, then maybe they'll come up with other choices/options. Would be nice to not have 100 channels I pay for but never watch ](*,)

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October 16th, 2014, 1:46 pm
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Post Re: HBO to offer stand-alone streaming service in 2015
Semi related: If anyone is an Amazon Prime member, they're selling FireTV sticks for just $19. Insane deal.


October 28th, 2014, 12:11 pm
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Post Re: HBO to offer stand-alone streaming service in 2015
Blueskies wrote:
Semi related: If anyone is an Amazon Prime member, they're selling FireTV sticks for just $19. Insane deal.

Yup, will likely be placing an order shortly

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October 28th, 2014, 12:35 pm
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Post Re: HBO to offer stand-alone streaming service in 2015
Starz hinted that they're working on something similar. I guarantee Showtime will be standalone within 6 months.


October 31st, 2014, 2:06 pm
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Post Re: HBO to offer stand-alone streaming service in 2015
TheRealWags wrote:
Blueskies wrote:
Semi related: If anyone is an Amazon Prime member, they're selling FireTV sticks for just $19. Insane deal.

Yup, will likely be placing an order shortly
Missed the $19 dealio...ugh... ](*,)

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October 31st, 2014, 3:59 pm
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Post Re: HBO to offer stand-alone streaming service in 2015
I'll let you know how it is Wags.

I own the Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku 3 and Chromecast. Of those, I'd recommend the Fire TV in terms of features/usability, the Roku or Apple TV for content. Lack of a dedicated interface ruins the Chromecast for me, though the screen mirroring is nice.


November 1st, 2014, 3:53 pm
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Post Re: HBO to offer stand-alone streaming service in 2015
We dropped cable and phones completely here and just kept internet. Comcast is actually decent in our area, so no one else can compete with download speeds. Even fios is poop in comparison.

Since I use Mac products for school/writing, I went with appleTV and for what I watch, it has everything except AMC. We have a roku on an older tv in parents room and while it has some specialized channels, for the major content, appleTV beats it hands down. Amazon might be good for certain shows only on prime, but most of them I can mirror directly to the AppleTV from their apps on the iPad (the air2 with 128g is amazeballs btw).

I also use a login to my brother's cable for HBO, showtime and others, so while I have no use for the standalones at the moment, it's definitely the wave of the future. Cable companies bundling everything together for $300 is gonna slip eventually.


November 1st, 2014, 5:02 pm
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Post Re: HBO to offer stand-alone streaming service in 2015
Blueskies wrote:
I'll let you know how it is Wags.

I own the Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku 3 and Chromecast. Of those, I'd recommend the Fire TV in terms of features/usability, the Roku or Apple TV for content. Lack of a dedicated interface ruins the Chromecast for me, though the screen mirroring is nice.
Thanks

I've been wanting to get an Apple TV, but I keep hearing there's supposed to be a new one 'soon'. I'll probably get the Fire TV stick just because I already have Prime and it doesn't seem too expensive to try it out.

Something I was wondering about it though, apparently it has NetFlix on it, but it sounds like you won't need a NetFlix account you'd use your Prime account instead...does that sound right? If so, then they may just seal the deal for me.

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November 1st, 2014, 5:03 pm
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Post Re: HBO to offer stand-alone streaming service in 2015
Netflix and Amazon prime are two completely different services. They might have some crossover on free content, but there's a lot of material that is only on prime or only on netflix not to mention both now have original programming.


November 1st, 2014, 6:10 pm
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Post Re: HBO to offer stand-alone streaming service in 2015
Yeah, they're two different competing services. Like HBO and Showtime or ESPN and Fox Sports.

You need a Netflix membership to use Netflix streaming. You need a Prime membership to use Amazon streaming. Since I don't have cable, I have both. Had Hulu for a while, but cancelled it because of the commercials and the content was pretty meh.

If you get the Fire Stick consider upgrading to the voice remote. It's nice.

The problem with the Apple TV is the lack of Amazon Prime video. As NJ said, you can beam Amazon Video content from an iPad or iPhone but then that device becomes worthless while you're watching. Not ideal IMO.


November 1st, 2014, 9:19 pm
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Post Re: HBO to offer stand-alone streaming service in 2015
In terms of content, I still think the Roku trumps the Apple TV.

The Apple TV has a few channels the Roku lacks: CNBC, Bloomberg, FX Now, ACC Network, Lifetime, and ABC.

But the Roku has: Amazon Prime, Plex, and all the ultraviolet services (Vudu, Target Ticket, Flixster).

You can get those with AirPlay, but as I said, I don't like having my iPad tied up/locked down when I'm watching something on TV.

However, if you have bought a lot of videos or mp3s from iTunes, then Apple TV still the way to go, as you can directly access your iTunes music/movies.

If you're just looking for something to watch Netflix/Amazon Prime/Hulu, the Fire TV is the way to go.


November 2nd, 2014, 1:25 pm
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