Clearly HBO is walking a fine line here: The cable companies that partially subsidize them in order to lure subscribers don't want you walking over to your (non-subscriber) friend's house and throwing "Game of Thrones" up on the big screen via Apple TV.
The whole "let me pay for it!" debate has been well-covered elsewhere: In short, HBO probably couldn't make a living charging individual subscribers for content, especially on a per-show basis. How could they produce new material without the guarantee of N-million monthly subscribers? And cable/fiber/satellite companies who help promote their service?
I don't have an AppleTV, but I do have an AirPortExpress. Streaming video to iOS with audio on my home stereo works great, with the video on the device synced with the AirPlay audio.
But if you use audio equipment with licensed AirPlay made by companies who don't get these computers thingies, such as Philips or Marantz, it's worse. My Marantz AV receiver introduces 6-or-so seconds(!) of delay into music playback and that's one of the better ones.
I don't get that. I would think the cable companies would pay you to walk over to your (non-subscriber) friend's house and give a taste of what they could have anytime if they subscribed. Or are you talking about sharing your password so they could watch more shows after you leave?
At the very least they should advise the user that they can only airplay the audio, but even still, it's not good.
You know HBO subscriptions are up, right?
A friend and I found this out the hard way one afternoon when we decided to rent Ridley Scott's Alien, in anticipation of seeing Prometheus. He pulled up the store on his iPhone, found the movie, selected Rent: HD, and signed on to my wi-fi network, my Apple TV appearing on his iPhone without a hiccup. So far, pure Apple seamlessness – until he selected the AirPlay output. The audio played back over my speakers, but the video remained on the 3.5" screen.
Thinking resourcefully, I suggested he try AirPlay mirroring. This, at last, gave us the "fuck you, consumer" from the studio in explicit form: a message appeared on his phone saying the AirPlay display couldn't be trusted.
We both resolved never to use the iTunes store for movies again.
I was going to purchase the Jurassic Park trilogy on iTunes last week, but noticed that it is no longer available to purchase in HD. I have no idea why. Apple certainly would like to sell it to me in HD, but the movie studio must not really want to sell it that badly.
Maybe this is related to the blu-ray release. Who knows. Not my job to figure it out. So, I just won't buy it.
I doubt he reads HN, though.
I got that when trying to mirror to my AppleTV when the TV wasn't set to the right input. Like eridius said, there is likely a problem with the HDCP protection being broken.
I suspect the only difference is that I'm using the Canadian iTunes store. But I've also read in an Apple developer doc that all iTunes content is AirPlay enabled, that it cannot be opted out of.
I would highly recommend contacting iTunes customer service to get a refund on your rental, or at least some kind of confirmation.
You can get a 10' UI using XBMC if you want, and you can access the full versions of YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, (and HBO Go, I presume) etc. - no restrictions. No transcoding, no syncing - if it works on your PC, it works on an HTPC.
This guy already has a cable set top box plus an Apple TV that can stream from HBO and network sharing. Airplay is another matter, you can't mirror/stream from your mobile to your HTPC.
No, it's much better. It's free and completely automatic. Set up an RSS feed for your favorite shows and tell XBMC to monitor the download directories. It's a truly breathtaking experience.
> This guy already has a cable set top box plus an Apple TV that can stream from HBO and network sharing.
Compared to a full-blown HTPC, an Apple TV (or any other device without a full OS) is very limited in its functionality.
> you can't mirror/stream from your mobile to your HTPC.
Oh really? This article would beg to disagree: http://www.redmondpie.com/how-to-mirror-your-ios-or-android-...
It'd be a tough sell for Big Content, but once it generated sufficient revenue for indie and niche stuff to prove the model, eventually they would come around if it meant an excuse to charge you for the White Album yet again. You could also collect pledges or pre-payments from users so that they could put a dollar value on how much revenue they're missing out on.
The services mentioned in the second paragraph, such as YouTube and Hulu, often restrict access to certain content when accessed from non-PC devices. Using an HTPC solves these problems.
This is entirely untrue. Most cable companies have apps which allow you to stream content via iPad or even Xbox apps.
The whole HBO Go thing is part of a cable wide initiative called TV Everywhere which is entirely about letting you watch your TV content on alternative devices as long as you have a cable subscription. Streaming content is actually a win for the cable operators because it offloads a lot of work from their cable infrastructure. They're actually fine with you streaming content via their network's services as long as you're paying your cable bill.
1. Full DRM Solution, this mostly means Widevine or PlayReady DRM. This support is lacking on some notable platforms. The most recent Roku devices don't support full DRM the best they provide is encrypted HLS which can fulfill the DRM requirements for some operators but not all.
2. Authenticated Users, Users must be authenticated with their cable operator. This usually means also having the necessary infrastructure for limiting the number of registered devices etc.
These present is a fairly complex infrastructure component from the operators and HBO Go has been leading the way in meeting these two requirements. This is why you can stream right now to HBO Go on the Xbox and on Samsung SmartTV connected TV platform.
I don't say this as an interested observer, but an active participant I run a services company that actively works with Broadcast Networks on streaming to these platforms. We're literally doing this work right now with large broadcasters.
EDIT: I apologize, I edited this to remove some snark.
When you buy content from that provider, you agree to their terms and their methods of distribution. As such, there will never be a right to view content wherever you wish, unless the particular provider distributes in such a manner.
Until this article I assumed the developer sucked. Now I'm not so sure the crashing is a bug.
Subscribers log in to HBO Go with their username and password from their cable subscription, not something they get from HBO.
Time Warner Cable blocks using the Roku with HBO Go. When you try to authenticate the device, they slap you on the wrist and say no.
You can however, airplay from the HBO website in Mountain Lion, but I find things get a little out of sync.
Aside from the slight speed differential, cable companies are a (willingly) captured industry, so you will see industry-driven content restrictions like these from them that you don't see on DSL.
Cox, Charter, Insight, BrightHouse, ATT, Verizon.
Comcast works on Xbox, not sure why not the Roku yet.
HBO's business model isn't terribly friendly to watching their programming on a TV unless it comes via cable or one of their heavily licensed, and generally stationary, partner products. You are a lot less likely to take a Roku or Xbox to a friends' house to watch Game of Thrones, but you always have your iPhone. Of course you could have them over and this falls apart, but you could do that with their cable feed as well. They're trying to slow the bleeding since they can't stop it.
You're nitpicking. It's broken in the colloquial sense -- the app makes an implicit promise and then delivers only partway. That it was built to spec is immaterial; if the spec is "broken" (anti-user, antipattern, etc) it doesn't matter if you build exactly to spec... it's still broken.
Just because it doesn't do what you want doesn't make it broken.
Promising functionality with an Airplay button and delivering partially is the failure. If you can't see that then I pray you never write specs.
But if you have access to HBOGO as a HBO subscriber in the first place, you could just log in to the website on your friend's laptop (or Roku, or Xbox) and watch the same content that way.
You can't cache/download shows to use on the go, meaning that your streaming ability requires a connection and a good one at that: http://interchangeproject.org/2012/05/14/game-of-thrones-loo...
Why is HBO Go not a to-go service? http://interchangeproject.org/2012/05/10/why-is-hbo-go-not-a...
Here is a podcast discussing the issues with HBO Go: http://interchangeproject.org/2012/05/22/episode-38-to-go-or...
Essentially, what I'm trying to say is that HBO Go is a needless usability mess.
No snark intended, I've just not ever had a good experience dealing with a single proprietary playback mechanism.
I hope the big media companies get their acts together. They only get to screw up a finite number of times before someone comes and blows them out of the water
It does feel like I lost my soul signing packs with so many devils, but at long last, I have an HD HBO Go app running the way it ought to.
* Not all cable companies have a deal with HBO for HBO Go
So it's possible to still get the content to your TV, in a much less user-friendly (i.e. tethered) way. I know not everyone has these connectors, but since the ability is there, you'd hope they would just be gracious and allow for the better experience.
Does HBO Go work well on those device? I watched an episode of Newsroom using the HBO Go website, and it was a terrible experience. Ignoring the "sign into your cable company" thing, the video quality wasn't that great despite using tons of bandwidth. It stuttered but looked OK. On the other hand Netflix movies look much better and use less bandwidth. It's like they're still using the old Flash codec instead of MP4.
The conspiracy theorist in me wanted to believe they left audio in there just to advertise AirPlay support.
The only device designed to put HBO Go on your TV screen is, I believe, the XBox 360 when connected to particular cable networks.