HBO is finally expanding its online video presence. The premium cable network announced that its HBO GO online streaming service was being updated with hundreds of new shows and movies, including nearly all of HBO's acclaimed original series.
The HBO GO service was launched over a year ago, offering HBO cable subscribers a digital portal for streaming content like other networks have had for some time. At its opening last February, the selection of content was somewhat anemic; many users complained about missing episodes and a rotating selection of movies.
That changed this week as HBO decided to ramp up the experience. The service now features every episode of True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, The Pacific, Sex and the City, The Sopranos, The Wire, Band of Brothers... the list goes on. Pretty much every modern, high-profile show that HBO has ever aired is available in its entirety.
It's not all roses, however. Older original shows like Arliss and Oz are nowhere to be seen. The service still depends on HBO's cable lineup of movies - if you can't watch a movie on cable, you can't watch it online, either. This keeps the selection down to around 200 movies at any given time.
HBO GO is not to be confused with HBO On Demand. On Demand is a similar service, but it's only available on cable and satellite set-top boxes. Unlike most broadcast and cable network streaming sites, HBO GO is available on Google TV and can also be accessed through the official HBO iOS app. Unfortunately, if you use an Android or Blackberry device, you won't be GOing anywhere.
The expanded lineup on HBO GO is a step in the right direction. The extra shows added explains why the network's selection on Netflix is so poor - and why wouldn't it be? HBO is a paid service, and they depend on subscribers to keep them in business. The bad news is that there's still no way to access HBO's content without subscribing through an existing cable or satellite provider. The HBO GO service is free for existing subscribers, but there's no way to pay HBO directly for access to its content.
HBO subscribers can access HBO GO any time at www.hbogo.com.