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Comcast, DirecTV Block HBO on Roku
TV Everywhere Walled Garden Says No, Sorry
by Karl Bode 04:31PM Monday Nov 07 2011
Last week Roku announced over at the company blog that they'd now be offering HBO's broadband video catalog -- HBO Go -- via the Roku device. As we've noted, HBO Go still requires that user's pay for traditional cable and regular HBO service, an idea that's part of the cable industry's "TV Everywhere" walled garden approach to content. Interestingly, DirecTV and Comcast say they won't be letting their cable subscribers use the Roku device, apparently feeling threatened by the device. Comcast offers HBO Go via computer, iPad or iPhone -- and will probably offer it when it launches on the Xbox 360 soon -- but somehow considers Roku HBO to be taking things just one step too far.

topics flat nest 


Manitowoc, WI

Dont want to become obsolete for tv exspensivecast?

Feeling threatened comcast?

Tavistock NJ

1 recommendation

DirecTV & Comcast have said nothing yet

»Comcast, DirecTV Block HBO on Roku
Interestingly, DirecTV and Comcast say they won't be letting their cable subscribers use the Roku device,
Actually, neither provider has said anything about not supporting the device. All we know now is that they aren't on the list of supported platforms yet. » ··· -devices

The linked source news item has no comments from Comcast or DirecTV on the subject: » ··· directv/
» ··· tion.xml
» ··· blog.xml

Santa Clara, CA

Don't see how DirecTV could block anything...

Since DirecTV relies on providers (like Paxio) to provide their broadband service, I'm not sure how they could "block" anything that is basically an IP stream. It's not like the IP stream goes over their satellite. Comcast, of course, has more direct control since their video users are generally their broadband customers too.

I can guarantee that Paxio does not block or interfere with any Roku streaming traffic, and never will. Even if you are a DirecTV customer on our network.

"True Broadband. True Choice." It's more than a slogan. (This comes under the "choice" part...)


Now that I've actually read the article... I can see it isn't DirecTV that's blocking access, but HBO. They can CHOOSE to provide their streaming service to any customer they want, regardless of whether or not that customer also gets HBO over their video network. If they CHOOSE to let video providers say "no" to broadband users, it's their own fault.
Greenville, SC

Re: Don't see how DirecTV could block anything...

I thought HBO was allowing it and comcast/TW arent. "hbo wants to be on as many devices as possible etc...) I know when i log into HboGo\Maxgo from my phone\pc i have to log in via my provider(DISH), so i assume they can block it that way.


Re: Don't see how DirecTV could block anything...

I spoke with an informed person at DirecTV today and they informed me that the reason they are blocking Roku is that they plan to offer ALL HBO content through VOD. This would avoid the need for DirecTV customers to purchase a Roku box since they could access this content with their existing equipment. He couldn't confirm availability, but he said in could be within the next 1-3 weeks (today is 11-21-11.

He said after this is done, they'll reevaluate the need to support the Roku box. Personally, I'd be thrilled to get all HBO content in full 1080i HD vs. streaming via the Roku, plus it will save me $50 for the Roku box itself.

said by Paxio:

Since DirecTV relies on providers (like Paxio) to provide their broadband service, I'm not sure how they could "block" anything that is basically an IP stream.

It's very simpe, they don't let their customer's login work if they are logging in from a Roku device.

When I use HBO Go it asks to enter my AT&T username and pasword. So Comcast and DirecTV could conceivably block access through their authentication system. What HBO might say/do is another story.

It's all about the STB fees. Comcast and DirecTV want you to cover the actual cost of the STB help them make a profit by ensuring you need more boxes.

We the people
Brewster, WA


"We won't be letting you use the internet on your internet connectable device without a 104-key keyboard that isn't located in a small room that only holds 1.5 persons and also be connected to a 27" or less display with mono or poor stereo speakers. Please enjoy."
Say no to JAMS!
·Cox HSI
·KCH Cable

Re: Translation

Lol, that would be considered "too risky" - it could be dubbed somehow, watch out.

Laptop only, wi-fi only, at home, with only the laptop's built in speakers, in the dark, under a blanket, with all the lights in the house on (but only if they're CFL bulbs, of course).

United State

...this is getting ridiculous!

I don't want to live on this planet anymore
» ··· -anymore

Perhaps we could start a "I don't really need TV cause all it does is line media executives pockets" day ( similar to bank transfer day » ··· sfer+day ) ...doesn't have quite the same ring to it, I guess I'm just not that clever.

An Awesome Dude


Hehe i dont blame them @ all for not wanting to!


Cat god

Riverside, NJ

This makes absolutely no sense

Comcast and DirecTV can't be worried about "cord cutting" since HBO Go wouldn't work in that case any way. In order to use HBO Go, you need to subscribe to HBO on a supported cable or satellite provider. Basically that Comcast and DirecTV customers would need to subscribe to HBO via Comcast and DirectTV. I can't think of any reason why Comcast and DirecTV don't support this.

They should be embracing it as it actually could keep people subscribing to their service. As opposed to blocking it which could drive customers to Verizon, Dish or any of the other supported providers.

It really is a bonehead move on Comcast's and DirecTV's part, especially the former who as mentioned already allows HBO Go on other devices.
The Comcast Disney Avatar has been retired.

Tuscaloosa, AL

Re: This makes absolutely no sense

No, it makes perfect sense. These companies don't want people to buy a Roku and start fiddling around with it. If they did that, they might start to wonder why they're paying for HBO and/or cable in the first place. I'm not saying Roku is a complete replacement for cable. Not by a long shot, but it could be if it had the right programming mix. And what brings programmers? Viewers do, and, given a large enough installed base of boxes, the programmers could decide to give it a shot.

RIP my love.
Greenacres, WA

Re: This makes absolutely no sense

To late I am already doing that and am planing on canceling DTV the second my contract is up

Brighton, MA


why does HBO do this? why don't they just sell subscriptions directly to consumers? they should tell the cable cos to get lost.

Tuscaloosa, AL

Re: why

Because the cable companies hold all the distribution cards right now. If they drop HBO en masse, HBO is toast. Sure, HBO could do what you say if they had all their potential customers outfitted with IPTV boxes. But they don't, and getting that set up would take a long time, time the cable companies won't give them.

Brighton, MA

Re: why

i'm sure that microsoft, sony, and nintendo would be glad to work with them.

Royal Oak, MI

Re: why

said by ArrayList:

i'm sure that microsoft, sony, and nintendo would be glad to work with them.

Yes, but compared to the amount of cable/satellite subscribers, console owners are just a handful of people. And only about half of those consoles are connected to the internet. I think the real reason any provider wouldn't want this is because a customer would need one less stb to watch premium content. VOD from Netflix, Hulu+, Amazon, HBO and others on a non-cabelco box will only encourage others like Showtime and Starz to do the same thing. There goes the profit from a second and/or third stb and who then needs a dvr?


how are they

able to block it without breaking net neutrality?


In response to.. Comcast, DirecTV Block HBO on Roku

As cable companies try to keep a stranglehold with restrictions the more consumers become informed about the choices they have including torrents. Right or wrong, if the consumer wants it they will find a way. Ultimately the Cable Cos will become obsolete. They are for me already!

Dundee, IL

Just clueless

Comcast spends all this money trying to turn around their image to customers and continue to pull crap like this....


Google TV

My problem is that I own both a Roku box and a Google TV (logitech review) box and my Google TV not only had the channel availible right out of the box (bought it nine months ago), I am able to watch HBO GO on it.

Problem is I am a Comcast (Xfinity) customer!

The Roku box is by far superior to Google TV in my opinion and the interface is just plain better and simpler.

I have read posts on dozens of websites about this issue. But I believe folks don't realize that the Comcast reaction is bogus.

Google TV units do exactly the same thing Roku does. Stream content to your television. Large sets and small.

Why Google TV but not Roku?


I hate you directv

Anyone have any experience with Dish Network? I love my roku and i want HBOGo on it. Ill switch providers for it. Plus it looks like Dish Network is a bit cheaper. I like cheap!!

Denver, CO

Re: I hate you directv

Hi, my Name is Alicia B with DISH Network. We would love to add you to the DISH family. You can get all the same great programming at a much lower cost! We have some awesome promotions going on right now, check out our website for full details and offers. We have award winning equipment and customer service! We would love to answer any questions you have. Feel free to email me directly.