HBO's Stand Alone Streaming Service Very Clunky
Only Available in Finland, Norway, Sweden & Denmark
Everyone wants HBO to offer a standalone version of their streaming service HBO Go (right now you need to subscribe to traditional cable and HBO), though HBO continues to fight the idea
. As the product of a lumbering empire like Time Warner, HBO isn't very good at adaptation or innovation, waiting way too long to introduce HBO Go in the first place. They're also terrified of losing the fat subsidies received from cable operators.
As we noted last summer
, HBO does
offer a standalone service in Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Techdirt
however directs our attention to the fact the effort is a rather bungled affair. Promised HD content is missing, the GUI is a mess, the hardware support is fractured (HD is only available on Samsung TVs, game consoles aren't supported), and some content (like the excellent Deadwood) is missing. There's also a contract for service:
Compare that to the list of complaints, and you realize HBO isn't doing a great job of living up to the expectations it created. Then there's the other truly insane catch: customers are locked into a 12-month contract, after which they must give 3-month notice for cancellation. Yeah. Moreover, the terms stated that simply logging into the service once waives your ability to cancel it because you're not satisfied (despite using the service being the only way to know if you are satisfied).
It's not too surprising that company that's clearly terrified of the Internet and change wouldn't be very good at introducing a streaming standalone option. That half-assed approach to streaming certainly isn't going to help the company in their battle with Netflix anytime soon, even if they're busily locking down streaming exclusives