Barbaric Yawping · Let Me Entertain You

My Love/Hate Relationship with HBO

HBO makes mostly amazing shows, right? In this house, both the husband and I have been big fans of everything from the major hits – The Sopranos and True Blood – to the lesser known (and sometimes canceled too early) – John from Cincinnati and In Treatment. We’ve loved the gritty, like The Wire, and the funny, like Sex in the City. We kept paying for cable long, long after we were fed up with Comcast simply because we didn’t want to give up HBO.

But eventually the day came when anger and frustration out-weighed our desire to see the next season of Big Love. We broke up with Comcast, upgraded our internet connection, added more RAM to an old desktop computer and hooked it up to the TV. We are now solely viewers of TV via our local network stations, DVDs, or the internets. Mostly we watch TV on the internet, through Hulu and Netflix’s instant streaming. But that means no more HBO. We are far, far behind on our HBO shows. People start talking about season 3 of True Blood and I stick my fingers in my ears. It’s very sad. And for some reason that I simply cannot fathom, HBO insists on clinging to this outdated mode of providing content only through cable or satellite providers.

Source: Flickr user .reid.

This week, I heard about HBO Go, HBO’s new plan to let people watch HBO shows on their mobile devices. Well, cheers for that – except you have to already subscribe to a cable plan with HBO in order to use it. The same to watch shows on their website. You can buy DVDs or download shows from Amazon or iTunes – but only well after they’ve been aired on the network, often a year or more later. It makes me really pissy. I would love to pay HBO some money to watch their shows in real time. I’d love to pay a monthly internet subscriber fee. ARE YOU LISTENING HBO? I WANT TO GIVE YOU MONEY! (And apparently I’m not the only one.) But I can’t unless I’m willing to take back on my $110 per month Comcast bill – and trust me, there’s not a chance in hell of that happening. It’s 2011, HBO – get with the program. TV is dead, long live the internet.


8 thoughts on “My Love/Hate Relationship with HBO

    1. I hestitated to approve Mark’s comment above because it just looks a little spammy, but some quick Google research leads me to believe that this is actually a legitimate effort on behalf of Comcast to reach out to people through social media. I think. Regardless, ComcastMark, our experience with bill inflation, reduction of channels, and terrible service lead me to stand behind my convictions that there is no such thing as “Comcastic.” We will stick with the internet, thanks, and choose to spend our entertainment dollars elsewhere.

  1. I’m with you — HBO content is fantastic, but I’ve never been a fan of it on television — that’s why we’re always a bit behind but watching whole seasons of favorites on DVD via Netflix. We’ve done this with the Sopranos, the Wire and now Breaking Bad. It lets us watch when we’re ready (and kids are not around) and we can knock out several episodes right in a row.

    1. Yes, Game of Thrones, which I really want to see…and yet am not willing to spend that much money per month to watch. I will have to either be illegal or just wait. Which is generally what we do.

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