HBO Now

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HBO Now

Postby Neumann Sennheiser » Thu Nov 26, 2015 12:15 pm

I signed up for the 30 day free trial of HBO's on-line only cord cutting service two days ago and "generally" it seems to be working okay. Partnering it with my new 27" AOC monitor is a nice treat visually.

They do not make it easy to acquire, especially if you are a non-Apple product case like myself. I had to jump through a number of hoops in order to convince them to take my (30-days-in-the-future) money, primarily requiring me to create an Apple i.d. account and convincing a willing friend to allow me to "borrow" his i-Phone in order to download the app and sign up ( an involved process in itself alone).

The only real problems and complaints I have thus far are with streaming quality. Clearly, the service is designed to work best with Apple devices and signing into it with my Microsoft platform PC creates some, admittedly and thankfully resolvable, issues. I initially experienced "stuttering" and "sound/video synching" problems but a trouble-shoot suggestion to clear out my flash-player web-site storage seems to have fixed that.
I still get the very occasional pause during a stream for 10 or 20 seconds; not very often and something I can live with.

So far, HBO Now seems to run cleaner and with less problems in Firefox instead of my usually preferred Google Chrome browser.
Any thoughts? Particularly regarding the last point of observation.

BTW...is HBO Now even available in Canada?
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Re: HBO Now

Postby tuned » Thu Nov 26, 2015 12:50 pm

It is not available legally in Canada. It's available on Apple TV and works flawlessly like netflix or any other streaming service. Why would you watch it on an internet browser?
Your problems are all related to your computer, internet connection, browser and not HBO Now.
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Re: HBO Now

Postby Neumann Sennheiser » Thu Nov 26, 2015 1:11 pm

As I stated, for now, the PC is all I have.
I am considering picking up a re-furb 3rd generation Apple TV I have seen on Best Buy's site; 39 bucks US with free delivery, can't go too wrong I imagine.
Regardless, I would still be running it through the house-hold internet WiFi. Just the browser would be taken out of the equation.
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Re: HBO Now

Postby jon » Thu Nov 26, 2015 2:02 pm

Not having used anything like it, I can only make two general technical observations:
  1. Wi-Fi is easily interfered with, as in regular radio (RF) interference; they can often be resolved, but I have usually found it easier to hardwire with an Ethernet cable
  2. Google Chrome excels in fancy new features and such, at a cost of reliability and compatibility; Firefox isn't fancy but I have found it more reliable/compatible than either Chrome or whatever Microsoft calls their browser these days
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Re: HBO Now

Postby tuned » Thu Nov 26, 2015 3:19 pm

I can highly recommend getting an Apple 3 refurbed. They are an incredible bargain. You can stream all your content from your PC to your television and access HBO Now with a click of the remote and experience it the way HBO intended. There are many great channels on Apple TV that you can access, some of whom don't require a cable or other subscription. Crackle and CBS News are two that spring to mind. Anything you have in iTunes including music will play through your television. You said that you only have a PC though...no flat screen TV? Apple TV 4 adds gaming but if you're aren't into that there really isn't much point.
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Re: HBO Now

Postby Neumann Sennheiser » Thu Nov 26, 2015 4:01 pm

The new 27" monitor I mentioned features two HDMI ports in addition to the usual VGA connection so I expect an Apple TV unit would be a simple plug and play (well..almost anyway).

A side note; I am consistently impressed with Best Buy's on-line shopping site in virtually all aspects.

Good bargains like the 39 dollar Apple TV 3 refurbs. The new AOC monitor was purchased on sale reduced from 300 to 200 dollars and I saved an extra 30 by selecting an open box returned model. I sweetened it even a little more by shopping with Best Buy gift cards purchased from Safeway so as to acquire the gas points at 4 X the cost value, so my next fill-up will be 80 cents off a gallon.

Easy to navigate site with very knowledgable and helpful customer service by phone. It was the over the phone rep who tipped me to return to my local Best Buy with my on-line receipt and ask for a refund / re-ring to repurchase with the gift cards. I actually came out a couple of bucks ahead there in the sales tax recalculation.

Faster than promised delivery free to my door by UPS. Was promised the next Tuesday, it arrived by 1PM on the prior Friday.

I'll likely spring for the generation 3 Apple TV but I have the luxury of some time to think it over. With generation 4 now out, there seems to be no shortage of the previous model at bargain prices.
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Re: HBO Now

Postby Neumann Sennheiser » Thu Nov 26, 2015 4:25 pm

..And now, we allow time for a dissenting point of rebuttal:

Image
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Re: HBO Now

Postby jon » Thu Nov 26, 2015 4:52 pm

Since this is a U.S. discussion, I thought I would mention that Consumer Reports (December issue) surveyed 40,700 of their subscribers about recent electronics purchases numbering 62,738 items and found that the best customer experience was at an outfit I'd never even heard of: Abt.com.

A fav of several of us scored #2: BHPhotoVideo.com. My main experience with them has been digital audio recorders, though I also have some of their photo equipment. Until Long and McQuade improved their pricing in the last few years, there were no reasonably priced Pro Audio sources in Canada.

BestBuy.com ended up in the middle of the pack, but still scored an 88 (out of 100).

I like Amazon, having ordered from .ca, .com and .co.uk over the years, and would order from .co.jp if they had an English translation feature, but find it is important to differentiate between Amazon themselves and all the Sellers on there. Like eBay, most of the sellers are great, but I am still wary, having had some negative experiences.

As I said, this is a discussion of buying from U.S. sites and delivering to a U.S. address. Canada is a whole different ball game.
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Re: HBO Now

Postby tuned » Sat Nov 28, 2015 9:25 pm

B&H is worth a visit if you find yourself in NYC. The staff is extremely knowledgeable and they have everything on display. Their used section is almost like a museum especially if you are into old camera gear. Not too far to walk from Times Square.
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