HBO Now vs HBO Go: Which One Should You Get?

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Many know HBO for its binge-worthy shows, hilarious comedy specials, and its remarkable line-up of films that everyone looks forward to every day. HBO used to be a channel that you needed a cable TV to access but fortunately, HBO offers more than just their channel now. Introducing: HBO Now and HBO Go, two of the channel’s streaming platforms that give you on-the-go access to their content. With this app, you no longer have to sit in front of the TV and wait for your favorite show to air. These streaming platforms allow users to take their shows with them anywhere and at any time.

We have already published a guide on how to watch HBO Now. But what exactly is the difference between HBO Now vs. HBO Go? In this article, we’ll be giving you a rundown of what you need to know before subscribing to these platforms.

 

HBO Now vs. HBO Go at a Glance

HBO Now HBO Go
Pricing $14.99/month Free for HBO cable subscribers
Programming All HBO Shows All HBO Shows
Access Simultaneous streaming on 3 devices but no offer to download. Simultaneous streaming on 2 devices with an offer to download.

 

What Is HBO Now?

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HBO Now is HBO’s standalone streaming service that offers series, documentaries, movies, and specials from HBO. It doesn’t require any cable or satellite TV subscriptions to be able to access it. This is ideal for those who want access to their favorite shows without having to invest in a cable or TV plan.

It can be accessed through the HBO Now app or through your desktop. However, do keep in mind that HBO Now is only available to customers in the United States and certain U.S. territories.

 

What Is HBO Go?

HBO GO Logo
Photo by HBO Go on Google Play Store

Contrary to HBO Now, HBO Go requires a cable plan. While it offers the same content as HBO Now, HBO Go is a streaming service that is included in your HBO subscription through your TV or cable provider. Also, it gives you access to HBO’s content while you are away from the TV.

However, keep in mind that you need to have an existing HBO subscription to be able to avail of HBO Go. You can download HBO Go from Google Play. Alternatively, you can get it from the App Store.

 

HBO Now vs. HBO Go: What Are Their Differences?

Here is a quick guide to help you see the differences between HBO Now and HBO Go. Hopefully, this will help you decide which of the two to get.

Pricing

  • HBO Now has a fixed subscription rate that costs $14.99/month.
  • HBO Go is a free service that comes with your HBO TV subscription. The cost of HBO subscription varies depending on your cable provider and in your area. If your lucky you can get it at $5/month, but it can also get as high as $20. COMCAST has it at $19.99 /month while AT&T’s DirecTV Now has the lowest offer at $5 only.

 

Programming

  • Put simply, content on both platforms are the same. Subscribing to either will give you access to HBO’s library of films, series, specials, and documentaries. Hence, you shouldn’t worry about missing a show whichever service you subscribe to.

 

Access

HBO Now

  • With HBO Now you can sign in on multiple devices at the same time; however, only three (3) devices can stream at once.
  • HBO Now does not allow its subscribers to download shows for offline viewing. So, you will need internet access to watch your favorite shows.
  • It is only available to subscribers in the United States and select U.S. territories. Hence, the service cannot be accessed by users outside of the United States.

 

HBO Go

  • You sign in to HBO Go on multiple devices; however, only two (2) devices can stream at once. 
  • Contrary to HBO Now, you can download shows for offline viewing on HBO Go. Also, keep in mind that you can only have 15 titles on your download list at a time and these downloads will expire after 48 hours.
  • HBO Go is available internationally. Just make sure that there is a cable operator in your area that allows you to subscribe to HBO.

 

Supported Devices

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HBO Now

  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Amazon Fire Tablets
  • Computers
  • Roku
  • Samsung TV

For other TVs and devices, it’s advised that you use an HDMI cable or Chromecast to stream HBO Now to connect your PC to your TV.

 

HBO Go

  • Android phones and tablets
  • Android TV
  • Apple devices (iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch)
  • Apple TV
  • Computers (web browsers)
  • Playstation 4
  • Roku
  • Samsung Smart TVs
  • TiVo
  • Xbox One

HBO Go used to support streaming on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360; however, these services were discontinued on January 8, 2019.

Alternatively, you can also connect your phones or laptops to your TV via Chromecast or HDMI cable to stream HBO Go on your TVs.

 

Why Is HBO Now Better?

Essentially, HBO Now is better because it does not require you to have an existing cable subscription to be able to get it. You only have to pay for your subscription to the service itself without having to worry about maintaining a cable subscription. If you look at it, it’s also quite cheaper to maintain than HBO Go with only $14.99/a month for its subscription.

Again, it’s ideal for those who are looking to access HBO but doesn’t want to invest in a cable plan. Just make sure that you always have access to the internet, since HBO Now won’t be accessible without it. But if you already have an existing HBO cable subscription, then it’s pointless and a waste of money to still subscribe to HBO Now.

 

Why Is HBO Go better?

Apart from being able to access it internationally for those who don’t live within the United States, another reason that makes Go better than Now is its offline streaming. These days, you really can’t be sure if you’re going to have internet or data access in places that you travel to and while cases like that are rare in these modern times, you really can’t be too sure. Further, HBO Go also has a wider range of supported devices than HBO Now, which makes it more accessible.

Despite only being able to stream simultaneously on two devices, Go is ideal for those who are always on the go with its offline viewing option. It’s also practical to have it if you already have an existing subscription to the network as it can be treated as an add-on to your HBO subscription.

 

HBO Originals You Should Watch

Many love HBO shows and for good reason, which is probably why their streaming apps are in demand. With that, here are some HBO originals that you should consider binging.

 

The Sopranos

The cast of The Sopranos poses for a photo
Photo from HBO

Genre/s: Crime Drama

IMDb Rating: 9.2/10

The Sopranos follows the life of Tony Soprano, a husband, father, and a mob boss whose life strains land him in the office of his therapist, Dr. Jennifer Melfi. This series mainly plays from a first-person point-of-view with some additional perspective that’s conveyed by conversations between Soprano and Melfi. Because of its in-depth storyline, The Sopranos is hailed as one of TV’s essential dramas and one that you should consider watching.

 

Baltimore Rising

People holding a protest
Photo from HBO

Genre/s: Documentary

IMDb Rating: 6.2/10

An HBO original documentary, Baltimore Rising should also be on your watch list. Originally released in 2017, the documentary tells of the protests in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray. It documents the protests and riots in the wake of Gray’s death while under police custody as well as the efforts made to keep the peace and change policing at the time. Further, Baltimore Rising also captures narratives from Black Lives Matter advocates, community leaders, and some members of the Baltimore Police Department, which will make for an amazing watch. Since the death of George Floyd, the documentary began to resurface.

 

Watchmen

a photo of a woman in a yellow clock background
Photo from HBO

Genre/s: Mystery Drama

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

HBO’s Watchmen is a series set after the events of the DC Comics series of the same name. The series takes place in an alternate history where heroes are now vigilantes and have now been outlawed due to their violent methods. The series is centered on racist violence events in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 2019 where Seventh Kavalry, a white supremacist group has gone against the police causing the enforcers to conceal their identities with masks to prevent identification. Watchmen is a thrilling series that is surely worth binge-watching!

 

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones
Photo by hbo.com

Genre/s: Fantasy Drama

IMDb Rating: 9.3

Ultimately, this list would not be complete without Game of Thrones. Based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice, the series takes viewers to Westeros where opposing kingdoms and nobles battle for the coveted Iron Throne. The series is eight seasons long and a fan-favorite among many for its epic storyline, incredible characters, and remarkable visuals. This series is surely one that you wouldn’t want to skip out on. 

 

HBO Now vs HBO Go: The Verdict

In the question of HBO Now vs HBO Go, the two services are essentially the same content-wise, it can’t be denied that they are also so different from each other. Both of the services have their strengths and weaknesses that you should consider before getting them.

Ultimately, you should also consider your needs and your current situation before choosing which one to subscribe to.

You should consider getting HBO Now if you’re not interested in investing in a cable plan but still want access to HBO. Not only is it considerably cheaper than subscribing to an entirely separate service, but it’s also pretty convenient for U.S. residents as they won’t have to worry about cable or TV interruptions if they get HBO Now.

Consider getting HBO Go if you already have an existing subscription to HBO and want to get it as an add-on. While maintaining HBO Go is admittedly a bit more expensive than HBO Now, it’s better to get it as an add-on instead of getting a new subscription as it is considerably cheaper that way. It’s also best if you’re always on the go as it supports offline viewing.

As for which one is better, it would be best for users to decide which of the two services is best suited for their needs.

If HBO doesn’t work for you, why not try these free movie apps?

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