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HBO begins offering Internet video service

updated 11:45 am EST, Mon January 21, 2008

HBO on Broadband

HBO on Monday said it would take tentative steps into online video with HBO on Broadband, a new service designed to help timeshift the company's TV programming. The feature will only be available for Time Warner Cable customers subscribed to the premium channel but will allow them to watch away from a TV without resorting to illegal copies or waiting for DVD releases. Users will both be able to download and watch roughly 400 hours' worth of HBO's monthly content for up to four weeks after the download takes place. In a unique approach, however, the service will stream shows live for those who want to catch a series as it appears.

The service is free for those existing subscribers but will require restrictions to protect HBO's income stream from TV providers, many of whom charge extra for the channel as part of deluxe packages. HBO is using Windows Media copy protection for the downloadable shows and explains that none of the shows will be transferrable to portable media players for later viewing. However, HBO considers the service a trial and expects to distribute copies of the needed software for its Broadband service first to Green Bay and Milwaukee customers of Time Warner. Expansion plans have not been revealed but are anticipated to focus on the larger cable network if successful.

Despite the restrictions, the unveiling represents a minor concession from the studio, which has typically declined to make its shows available through iTunes, the Xbox Live Video Marketplace, and other services that allow users to pay for downloads or streams of shows.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. Feathers

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Oct 1999



    Of course, because it's supported on so many devices...not!

  1. danviento

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005


    yet another

    Flip4Mac will make it work, but still, it's an assanine move to use wmv for content meant for the masses. I wonder if they've ever heard of some little things called STANDARDS...

  1. elroth

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jul 2006


    re: yet another

    WMV copy protection can not be read by Flip4Mac - only WMV without DRM.

  1. zaghahzag

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2006


    funny how they make us do

    It. We'll have to hack their s*** just to get it to work. What a bunch of idiots. Maybe they don't care if you're hacking it if you are already paying for it, but still - how about making it work on macs?!?!


  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    bandwidth pricing?

    didn't I read last week here on MacNN or Electronista, that Time Warner is experimenting with tiered pricing for bandwidth in Texas?

    So if downloading or streaming HBO content eats up my bandwidth allotment, I end up paying again for HBO, if both tiered pricing for bandwidth and HBO On Demand get rolled out nationwide.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: yet another

    Flip4Mac will make it work, but still, it's an assanine move to use wmv for content meant for the masses. I wonder if they've ever heard of some little things called STANDARDS...

    Hey, why should they? Apple doesn't follow standards either (can't play their DRM videos without iTunes).

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