Skip to main content

HBO has a la carte streaming ready to go … whenever we stop tolerating cable

hbo broadband future 1
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Earlier this week HBO CEO Richard Plepler addressed the cable network’s recent surge of success and the attempt to remain flexible as the television industry inevitably moves closer and closer to broadband-only distribution models. At the end of the day, this is encouraging news for cord-cutters. 

Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom conference, Plepler explained that the all-star network is positioned so that, at any time, it can transition to a solely broadband-delivered distribution model. This move would most likely involve repositioning HBO Go as an independent subscription option for cable cutters looking to access their content entirely via the web.

And although Plepler pointed out that HBO’s traditional model is still very much a viable generator of profit (2013 was HBO’s best all-around year in 17 years with 2 million new subscribers), just about every service provider is scrambling to solidify a plan for when that day finally comes — a “singularity” of sorts; a point at which every consumer no longer tolerates the old-school model, demanding a broadband-based subscription to digital content that’s progressive and affordable.

There’s a whole lot of madness swirling around the battle between big broadcasters and online/streaming content services. Just two days before Plepler’s speech at the Morgan Stanley conference, Dish Network finagled access to an extensive array of content out of Disney by giving some on its advertisement-skipping Auto-Hop feature, a move that inspired a similar move by DirecTV yesterday. Both Dish and DirecTV are constructing their own HBO GO-esque services in anticipation of the pay-TV doomsday. The big networks have a few other eyesores to take care of — ongoing lawsuits targeting Aereo and FilmOn have snowballed into an upcoming Supreme Court shootout. Aereo and FilmOn rebroadcast network content via online means, without paying licensing fees to said networks.

More and more companies and services are moving into the broadband-delivered content realm, and increasing numbers of them are realizing that such a move will eventually have to happen if they’re to remain in the game.

Editors' Recommendations

Alex Tretbar
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Alex Tretbar, audio/video intern, is a writer, editor, musician, gamer and sci-fi nerd raised on EverQuest and Magic: The…
Why Plex is such a powerhouse and what that means for you
Plex used on all devices, mobile, laptop, more

One of the worst things that's happened due to the modern streaming wars, and with so many services, is that, as an active subscriber to many of these platforms, you have to bounce around between the different apps to browse content or watch it. It's a highly fragmented experience that can be frustrating, especially when you don't know what you want to watch in the first place. You might start with Netflix, browsing movies and shows available, then hop over to Hulu or something else when you can't find anything interesting. Wouldn't it be so much better if a one-stop-shop or hub put you in control of a single, unified library? Something like this already exists, and it's called Plex.

If you've never heard of it before, or if you have heard of it and just never had the chance to use it, listen up because Plex is an absolute media powerhouse that everyone should try, at the very least. It will put you in full control of your media and completely transform your modern entertainment experience. You won't have to hop between watchlists on various platforms like Prime Video, Paramount+, or Max. Instead, it's all accessed through Plex, and then you can browse from a central platform. Even better, once you add your streaming apps through Plex, it will allow you to create a universal watchlist regardless of where the titles are available and provide recommendations across your preferred streaming apps -- essentially doing all of the legwork for you. It's a fantastic way to discover new content that's tailored to your interests. But there's so much more to Plex, making it a powerful entertainment tool. You can find and interact with your friends on Plex, and discover and watch new content together. You'll get film, actor, and behind-the-scenes facts for every piece of content. You can even bring your own custom media, but we'll get to that.
Join Pro Week
Unlimited power: What can Plex do?

Read more
How to log out of Netflix on a smart TV
Netflix on a TV screen showing on the Roku home screen.

When it comes to streaming platforms, Netflix is one of the best services out there. Not only does the pioneering service give you access to thousands of movies and TV shows, but many Netflix plans will allow you to tap into 4K HDR content, on top of giving you support for multiple screens and devices. Like a lot of streaming services though, once you're officially logged in, it may feel (or look) like you can never log out.

Whatever your reason may be, when it comes time to log out of your Netflix account on a smart TV or streaming device, this step-by-step guide will walk you through the process.

Read more
Ends tonight: Save $200 on this Samsung 55-inch QLED 4K TV
The Samsung Q70A 4K TV on a media console in a modern loft-style dwelling.

If you're looking for the best Samsung TV deals, this deal from Best Buy lets you grab this 55-inch Q70C  for just $800 rather than the usual $1,000. While that may still feel rather expensive, the Q70C is a great mid-to-high-end Samsung TV packed with many great features. That said, the deal is ending tonight, so if you like what you see, grab it before it expires.

Why you should buy the 55-inch Samsung Q70C QLED 4K TV
So, what makes the Q70C special? Well, for starters, it has a QLED panel that recreates colors very vividly without losing brightness, an issue that traditional LED panels tend to have. It's also helped a bit with its Dual-LED backlighting for extra brightness, so you can push the contrast and color reproduction pretty far. It also comes with Samsung's proprietary Quantum HDR, which is offset by the fact that it's missing HLG support, which most sports broadcasters use, so you'll be missing out on that front if you enjoy watching many sports.

Read more