What is Better HBO Now or HBO on Sling TV?

What is Better HBO Now or HBO on Sling TV?

HBO is the name for premium as far as most viewers go.

What is Better HBO Now or HBO on Sling TV? Because of a combination of second hand dissemination as well as outright poor reporting the two completely separate services have become entangled and in some cases both have been labeled as HBO-Go. Let’s explain what is really offered with these two services.

HBO Now

HBO Now is a free-standing service owned and operated by HBO. It is currently available on the IOS family of devices including the Apple TV, iPad’s, Apple computers and the iPod touch. The service is almost a carbon copy of HBO-Go. The difference of course is that HBO-Go is an outgrowth of an HBO cable subscription while HBO Now does not require a subscription.  It offers on-demand programming including a full catalog of HBO’s original series from the last 20 years, a large collection of Hollywood hit movies, as well as HBO’s comedy specials and sports programming. There is no live feed. Think of it like a Netflix for HBO fans. It costs $15.00 with no strings attached.

Sling TV HBO

Sling Television offers its customers HBO as part of the Internet TV service. In order to access HBO on Sling TV, customers must purchase the Best of Live TV package ($20.00) which is the most basic introductory package offered by Sling. The “Best of Live TV” package offers a collection of pay TV channels including AMC, TBS, ESPN, ESPN 2, TNT among others. The HBO addon costs $15.00.

The HBO addon works more like a traditional channel. It has a live feed of HBO so that viewers can see HBO programming as it airs to HBO subscribers on other platforms. The difference is that there is only one feed of HBO vs the multiple HBO channels (HBO 2, HBO Family etc) found on a cable package. The service offers on demand content including HBO’s blockbuster movies, and selections from HBO’s original series. At the time of this writing not every episode of every HBO series is available. I have been told by representatives from Sling that the service will be able offer full access to HBO’s series in the future. As of right now the company has made sure that all episodes of the popular Game of Thrones are available.

Full Cost
Cost $35.00 = ($20.00 Best of Live TV) + ($15.00 for HBO)

Which service is better?

Which offering is best is according to ones needs? At the moment HBO Now is only available on IOS devices. This is only going to be the case through the first three months of the service. So by July the service will almost definitely be available on other platforms. It is not at all unreasonable to expect to find it on Roku and the Fire TV as well as Android devices. HBO has yet to say which platforms will carry the service but I just can’t imagine HBO is going to leave out major players like the ones mentioned above.

HBO Now is very easy and straightforward. Its interface is easy to navigate. Access to the huge library of programming including current shows like Game of Thrones and Real Time is very convenient.

Sling is able to offer the Live feed which means that one does not have to wait until the next day to see their favorite programming. There is an advantage in this for those who favor event television. The debut of a series like Game of Thrones is big new and Sling users get to be in the middle of the discussion. Once the service is able to offer a more complete catalog of series the service will be quite compelling.

For the moment the choices are very clear. If you do not have an IOS device HBO Now is unavailable. Sling offers its service across IOS (but not Apple TV) Mac, Android and PC’s along with Roku and the Fire TV. If you are a cord cutter without Apple products who wants to watch HBO content than your choice is Sling. If you are an Apple user who does not care whether there is access to live programming HBO Now is a natural choice. After the three month exclusive ends and the service becomes available on more devices and as Sling is able to offer the full catalog of HBO series the difference will come down to whether the customer wants HBO programming in conjunction with other channels or whether they want it on its own.

HBO On Sling TV Video


HBO Now Video Demo



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1 COMMENT

  1. is hbo now 5.1 dolby digital like amazon prime and netflix? that would be a huge advantage to me since i thought sling tv wouldnt be supporting dolby digital. also, another thought is if you pay for hbo now someone else in your house could still use sling tv at the same time.

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