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Review: HBO GO for android.

Posted on 5/10/2011 by A.A.I

If you ask the average android user or a developer, one of the areas that most will agree android falls behind iOS on mobile devices is media content providers.  Now iTunes is a media content giant that won't be toppled by any android offerings any time soon.  And we've also been waiting a very long time for some of the most popular streaming services to be available on android.  Netflix which has been available on iOS for some time now, saw it's launch on Windows Phone 7 before android. And as of now Hulu still isn't available on my Nexus One with 2.3.2 though they have officially stated that it will be available on select devices with 2.2 or later, with release date not confirmed. There is of course a silver lining.  

HBO GO launched late last month and brings with it a solid streaming service for your favorite HBO content. 

Introducing HBO GO®. The new streaming service from HBO®.
Watch over 1,400 of your favorite HBO shows, including HBO original programming, hit movies, sports, comedy and much more—now available on Android smartphones!    It’s HBO. Anywhere.  Free with your HBO subscription through participating television providers.

The basics; you'll need to be an HBO subscriber and your cable provider will have to be a participant of HBO GO.  As of now I believe Time Warner Cable Inc. and Cablevision Systems Corp. are two major distributors who have yet to sign on to be a HBO Go affiliate So if you're one of their subscribers you may have to wait a while.  If all that works out, then you sign in with your provider information and you're ready to go. 

Using the app is simple. When it first loads up you are presented with a variety of featured content.  Everything from hit blockbuster films and new television series to HBO specials and documentaries. Pressing menu brings up only 4 options; Home, Categories, Sign in and Watchlist. As expected streaming over wifi is smooth and seamless and offers the content in good quality. Viewing two different titles on my Nexus One over 3G I only ran into two "buffering" moments. And quality on my 3G connection was nearly as good as wifi. This of course will vary from user to user.  Pressing the setting icon will allow you to access your Go Profile, Parental Controls, set up a Series Pass, access Preferences and Help along with the standard Privacy Policy and TOS.

Overall i'm glad to see this app hit android. It provides another solid content provider on a mobile device.  Even though you are limited to HBO's library of media there is plenty in the way of content. Until Netflix is available this is a solid content provider that won't cost you any additional fees. 

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