HBO's Standalone Streaming Service Won't Be Available In Australia

When HBO announced it would release a stand-alone streaming service a few weeks ago, we raised our collective hopes that it would come to Australia rather than just be a US-exclusive. Sadly, our hopes have been dashed: it's only going to be available to customers in the US.

You can sign up for alerts about the service on HBO Now's website no matter where you are in the world, but there's a small caveat that dashes the hopes of Aussie streamers:

HBO NOW is only accessible in the U.S. and certain U.S. territories where a high-speed broadband connection is available.

Sigh.

It's unsurprising that Australia would miss out on HBO Now, given that local Pay TV giant, Foxtel, has a stranglehold over the rights to HBO's content here. That means all your favourite shows will still be tough to get access to unless you have a Foxtel subscription, either via a set-top box or its standalone Play subscription service, rather than the $US14.99 HBO Now service.

HBO Now is the cable TV provider's standalone streaming and catch-up service that is set to launch later on in the year, exclusive to the Apple TV. The head of HBO, Richard Plepler, debuted the service at Apple's spring forward event a few weeks ago, announcing it would be exclusive to the Apple TV at launch. It will be the first time HBO will offer its content to users who aren't already subscribed to its cable channel in the US.

We live in hope that HBO will bring it here one day.


Comments

    Once it hits Xbox, I'll be geopirating that shizzle :)

    Zero interest during the Apple exclusivity period.

      The website version will be available at launch.

        Isn't signup via apple device and cable provider only until the apple exclusivity finishes? No web portal signups?

          Website version will launch from day 1. Apple only gets exclusive for streaming boxes

          Last edited 16/03/15 12:20 pm

            For sign ups, not just logging in? Also, meh, website isn't on my TV with remote functionality, so not particularly interested. I don't consume media by PC's, it's not 65", and mouse on TV is a terrible experience.

              Why would mouse on TV be terrible. I use my TV for my computer screen and it's fantastic.

    Yeah, I'll wait our the Apple deal, then add hbo to my list of cool shit I get through unblock-us.

    Yes yes.

      Is there any reason (other than personal preference) you use Unblock-Us rather than something like Getflix?

        Does getflix actually work much differently?

        I've never had an issue with unblock-us.

        Last edited 16/03/15 11:31 am

        Personally, through habit, been using Unblock-Us for a while, and Unblock-us being very quick to fix any issues. It's also dead simple. Stops working when I'm out of the house? Missus homepage is set as their site, click activate new IP, fixed.

          Brilliant solve! Im always explaining on the phone to the missus how to reset the IP on unblock-us so she can get her Netflix fix. I will set her homepage to unblock-us tonight and she is one click away from no longer disturbing me at work.

            Tried unblockus and found I had problems maintaining a consistent stream. Switched to getflix and it seemed fine until bloody BigPond decided to change my IP every 5 minutes (I kid you not). Could have paid extra to Bigpond for a fixed-IP but then found out there's a way to get your computer (in my case a Mac mini) to automatically ping the getflix service on a regular basis (can set your own time parameter) via a cron job so getflix always has my correct IP. You should also be able to do this with unblockus, then you won't have to load their webpage for it to accept your IP. Getflix instructions are here:
            https://getflix.zendesk.com/hc/en-gb/articles/200261805-API-Resource-IP-Addresses

            Last edited 17/03/15 11:09 am

        We switched from Unblock-Us to Getflix one day because we were having speed issues (frequently dropping down from HD to SD). For the most part they're much of a muchness, though I do prefer the Unblock-Us user interface (not having to log in to change regions/register new IP address etc).

          I hit up the Getflix trial when I had the same issue, didn't fix it though. Turned out to be a Telstra international link problem that took 4-6 weeks to fix.

    I used to openly hate Murdoch and Foxtel for this kind of crap but as I get older and wiser I realise HBO are just as much to blame.

    We won't know till it debuts but I'd imagine it will work fine with Smart DNS & VPN solutions. For those of use already using this to access Netflix or HBO Go it won't be a great change.

    First month free via Apple is also not mentioned in this article. If you wait till week 8 you can basically binge watch the first 8 episodes and watch last 2 live and all for free.

      There will be an issue if it works like HBO Nordic (HBO Now for the Nordic countries) which requires a credit card from said countries. I do hope I can use PayPal or my Australian Credit card though, I'd love this service.

        Try a load n go prepaid card from Aust post. They work for quite a few US companies that only accept US cards. Also, I suspect that if you have a US iTunes account (not hard to set up) you will be able to pay for the subscription through that. In any case, I reckon within 24 hours of HBO Now launching (or less). There will be instructions all over the web on how to access it in Oz.

      We'll see when the time comes what their stance is. The geo-blocking implemented by Netflix and a few others is really a pretty light hearted show of doing something, but not much more than that. If they, or HBO, really want to block subscribers it probably makes sense to use geo-blockingin conjunction with stronger verification of the credit card details.

      There might be some ways around that, but I'm guessing many people wouldn't be bothered if they had to start dealing with pre-paid US credit cards and the like. That said, I don't see why HBO would want to make things any harder for those users than Netflix is currently unless they had contracts requiring them to do so. Australia is among the worst when it comes to pirating Game of Thrones...so if some customers want to give them money instead of downloading a copy I don't see why HBO would want to stop that.

    HBO NOW is only accessible in the U.S. and certain U.S. territories where a high-speed broadband connection is available

    Something something NBN, FCC definition

    It's getting pretty hard to continue to justify giving companies like this my money. They go out of their way to harm consumers. Exclusive periods and deals are just there to drive the bottom line to preferred partners, instead of thinking about what the consumer wants, all they care about is the money. I'm over these companies, they cry hard over piracy, yet continue to screw the people willing to pay for their content. Fuck em.

    EDIT: awaiting moderation? Sigh, what have I done now????

    Last edited 16/03/15 12:33 pm

      Yeah, the way I see it - I've got money I'm willing to pay them in exchange for their content. If they don't want to take my money then that's fine - I tried giving it to them, now I'll get it the other way instead.

    i still think if you're gonna make a global announcement, then make sure that stupid announcement is relevant for your global audience!

      Global announcement? Didn't you know that the internet only exists in the US? (At least, that's what most US-based companies seem to think!)

      Last edited 16/03/15 3:10 pm

    torrent it is then, their fault again

    $15/month?? Then add 25% for currency conversion and you're looking at $20/month..

    No thanks, I'll continue to pirate..

      Awesome man! Hopefully one day, no one will pay for anything anymore!

      Because $20 a month to access some of the best content available is just so unreasonable and it makes me want to spit my dummy...

      Asshat.

        Uh yes actually! $20 a month is too much for effectively one channels worth of content. Even evil foxtel gives you a "pack" of channels for that price.

          Depends on the channel. Don't forget that HBO Now also has all the first run movies that their cable channel has too.

    The drama pack on foxtel, where the showcase channel lives, is $20 a month.

    At the end of the day, you will be paying $20 a month to access HBO NOW anyway and if live sport is a part of your TV diet then you may as well watch both on foxtel. Then you get a whole heap of channels for your $20 a month. (granted the price is $70 a month once essentials and sport are added, but with foxtel play, you could get Drama & premium movies & drama for $50 a month. If you just had essentials & drama pack on satelite foxtel, it's yours for $45 a month, plus $10 if you want it in HD)

    Then you can also watch the HBO content on up to 3 devices at once anyway (your living room tv via satelite and then 2 other devices via foxtel go on the internet)

    To access HBO NOW via geo-block avoidance here, won't you also need a US credit card with a US billing address anyway?

    Last edited 17/03/15 10:13 am

      If paying for a VPN or Smart DNS service as well, you'll probably be looking at more like $25 oz a month to access it. I am, however, already paying for netflix and a smart DNS. So adding HBO on top will probably take me to less than $40 oz a month total for more quality programming than I can consume. That's still cheaper than what I can get Foxtel for with the showtime package - and I'm not sure Showtime on Foxtel has ALL the HBO content (first run movies etc) whereas HBO NOW does.

        That makes sense, and if you can use an Australian credit card to sign up, then i'm sure a lot of people here will be interested in it.

        We will have to wait and see what kind of georestrictions they put in place. If it's as tight as Amazon Instant, it's nearly impossible without american connections, but if it's as lose as netflix, then anyone will be able to sign up.

    I think people really got ahead of themselves if they expected the HBO announcement to result in an early 2015 AU launch. The best we can hope for is a policy of blocking users from other regions that's as lenient (verging on non existent) as Netflix's.

    why can't we get HBO in Australia?

    Make sure you are using a proper US IP address when accessing HBO and this AT ALL TIMES! If you've been using a SmartDNS connection, you might have received a warning letter from HBO. But if you are connecting through a VPN connection and using an US IP address, then no probs!

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