Comcast to stop blocking HBO Go and Showtime on Roku

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by tarheelblue32, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Well-Known Member

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  2. jadziedzic

    jadziedzic Member

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    Last night I successfully activated HBO Go on my Roku - it's about time Comcast stopped blocking access to HBO Go.
     
  3. trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

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    I never understood why they blocked HBO Go on Roku and and not on other devices!??
     
  4. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Well-Known Member

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    Comcast was just being a dick. There was absolutely no justification for not allowing it other than because they could. Comcast also won't allow you to activate the Showtime app on an Amazon Fire TV, and when Amazon Fire TV gets the HBO Go app in a week or two, you probably won't be able to activate it either if you are on Comcast. Though maybe this is a sign that Comcast will change their stance on that as well.
     
  5. trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

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    Hhhmm there has to more to it than that.
     
  6. MikeAndrews

    MikeAndrews Registered abuser

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    No there doesn't have to be more than that.

    Comcast didn't want to allow any more disintermediation of Comcast.

    The biggest nightmare for COmcast is cord cutters who only want the pipe and not the TV content.
     
  7. trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

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    HBO Go works on the Xbox 360, PS3 and AppleTV afaik.

    I'd get it if Comcast blocked HBO Go on everything.... but just on one device? I don't get that.
     
  8. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Well-Known Member

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    Comcast does not allow it to work on Playstation or Amazon Fire TV. They do allow it to work on Apple TV, XBox, and Samsung Smart TVs (and now Roku also).

    You can see it by going here: http://www.hbogo.com/activate/

    Just select each device and it will show you which providers allow you to active it.

    The only roadblock is Comcast's obstinance in not allowing it. There is no other explanation. The only reason they are allowing Roku now is because it has been brought up as a point of contention in the TWC merger hearings. They might eventually allow Playstation and Fire TV for the same reason.
     
  9. trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

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    Ok Comcast is the road block. The question is why on some devices and not on others???

    What purpose does it serve Comcast to let it work on the 360, AppleTV and on some Samsung Smart Tvs but not on Roku and PS3?
     
  10. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Well-Known Member

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    My guess is that Comcast extorted some money out of Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung to allow HBO Go app activation on their devices and that Roku, Sony, and Amazon haven't been willing to cough up the money.
     
  11. trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

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    btw, works on Chromecast too from what I read.

    So 4 companies paid off Comcast and 3 didn't. And yet nothing ever leaked through the grapevine?

    Other cable companies didn't say anything? Didn't try to do the same thing? Or they had lower terms so everybody paid them off?
     
  12. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Well-Known Member

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    Chromecast is a completely different animal. Chromecast support is built directly into the HBO Go website. Because of how it works, it does not require the Chromecast device itself to be activated the way other streaming devices do. Comcast couldn't block Chromecast usage unless it completely prevented logging into the HBO Go website.

    If you have a better theory, I'm listening.
     
  13. trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

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    Doh. I knew Chromecast only streamed the internets.

    All I got is

    1) It has something to do with bandwidth. Comcast wanted compensation for the increased use in bandwidth such a service would use up. MS, Apple and Samsung agreed.

    Or

    2) it is a security/technical issue. These other boxes didn't or wouldn't meet some technical requirements of Comcast's.

    I don't buy that's a pure blackmail type of issue.
     
  14. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like blackmail to me.

    The device activation/account authentication process all goes through HBO, and it is exactly the same security/technical wise no matter what device is being activated.
     
  15. gonzotek

    gonzotek tivo_xml developer

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    Agreed. Plus HBOGo was already enabled on Roku for a variety of other MSOs...if there was a security/technical issue, the problem was on Comcast's end as everyone else seemed to be able to make it work with their systems (hint: it was not a security/technical issue ;) ).
     
  16. trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

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    Well I was thinking more like the bandwidth deals Netflix and Comcast signed. But admittedly the parallel to that would be HBO and Comcast. Not the streaming boxes and Comcast.


    Says who?

    They have to authenticate your cable subscription somehow. IF it was all the same and went through HBO then not sure how Comcast is blocking some devices and not others.
     
  17. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Well-Known Member

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    Whether it is a Roku or an Apple TV, the authentication process is exactly the same. The device contacts the HBO servers, the HBO servers tie into the Comcast account system to see if you get HBO, and if you do, then HBO authorizes the HBO Go app on your device.

    So HBO already had access to all Comcast user account info to authenticate Apple TVs and Xboxes. The entire system was already in place, and had been for years. There is absolutely nothing Comcast or HBO had to do from a security or technical perspective to allow Roku's HBO Go app to function. The only thing HBO needed was for Comcast to tell HBO "okay, go ahead and authenticate Rokus".
     
  18. trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

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    Well if you thought a platform was unsecure you might not allow authentication of your subscription on it.

    And it still begs the question of why single out a few boxes and not others. And why has nothing leaked from any of these companies regarding this issue?? Seems like some would have incentive to leak stuff to put pressure on Comcast.

    IF you think it's just pay or HBO Go doesn't work on your device then how much money do you think they are extracting from Apple, MS and Samsung to allow HBO Go on those devices?

    It still doesn't add up.

    Maybe it's all about HBO. The fact they are keeping quiet about their HBO Go not being allowed on various devices by the leading cable company. They did fire their entire technical team in charge of HBO Go. Maybe their processes on various devices didn't meet the needs of Comcast.

    I'm not saying Comcast is 100% innocent. I just don't think the opposite either.
     
  19. JosephB

    JosephB Member

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    Actually, I have seen rumors from more than one source that indicates some of these device specific blocks have been because the MSOs (Comcast, DirecTV being the biggest offenders) have demanded payments or other concessions from the vendors of those devices (like Roku or Apple). It doesn't really have anything to do with Comcast being "cut out" of the chain because you still have to subscribe through them and have broadband, likely through them as well.
     
  20. trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

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    It might be a matter of support costs too. Who has to support these streaming boxes? I bet Comcast gets alot of calls for problems that have nothing to do with them.
     

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