HBO Max

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by trip1eX, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. trip1eX

    trip1eX Well-Known Member

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    HBO Max is the combination of the HBO and Cinemax names into one. ;) I hadn't thought about it like that.

    Oh and based on what I read, nothing said outright that HBO Max will have all the Time Warner catalog or all the content from current TW channels.
     
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  2. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, you're right, I don't expect that they'll put the ENTIRE back catalog of shows and movies from the Warner Bros. vault on HBO Max, at least not all at once. If I were running it, I'd put a big, rotating selection, enabling me to make a splashy announcement every few months about another beloved old show or film debuting on there.

    As for the current shows airing on their basic cable channels -- TBS, TNT, TruTV, CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and Audience (heh) -- more than one source has indicated that we can expect most or all of that stuff to show up on HBO Max. From CNN, it'll only be their documentary films and docuseries, not their live news or talk shows. So stuff like "The '80s," "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," and the new Tom Hanks docuseries "The Movies".

    As for the Turner nets (TBS, TNT, TruTV), it's been reported that some shows may debut for streaming first on HBO Max before they broadcast on the linear network. I admit that I've read nothing specifically about new/current content from Cartoon Network, Adult Swim or Audience streaming on HBO Max but, c'mon, if they're doing it with their other more popular channels, why not?

    All of the films on TCM and much of the cartoons on Boomerang (Bugs Bunny, The Flintstones, Scooby Doo) are classic stuff from the WB vault, and we know some of it will definitely appear on HBO Max. Will the new series of Looney Tunes cartoons be on HBO Max in addition to the original stuff? We'll see. My hunch is yes.

    At any rate, I don't expect that the HBO Max app will include any live linear channels besides the 3 or 4 surviving HBO channels (HBO, HBO Family, HBO Latino, and maybe an "HBO Cinema" all-movie channel). So no live streams of TBS, TNT, CNN, etc. But I do believe that AT&T is very willing to cannibalize their basic cable linear channels by putting all their new/current season content inside HBO Max for on-demand streaming. If I had to guess, it'll contain pretty much all the stuff you see now if you use a cable login to unlock the TV everywhere apps for TBS, TNT, TruTV, Cartoon Network, and Adult Swim (in addition, of course, to HBO and Cinemax). Plus CNN docs/docuseries, and all the Audience stuff they already offer on-demand through all of AT&T's video platforms.
     
  3. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

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    I said basic. How about comparing apples and oranges. You just compared a bill that includes all premiums and probably some sports packages to a basic system.

    And if you get everything you want for $32, you are not what I call a typical tv watcher.
     
  4. astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Raconteur TCF Club

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    The target demo is eyeballs, and people who'll pay about $15/month for premium TV. Since they don't run ads, they don't have a demo in the usual sense. They want eyeballs and money.

    I disagree about HBO going downhill. They have, by far, the best shows on TV. And I watch a lot of TV. Their series, their mini-series, their docs, are head and shoulders above the rest. Not to say others don't have some great TV, but if you list the top series of the last [1][3][5] years, HBO has more than any other. Of the current series I'm watching, they have more than any other network (and I have Netflix, Amazon, SHO, Starz, C-Max, etc).
     
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  5. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    I think the target market historically for HBO has been middle-class and wealthier college-educated Americans aged 30+. It's always been the most expensive "premium" network, with the most cultural cachet. You hear a lot of folks online saying "HBO is done now that GoT is over" but I think those are *mostly* guys in their teens and 20s who, frankly, aren't part of the main target demo for HBO.

    That said, HBO Max is aiming to dramatically expand the demographics and taste profiles of the people it targets. Yes, they want to bring along all those folks who know and love HBO as it's always been. Casey Bloys remains the head of programming for HBO and, as he states, even though they're increasing HBO's output by about 50% this year, they've not greenlit anything that they wouldn't have done under HBO's traditional taste guidelines. So they're preserving the HBO brand which will remain as a "quality core" at the center of HBO Max. But outside of that, we're going to see a new set of "Max Originals" that will complement HBO programming by playing to different demos (think young adults and teens, especially females, kids, families watching together, etc.) in order to compete more effectively against Netflix. And then they'll add in all the current stuff from their basic cable channels (but without ads): TBS, TNT, CNN (docs/docuseries only), Cartoon Network, etc. And favorite old movies and TV shows from the Warner Bros. vault to binge on.

    Yes, to be honest, I've been more a fan of Showtime originals over the past few years than HBO's too, although, for my money, it feels like Showtime's well is starting to run a bit dry. I've been a paying subscriber to Showtime for years but dropped it a few months back but will pick it up again in a month or two. I can't wait for the final seasons of Homeland and The Affair coming up this year. Ray Donovan continues to be great, although I feel like it should wrap up in the next season or two. (The character arcs feel like they're reaching their end points.) Shameless shoulda wrapped up a year or so ago...I've yet to watch this past season and I can't believe they're even bothering to continue with the series without one of its two main stars. (BTW, it's a Warner Bros. TV production, so perhaps past seasons will jump from Netflix to HBO Max eventually.) I thought season one of Kidding was pretty good and look forward to more. I liked I'm Dying Up Here but that's over. They've had some great mini-series. I dropped out of Billions after the first couple of seasons. None of their other new stuff has grabbed me although there's always more on the way...
     
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  6. OrangeCrush

    OrangeCrush Active Member

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    You're confusing two different things. As was mentioned earlier in this thread, it can get quite expensive if you subscribe to a large number of streaming services at the same time, but that still compares favorably to many fully-loaded cable packages on offer.

    "Basic" cable is often a barely-advertised bundle of just OTAs and a few extras like CSPAN, but I assume you're referring to the standard tiers which includes what most people expect in a full cable package (ex. Spectrum's Select, Comcast's Starter, etc.)

    Spectrum Select costs around $70/mo (actually closer to $80 now, looking at the additional fees on the rate card). OTT services with similar lineups are in that ballpark too. But my point, which you completely missed, is that streaming services offer a level of customization that cannot be had from traditional multi-channel services. In my case, I don't care at all about live sports or 24-hour news networks and that saves me around $40/mo and I have access to far more on-demand shows & movies compared to what Spectrum offers. As I said, the value proposition is going to be different for everybody. For some, it makes sense to keep cable. For others, it makes more sense to drop it and piece together what they want from Internet services.
     
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  7. Joe3

    Joe3 Active Member

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  8. OrangeCrush

    OrangeCrush Active Member

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    It's worth mentioning that during the merger approval process, AT&T promised not to do exactly what they're doing right now. They explicitly promised not to rope off the Time Warner content on their own services and to keep it widely available. So they're reneging on that promise, not that I'm surprised. Shame it wasn't binding.
     
  9. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Well-Known Member

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    It's a matter of interpretation. They can argue that all of their content is still available on their cable channels through traditional cable channel bundles. Now if they start pulling their cable channels from Comcast and DirecTV, then they would probably be violating their merger obligations.
     
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  10. Joe3

    Joe3 Active Member

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    Nooo, it's not how you look at it. Unless, you think it's perfectly acceptable if you happen to catch your wife or husband one afternoon cheating on you in your own bed for them to say from under the sheets, " My dear don't get all worked up about this. Really, it's all how you look at it dear."

    There's a snarky little wink and nod between Congress and the billions of dollar Private interest sitting across from them at the merger hearings to the fact they are both lying through their teeth. And therefore, very much intend to use their increased power to bleed the unsuspecting American public's wallets dry like they did through cable. The one question that has been asked of TiVo in many different ways here has always been which side are you on?
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  11. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Should it be legal for Netflix to restrict their content so that it's only accessible inside their own app? Or should they be required to distribute it as a subscription package through other companies' UIs and billing systems, such as Prime Video Channels, or Apple TV Channels, or as an add-on tier to Xfinity cable TV, Spectrum cable TV, etc. with all the Netflix shows blended in with everything else?
     
  12. OrangeCrush

    OrangeCrush Active Member

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    Of course not (though I think they'd make more money if they did--I've long felt that making customers come to your app, your platform, etc. shrinks your potential customer base & leaves money on the table). But if Netflix had been the one to buy Time Warner and as a condition of getting approval for that promised not to lock away all the Time Warner content as Netflix exclusives, then they should absolutely be held to what they promised.
     
  13. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Well-Known Member

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    If the content is still available to you through other media outlets than just AT&T's own media outlet, then I don't really view it as a problem. It's hard for me to get too worked up over something as superficial as entertainment video content. There's honestly so much content out there and so many different ways to access it now that it feels kind of overwhelming.
     
  14. Joe3

    Joe3 Active Member

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    Yes, and this is why, TiVo. "If" TiVo finally gets its head out of its ass, the TiVo becomes the one aggregator to all customer subscriptions without getting into the subscriptions business. They do successfully what they are supposed to do best. One unified place to pick and watch. Use the greed of these companies against them by TiVo simplicity of feature and functionality.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  15. OrangeCrush

    OrangeCrush Active Member

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    It's a letter-of-the agreement vs. intent of the agreement thing, which irks me, but you're right--at the end of the day, it's just entertainment. I'm totally with you on feeling overwhelmed with all the different services and subscriptions and ways to get this or that show or movie or just to sit down and decide what we feel like watching tonight. I've said before, nobody cares and nobody wants to have to care whether something's on Netflix or Amazon or Hulu or Disney or CBS or one of AT&T's 57 stupid services or whether a particular show was owned by one studio and bought by another and licensed to ThisorThat Enterprises, Ltd. We're here for shows, not a history of mergers & acquisitions, and not everybody is going to get to be their very own Netflix and they're going to have to learn to work together again if they like having money.
     
  16. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Well, on the one hand, I agree with you. Video content is getting carved up into different services and I believe that most of the big ones will require you, as Netflix does, to enter their own app to watch the content you pay them for. Which isn't ideal.

    But I also believe that Apple is leading the way here with the TV app on their Apple TV streaming box. Basically everyone *except* Netflix chooses to cooperate (i.e. support two-way communication between their app and the Apple TV app). But that's on Netflix -- they kinda think they're the greatest thing ever and they seem to have a problem playing nice with the other children on the playground. (I think they might be humbled a bit in a couple years. We'll see.)

    What the Apple TV app does is give you one place to browse through a curated list of new, trending and recommended content from across a variety of popular apps, with an emphasis on the ones you have installed. And the best feature is a unified Up Next watchlist that keeps track of series and movies you want to watch. It knows right where you stopped watching in each series. And it knows where all of the content is located. Just click a title and it typically launches the appropriate app and starts the video stream. (In some instances -- mainly the Showtime app, IIRC -- it's taken me to the episode/movie title page inside the app and then I had to hit the play button to actually to start the stream. And for some reason, titles in the free Tubi app only launch the app rather than take you right to the title/stream inside the app. But I think that may be a temporary bug with that app.)

    I call the Apple TV app an "umbrella UI" because it's a content-centric UI that spans across lots of underlying apps. Very useful. The latest home screen for Android TV does something similar. The Roku Channel is evolving into being something similar and will probably one day serve as the new Roku home screen.
     
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