The Spite of Comcast: HBO Go

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by wmcbrine, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. Aug 10, 2018 #1 of 112

    wmcbrine Well-Known Mumbler

    Aug 2, 2003


    Today, I thought I'd try activating HBO Go on my TiVos... couldn't quite remember why I hadn't before. Anyway, I add the app, get an activation code, and go to the web site to sign up. And there, after I tell them my provider is Xfinity (and they log me in automatically), I get a list of supported devices allowed by the provider... and the TiVo isn't on it.

    This isn't a technical limitation. Comcast does nothing to provide HBO Go, except to authorize it (and as an ISP). The app is already there on the TiVo, only awaiting activation. And it's not like Comcast has a blanket policy against HBO Go -- they allow it on most of the supported devices, including Apple TV, which I set up right after all this. They're specifically discriminating against TiVo, for a reason that I can only assume is pure spite.

    Of course, this mostly makes me want to cancel HBO with Comcast and pick it up some other way, e.g. via Amazon.
  2. Aug 10, 2018 #2 of 112

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    Apr 17, 2000
    It's always been this way. Speculation is that because all the HBO stuff is available via VOD, and Comcast offers a VOD app on TiVo, that's why they block it.
    jrtroo likes this.
  3. Aug 10, 2018 #3 of 112

    morac Cat God TCF Club

    Mar 14, 2003
    I doubt it has anything to do with the VoD app as Comcast has a history of blocking HBO Go on a number of platforms. It took years before it was available on Roku or PS3/PS4. It’s still not available on Android TV.

    My personal opinion is that Comcast wants devices manufacturers to pony up money to allow their devices access to HBO Go. That’s something smaller companies are less likely to do.

    The fact that Tivo has been suing Comcast lately for patent violations probably doesn’t help matters.
  4. Aug 10, 2018 #4 of 112

    mrizzo80 Well-Known Member

    Apr 16, 2012
    Does HBO VoD have ads? Does Comcast get a cut of the ad revenue? That would be motive to force users to use VoD.
  5. Aug 10, 2018 #5 of 112

    morac Cat God TCF Club

    Mar 14, 2003


    HBO VoD doesn’t have ads, but Comcast severely compresses it like they do the HBO channel itself.
  6. Aug 10, 2018 #6 of 112

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    Apr 17, 2000
    IDK it was just the prevailing theory when it was first discovered that HBOGo didn’t work on TiVo with Comcast. I think someone sent an email to support and they said something along the lines of "no big deal all HBO content is available VOD"
    krkaufman likes this.
  7. Aug 10, 2018 #7 of 112

    coopertwist New Member

    Jul 6, 2007
    Might be that Comcast hates Tivo. Awhile back I thought that Comcast would have bought Tivo for just the patents alone, but in the latest court drama they claim all of Tivo patents they hold are obsolete.
  8. Aug 10, 2018 #8 of 112

    jcrandall Member

    Feb 8, 2017
    If it’s any consolation, Directv also does not authenticate HBO GO for Tivo. I have Now but I believe the regular servic3 also doesn’t.
  9. Aug 10, 2018 #9 of 112

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Not exactly Tivo related, but we were able to authorize HBO Go on Apple TV at a friend's house last night.. also on Comcast.. I swear I had tried that (on Apple TV, at my house, same county) in the past and comcast/xfinity wasn't listed..???? This was after I had gone on a rant saying "Xfinity didn't allow HBO apps to be authorized on any directly-connecting-to-TV devices".. (It still would have been faster to just go to Xfinity on demand from the Tivo we were originally watching..)

    so did it change recently, at least regarding Apple TV?
  10. Aug 10, 2018 #10 of 112

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    Apr 17, 2000
    I think most of TiVo's patents are expiring. Most of them are from 1998-1999 so they expire this year or next.

    Although TiVo might have had a case if Comcast was using them while the patents were still valid.
  11. Aug 10, 2018 #11 of 112

    morac Cat God TCF Club

    Mar 14, 2003
    Apple TV was one of the first few devices that Comcast authorized HBO Go on along with Xbox. Both of those devices are owned by very large companies.
  12. Aug 11, 2018 #12 of 112

    mahermusic Deadlines Amuse Me

    Mar 11, 2003
    HBO Go never worked on my TiVos when I had Comcast as my cable video supplier. In order to see any HBO Go programming, you had to go through the clunky Xfinity TiVo app. It was all there, but YIKES! What a horrible app to deal with!!
  13. Aug 11, 2018 #13 of 112

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    Not quite true. I usually search for Comcast OnDemand content through TiVo's search and then play it directly from there (ie not having to go through the app to search and find content). Limits your interaction with the app. :)

  14. Aug 11, 2018 #14 of 112

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2015
    Yep, this is just Comcast being, uh, Comcastic. But there's really no reason to put up with their horse****. You have multiple options when it comes to subscribing to HBO (and Showtime and Starz) and all of those other options will give you better HD picture quality than what you're getting from Comcast.

    If you have Amazon Prime, then adding HBO via Amazon Channels is probably the best option. Their PQ is better than if you watch in the HBO Now or Hulu apps (or at least that used to be the case). Then you could watch HBO inside the Prime Video app on TiVo.

    Couple of trade-offs, though. One, TiVo's OnePass system probably doesn't support HBO as an add-on within the Prime Video app. But OnePass does support HBO as a linear channel from Comcast. So no more keeping track of HBO series in your main DVR queue. Two, you'll lose access to the HBO linear channels on your TiVo, which could be a bummer if you're into live shows like Bill Mahr, John Oliver and boxing. (Stuff that broadcasts live on HBO typically takes hours until it's available for on-demand streaming.) Also, I'm not sure whether HBO content in the Prime Video app has 5.1 audio or not. It may vary by device. (I'm sure Fire TV supports it if any device does.)

    If you happen to have a Fire TV stick/box, then you could use that to watch the live linear HBO channels. They added a live guide for Amazon Channels back at the start of the year.
  15. Aug 11, 2018 #15 of 112

    ajwees41 Well-Known Member

    May 7, 2006
    cox customers have access too both, so that's not a reason.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  16. Aug 11, 2018 #16 of 112

    schatham Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2007
    Makes more sense for HBO Now to be on Tivo than HBO Go.
  17. Aug 12, 2018 #17 of 112

    chiguy50 Well-Known Member

    Nov 9, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    One more potential trade-off that you did not mention: Comcast TV subscribers can often get HBO (and/or Cinemax, SHO & STARZ) added to their service for free or only $1 or $2 a month each as a promotional or limited-time contractual rate. It is otherwise very rare to find a significant discount for the premium channels.

    The only drawback is that you must renegotiate the rate at the end of the promotional or contractual term. But the cost savings can be very substantial over time, amounting to hundreds or even thousands of dollars. That makes Comcast's inferior video quality a bit easier to swallow.
  18. Aug 12, 2018 #18 of 112

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    Columbia, MD
  19. Aug 12, 2018 #19 of 112
  20. Aug 12, 2018 #20 of 112

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2015
    Yes. I currently have HBO added to my Hulu subscription at a discounted $5 per month promo rate for six months (and $5 is the regular monthly rate for HBO when added to DirecTV Now).

    Cable and satellite companies often do offer premium channels for free or at discounted rates for awhile if you ask but then the regular prices kick in and you have to try to haggle for it again. Some people don't mind the repeated ritual of cable TV haggling. Some do.

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