HBO’s new deal, means more of the same

Speaking of TV … In what’s being seen as a very strategic maneuver, HBO has re-upped it’s contract with Universal to ensure it maintains exclusive access to the content – through 2022!

So what does this likely mean for us, the consumer? I’d say more of the same. No way to access HBO beyond extending your MSO relationship. Our household isn’t quite ready to cut the cord, though we certainly find plenty “over the top.”

I suppose things would be radically different if we didn’t have to authenticate first on things like the XBox where Cablevision has yet to cut a deal. We can connect the ESPN application which is quite solid, but there’s no way to add in additional content really beyond the usual sources like Netflix etc and that’s not replacing even the moderately poor TV the family enjoys. Without being able to watch Bravo, I’m never convincing the wife there are alternatives.

Is online streaming worth the same as you’d pay for cable?

I don’t think so but it looks like HBO and Neflix do according to a survey that’s being sent around to some Netflix streaming customers.  According to the survey, you’d get access to watch HBO original series and movies streamed to your computer or TV (via netflix set top box).

I’ve yet to see a an interent stream come through at the same quality level as my HD signal which would be the bar for me if the price was the same.  Sure there’s a bit of additional flexibility to use many more devices, but you’d also be sacrificing the ability to use your DVR.  On demand somewhat offsets that need, but the playback controls you get with a recorded program are considerbly greater than with the typical tv show streamed – using hulu as an example.  It’s possible that there would be some different rules to apply here, though given the parallel pricing proposed, I’m betting not.