HBO NOW review

HBO NOW highlights

HBO NOW review

If you’re a fan of gripping dramas and thrilling mysteries like Chernobyl, Game of Thrones and Westworld, then HBO NOW is where it’s at. With an extensive collection of currently-airing original productions as well as well-loved classics, it’s no surprise that this HBO streaming service is among the most popular choices out there. It’s a great way to catch your favorite shows and movies if you don’t have a cable subscription. 

It closed the first year of its launch in 2015 with over 800,000 subscribers. And with an ever-expanding content library, HBO NOW has continued to win the hearts of viewers. By February 2019, it had amassed around 8 million users—a 3 million increase from the previous year.  

An overview of the HBO NOW plan

HBO NOW
Monthly price$14.99/mo.
Free trial length7 days
Number of titles1,000+
Number of simultaneous streams3
Cloud DVR storageNone
Offline watching availableYes

How much is HBO NOW compared to other competitors?

At $14.99/mo., HBO NOW is slightly pricier than other streaming services such as CBS All Access and Hulu, which both start at $5.99/mo. But both of these entry-level plans include ads, while HBO NOW doesn’t.

Why HBO NOW may be the right streaming service for you

The service’s premium on-air originals are enough to convince some viewers to subscribe. With that said, the content selection may be a bit lackluster for some, making it perfect as an add-on to another service rather than a standalone option. For instance, if you add HBO to Hulu, you get access to HBO NOW for a much richer content library.

User experience

HBO NOW offers viewers plenty of flexibility, with the ability to stream content through computer gaming consoles, mobile devices or TVs. It provides excellent streaming quality across all devices with short loading times and minimal freezing. On that note, however, HBO NOW doesn’t allow High Dynamic Range (HDR) streaming or support 4K videos, so you won’t get optimum viewing quality on supported devices.

While the HBO NOW app interface is clean and simple to navigate, there’s scope for improvement to enhance the overall user experience.

The layout encourages content discovery with promoted movies and shows front and center. But the option to view videos by series is hidden away in the additional menus section of the HBO NOW app. This makes it harder for viewers to quickly find specific shows that they want to watch.

Device compatibility

HBO NOW is compatible with the following devices:

  • Amazon Fire tablets
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Android phones and tablets
  • Android TV
  • Apple TV
  • Browser – Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge and Safari
  • Chromecast
  • iPhone/iPad/iPod touch
  • PlayStation 4
  • Roku
  • Samsung Smart TV
  • Xbox One

HBO NOW features

Although HBO NOW currently doesn’t allow video downloads for offline viewing, it compensates for that with a few standout features.

Enjoy premium shows and movies

The huge collection of original productions and exclusive content is perhaps the most attractive element of this HBO streaming service. Get access to currently airing shows like Mrs. Fletcher and Westworld as well as classics like The Wire.

Look forward to new content every week

The HBO streaming service keeps things fresh with new movies every week, so you never run out of options.

Stream on multiple devices at a time

You can also stream HBO NOW simultaneously on multiple devices as long as you’re connected to your home Wi-Fi network. The company doesn’t specify how many devices you can use at a time. HBO will notify you if and when you exceed the acceptable number of simultaneous streams.

Cancel at any time

HBO NOW gives you the option to cancel your subscription at any time. Just make sure you submit a request one or two days before the next billing cycle so you don’t get charged. Even if you cancel your subscription in the middle of the month, you can still stream videos until your monthly billing cycle ends.

What to watch on HBO NOW

HBO NOW has a huge selection of movies and shows across various categories, including documentaries, drama, comedy and sports. Check out some of the most popular and highly-rated recommendations like Barry, Chernobyl, Game of Thrones, The Larry Sanders Show, The Sopranos, Watchmen and Westworld.

The takeaway

If you’re a fan of HBO originals and want unlimited access to its classic shows and currently-airing content, this streaming service is worth the investment. For those who only see HBO productions as a good-to-have option instead of a requirement, it’s better to invest in other streaming services like Hulu or Amazon Prime. And remember, you always have the option to get it as an add-on channel to your existing plan if you change your mind.

Jacqueline Zote

Jacqueline Zote is a digital marketing and entertainment writer who makes regular contributions to Sprout Social and Recreation Insider. Her interests range from pop culture and mythology to social activism. When she’s not writing, she goes on food adventures and binges on crime drama. Her short fiction has been published by HarperCollins Publishers and Zubaan Books.