Overchoice has become a very real problem in the 21st Century—and the decision to pick a streaming service to subscribe to is one of them.
With Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video amongst us, it can get overwhelming to pick which one to go with. You might even be inclined to choose the most popular option just because. HBO GO isn’t usually top of mind when we think of streaming services, but let’s give it a fair shot to see if it’s worth the subscription.
Here's Everything You Need To Know About HBO GO
Just a quick background: HBO GO has been available in the Philippines since 2019 as a standalone service. It’s the streaming home of Hollywood blockbusters.
What do we mean by standalone service? For a time, HBO GO was only available to viewers who had a cable subscription that included HBO, which limited the potential audience for the service as it was less accessible to cord-cutters who had already abandoned cable. This is why HBO GO isn’t as obvious a choice for a steaming service compared to what Netflix, Disney+, and Prime Video is to us today.
HBO GO will only cost P99 a month when you sign up for the 12-month plan at P1,190. Not ready for that kind of commitment? The one-month plan will cost P199, while the three-month plan will cost P399.
New subscribers can also enjoy a seven-day free trial that progresses into a full plan unless you change your mind.
Compared to Netflix’s monthly prices of P250 for its Basic Plan and P399 for its Standard Plan, HBO GO is the clear winner next to Amazon Prime Video’s P149 a month. Disney+ continues to be the outlier in price at P369 per month for its Premium Plan.
However, this low subscription cost comes at a price as well: it has limited content compared to its other competitors. If you’re in it for the range of choices, then HBO GO might not be the one for you.
Let’s get into the specifics. With one HBO GO subscription, you can register up to ten devices while streaming up to three devices at the same time, which is perfect for households with multiple people. Unlike services like Prime Video, HBO GO offers ad-free streaming across all of its subscription tiers.
Subscribers can also download up to 20 pieces of content, which will expire in 30 days if untouched or 48 hours if the content is played, whichever comes first.
This is where HBO GO loses: user interface. Some users find HBO GO’s interface to be less intuitive than Netflix’s, especially if you’ve gotten so used to the former. Still, what HBO GO offers is not too different from what is experienced when using Prime Video.
HBO GO can be accessed through various platforms, including the HBO GO app, as well as select cable and satellite providers.
Here’s where it matters: the battle of content, especially since many of the streaming services’ features and price points are too similar to one another to have a leverage. Whether or not HBO GO is worth the subscription cost is hinged on one’s personal preferences and viewing habits, so take note of what we’re about to say.
HBO GO offers a range of original content that cannot be found on other streaming services like The Last of Us, Euphoria, Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon, and Succession. More than that, it is also known for its premium content that many other streaming services can only wish for. Many of its titles are critically acclaimed, so it’s easy to see why viewers would gravitate to HBO GO even if its library is not as extensive as others.
Movies range from classic films to recent releases, too. Think Joker, Wonder Woman 1984, The Matrix, and The Lord of the Rings. Like other streaming services, HBO GO has also a dedicated section for children’s content, but with more known offerings like Sesame Street, Looney Tunes Cartoons, and Adventure Time.
What kind of entertainment you’re into will also play a big factor in this decision-making. Loyal to a certain genre? Then HBO GO might be for you. Most of HBO GO’s original content has a strong focus on drama and suspense, documentaries, and comedies as its most prominent genres. We see The Sopranos, True Blood, and The Wire for drama and suspense; The Vow, Tina, and The Crime of the Century for documentaries; Veep, Silicon Valley, and Curb Your Enthusiasm for comedies.
So how does HBO GO compare to other streaming services?
Let us throw the question back at you: are you about the quantity or the quality? Those who prefer the former might be better off sticking with Netflix and the rest of the bunch, but those who prefer the latter should subscribe to HBO GO right now.
The key here is the premium content it offers. It’s no longer enough to have original content like other streaming services—it has to feel and be certified as premium as well. The choice is yours. No matter what though, being a fan of HBO’s original content is a must to make the subscription feel worth it.
*This story originally appeared on Spot.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.
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