Max Go

Sep 15 2012

News - Hulu Plus, MAX Go, and HBO GO for iOS Add Closed Caption Support, Hulu Plus Overhauled for Playstation 3

The big iOS news of the week may have been Apple's iPhone 5 announcement and the opening of the preorder floodgates, but some big names in the streaming media business have been sneaking around releasing updates to their apps. The Hulu Plus, MAX GO, and HBO GO iOS apps have all received updates to offer support for closed captions. That this feature is only just coming to these mobile apps surprises me, even leaving aside the obvious issue of accessibility for the hearing-impaired. For one thing, these companies already deal heavily in closed captioned content, Hulu on their website, and Cinemax and HBO through their cable channels, so the need for support in their apps should not have been a surprise. On top of that, watching streaming media on a mobile device seems far more likely to put one in a noisy situation where one would desire captions to supplement the audio. Hopefully the other mobile platforms will be seeing similar updates soon.

In a move that should please the hard of hearing and anyone trying to watch a video quietly sans-headphones, the Hulu Plus, HBO Go and Max Go apps for iOS devices have all recently been updated with support for closed captions. 



Hulu Plus on PS3

Hulu wasn't devoting all of their attention to their iOS app this week. The Hulu Plus iOS update comes with more than just closed captioning support, but it is not nearly as radical an update as the Playstation 3 got his week. The Hulu Plus app for the Playstation 3 received a significant overhaul that fundamentally changes the browsing interface, slims down and simplifies the playback controls, and offers improvements to search to make accessing results easier. The greater emphasis on artwork certainly helps to make the new interface pretty, as well.

We’ve implemented a tray-style format that allows you to scroll through recommendations based on your viewing history, or check out popular shows and movies, the top 100 clips on Hulu Plus, movie trailers and more. We’ve also included a “Shows You Watch” feature that highlights the content you regularly enjoy, and lets you jump straight to the latest episode.

Playstation Blog

Dec 20 2011

News - Cablevision Signs On with HBO Go and MAX Go

Time Warner Cable announced just a few days ago that they were going to start offering HBO Go and MAX Go access to their subscribers. Today, Cablevision announced that they too are going to start offering HBO Go and MAX Go to their subscribers. HBO will undoubtedly continue to pursue deals with the myriad regional and line-lease cable providers around the country, but Cablevision was the last of the major U.S. cable TV providers still holding out on HBO. Time Warner Cable's decision to sign on with HBO most likely played a role in Cablevision's decision given that the two companies vie for the same New England markets, particularly the highly lucrative New York market.


With Time Warner Cable and Cablevision on board, HBO Go is now available on all the major cable and IPTV operators, fulfilling the network’s quest to offer unfettered access to its content. HBO co-president Eric Kessler wrote in a statement that the service will soon be available to 98 percent of the network’s subscribers. 


HBO still has work ahead getting all of the cable companies to open access to HBO Go for over-the-top devices such as the Roku 2 and Xbox 360, and there is no word whether Cablevision will follow Comcast's lead in blocking device access, but this is another step in establishing HBO as a major streaming service that might compete with Amazon or Netflix. Cable companies have been reluctant to sign on with HBO Go because they fear that the streaming service might detract from the value of the cable channel that they depend on for a large part of their revenues, but the symbiotic nature of the HBO/cable TV relationship might ultimately make HBO an unlikely hero for the cable TV providers looking for a way to compete with pure streaming services such as Netflix without raising the ire of antitrust regulators.

Dec 16 2011

News - Time Warner Finally Embraces HBO Go and MAX Go


HBO's streaming service, HBO Go, has been one of the most talked about streaming services of the last couple of years and provides an example of the future of media streaming that other premium networks are looking to emulate, but if you were an HBO subscriber with Time Warner Cable, then you were left out in the cold. It would appear that TWC has had a change of heart as they have inked a deal with HBO that will bring HBO Go and MAX Go to TWC subscribers early next year. Unfortunately, the details of the announcement do not indicate whether TWC subscribers will be access HBO Go and MAX Go on devices such as the Roku. Other cable providers have inexplicably chosen to block HBO Go and MAX Go on devices, forcing users to rely on a browser for access. Hopefully TWC will buck the trend and put pressure on other cable providers to open up their pipes a bit wider.

Well that took interminably long. Time Warner Inc and Time Warner Cable havefinally inked a deal that will bring the much-anticipated streaming service to TWC HBO and Cinemax subscribers within the next month.


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