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At Launch, HBO NOW is No GO

The past 7 days is so chock full of tech-related news, like Gigaom’s closure or updated Chromebox Pixel, feels like a year has passed since Apple announced the new MacBook and exclusive distribution of streaming service HBO NOW. I don’t know what the device maker paid for the privilege, but big benefits belong to it. I wonder: What made HBO executives think that the service benefits by tying its early destiny to a single platform during telecast of the popular Game of Thrones series?

Particularly for cord-cutters who don’t have Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, or iPod and want GoT Season 5 the choice is simple: Buy ATV for 69 bucks or spend more on another device capable of running HBO’s iOS app—or steal! On March 10, 2015, my colleague Alan Buckingham, who owns no fruit-logo products and cord-cuts, wrote that he might get the streaming box. I asked if he really plans to buy Aople TV. “I likely will”, he says. 
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Cox Flex Watch Temps Me More

Anywhere from two to three times a week, Cox sends offers to join Flex Watch, which would add $19.99 to my $59.99 Internet service. The cable company guarantees the price for 12 months—no contract—and would provide HD set-top box with access to local networks and some premium, subscription channels. Last year’s offer: HBO and Starz. Last month’s adds Encore. This week, Cox sweetens by tempting with Cinemax and Flix for just $5 more.

The HD box and local channel access doesn’t tempt the slightest. Cox would have to rewire our setup to enable access from the living room, but I’m a believer in the “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” approach to networking. I’ve got 120Mbps Internet pumping down to the bedroom, where there is no TV, and don’t want to risk mucking up what we’ve got. But I am tempted to pay $19.99, or $24.99, for the subscription channels and stream to the tellie content in their apps—which I find offer better experience and more options. But does that cross the line? Is it still cord-cutting? 
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The Day HBO GO is Stand-alone Subscription, I’m Done with Cable

Against the background noise of ridiculous Apple rumors, television ambitions are constant. Apple wants to be a TV network, will build a flat-screen industry-changer, or soon will release stunning new set-top box. Sources are vague; days, months, and years pass devoid of the next big thing.

Today, Aaron Pressman (@ampressman) tweets story: “Apple’s Promised TV Revolution Will Be More Of The Same Crap, Thanks To Terrified Cable & Broadcast Executives” by Karl Bode for TechDirt. My reply: “They should be scared. The day HBO GO is stand-alone subscription, I’m done with cable forever”.
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