Opposite

HBO GO. HBO WAIT. HBO CRASH. HBO REBOOT.

HBO GO is one of the coolest video content apps ever and I want to throw it out the window. The interface is perfect, the content is HBO so its the best around. And this app has access to almost EVERYTHING (or everything good) that HBO has ever made. The problem is... without a super strong wifi signal it crashes repeatedly. Unfortunately a lot of my iPad watching is done where there is only a moderately strong wifi connection. So in one episode of The Wire, I will crash and reboot the program 5 times. I'm not into punishment, I'm really not, any other app would be toast after that kind of treatment. But HBOs content is so good I forget all the problems the second the show is back up. The second Omar is toting his shotgun into a dealers reup house (If you watch The Wire you know what I'm talking about), I've completely forgotten all the pain the app has caused. The pain comes in many different forms: Sometimes the menus all disappear, sometimes it just freezes, sometimes it switches to an audio only stream, sometimes it says "the video is not available now!" What!!! Is The Wire taking a bathroom break? I must have a lot of love for HBO to get treated this way and keep coming back for more.

I suspect the core issue with HBO GO, and the thing that is causing this crashing pain is that HBO is a content creator getting in the business of digital distribution. They should stick to making awesome shows and not try to make awesome apps. Netflix, master of video distribution, runs like a dream no matter how weak my wifi is. Netflix has figured out a way to calibrate the video stream to match my connection strength perfectly. Which is awesome and would absolutely trounce the HBO app except for the fact that I can't stream The Wire on Netflix. HBO won't let them stream their content. So, advantage moves back to HBO GO, begrudgingly.

It didn't take much of a search to find that a lot of HBO fans are currently having the same issues and there are also a lot of fans that are having no issue at all. I suppose if they know their content is so good and they have exclusive distribution then HBO can kind of ignore these issues without fear of reprisal. Yeah I may complain now and feel the pain when they crash during a show's climax. But instead of cursing HBO as a show freezes up yet again, I pray this next reboot will get me to the end of episode 8.

Categories: Apps Culture iPad

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