Monday, April 8, 2013

Cable channel HBO issues update to its streaming app HBO GO, update adds AirPlay multitasking capability

The big subscription cable channel HBO has today issued an update for its universal iOS app, HBO GO. The update adds a pretty cool new feature, AirPlay multitasking.

Basically it works like this: before the update you could stream movies and shows from the HBO GO app to an Apple TV, but if you wanted to do anything else with the iPhone, iPod touch or iPad you'd have to stop streaming. Now, the stream won't be ended if you decide to pop open the browser and check out exactly who that actor is you're seeing on the TV.

For most TV cable owners who subscribe to HBO, the idea of streaming programming to their own TV seems rather absurd as HBO offers its own on-demand channel. But if you are traveling and want to stream a movie onto a friend's TV, the app comes in handy. Now it is even better.

Last month HBO's Chief Executive Richard Plepler said that the service may soon offer its content via ISPs, something I'm sure many cable companies would not be happy about. The cost would be an extra $10 or $15 added to the cost of a consumer's Internet fees. "We would have to make the math work," Plepler said, according to Reuters. As more and more consumers decide to cut their TV cable cords, the dream of ala cart pricing for television services seems to be slowing becoming a reality.