Apple Announces HBO Now and Lowers Price on AppleTV.

The good news is that the rumors about HBO Now were true:

Apple and HBO today announced HBO NOW is premiering next month [April 2015], making an HBO subscription available directly to Apple customers for the first time ever. iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV users can purchase HBO NOW directly in-app as a standalone service to watch every episode of every season of the best of HBO’s original programming, as well as the biggest and latest Hollywood hit movies, groundbreaking documentaries, sports and exclusive comedy specials—for just $14.99 a month.

This is good news, especially for those of you anticipating the upcoming premier of Game of Thrones season five. Hopefully some of this money will go towards solving HBO’s previous problems keeping up with video demand for Game of Thrones. However, there was some very small print at the bottom of the screen (and which isn’t mentioned in the press release): “HBO NOW is only accessible in the US and certain US territories. Some restrictions may apply.”

Assuming that Apple handles this the same way it handles other subscriptions, one big convenience of HBO Now will be the ability to cancel your HBO subscription without having to call your cable/satellite TV provider and sit through a “Retention Specialist” trying to convince you to keep it. So if you only want to keep it while Game of Thrones is on, that will be easier.

In related news, Apple had news about the AppleTV! But if that made you excited because you hoped they were going to update the AppleTV, or at least the user-interface, well, sorry. It’s not getting better, but it is going to be cheaper. It will now sell for $70 instead of $100. Which is a good price, but the AppleTV really looks outdated and clunky compared to the Roku and Amazon Fire TV.

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