Help me watch HBOGo on my TV
January 18, 2015 8:31 AM   Subscribe

I have a Sony Bravia TV hooked up to a Playstation 3 which is my main media box. There is now an HBO Go app for the PS3. Yay! But, as a Comcast subscriber, I cannot activate the app on my PS3. Boo. Beyond donating more money to Net Neutrality causes how can I, with the equipment I already own, most easily get HBOGo content to my TV?

My internet and cable come through Comcast (switching is not a viable option for internet in my area). I have Comcast XFinity TV Basic Service (at a cost of $11.60/mo) and have added HBO for $10/month (Winter is Here, Game of Thrones is Coming, etc.)

I own the following equipment:
  • Sony Bravia TV
  • Comcast barebones digital cable box -- no X1 or DVR options
  • Playstation 3
  • iPad 2
  • Unreasonably expensive iPad-->HDMI cable
  • Ouya
Right now, the options I can think of involve hooking up the iPad to the HDMI, or using Airplay through the Ouya. I'd really prefer not to have to have the iPad be a necessary part of my viewing pathway though (battery life, cord management, what if I want to check my email while watching, etc.)

I don't want to buy a Roku or AppleTV. I would consider maybe buying a Chromecast.

I will only be pursuing legal options here, but I'll admit curiosity about what the not-so-legal options might be (besides trading HBOGo ids with someone who has DirectTV).
posted by sparklemotion to Technology (8 answers total)
I had a similar issue; I would say your cheapest legal answer is Chromecast.
posted by jozxyqk at 8:55 AM on January 18, 2015

Yep, Chromecast is your answer.... access HBOgo on your computer on the Chrome browser, hit the chromecast button...done.... legal, easy, fairly cheap....

OK...on preview...looks like you don't have a computer... this won't work..
posted by HuronBob at 9:08 AM on January 18, 2015

Response by poster: I do have computers (windows desktop, various laptops). Just not one that's integrated into my media center at all so I left them off of the list.

Looks like Chromecast it is, as obnoxious as it is to need to purchase yet another piece of equipment.
posted by sparklemotion at 9:15 AM on January 18, 2015

We have Chromecast and it's great. $35 is a small price to pay to get the wonderful shit on the internet to play on your TV.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:23 AM on January 18, 2015

If you really don't want to buy another device, you might want to wait a few months - according to this, HBO may be launching its standalone streaming service in time for the upcoming season of Game of Thrones. Which would mean you could cancel your Comcast HBO subscription.
posted by seymourScagnetti at 9:27 AM on January 18, 2015

We tried to do this same thing last year -- get the HBOGo app activated on one of our many devices where the app is available -- and were 100% unsuccessful, after no fewer than six phone calls to Comcast customer service. Before you buy a Chromecast, verify that you can even activate the HBOGo site on your computer. We could not, instead got endlessly redirected to Comcast's streaming media site. Good luck.
posted by trunk muffins at 10:14 AM on January 18, 2015

god i got so angry at this with my samsung smart tv, which has the app, but is blocked out by comcast.

the first thing i'd try before i bought ANYTHING is sideloading the hbogo app onto the ouya. get the apk here, then in developer on the ouya it gives you various options to load an APK(visit a page in a browser on your pc is the easiest).

That _might_ not work, but i bet it will. The app might be really made for touch screens, but the touch pad on your ouya controller should let you move the "mouse" around and kludge your way through it.

If that doesn't work(i sold my ouya, and didn't try it before i did), do whats said above and verify it can work in the browser on a pc.

If it does, my next recommendation wouldn't be a chromecast, but selling the ouya and buying an amazon firetv, the big one, not the stick. It supports everything the ouya does, officially has hbogo(which wasn't blocked for me!), AND supports all the unofficial apps the ouya does with a much more powerful CPU/GPU/more ram/etc(AND NO ANNOYING FAN WOOOOOOOO).

I'd still recommend the smaller firetv stick over the chromecast. It comes with a remote, and doesn't require a second device to control it. It also has hbogo.

I don't have the chromecast, i just get annoyed with the second device thing sometimes. And you can still airplay/chromecast to a firetv/firetv stick with an app install or some mild hacking.

Especially since you didn't want to use the ipad though, yea, firetv or firetv stick. I paid ~$50 for my firetv, and the stick has gone as low as $20. Hunt around for a deal.
posted by emptythought at 4:26 PM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

re: emptythought's suggestion, looks like Comcast also doesn't yet support the FireTV's HBOGO app, though Amazon is supposedly negotiating with Comcast for that. Not sure how much stock to put in that based on how long it took for Roku support to be approved (3 years) and the continuing lack of PS3 or Samsung TV support, though.

FWIW, Chromecast + the iOS app works great.
posted by cammimmac at 11:24 PM on January 18, 2015

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