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HBO joins Roku Channel, so you don't have to open HBO's own app unless you want to

Adding HBO means you could finish Game of Thrones and flip to a Showtime or Epix show without changing apps.

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Roku has added HBO, one of most popular streaming channels in the US, to its devices' Roku Channel, the company said Thursday, 

The Roku Channel gathers your subscriptions in one app and personalizes recommendations across them and a library of free stuff, so you can stream programming from several different services without having to switch between apps. 

The Roku Channel is also what Roku users can expect their home screen to become one day. Roku, the most popular streaming-TV player in the US, has stuck with its distinctive grid of channel tiles since 2013. But the company is planning to replace its home screen with a different interface, and it's using the Roku Channel as its sandbox to develop it. 

For now, the addition of HBO means people can sign up for HBO's streaming service with their Roku account. And anybody who is a subscriber can search and watch HBO shows and movies from The Roku Channel app. You could switch from watching Game of Thrones to a program on Showtime or a free movie without having to flip to different app. (Note: Showtime is owned by CBS, the parent company of CNET.)

In what's probably not a coincidence, Roku's announcement comes days before the start of season 8 of Game of Thrones, HBO's runaway hit, for its last season.

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