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HBO Go gives mobile users a way to watch the network's premium programming while on the go. And the best thing about it is that it comes at no extra cost if you already subscribe to HBO through your cable service provider. What's more, the app is easy to use and has an attractive interface, particularly on tablets.
To get started with HBO Go, you must first log in to your cable service provider account through the app. Not every provider is supported, so be sure to check to see if yours is listed under the drop-down menu. Unfortunately, if your provider is not supported, you'll have to wait until HBO updates the app, as there's no way to get around the issue otherwise.
Once you're in, finding content to watch on HBO Go is a snap with the app's several browsing options. First, the app opens up to featured content, which includes new and/or popular programming. If you don't find anything interesting on this page, you can browse HBO's lineup by category. Choices include Movies, Series, Comedy, Sports, Documentaries, and Late Night. Within a category, you can then sort by featured content, title, genre, or collection. If you already know what you're looking for, just fire up the search tool at the top of the screen.
When you find a program that interests you, click through to get more detailed information. The Info page gives you a description, total run time, rating, a cast list, and an Available Until date (movies and other HBO programs often expire). There are also options to watch a short preview of the program, add it to your Watchlist, or share show info through Facebook or Twitter.
Similar to a Netflix queue, HBO Go's Watchlist lets you keep track of any programs you plan on watching later. There is no limit to the number of items you can have on your Watchlist, and the items will remain until you delete them or until they are no longer available on HBO. The Watchlist even remembers where you left off on your last watched program, so you can pick up right where you left off, no matter what device you're on.
HBO Go's Sound quality is great, while its video quality is a little less so. That isn't to say that video quality is poor, but rather that there is some room for improvement. In fact, the preview stills are often stunning, which can be misleading, considering the level of graininess that you'll sometimes encounter. That said, video quality is still relatively high. It would also be nice to able to toggle between different video quality settings, according to the type of connection and device you have.
One thing I love about the app is HBO Go's Series Pass feature. When enabled, the app will automatically deliver every new episode of your favorite shows to your Watchlist. And of course, these additions sync to your account and are viewable across all devices.
Overall, HBO is a must-have for HBO subscribers and premium programming fanatics. While it could use a bit of help in the video quality department, that shortcoming is no reason to pass on this free app for viewing all of your favorite HBO shows.