Anyone who has been paying even casual attention to television trends could sense some big changes coming. Cord-cutters are ditching cable packages left and right; streaming networks are letting people share passwords; in short, cable companies don’t have the same advantageous position that they once had with consumers.
Sensing the obviously shifting tides, a couple of major television networks are trying to demonstrate their viability in this new landscape, and it could signal some serious changes about the way consumers enjoy their TV.
Get CBS All Access & HBOGO Without A Cable Subscription
About HBO Now
Something like this has been in the offing for a while, and it looks like HBO has become the first pay TV channel to pull the trigger. With HBO Now, you’ll be able to get HBO without a corresponding cable package. It’s HBO a la carte.
Game of Thrones, Girls, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, all available to stream without paying for, you know, hundreds of other channels you don’t care about.
Best Routers for HBO Now & CBS All Access with VPN & VPN Routers
In fact, HBO Now is offering a 30 day trial via iTunes that you can get your Game of Thrones on for a month before paying one cent. Then the service will be $15 a month.
HBONow availability is limited to users in the US and users with US IP addresses.
So if you’re not in America (on business or traveling), you’re going to need VPN service with high-speed VPN services like IPVanish & NordVPN to get access to these streaming services by utilizing this service with an US IP address.
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About CBS All Access
Pros: Though they’ve got plenty of hugely popular shows to brag about, we wouldn’t have guessed CBS would have been the next in line to make a similar offer and show initiative here. But here they are, offering their own a la carte streaming service called CBS All Access letting you enjoy all your city-based variations of NCIS & CSI, The Good Wife, Elementary, and The Big Bang Theory without taking on a whole pricey cable package.
In the US CBS is available over the air as well for free but CBS All Access will allow streaming on demand the next day for new episodes after a show is on.
Pros: Previous and current episodes of all the top CBS shows will be available on demand plus a library of classic shows such as all the Star Treks such as the original Star Trek, Star Trek The Next Generation, Star Trek Deep Space Nine, as well as FlashRouter favorites MacGyver, Twin Peaks, The Twilight Zone, Mission: Impossible and Sabrina The Teenage Witch (we all have guilty pleasures!)
Streaming CBS All Access Cons: CBS All Access will not be offering live telecasts of most shows including their stable of sports events so if you thought you were getting all NFL games for $5.99, you are out of luck. You will be able to watch some awards shows and Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in their LIVE glory.
Now, Will Other Networks Follow Suit?
This news has already led to an onslaught of pieces speculating about the end of the conventional cable bill (a group this post admittedly falls into). As dyed-in-the-wool cord-cutters, we’re excited too, but before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s consider a few things…
For starters, just because it makes sense for HBONow and CBS to offer a web streaming service, doesn’t mean other, less popular channels are likely to follow suit. As we said above, HBONow has Game of Thrones and CBS has The Big Bang Theory, two of the most popular shows running. The impetus to get a little adventurous exists for them where a flailing network like NBC is likely to be more cautious.
Secondly, there are those that speculate that a purely a la carte cable package could end up costing you more than a regular cable package. Sure, you can pick your favorites and keep it relatively cheap, but you’ll be losing out on a lot the mid-range channels that you may not have realized bolster your viewing experience. But if the goal is to pay for only what you want, that dream seems to be getting closer and closer with these announcements.