Before Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video, there was HBO. The premium channel had already been churning out high-quality content, including original shows, for years before the streaming set came along. HBO pioneered the Golden Age of TV back in the 1990s and 2000s. And when its streaming brethren came along, HBO didn't miss a beat: it made its service available to stream online through a variety of different streaming services, including its own standalone subscription offering, HBO NOW. So what is HBO NOW? How is it different from HBO GO or getting HBO as part of Amazon Channels? Here's what you need to know about HBO NOW.

What Shows and Movies Are on HBO NOW?

HBO NOW offers on-demand streaming of all things HBO. That means popular movies in HBO's streaming library, which tends toward new releases and critical gems. It also means HBO's acclaimed original series, including modern hits like Game of Thrones and classic titles like The Sopranos.

What can you watch on HBO Now? What shows are HBO Now? Game of Thrones, for one!
Love Game of Thrones? Then check out HBO NOW

HBO's streaming catalog is relatively lean when you compare it to that of streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon (and, for that matter, free streaming champ Tubi TV). But HBO's catalog is full of really high-quality stuff. Its movie selection includes fresh hits that were just recently in theaters, and HBO tends to go for exclusive streaming rights deals that mean HBO's movies can be watched only on HBO (unless you want to buy them, of course). And if you're a TV buff, then you know that HBO's original series are second to none. While the competition has certainly put out plenty of good stuff, HBO is sitting on all-time-great TV shows like The Wire. Here are some of the highlights.

Shows

  • Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • Entourage
  • Flight of the Conchords
  • Game of Thrones
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
  • Oz
  • Silicon Valley
  • The Sopranos
  • True Detective
  • Veep
  • Westworld
  • The Wire

Movies

  • Blade Runner 2049
  • The Shape of Water
  • Game Night
  • Wonder Woman

What Devices Can I Use to Watch HBO NOW?

HBO Now - Roku Streaming Stick+
Roku devices are just one of many options you have for watching HBO NOW

HBO NOW is HBO's standalone streaming service, which makes it a little different from HBO GO (more on that later). But one thing that HBO NOW has in common with HBO GO, as well as with the other big-time streaming services, is that it is available on a whole lot of devices.

You can download the HBO NOW app on your mobile device. You can also get it on most streaming platforms and streaming devices, making it easy to watch HBO NOW on your big screen. And HBO NOW works in your browser, as well, so you can always just watch HBO NOW on your computer if that's what you'd prefer.

Here's a handy list of the platforms that work well with HBO NOW:

Streaming Platforms and Devices

  • Android TV
  • Apple TV
  • Chromecast
  • Fire TV
  • Roku

Mobile devices

  • Android
  • iOS (iPhones and iPads)

Video game consoles

  • PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4
  • Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Other

  • In-browser app (for PC, Mac, and other computers)
  • Samsung Smart TVs

How Much Does HBO NOW Cost?

HBO NOW is the most direct way to subscribe to HBO. It's HBO's own streaming service, and you can sign up for it on your computer or other favorite streaming device.

HBO NOW costs $14.99 per month.

That's the same amount as you would pay to get HBO in most other ways. For instance, subscribing to HBO through Amazon Channels costs $14.99 as well, and adding HBO to your Sling TV skinny bundle subscription costs $15 per month.

But what if you already pay for HBO? Maybe you HBO through Sling TV already, or have it through (gasp!) a cable or satellite subscription. Does this mean you can use HBO NOW for free?

Not quite: HBO actually has two different apps. HBO NOW is for direct subscriptions. There's another, separate app – HBO GO – for those who are already paid HBO subscribers. If you already have HBO through another pay TV service, you can enter login information to confirm that with HBO GO and then watch HBO online free (or, perhaps more accurately, HBO online at no additional charge) using HBO GO.

So, to recap: if you don't have HBO, you can sign up through HBO NOW and stream HBO on HBO NOW. If you already have HBO, then you can use a pay TV login to stream your subscription in HBO GO. Got all that?

Deals on HBO NOW

HBO is great, but getting it for less is ever greater. So is there a way to get HBO NOW on the cheap?

Well, there's always the free trial. You can try out HBO NOW for free for a week before you have a pay a dime. That's plenty of time to catch up on some of your favorites.

Other than that, sales on HBO NOW are pretty rare. But we'll keep you posted here on Cordcutting.com, and we'll also give you more general tips for getting HBO affordably. For instance, did you know that DirecTV Now charges less for its HBO add-on than competitor skinny bundles do? It's true!

Getting an HBO NOW Free Trial

If that HBO NOW free trial has got you excited, we've got you covered. Here's how to sign up for HBO NOW.

HBO NOW is HBO's direct subscription app, so you can sign up for the service right there in the app. If you've never been a customer before, you'll be signed up for a week-long free trial offer first. If you cancel at any time during the trial, you won't be charged. So hope on your mobile device or click this link to sign up for HBO NOW's free trial.

If you go to sign up for HBO NOW online, HBO will just tell you to go sign up on a device (though you can still click that link for a quick recap of which devices can be used to sign up for – and use – HBO NOW).

HBO NOW Contracts

Those of us who are used to getting HBO through cable may be having nightmares right now about long-term contracts and cancellation fees. Fear not: HBO NOW is a whole lot more like Netflix and Hulu than it is like cable or satellite.

When you sign up for HBO NOW, you're signing up for a month-to-month service. Whenever you cancel, your subscription will terminate at the end of the current pay period.

So if you cancel the day before your subscription would auto-renew, your cancellation will happen pretty quickly. If you cancel the day after you pay for a whole new month, then you will have HBO NOW through the end of that month (and won't get that month's fee back). The most you're on the hook for at any given time is a single month's payment.

How to Cancel HBO NOW

Canceling HBO NOW can be a bit trickier than canceling some other services. That's because HBO NOW generally requires you to cancel your subscription on whatever platform you used to sign up for it.

HBO NOW allows you to sign up for just HBO and to stream HBO on HBO's own app (which is called HBO NOW, of course). But it's not always billed to you directly by HBO. If you sign up for HBO NOW on your iPhone, for instance, HBO will bill you through your Apple account. To cancel HBO NOW, you have to use your iOS device.

Generally speaking, canceling HBO NOW will require you to navigate into the settings of your device – we're talking the general device settings, here, not just the settings within the HBO NOW app – and then find your subscriptions settings and cancel HBO NOW there. For detailed instructions for iPads and iPhones, check out our piece on how to cancel HBO NOW on iOS.

All About HBO NOW

HBO NOW has a lot to offer, which is why we talk about it pretty often right here on Cordcutting.com. Check out our coverage for more on HBO NOW, plus everything you need to know about HBO GO, other ways to subscribe to HBO, HBO originals, and HBO in general. Type “HBO” into our search bar or click on the related stories on this page for more.