It was timely, having written my piece about live TV piracy, to then see this post from Fred Wilson about the HBO Go app on his iPad: “HBO No-Go“. In a nutshell, HBO’s new app does not support video over AirPlay – only audio. In fact, just about everything that is wrong with media companies’ mindsets at the moment can be summarised in these two paragraphs from his post:
In truth, the whole thing is messed up. HBO GO requires a cable account to use the service. I have a cable set top box connected to the TV I tried to Airplay to. I just prefer the navigation on the HBO GO app and its way easier to use than the set top box. Allowing me to Airplay HBO GO from my iPad to my TV isn’t going to make me cancel my cable subscription because I can’t get HBO GO without one.
So they break the product instead. It’s nuts. But I see big media doing this kind of thing all the time. And I just don’t get it.
Its worth pointing out btw, that using Navi-X on XBMC, it is possible to watch HBO and HBO Plus. The quality is pretty decent, too – and hey, I’m not even in the U.S.
I think if you reach a point where one of our more notable (and successful) VCs is baffled by the way in which companies like HBO run their business, those companies are in a very bad place indeed…