Why HBO on Apple TV sucks

But  to get rid of HBO is easier said than done.

HBO and Apple taste no good

HBO and Apple taste no good

Contrary to Netflix policy of reaching the viewer everywhere, HBO has made a very strange decision to make it extremely hard to let you watch their online service, in some contries called HBO Go, on TV.  For some reason HBO is not available on Apple TV and Samsung has so far had the TV viewers exclusively. HBO promised to fix that by adding airplay support to their Ipad/Iphone apps.

I tried HBOs streaming app for two months on my Ipad in combination with Apple TV. When the app finally got Airplay support, it sucked. It only worked in mirror mode outside the app itself. The player stopped, and the play symbol often disappeared. The user interface is not intuitive and the video quality is poor. Because of the mirror mode only a small part of my TV shows the content and that is  just not satisfying. So after a two months free trial period I decided to cancel HBO and go with Netflix who actually delivers full quality both through Airplay and on the Apple TV as an app, not to forget their superior PS3 interface.

John Doman in Borgia with  letterboxes on HBO

John Doman in Borgia with letterboxes on HBO

Jeremy Irons in The Borgias in full screen on Netflix

Jeremy Irons in The Borgias in full screen on Netflix*

But HBO refused to let me cancel. Since I canceled past midnight after the day the trial period ended, I was a forced customer the next full year. I guess I should have read the instructions better, but appealing to reason or good customer relations, was no use with HBO´s customer service personell. Nor their bosses.

Since they refused to let me off the hook on a technicality, I decided  would try to fight back with technicalities. Searching throught the consumer laws I found that I could cancel the agreement because of significant deficiencies in the service.  Not a technicality, but hard to prove that all the trouble I had with HBO on my ipad was reason enough to cancel.  And alas, HBO did not agree to the Ipad issues being deficiencies. They claimed they had deliverd airplay as promised. They did not want to give me any technical support on the iPad but suggested I should use a computer instead.

Then I found a sentence in the law saying I should have gotten a form which states that I can cancel the agreement within 14 days. I got the form, but the law specifically said I had to get it if with the details filled in, and that the form should be in the hand of the  consumer. If not the period the deal can be canceled is extended to three months. Since HBO just sent me a a link to a standard form, I think I have got my technicality.

HBO still have not canceled my subscription, but the local consumer burau is on the case.

* To add to the confusion about two Borgia/The Borgias series, it seems like Netflix has bought the Showtime  version starring Jeremy Irons  in some territories, and the european version starring John Doman i others.

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