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AT&T says it has HBO and Cinemax on handsets, free to U-Verse customers

AT&T has cut new deals for its TV Everywhere style service with HBO and Cinemax so that anyone who subscribes to those channels via its U-Verse IPTV s

By PETER WHITE

Published: 2 December, 2010

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AT&T has cut new deals for its TV Everywhere style service with HBO and Cinemax so that anyone who subscribes to those channels via its U-Verse IPTV service, can also get them over the internet on a list of PC and portable devices and handsets.

These devices will have direct access to the HBOGO.com and MAXGO.com web sites which between them have 1,200 hours of streamed programming. Somehow this is not how we imagined TV Everywhere and it’s more like Hulu Everywhere, when only what’s available on the web site anyway can be viewed online. Surely the full channels are what TV Everywhere is supposed to be about.

HBOGO was first launched on Verizon’s FiOS and it is the same mistake as all the mobile channels in that many broadcasters want to preserve something for the TV version of the channel which is not on the internet version. There doesn’t need to be a distinction between the two – a viewer on an internet version would be the same as a viewer on a TV, if this was done right. But the reason that mobile TV in the US has so far been a complete flop and will only come good using ATSC M/H is because partial or stored or key catch up content was all that was allowed on mobile channels, and this is a similar approach.

No wonder the Dish Networks claims that it is the only pay TV operator which has live TV in its TV Everywhere service, that’s because it place shifts live TV.

AT&T says that it can offer these services over any US broadband line, but of course, if an ISP like Comcast decides this is a threat (see separate story on this) it can either block video this video or charge extra for it.

“We’re proud to deliver more value to U-verse TV subscribers by offering compelling content from HBO and Cinemax online,” said Dan York, president of content, AT&T.

New titles will be available immediately after premiering on HBO and Cinemax. And both services allow the creation of Watchlists to keep track of bookmarked content for later viewing. The content is viewable on U-verse TV, U-verse Online, U-verse TV on Xbox 360 and on 10 qualifying smartphones with U-verse Mobile.

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