Apple TV owners might be able to access more than 600 hours worth of HBO movies and TV shows sometime in mid-2013. According to a report by Bloomberg, the Cupertino-based firm is in talks with HBO parent company Time Warner about a potential deal, but nothing has been finalized yet.
The service is already available as iPad, iPhone, and Android apps but for whatever reason -- licensing? -- HBO has disabled the option to send video streams to the TV via wireless technologies like AirPlay. Up until now the only living room devices to support HBO Go included the Roku and Xbox 360 (with an additional Xbox Live Gold subscription at around $50 per year) and now Apple is joining the ranks.
Bloomberg notes that the service will still require a traditional subscription to the network through cable or satellite providers. If the deal indeed goes through it would nonetheless be welcome news to Apple TV owners, as HBO Go has a much deeper, on-demand catalog than what you get from the traditional channel.
Of course the question remains if HBO Go will eventually be available as a standalone service. Consumer interest is certainly there and if Apple or any other device maker can score such a deal it will probably sell a lot of set-top boxes as a result. But for now the company has made it clear that’s not on their plans as it’s not willing to upset its lucrative pay-TV bundle deals with distributors from Comcast to DirecTV.
The only exception is in Nordic countries Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark where the company began selling streaming subscriptions to non-cable customers for the first time in October 2012.