Apple and HBO are engaged in talks to bring the pay-TV channel's HBO Go service to the Apple TV set-top box, according to a new report from Bloomberg. While many modern media distribution companies like Hulu and Netflix have embraced Apple TV, the more traditional outlets like the big broadcast channels and pay channels like HBO, Showtime, and Cinemax have been more hesitant in their overtures. While most have apps available for iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad, the fact that the Apple TV is hooked up to a television - their turf - has always been a source of tension.
Citing two persons "familiar with the plans", Bloomberg says that using HBO Go on the Apple TV will be contingent on the user already paying for HBO through their cable or satellite provider. Yeah, that dashed our hopes for getting A Game of Thrones to stream on our Apple TV without having to pay the cable company for TV service as well.
HBO Go has been available for some time on competing devices like the Roku box and Microsoft's Xbox 360. As with the HBO Go iPhone and iPad apps, HBO Go is available for free on those devices to subscribers already paying for HBO television service. Apple has yet to offer any service on the Apple TV that requires such authentication; HBO Go would be the first Apple TV service to be dependent on an outside subscription. Up to this point Apple TV services that require a subscription like Netflix and Hulu Plus have offered that subscription through your iTunes account. Complete cord-cutting is still a ways off, it seems.