What's on the Menu
HBO GO gives you the ability to stream more than 1,400 titles, including movies, series, comedy shows, sports events, documentaries, and late night programming. Let's briefly explore the various options:
- Search: Selecting Search enables you to search HBO GO content by its title or the name of an actor.
- Home: This is the default screen. In addition to accessing promotional content here, you can also access the Watchlist and Last Played blocks. When you select an item to view, you have the option to add it to your Watchlist, which makes the item available for easy retrieval and viewing at a later date. Last Played pulls up the very last thing you watched on HBO.
- Movies: Here you can access the vast collection of movies on HBO. A few movies are featured in promotional blocks, and you can also access movie Collections and Movies A to Z. Collections groups related content together, though this is not limited strictly to movies. For example, as of this writing there is a Women's History Month Collection, which features movies, music, and TV shows that feature strong female leads. Selecting Movies A to Z enables you to scroll through all movies, which are listed in alphabetical order. If you want to narrow the results by genre, select the Genre box at the top of the Movies A to Z screen, which then makes the following genres available for selection: All, Action, Comedy, Drama, Family, Horror/Sci-Fi, Latino, Romance, and Suspense. If you select Sort By Alphabetical from the top of the Movies A to Z screen, you can search by Date Added in addition to having the movies listed alphabetically.
- Series: This is your portal to various HBO series. In addition to accessing various series and related content through promotional blocks, you can access the Family Series and Series A to Z blocks. The Family Series block features series that are suitable for all viewing audiences, although it is largely geared toward children. The Series A to Z block pulls up Thumbnails featuring all the series available for viewing on HBO GO. When you select a series to watch, you have the option of watching all of the episodes and can also access bonus content, such as show recaps, reviews, trailers, and interviews.
- Comedy: This is your ticket to various stand-up comedy acts. Heavy on the promotional blocks, the only additional content portal you have here is Comedy A to Z, which enables you to scroll through the alphabetically listed stand-up comedy shows. If you select Sort by Alphabetical at the top of the Comedy A to Z screen, you can also sort the items by date when you select the Date Added option from the Sort screen.
- Sports: Here you can tune into various sporting events. Like the Comedy channel, the Sports channel is heavy on the promotional blocks. You can access additional sporting events and coverage through the Sports A to Z block. Selecting Sort by Alphabetical at the top of the Sports A to Z screen enables you to have the items sorted by date when you select the Date Added option from the Sort screen.
- Documentaries: This channel gives you access to various documentaries. Like the Comedy and Sports channels, Documentaries has only one content portal besides the promotional block: Documentaries A to Z. As with the other channels, you have the option to sort items by date.
- Late Night: Here you can access HBO's more steamy or racy content, including various adult series and movies. In addition to the promotional blocks, you can find late night programming via a Late Night A to Z block, where items appear alphabetically, but can also be sorted by date.
- Settings: This channel lets you tweak HBO GO settings, including setting Parental Controls, adjusting the Kinect Tuner, removing HBO GO from your Xbox 360 by selecting the Deactivate Device box, and managing your Series Passes (these are passes that you set to have every upcoming episode of a particular series automatically added to your Watchlist).
Accessing Bonus Content and Features
One of the benefits of HBO GO is that it gives you access to numerous extras and bonus content, although some features have more robust extras than others do. For example, when you make a movie selection, you may encounter a Summary, Extras, Cast & Crew, and Music screen. Cast & Crew and Music screens generally contain only listings, whereas any Extras screens include additional videos that may contain deleted scenes, interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and more. If you are watching a Series, you can access Past Episodes as well. You can also share any content that you watch on HBO GO with your Facebook friends. An example of a Summary screen is shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2 The Game of Thrones Summary screen. Because this show is an HBO series, it has a particularly robust Extras section.