SMALL SCREEN – Kyle Wells

Online streaming the future of TV

There is some interesting news in the world of television, but, fellow Canadians, don’t get too excited.

Recently, HBO revealed it will soon be offering its HBO Go service to people who don’t have a subscription to the channel through satellite or digital cable. HBO Go is an online streaming platform solely for HBO programming.

We all know and love Netflix, right? But the biggest problem with Netflix is that it doesn’t carry any HBO programming because HBO likes to take care of its own. Despite inroads by others, HBO is still probably the best channel on the tube (Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, Girls, True Detective, Silicon Valley), so this is a big loss.

So now HBO’s streaming service is going to be available without the channel subscription, which is something most people avoid like the very expensive plague. Sure HBO Go will cost something, but nothing near what it would cost to get a full cable package including the HBO Canada option.

But here’s the rub: this is for the United States only and Canadians might have to wait awhile before the offer is extended north of the border.

Netflix has proven that online streaming services are the future of television, but it seems to be taking others a long time to get the message. HBO has been a notable holdout, but with Netflix, Amazon Instant Video (also unavailable in Canada) and, now, HBO Go providing TV online, there’s no going back.

Now we just need all of this in Canada. There’s money to be made here people, let’s make it happen.

Along these lines, Netflix is premiering a new show Dec. 12, called Marco Polo. This is one of those grey-area Netflix original series, meaning they claim it’s original to Netflix, but in reality it was developed for Starz, but didn’t get picked up and Netflix took it over. There’s a bunch of shows like these (such as From Dusk Till Dawn and The Killing), as opposed to shows Netflix truly, originally developed (Lilyhammer, House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black).

The show is about the famed explorer’s early years in the court of Kublai Khan, and is filmed in places like Italy and Kazakhstan. There’s not much to go by yet other than a short trailer, but it looks like another epic drama filled with sex, violence and historical inaccuracy. That’s a mix of spice that can really awaken the senses, or easily feel tired. Let’s hope for the former.

 

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