Looking to watch a live stream of HBO? There are a handful of different options, even if you don’t have a cable subscription.
The first option is to watch via HBO Now, the company’s standalone streaming service, but in certain cases there are going to be alternatives that make more sense for certain viewers.
Or, if you’ve gotten rid of cable but still want a full package of channels, a better option may be an over-the-top streaming service, which provides access to a handful of channels–including HBO–for a monthly fee.
If the latter is the route you want, there a bevy of options: DirecTV Now is my personal recommendation due to a larger channel package and a cheaper HBO add-on, while Sling TV and PlayStation Vue also offer different pros and cons.
Here’s a complete rundown of what these live streaming services provide, and how to sign up to start watching HBO instantly:
If You Have Amazon Prime
If you already have Amazon Prime, you can click here to sign up for HBO. The service costs $14.99 per month and allows you to watch all of HBO’s on-demand content, as well as live TV. You’ll need to enter your payment information, but if you can cancel before seven days, you won’t be charged.
If you don’t have Amazon Prime, you can click here to start a free trial of both Prime and HBO. You can get Prime for either $10.99 per month or $99 per year, or you can get Prime Video for $8.99 per month. Each option includes a 30-day free trial. HBO is $14.99 per month after a seven-day free trial.
You can then stream HBO on the web at the Amazon website or by downloading the Amazon Video app on your compatible phone, tablet or streaming device. You can click here for a complete list of compatible devices.
Over the Top Streaming Services
If you want a live stream of HBO in addition to a bundle of other channels, one of the following over-the-top streaming services will be your best option:
Most Channels + Roku Offer: DirecTV Now
While DirecTV Now’s cheapest option for getting HBO–“Live a Little” base bundle for $35 per month plus HBO add-on for $5 per month–is slightly more expensive than Sling TV’s cheapest option, there are some important advantages.
With DirecTV Now, you get about twice as many channels than Sling TV’s equivalent package, you can sign in to the HBO Go app with your DirecTV Now credentials (which isn’t an option for other streaming services), and you can get a free Roku Premiere Streaming Media Player ($69.95 value) for free if you prepay two months.
The lack of DVR has been a drawback in the past, but that is in the Beta stage and coming soon, so there’s a lot to like here.
Here’s a complete rundown of DirecTV Now’s “Live a Little” bundle plus the HBO add-on:
Total Channels Included: 60-plus, depending on local channels available. You can find the complete channel list right here
Price: $40 per month
Extras: Watch on two different devices at the same time; DVR is in Beta stage; can sign in with DirecTV Now credentials on HBO Go app; free Roku Premiere Streaming Media Player if you prepay two months
Free Trial: 7 days
How to Sign Up & Watch:
2. Click on “Start your free trial now” and then create an account
3. Select the channel package you want. Select your base bundle, then choose HBO as an extra. You can add the Roku on the next step if you want
4. Enter your payment information. The “Live a Little” package is the cheapest base bundle at $35 per month, while there are other options with more channels at $50, $60 or $70 per month. HBO is $5 per month extra with all of them. If you cancel your subscription within seven days of signing up, you will not be charged
5. Return to the DirecTV Now website to start watching on your desktop. You can also watch via the DirecTV Now, which is available via a handful of different mobile or streaming devices. You can click here for the complete list of compatible devices
Cheapest Option: Sling TV
If price is your No. 1 concern when picking an OTT streaming service, Sling TV is the way to go. You can choose either the “Sling Orange” or “Sling Blue” base bundle for $20 or $25 per month, respectively, while the HBO add-on is $15 per month.
Another pro for Sling TV is the ability for more customization. While other services offer more channels in their base bundles, Sling has a variety of different add-on packages (“Sports Extra”, for example, gives you NBA TV, SEC Network, ESPN U, ESPN News and other channels) for just $5 or $10 extra per month.
With that in mind, here’s a rundown of “Sling Orange” plus the HBO add-on, which is the cheapest way to get HBO:
Total Channels Included: 25-plus, depending on local channels available. You can find the complete channel list right here
Price: $35 per month
Extras: Watch on one device at once (“Sling Blue” gets you three devices at once); 50 hours of cloud DVR is $5 per month extra (restrictions with certain channels)
Free Trial: 7 days
How to Sign Up & Watch:
2. Click on “Watch Now 7 Days Free” and then create an account
3. Select the channel package and add-ons you want. You can choose either the “Sling Orange” or “Sling Blue” base bundle. HBO can be added to either.
4. Enter your payment information. The “Sling Orange” package is $20 per month, while the HBO add-on is another $15 per month. If you cancel your subscription within seven days of signing up, you will not be charged
5. Download the Sling app on your computer or mobile device and begin watching TV. If you’re interested in watching Sling TV on a mobile or streaming device, you can do so via their app, which is free to download. You can click here for a full list of compatible devices
Most Streams At Once: PlayStation Vue
With PlayStation Vue’s cheapest bundle, “Access,” coming in at $39.99, and HBO costing $15 to add on to that, this is certainly the highest price point at $54.99 per month. However, if you’re willing to pay extra, there are some advantages, such as included DVR and the ability for users to watch on five separate devices at once, which is more than any other service.
Here’s a look at the “Access” bundle plus HBO add-on:
Total Channels Included: 45-plus, depending on local channels available. You can find the complete channel list here
Price: $54.99 per month
Extras: Watch on five different devices at once; cloud DVR (restrictions with certain channels)
Free Trial: 5 days
How to Sign Up & Watch:
2. Click on “Start Free Trial” and then create an account
3. Select the channel package you want. There are four different base bundles, while HBO can be added as a standalone channel
4. Enter your payment information. “Access” is the cheapest base bundle at $39.99 per month, and HBO is $15 per month extra. If you cancel your subscription within five days of signing up, you will not be charged
5. Return to the PlayStation Vue website to start watching on your desktop. You can also watch via the PlayStation Vue app, which is available via a handful of different mobile or streaming devices. You can click here for the complete list of compatible devices