Source: Globe and Mail
Astral Media finally launched its much-anticipated The Movie Network GO this week, giving subscribers access to more than 1,000 hours of content on mobile devices and computers.
Here are five things to know about the new service.
What it is
The service offers content from both The Movie Network and HBO, and has about 1,500 hours of content available to subscribers, including full seasons of many of its more popular shows (including back catalog classics such as Season One of The Sopranos). On the day it was launched, its splash screen suggested viewers watch television series such as Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire and suggested movies such as The Muppets and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
What it isn't
It isn't Netflix. The services both show movies and television shows, but that's where the similarities end. The thing about Netflix that makes it attractive to 1.5-million Canadians is that you don't need to have any sort of relationship with a cable or satellite company. With Astral's product, you need to have a television subscription with either Bell or Cogeco (Rogers customers can access the product in about a month). It's an addition to existing subscriptions, in other words, not a replacement.
How does it work?
Anyone who subscribes accesses the site by using the username and password they've previously set up with their television provider to access services such as online billing. The service will allow up to five feeds to be playing at the same time. If you are watching on your iPad (only Apple devices are supported so far, though more will be added soon) and switch to a laptop, it remembers where you left off.
Can I get it anywhere else?
Only the television companies that sell the channels can offer the full content of the channels online. Shaw Communications has some HBO Canada content on its mobile subscriber-only app. There is also a U.S. HBO GO, which operates with similar restrictions to what's being offered in Canada.
Why can't I just get the online version?
Too bad: Astral said it doesn't make financial sense to sell the product directly to consumers.
© Globe and Mail