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HBO’s newest streaming service, HBO Max, officially launches in just a few weeks. When it arrives...HBO’s newest streaming service, HBO Max, officially launches in just a few weeks. When it arrives on May 27th it will join HBO Go and HBO Now in HBO’s lineup. Yes, that means you have three different streaming options to access HBO content.Read more...
"Westworld" is set to conclude its third season on May 3, 2020 via HBO's pay-TV..."Westworld" is set to conclude its third season on May 3, 2020 via HBO's pay-TV network and subscription streaming platforms. HBO streaming is available as a standalone service, called HBO Now, for $14.99 per month. You can also add HBO streaming to Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, or Apple TV for $14.99 per month on top of any existing fees. If you're not caught up on "Westworld", you can watch the show's first two seasons right now through HBO Now and HBO add-on channels. HBO's "Westworld" is gearing up to ride off into the sunset for its third season finale on Sunday, May 3. The third season originally premiered on March 15, and consists of eight episodes total. The show, created by Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, is based on Michael Crichton's 1973 film of the same name. Blending science fiction and western genres, the series takes place in the near future and focuses on an advanced theme park called "Westworld". Once in the park, guests interact with life-like robots, referred to as "hosts", allowing them to roleplay elaborate adventures. When the once obedient hosts become self aware, the meticulously designed park begins to unravel into chaos. Season three expands the storytelling further, taking characters outside the park to examine the show's world at large. Stars Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Ed Harris, and Tessa Thompson all return for the latest batch of episodes. They're joined by several new additions to the cast, including Aaron Paul ("Breaking Bad"), Vincent Cassel ("Black Swan"), and Lena Waithe ("Ready Player One"). Whether you're a dedicated "Westworld" fan counting down the days until the season finale, or a new viewer who's just getting started on season one, there are plenty of options available to watch the show on TV and streaming platforms. Here's everything you need to know about watching "Westworld". Updated 05/01/2020 by Steven Cohen: We've revised this article and pushed it to the top of our pages again to remind you that the season finale airs this Sunday, May 3, at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. How do I watch 'Westworld' on HBO? In order to watch new episodes of "Westworld", you'll need an HBO subscription. Thankfully, you've got plenty of different options when it comes to subscribing. HBO is available as a premium channel through various pay-TV cable and satellite providers, including Comcast, AT&T, and DirecTV. With an HBO cable or satellite plan, you can simply watch "Westworld" live on TV when it airs on Sundays. Subscribers with a participating pay-TV provider can also use their account information to sign in to the HBO Go app — which is different from HBO Now and requires a cable plan — to stream on-demand episodes of "Westworld". Meanwhile, if you've already cut the cord from cable and satellite, you can subscribe to HBO streaming without a traditional TV plan as well. HBO streaming is available as a standalone service, called HBO Now, or as an add-on channel for other streaming platforms, like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Apple TV. HBO Now and HBO add-on channels are available through a variety of mobile devices, smart TVs, and media players, including Fire TV, Roku, Android TV, and more. How much does HBO streaming cost? HBO Now costs $14.99 per month and grants you streaming access to all of the network's programming, including the ability to watch new episodes of "Westworld" as they premiere. A seven-day free trial is available for new members. HBO Now exists as its own dedicated app and does not require any kind of additional subscription or service to work. If however, you'd prefer to add HBO to an existing streaming service you already subscribe to, you have a few different options to choose from. Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Apple TV all offer the ability to subscribe to HBO streaming directly through their existing platforms for an extra monthly cost of $14.99. YouTube TV is also expected to offer HBO as an add-on option later this spring. AT&T TV Now actually includes HBO by default as part of its Plus plan with over 45 channels for $65 per month. Though pricing for HBO itself is the same whether you subscribe to HBO Now or an HBO add-on channel or HBO Go, the add-on channel offers the extra convenience of consolidating HBO within an app you likely already use. In other words, if you sign up for HBO within the Amazon Prime Video app, you don't need to switch to a separate HBO app to watch new episodes of "Westworld". Instead, HBO is simply available alongside all the other content Prime Video provides. When will new episodes of 'Westworld' air? The third season of "Westworld" premiered on HBO on March 15, 2020. The season finale will air on May 3, 2020 at 9 p.m. ET. Season three consists of eight episodes total, which is two fewer than previous seasons. If you're signing up for HBO just to watch the third season of "Westworld", you'll need to remain a subscriber through May 3 in order to watch all the new episodes as they premiere. Alternatively, you could also wait until the season finale airs on May 3 to subscribe in order to binge-watch the entire third season all at once. Meanwhile, if you still need to catch up on older episodes of "Westworld", you can also watch every previously aired episode from seasons one, two, and three on-demand right now through HBO and its various streaming options. The first two seasons both feature 10 episodes each. For those who would prefer to own the show, season one and season two of "Westworld" are also available on Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. Digital copies can be purchased as well through retailers like Amazon and iTunes. Join the conversation about this story »
Disney Plus' tech chief explains the biggest challenges he and 1,000 engineers faced getting the service ready for launch
Disney Plus officially landed in the US on November 12. Ahead of the launch, Disney Streaming...Disney Plus officially landed in the US on November 12. Ahead of the launch, Disney Streaming Services' (DSS) CTO Joe Inzerillo broke down the toughest challenges in getting the service off the ground, and how the platform will work to keep subscribers coming back month after month. Inzerillo led a team of 1,000 engineers and 250 product folks who stress tested the service for glitches before the US launch, though there were still technical issues on release day. The team also spent a lot of time trying make Disney's blockbusters look as good on home TVs and smartphones as they do in theaters. While much of the current attention is on getting the service off the ground, Inzerillo said his team is also working on improving content recommendations to prevent cancellations. Click here for more BI Prime stories. The chief technology officer of Disney Streaming Services, the company that built Disney Plus, appeared cautiously optimistic before the service's November 12 US launch. Joe Inzerillo, who joined Disney through its acquisition of BAMTech (now Disney Streaming Services), worked on streaming platforms before, such as HBO Now, the MLB's streaming service, PlayStation Vue, and Disney's ESPN Plus. But none were on the scale that Disney Plus aspires to. Within five years, Disney expects the service to be profitable, and have 60 to 90 million subscribers, roughly half half the member base of Netflix today. Some Wall Street analysts think Disney Plus could reach its target even faster. "This is not going to be a niche product," Inzerillo told Business Insider at a media event in New York, on the Friday before the service's US launch. "This is going to be big." With Disney Plus, Disney is jumping fully into the streaming waters, after dipping its toes in with other streaming platforms, like ESPN Plus, a subscription complement to Disney's sports-cable networks that launched last year, and Hulu, which Disney recently took full control of. The legacy media giant was the king of cable TV thanks to media networks like ESPN that commanded colossal audiences and supplied half of Disney's operating income. But, as people in the US abandoned traditional TV in droves, it became clear that Disney needed a stronghold in streaming to hold onto its crown. Disney Plus will be the company's "crown jewel" in streaming, Kevin Mayer, chairman of the direct-to-consumer and international business at Disney, said at the same event. Disney Plus got off to a bumpy start on Tuesday Disney Plus got off to a bumpy start in the US on Tuesday, when many people reported technical difficulties while using the service. A Disney spokesperson said the problems were due to higher than expected demand, and that the company was working rapidly to fix them. Inzerillo's team of about 1,000 engineers and 250 product folks spent much of the last 12 to 18 months trying to prevent some of these issues, by testing the service, pushing it until it broke and then fixing it. But technical glitches were still expected. "We haven't solved everything by any means," Mayer said at the event ahead of launch. "I'm sure we'll find some new things when we launch in the US." The largest test for Disney Plus was in the Netherlands, where a limited version of the service was tested for the past two months. There were glitches there, too. The biggest problems were on older devices, like smartphones and streaming media players that were released years earlier, Inzerillo said. Streaming incumbents, like Netflix and Amazon, perfected their platforms on each device as they hit the market. Disney is now playing catch up. A unique challenge on Disney Plus was bringing the company's blockbusters to home TVs and mobile phones, without compromising on creators' visions Aside from some of the infrastructure issues, the biggest challenge Inzerillo said he faced that was unlike any other platform he worked on was in translating Disney's big blockbusters to home TVs and mobile phones, without compromising on creators' original visions, and sparing users' mobile data or broadband plans. "It's really, are we delivering on the artist's vision from these incredibly creative folks that have made these amazing blockbuster pieces of cinema and other kinds of serial content," Inzerillo said, "and can we make that happen for you at home or on your mobile device with a pair of headphones on, on the train." Disney partnered with Dolby to offer many of Disney Plus' original series and movies, as well as some theatrical releases coming to the service including all the Star Wars saga films, in Dolby's high dynamic range (HDR) 4K video format, called Dolby Vision. "What Jon Favreau sees in the edit suite is what he wants you see in your living rooms," Tom Lattie, senior director of commercial partnerships at Dolby said, referring to the director behind "Iron Man" and showrunner of the Disney Plus original series "The Mandalorian." Dolby has been a frequent partner of Disney, which released all of its major films from the past two years in Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, the company's audio format. Inzerillo's team at Disney Plus has also been going back through Disney's film archive and updating the home-video versions of contemporary movies, like "Iron Man," to the HDR format. "We went deeper and broader than certainly any project we've ever done at [Disney Streaming Services] and I'd argue, you'll see over time, I think we're going to go deeper and broader than anybody's ever gone," Inzerillo said. The team at Disney Plus is also thinking about how to reduce cancellations as the streaming wars heat up While the last 18 months at Disney Streaming Services have been all about the launch of Disney Plus, Inzerillo said he's thinking about the next phase, when keeping subscribers hooked on the service will be just as important as enticing them to sign up. "I make the argument, personally, that churn is the biggest indicator of the health of an SVOD service," Inzerillo said. "Getting people in is marketing ... The Walt Disney Company, I think we do it better than anybody to get people in, but if they stay in it, it means they take value month after month." Disney Plus will also have to battle a slew of new subscription services, including HBO Max, Peacock, and Quibi, that are lined up to launch in the next six months, on top of incumbents like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Inzerillo said his team can best prevent churn, or cancellations, by helping people finding the content they want to watch. When users first log into the Disney Plus app, the programming will be curated by Disney, because the platform won't have user data yet. Recommendations will become more personalized over time, as Disney Plus learns, through machine learning, from the way people interact with the service. The platform tries to entice people to set up multiple profiles by offering fun avatars of Disney characters, because more profiles suggest that more members of the family will using the service, inherently making it more valuable. The algorithms, by the way, also learn from the icons people select. "That gives us some signal about what you might be interested in," Inzerillo said. "You're unlikely to put 'The Mandalorian' there if you're not a Star Wars fan." And the recommendation engine takes cues from the choices people make on different devices, and throughout the day. On a subway commute home, for instance, some users might be more interested in Pixar shorts than movies or full-length series. "A lot of what we talk about when we talk about [Disney Streaming Services], especially on the early part, gets focused on the technology and shipping the product for obvious reasons," Inzerillo said. "But really over time it's the performance marketing, it's getting people into the product or retaining them or preventing churn. That's also part of what our mandate is."SEE ALSO: The top Disney Plus exec says it will have to push beyond its family-friendly image to succeed, and its Netherlands test run hints at how Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Behind the scenes with Shepard Smith — the Fox News star who just announced his resignation from the network