I sent an email to Comcast corporate communications requesting HBogo on Roku and received this extremely unsatisfactory reply:
"Every day we're working to make XfinityTV programming available to our customers in more ways including the Xbox, connected TVs, on websites like XfinityTV and HBOGo, on tablets and other devices. Today, all HBO content is available onXfinityTV.com and through the XfinityTV app. We will continue to work with our partners to deliver even more choices to our customers in more places.
Comcast Corporate Office
1701 JFK Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19103"
Comcast had better wake up and stop giving cut-and-paste responses to concernced customers. There are other options out there.
Yep, they want you to use their equipment, Tivos only work because congress made the cable industry use cable cards.
I will drop HBO next week but giving them till early next year before I switch to AT&T...
The ability to access HBO On content can affect their On Demand revenues. Let's say that you really want to see Scott Pilgrim. It is on HBO this month but not in HBO On Demand. You could DVR it tomorrow but you want to see it now. One option would be to rent it from Comcast. By eliminating Roku they have eliminated competition.
Well they do not get any OnDemand revenue from me because I have a Tivo and they will be losing the roughly $18 I pay for HBO starting next week and the remaing $140 I pay them in March unless they add it....
To the poster who questioned about HBO GO hurting VOD: Sorry, it doesn't work that way...HBO GO only contains ORIGINAL HBO content...so it doesn't carry studio movies they may be showing that month...just HBO original programing - their series, movies, specials, etc.
Plus, even if HBO GO DID include that content, Comcast subscribers have access to HBO GO on their computers, laptops, phones, etc. Just not on Roku.
And Joe - thanks for the reply, but too bad it's the "form" response that every one else seems to be getting from the company. I still contend that the "powers that be" at Comcast still have no idea what the Roku is...otherwise there wouldn't be such opposition to it. I hope the bad PR and loss of subscribers is worth the stubborness.
I disagree, I think the powers to be know very well who and what the Roku is. When Video streaming devices are increasingly becoming more and more popular, "cable cord cutters" are also on the rise. with Roku being one of the best selling video streamers and one of the best reviewed, I would be shocked to think the higher ups on Comcast wouldn't know who the "enemy" is. So by offering services they would feel like they are feeding the dog that will bite them.
but what I think they fail to grasp is the fact you need an HBO subscription to view HBOGo and this only reinforces people to stay with your cable provider in order to keep recieving this premium service.
This line of thinking is what is troubling me.
I agree and only if DirecTV was on the list, I would dump my comcast today over this. Dish doesn't compare to DTV so too bad for me. I have the most expensive triple play package availible, after taxes around $250 a month and I have this only because my wife wants the on-demand and anyroom dvr options. Dish has a terrible selection of HD and feature set, but they are trying to get better. If I was rolling in the dough, I would sign up for a one room Dish Network with HBO setup just to get this working.
I agree. HBO GO offers a much wider set of programming than HBO on Demand and can actually be watched on a full-size television screen. Comcast is the only provider offering HBO GO on iPhones, iPads and Android devices that does not offer HBO GO on a Roku.
I have sent several messages to customer care, but the responses I get are meant for customers asking for new cable channels on Comcast. In fact, I don't think that the customer care folks even know what a Roku is!
Quit dragging your feet, ComCast!
Allow your subscribers to get the access they want, HBOGo on ROKU
Either provide the service your customers want
or you will lose out to those that do!!
(remember what happened to Netflix when they alienated their consumer
Funny thing is if Direct Tv were to announce they would allow for HBO Go access on Roku I would jump on the chance to switch. AT&T U-Verse is still not availbale in my area.
It is very frustrating not to be able to use the HBO Go service on netflix when I am paying Xfinity to get HBO and other cable providers make it available. Any plans to change this, or is this just another cost of having comcast as my provider?
Got a chance to finally see HBO work on a Ruku last night as a friend of mine has Dish and it's awesome. Excellent picture quality and the menus are just like all the other Roku channels. I was surprised to see tons of non HBO movies available as I thought it would only be HBO movies? This service is so much better then Comcast offers for HBO On demand which is a good reason why they don't want us to have this on a connected to TV device. The fact that I pay for HBO through Comcast and have been for so many years is a slap in our faces, they still make all the revenues from our HBO subscriptions and they don't make any additional from their HBO on-demand which makes no sense here! I can get this on my Motorola Droid and PC desktop using my Xfinity login so what's the deal? Guess it's the fact that my Roku is hooked up to my TV which is what bugs them? Dish really lacks HD content and services such as any room DVR. If DirecTV was on this, I'd make the switch today!
I sent an e-mail to Sam Schwartz, who is head of platform programming (or something like that) asking when we might expect Comcast to offer HBO GO on Roku and received an e-mail back from one of his minions stating "We are working with partners to make TV programming available to customers in more ways: Xbox, tables and websites like Xfinity TV and HBO Go". Notice the e-mail did not say Roku. I am wondering if Comcast wants money from Roku to let them show the channel. (Incidentally, you can watch certain previews and other items for free if you go to HBO GO on Roku and click on the "Browse" button, so the technology is in place.)
Quite frankly, I think not offering HBO GO on Roku is extremely short-sighted of Comcast. Not quite as bad a blunder as the Netflix increase but bad enough that I am willing to switch to Verizon FIOS (Comcast's main competitor in the internet/cable TV/telephone business in the Boston area).
If you Google Roku Sam Schwartz HBO GO you will be taken to a web site where you can e-mail Schwartz. Comcast won't allow me to reference the web site on my post, so let me see if I can show it in two parts: the first part is city_desk@ followed by comcast.com (no spaces between the first part and the last).
If you are writing to Comcast, I suggest sending your e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org. I think that actual decision-makers (as opposed to customer care reps) read e-mails at this address.
With HBO on Comcast on demand, you are at the mercy of what Comcast chooses to provide. With HBOGO you have the entire HBO library at your fingertips.
I see no reason why Comcast should not offer this service that is available to HBO subscribers. Without this we are not getting the full value for our subscription.
I e-mailed Comcast and received the same response that Comcast Joe gave: " We are working with partners to make TV programming available to customers in more ways: Xbox, tablets and web sites like Xfinity TV and HBO Go." Please notice that Comcast doesn't say they are working to provide HBO GO on Roku.
I think not allowing HBO to be shown on Roku is a big mistake, particularly where every other cable provider that allows you to access HBO GO on your iPhone, iPad or Android device also allows you to see HBO GO on Roku. Is Comcast having a "Netflix moment"?
If you go to HBO GO and click on "Browse", you can watch previews of some shows so the technology is there. Whether or not you have a DVR shouldn't matter since HBO subscribers can access all current content by simply clicking on HBO on Demand. However, HBO on Demand doesn't have every episode of every series ever shown on HBO and dozens of movies that don't show up currently on HBO. It makes absolutely no sense that an iPad owner can get access to HBO GO through Comcast but not a Roku owner. Are Apple and Google giving kickbacks to Comcast to allow HBO Go content on their devices?
If Comcast doesn't get their act together, I intend to switch to Verizon FIOS. Losing long-standing customers may be the only way to get Comcast's attention.
No response yet. But I responded to Comcast and also sent a copy to Sam Schwartz mentioned above. This is my response to their inane email:
"The response below is completely unacceptable. Your company needs to get their act together or you'll lose subscribers in droves just like Netflix.
Well, well, my first post has been deleted. OK, posting their second response again, but removing the name of the Comcast emailer!!
"In reference to you previous e-mail regarding HBOGo our marketing and development team contacted me and advised that:
Comcast has no control over how/where HBOGo is viewed. The customer would want to provide their feedback to the e-mail address below.
I hope this resolves this issue to your satisfaction. If there is anything else we can help you with, please do not hesitate to contact us at."
In response to various e-mails that I have sent to Comcast, I just received a telephone call from someone at Comcast's northeast regional corporate office. (I live in the Boston suburbs.). This person stated that Comcast has no intention of supporting HBO GO on Roku. She said that Comcast will be rolling out new video products over the coming year, although she didn't say what products, whether they would be free or not and whether they would be available on Roku.
The person I spoke with said that I was the first person she had heard of to have complained on a corporate level about the inability to access HBO GO on Roku. I told her that I was not really a "trailblazer" and that it might be worth her while to read the support forums once in a while to see how upset Roku owners are. She said the corporate people clearly don't get any feedback from customer service. (Does this sound like Netflix?)
The person I spoke with said that there are other providers that don't offer access to HBO GO. I reminded her that Comcast was the only cable system that offered HBO GO to its customers via iPhone, iPad and Android that did not offer it on Roku. The person also had no answer as to why customers with mobile devices can access HBO GO but those with Roku cannot.
For those of you in the Northeast (that includes New England; I don't know what other states it covers), you can phone in a complaint to the regional corporate office at 888-309-2583. If you are outside of New England, I expect you can call the northeast regional corporate office and get the telephone number for your own region. It is essential that Comcast corporate honchos know there is a large group of Roku owners who are disgruntled with Comcast's unwillingness to offer HBO GO on Roku.
Unless Comcast comes up with something as good as HBO GO within the next six months, I plan to leave for Verizon FIOS.
If this is true and they do not have any intention of opening up HBOGO on Roku devices, this is the kind of decision that causes Comcast to have the customer reputation that they currently have...
Since posting on this site, I have been receiving daily email notifications from comcast "helpfully" drawing my attention to other forum members' recent negative comments on the HBOGO-Roku issue, which ironically just reinforces my sense that Comcast's "attention" to the feedback that they get is purely superficial. All they are lacking is "hope this helps" added to their notification to complete the farce.
I am trying to activate my hbogo channel and see that xfinity is not supported as a valid provider. Do you know when this will change? hbogo shows xfinity as a valid provider on the main hbogo.com website, but when I go to activate the hbogo channel through www.hbogo.com/activate it does not list xfinity as a provider to choose. Thanks.
Ahh, maybe this is what's going on. We know that Comcast has announced that it will be offering an app for the XBox that includes HBOgo. Perhaps Comcast does not want to use HBO's app for access on the Roku and prefers to use it's own Xfinity app?
This was posted on a website in October:
"Comcast will bring its Xfinity video-on-demand service to consoles other than just the XBox 360 as well as other TVs and set-tops. These include Nintendo's Wii and Sony's PS3, as well as LG and Samsung TVs along with the Roku media hub. Comcast Converged Products president Sam Schwartz revealed these plans at a panel on Thursday."
If Xfinity TV consists of what I can access on my computer, it will probably have most of what is on HBO GO plus a lot of other programs. If all Roku is getting is the app that I have on my iPhone, there is very limited HBO content (even less than what is on "On Demand"). In fact, I am not sure what the value of the Xfinity app on Roku would be since almost all of the content is currently on HBO GO. (I distinguish the app from Xfinity TV on my computer since only a limited amount of content is on the app.) Does anyone know what content is going to be on the Xfinity "channel" on HBO GO?
Is HBO GO available to Comcast subscribers on Xbox 360? Looking at the Xbox site, it looked like it was. If so, it makes the absence of HBO GO on Roku even more maddening, since it you have an Xbox and have an Xbox premium subscription, you get access to HBO GO. If you don't want or can't afford an Xbox and the Xbox premium subscription, you don't. Sort of like the 1% and the 99%. I wonder if Comcast gets a cut of every premium subscription of a subscriber who activates Xfinity.com.
I see that Xfinity plans on offering "many more options" in the future. Since they will all require a new cable box, you can bet the cost of the new cable box will be paid for by subscribers.
HBO GO is not yet available on the XBox, but WILL be once they launch "XBox Live TV", which is supposed to happen around Christmas, or first quarter next year. Comcast WILL be allowing HBO GO access on the XBox, which makes the whole Roku thing even more frustrating.
I too would like to see HboGo on Roku. Every month I question why I haven't switched to another provider, and this is the final straw.
My coworkers literally laugh at me when I tell them what I pay monthly. Now, I feel that I am not even getting what I pay for.
Watching on the computer simply doesnt cut it. Xfinity on demand does not have the same HBO content as HBOGo.
I don't know what else you expect me to do, other than switch to one of the providers that supports HBOGo on Roku.
No one in charge at Comcast reads these posts. You need to contact Comcast at either the e-mail address or the through the phone number I have posted previously in order to get through to the corporate people.
After the HBO Go fiasco, being signed up for a new bundle without my permission, and the relentless raising of Comcast's monopolistic prices, I've bid adieu to cable TV altogether. We're staying with internet service for now until we can find a better alternative.
We'll be using Roku HD (the latest model), watch Netflix and other channels on the Roku, and perhaps Hulu Plus.
Any suggestions on internet service alternatives? We're not in a major metropolitan area (city of ~60,000), and of course dial-up is out of the question.
Canceled HBO today...it is tough enough justifying the cost every month but knowing they are holding back features from me was too much to put up with...
It is a bit ironic that i get an email from comcast saying that "Someone in the Help Forums has reviewed your post and responded" every time someone posts to complain about the same issue. i thought i would actually get a response from comcast, instead my anger at the situation is just reinforced. I will cancel my subscription and change providers very soon
Actually its both HBO and Comcast. HBO could just offer a subscription through the HBO GO app itself and not require a cable subscription but they won't do that.
That is EXACTLY the point, silly. With the xfinity choice on ROKU, some, like you, wonder why we’d wantHBO GO on another set-top if we already subscribe. Easy: EVERY episode of EVERY HBO seriesOnDemand ANYTIME I want, ANYWHERE that offers WiFi &/or Internet access. The HBO channel(s) &even our provider's OnDemand offerings/promos can’t match that. Plus, Roku has been taken on theroad to more than one hotel by now, & taken on vacation to relatives' or buddies' homes, to be mostcertain & that, in & of itself, is very, very cool.
Here, check it: http://twitpic.com/3608bk ...SEEEEeeeee...! Told ya!
Get it now? And those w/o xfinity (& such) would be able to watch HBO GO using the xfinity provider via afriend or relative's xfinity account. You are aware that an xfinity account holder may add up to (I believeit's) five others? Some people will share his/her online xfinity account access. Oh, my, my, my...the listjust goes on & on when it comes to what we'd like the app to offer via ROKU that we cannot already do w/our cable boxes. Later, after this discussion, I'll think of many, many more reasons why.
Okay...I'm gonna vent a bit here, but please don't take it personally (it's not meant for you/any of you, butI'm here & it's on my mind):
My question is: why on God's green Earth build a new programme channel choice (i.e., HBO GO) intoROKU's channel line-up when many cannot access the programmes anyhow? It's kinda futile & a waste oftime, $$ & efforts. And why tease a viewing public who may one day choose to boycott it because of thismild torment? If you have ROKU, but no current HBO access, you know exactly what I'm on about. Here'sa silly thing: one has the ability to add the HBO GO channel to his/her line up, one has the ability to flickthru all the HBO choices, genre, movies, series, etc., but when it comes to actually VIEWING anything, noone has this ability unless s/he ALREADY HAS CABLE OR SAT-TV! (& of course HBO) huh...??? Isn't thatkinda dumb? What's also odd is that I can set up, pay for & watch programmes on ALL OTHER offeredchannel choices via ROKU: Netflix & Hulu & Amazon & Crackle & Pandora & Disney & Flixter & Newscaster& Facebook & SmartTV &, &, &, &... BUT, THE ONLY CHANNEL ON THE ROKU LINE UP, NOW, THAT WEARE UNABLE TO SET UP & VIEW THE PROGRAMMING FOR AUTOMATICALLY, IS (take a wild guess...):HBO GO (eff yourself). All other channels on ROKU's line-up are accessible & many are FREE w/o aweird runaround to get it to play stuff. Whew! Sheesh! (Knowwhatimean?) Basically, why offer it &dangle it in front of everyone if only a select few can actually access it? It's dumb.
I AM AN HBO GO MEMBER; I AM A ROKU SUBSCRIBER; I AM UNABLE TO ACCESS THE HBO GOPROGRAMME LINE-UP ON MY ROKU PLAYER: WHAT'S WRONG W/ THIS PICTURE?
SO, HEY xfinity! WHY NOT HAVE YOUR SHIP TOGETHER ***BEFORE*** YOU LAY IT DOWN? HAVE IT READY FOR EVERYONE! (& I'm not talking about "free," I'm just talking about ACCESSIBILITY.) Then, HEY! ...you'd play a huge part in eliminating those tell-tale pains in one's upper & lower extremities. Wouldn't you rather keep folks happy than frustrated? Hmmmmm...keep a customer, or process a cancellation? You do the math.
The end & good luck,