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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that HBO NOW is a cable-free streaming service that allows families to watch HBO movies and television shows on various Apple devices and on the Internet. Only a streaming device and high-speed Internet are needed. Options for parental controls are in the profile menu, where users create a PIN to access the controls. Although they provide a safe way for kids to view programs, the controls are a bit frustrating. Only one user profile can be created, and the only way to change the controls is to go through the process of updating the settings for both TV and movie ratings (the passcode must be entered twice). This makes sharing among parents and kids a bit of a challenge.
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What's it about?
Is it any good?
With access to over 2,000 popular titles across a variety of genres, HBO NOW is an exciting, affordable alternative to cable TV. Kids can add programs to a Watchlist, and searching for specific shows and movies is easy, especially for older kids. However, the parental controls could be greatly improved. As it stands, a parent can set a numeric passcode and limit the accessible content by rating (G, PG-13, and so on). However, when parents want to watch a show that's TV-MA, they'll have to change the settings, as there's no way to create separate user profiles. Aside from inconvenience, the drawback is in user error; if a parent forgets to change the settings after watching a show for adults, then the next time a kid picks up the device, all the content is up-for-grabs.This is an important consideration since much of the available content is intended for people over the age of 17, including Game of Thrones, Deadwood, and the Late Night content, which is all sex-related. Separate user profiles would go a long way to giving parents peace of mind.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about limits on what, when, and how long they can watch. What shows are appropriate for them, and why?
Choose a favorite kid-friendly show or movie to watch together and then talk about the plot. With younger kids, talk about their favorite and least favorite characters.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
- Price: Free 30-day trial at the time of the review
- Pricing structure: Free to try, Paid
- Subscription price: $14.99 per month
- Release date: April 7, 2015
- Category: Entertainment
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Adventures, History
- Size: 23.40 MB
- Publisher: HBO
- Version: 1.0.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later
Themes & Topics
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For kids who love stories and characters
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.