Time Warner Cable OKs HBO Go For Xbox, Roku And Samsung TVs

In a change of heart, Time Warner Cable has decided to let its HBO subscribers access the premium network's apps for Xbox 360, Roku and Samsung Smart TVs to watch an array of movies and original shows on their big-screen TVs.

Time Warner Cable -- one of the last holdouts among large pay-TV providers for HBO Go -- reached an agreement with premium programmer in December 2011 to offer the authenticated online and mobile video services. Under the deal, Bright House Networks customers who are HBO subscribers can access the same apps and content.

However, when Time Warner Cable opened up the HBO Go gates in January, customers could access programming only on computers, the iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and certain Android devices.

The MSO, perhaps concerned that users would prefer HBO Go on their HDTVs to the MSO's own service, did not previously allow access via Xbox 360 game consoles, Roku set-tops or Samsung's Internet-connected TVs.

On Thursday, Time Warner Cable announced on its corporate blog that those three connected-TV devices were now approved for use. "We're looking forward to bringing our customers as much content as we can on as many devices as we can in the future," director of digital communications Jeff Simmermon wrote.

Time Warner Cable did not respond to a request for information about why the MSO changed its mind about allowing access to HBO Go on the Xbox, Roku and Samsung TVs.

Other pay-TV operators have held back from enabling access to HBO Go across all devices, including Comcast (which still does not allow Roku or Samsung TVs) and DirecTV (which blocks Roku).

HBO Go offers more than 1,400 titles online, including recent movies and every episode of every season of the programmers' original series such as Game of Thrones, True Blood and Boardwalk Empire, as well as older shows like The Sopranos, Sex and the City and Deadwood.