HBO is helping make self-isolation just a little bit more tolerable. The cable network is encouraging everyone to stay home by offering up 500 hours of its original programming online for free.
Starting April 3, HBO Go and HBO Now will have a number of its iconic series available to stream without a subscription. Among them, the beloved mob drama The Sopranos, the scathing political satire Veep and the melancholy Six Feet Under. The networks current slate of blockbuster films will also be available, including Crazy, Stupid, Love and Pokemon: Detective Pikachu. The network also adding 10 of its documentaries, including McMillion$, for everyone who's already finished Tiger King.
It's an unprecedented move for the network, which has typically avoided putting content out in front of its subscription paywall. Aside from a few select series that are available on Amazon Prime. You can visit HBONOW.com or HBOGO.com for more information, or download their respective apps.
This is the latest big change in how streaming services have been operating since 1.5 billion people around the globe have been advised to stay home. Several have offered extended 30-day free trials. In March, Disney also released Frozen II on its platform, Disney+, ahead of schedule. There's also been a wave of VOD movies, including just-released films like The Way Back and The Invisible Man.
While there may be more options than ever when it comes to streaming, with increased demand prompting Netflix and Disney+ to been slow down speeds in certain countries in order to keep the content coming for the coming weeks.
Given the global nature of this crisis, we are expanding that change [to default to SD video] globally starting today," YouTube said in a statement released March 25. "This update is slowly rolling out, and users can manually adjust the video quality. We continue to work closely with governments and network operators around the globe to do our part to minimize stress on the system during this unprecedented situation."
As of Sunday, President Donald Trump said that the social distancing guidelines will remain in place until the end of April, though it's possible that date may be reconsidered. For tips on how to help slow the spread of coronavirus, you can check out the World Health Organization's website here.