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Premiere of final Game of Thrones season triggers piracy bonanza

Vic_Viper

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,237
This happens every year, and will only continue to happen now that more shows are becoming exclusive to their respective streaming services. I dont know what the solution is, but they arent really making things better.
 

GSG

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,119
Wouldn't be surprised if a big portion of the pirates are in Canada. The only way to watch it here without cable is through Crave TV, and the Crave TV app is pure shit(no PS4 app, low bitrate, 1080p only on a handful of devices, no surround sound).
 

Pwnz

Member
Oct 28, 2017
7,265
Places
HBO Now on PS4 last night was fairly good quality. Like a really high bitrate 720p to 1080p steam, similar to Netflix. I had HBO Go a year ago and yeah it would get low bitrate and shitty. I dont know if the improvement is HBO getting more servers or the fact the app is on PS4. I recently moved all streaming from my Vizio smartcast to PS4 because Hulu is broken as fuck these days on Vizio. PS4 in general has much better designed apps and it has way more horsepower over whatever limited ARM chip and RAM the TV has.
 

rsfour

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,548
The Crave TV app is pure shit. And attempting to do it within browser is hilarious because the error code that pops up is something you can't solve by looking at their site, you have to go through reddit and other shit. And it all relates to privacy/cookie blocking.

I've had HBO for the past 3-4 years because it's bundled with my cable, and I've only ever used it for GOT.

And in re: to the actual topic, yeah, the streaming quality is trash. And people are fucked in other countries because of cable company prices, or just availabity in general.
 

GMM

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,702
Here in Denmark the paid HBO service actually went offline because they were surprised by the demand and their infrastructure is incredibly poorly designed, so you couldn’t even watch it if you paid for it, but the people who pirated it could.
 

Kompis

Member
Oct 27, 2017
380
I'm paying but I can't really blame people who download it considering how abysmal the picture quality of HBO streaming is. Really questioning what I pay for when you compare to the amazing picture quality on Netflix.
 

iRAWRasaurus

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,399
I notice there are two HBO apps. HBO go and HBO now. I feel like this doesnt help much.
 

GMM

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,702
I'm paying but I can't really blame people who download it considering how abysmal the picture quality of HBO streaming is. Really questioning what I pay for when you compare to the amazing picture quality on Netflix.
Even worse is that with HBO Nordic the picture quality can be so much different depending on the device you view it on. Apple TV, iPad and iPhone looks mediocre but fine, while Samsung Smart TVs is just potato quality that blocks up every time there is motion.
 

NekoFever

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,038
GOT is the true treasure for pirates.
I remember when GOT 1st started in the UK and it was exclusive to Sky TV customers. You were expected to pay a hundred'ish bucks a month and be locked into an 18 month contract just for the privilege of getting to watch GOT for a few months a year.
I can't help but feel the rampant piracy that followed from this awesome business decision caused HBO to out pressure on Sky to create their Now TV streaming service and make GOT available at a reasonable price.
It used to be late as well. I remember downloading an episode because I didn't want to spend the day (or days?) dodging social media between the US and UK airdates.

Now the main showing is a day later on Monday evening, but they show it simultaneously with the US at like 2am so you can record it and watch it sooner, or more recently on demand.
 

chironex

Member
Oct 27, 2017
448
The service Game of Thrones is locked to in Australia is $60+ a month, and has far less appealing content then say Netflix for example.

There is a reason why the show is so widely pirated in Australia. Nobody really talks about piracy here at all... Until Game of Thrones rolls around.
I was gonna say you can just get Foxtel Now, the streaming service, but ffs it's still $25 a month minimum.

My partner watches GOT but doesn't keep up to date on when new seasons are out, so last year I just waited till the season was over then took a free trial. It was bad too, low resolution, buffering issues and a dearth of interesting content. Not worth the $25 imo.
 

Kompis

Member
Oct 27, 2017
380
Even worse is that with HBO Nordic the picture quality can be so much different depending on the device you view it on. Apple TV, iPad and iPhone looks mediocre but fine, while Samsung Smart TVs is just potato quality that blocks up every time there is motion.
That explains it. I use HBO Nordic on my 75" Samsung TV and it's just a clusterfuck of compression artifacts, especially during dark scenes.
 

GMM

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,702
That explains it. I use HBO Nordic on my 75" Samsung TV and it's just a clusterfuck of compression artifacts, especially during dark scenes.
Get an Apple TV or another player to view it with, the Samsung client is abysmal in terms of video quality, I was shocked at how bad it was.

The Game of Thrones intro looks so good when everything is a blocky mess.
 

Firebrand

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,135
Torrenting just ain't worth the effort and shitty quality
If they pick quality sources for torrent releases it's probably much higher quality than most streaming sites.

HBO Nordic seems to have gotten a little better this year but it wasn't exactly crisp during dark or snowy scenes. Seemed a little bit better on my iPad for some reason than the desktop PC, could just have been the screen size.

From screencaps I've seen of Amazon Video shows they seem to have really nice quality in 1080p, but from what I gather GoT is only on Amazon in certain regions and then only as a HBO add-on channel. Bit baffling that HBO wouldn't be the ones to provide the highest quality streams of their own show.

edit: I see GMM covered HBO Nordic above, guess it's device-dependent then. Gonna try Chromecast or something to compare, as there's no Windows 10 Store app.
 

Shahed

Member
Oct 27, 2017
368
UK
I have Sky Atlantic and Now TV, and yet I was tempted to pirate it yesterday. Sky has forced ads, and thw streaming for Now TV is poor quality

The pirated version is a better product
 

Siggy-P

Avenger
Mar 18, 2018
6,330
I ain't gonna pirate it but the only way I could watch it live in my country is via Sky, and fuck Sky.

So if I wanted to watch it I would litteraly pay double price for it than pay for Sky and put money into Rupert Murdoch's pocket.
 

Kompis

Member
Oct 27, 2017
380
Get an Apple TV or another player to view it with, the Samsung client is abysmal in terms of video quality, I was shocked at how bad it was.

The Game of Thrones intro looks so good when everything is a blocky mess.
I have an Apple TV 4K, will try tomorrow and see if its better. Usually the native Samsung apps are doing everything as good or better (no 4K on Apple TV youtube app...), so I only really use the Apple TV to rent or buy movies now.
 

Nooblet

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,137
These piracy numbers consider downloads across the world. HBO is not available everywhere, in UK you get Sky Atlantic via Now TV (limited to 720P I believe) and they have special deals for just lasting the duration of GoT. But you still have to deal with adverts even after paying for it -_- I bet in most other countries GoT either

1) Doesn't air
2) Airs several days/weeks/months later
3) Gets censored (This happens in India and I think number 2 happens in India too)
 

Nooblet

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,137
GOT is the true treasure for pirates.
I remember when GOT 1st started in the UK and it was exclusive to Sky TV customers. You were expected to pay a hundred'ish bucks a month and be locked into an 18 month contract just for the privilege of getting to watch GOT for a few months a year.
I can't help but feel the rampant piracy that followed from this awesome business decision caused HBO to out pressure on Sky to create their Now TV streaming service and make GOT available at a reasonable price.
I wish NowTV streamed higher than 720P and with no adverts. But it's essentially Sky Atlantic and it's streaming a broadcast and not really streaming like HBOGo/Netflix free of adverts and such.
 

Nooblet

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,137
Is there anywhere I can get it livestreamed from England? We don't have HBO so I can't watch it live with that.
Sky Atlantic is the go to channel for HBO stuff. You can get Sky's Now TV subscription specifically for "entertainment" and watch it live or restream it later. They are doing a 3 months for £17.99 deal for GoT atm. Otherwise it costs £7.99 a month. You can also get a 7 day free trial for a new account.

Be warned though, that the quality is bad (low nitrate 720P) and there are adverts.
 

Wombat_Lover

Attempted to circumvent ban with alt account
Banned
Jan 20, 2019
527
Australia will account for alot of the downloads, since we are criminals in life.
 

RaySpencer

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,763
I'm paying for Crave just for GoT. It's $20 a month to get season 7 and 8. Crave sucks so much ass, 720p, stereo sound, fuck you Bell.
 

Avitus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,820
Effort is clicking button, it's super fast and easy to Torrent stuff. Quality can be amazing if you choose a high quality rip too.
It can be relatively easy to get a strike/letter from your ISP if you torrent without a VPN, especially on anything as popular as GoT.

A certain portion of any consumer base has a price of $0 in mind. GoT is just so popular that the numbers in terms of downloads are eye-popping.
 

LifeLine

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,589
Glad I got HBO Now. Got to start watching from the app like 3 mins early lol.

Also watching the latest Curb season while I wait for the next episode.
 

K' Dash

Member
Nov 10, 2017
1,987
The only way for me to watch that show is HBO on cable, not digital cable, mind you, normal SD cable, besides that, it looks and sounds TERRIBLE.

I tried to legally stream the episode but I'm not from US so any way to stream it is blocked, I WANT TO PAY TO WATCH IT ASSHOLES, but they won't let me, now I'm using HBO Go I borrowed from a friend with a VPN.
 

RaySpencer

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,763
It can be relatively easy to get a strike/letter from your ISP if you torrent without a VPN, especially on anything as popular as GoT.

A certain portion of any consumer base has a price of $0 in mind. GoT is just so popular that the numbers in terms of downloads are eye-popping.
Yeah for sure. HBO is on that shit. I just wish my options in Canada were better, it sucks ass when I pay for something that's a worse experience than if I would pirate it.
 

shira

Community Resetter
Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,202
Bell absolutely dropped the ball last night in Canada. Constant buffering, slowdown and speed up, app crashes and a 720p resolution. Its absurd that a corporation that big is so utterly incompetent. Ill buy the bluray when it comes out (as I always do) but i will be cancelling crave and I pursue other measures to watch the show. Sad as it is.
Crave is trash, it is known
 

Avitus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,820
Yeah for sure. HBO is on that shit. I just wish my options in Canada were better, it sucks ass when I pay for something that's a worse experience than if I would pirate it.
I mean, ethically, if you're paying for it and torrent a better copy, what is really any party out of? Doesn't seem much different from using a different .exe to get your legal game copy to run better.
 

RaySpencer

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,763
I mean, ethically, if you're paying for it and torrent a better copy, what is really any party out of? Doesn't seem much different from using a different .exe to get your legal game copy to run better.
It means I will get emails from Shaw telling me HBO is tracking my shit. Haha.

Ethically I agree, legally, I don't know. Hah
 

CaviarMeths

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
7,469
Western Canada
Damn yall calm it down. HBO now is only like 15 bucks. Cancel it after the season is over as I'm going to do...until Westworld hits that is.
Literally the entire world outside of the US does not have access to HBO Now. In Canada, all HBO content is licensed by Bell Media, who for years did not make current season Game of Thrones available to anyone without a premium cable package. The target audience of cable TV is octogenarians who love throwing $80+/mo in the garbage, but they aren't particularly interested in Game of Thrones. Very peculiar business strategy.

We can stream HBO live now with a $20/mo Crave subscription though, so that's nice. Felt good last night to watch a new episode of GoT live for the first time.
 

Claven

Game Localization
Verified
Aug 22, 2018
3,288
Doesn't relate to piracy, but HBO streaming services really need to catch up with Netflix.
The image quality is abysmal for such high budget show, especially after coming from Netflix 4K / HDR movies and series.
Don't get me started on the UI.
Now, the Netflix UI isn't anything to be exactly proud about, for sure, but that HBO GO one is some shameful amateur hour bullshit.
 

AlexBasch

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,753
Funny, HBO Go in Latin America fucking died during the streaming and some guy was streaming the cable signal in Facebook and that worked better than the legal, paying alternative.

They should improve their service, no way they don't know how big this show is and how many people are using this rather than old cable.
 

Chaeotic

Member
Oct 25, 2017
282
Perth, Western Australia
As an Australian, the options are Foxtel or nothing - and even Foxtel has a few differing tiers. You've either got your box and hardwire setup (an investment and a half, let me tell you), or their streaming service which, for many here, either flat out didn't work or streamed in 480p tops.

While I don't advocate piracy, it's lose lose situations like this that push diehard fans in to the arms of peer to peer sharing. In under a minute I can have a full 1080p 5.1 file downloading, and be watching ten minutes after that. Australia has proven if you make content easy enough to access, most will choose to take it up.
 

Paz

Member
Nov 1, 2017
1,361
Brisbane, Australia
This thread is a lot of people talking about how HBO is cheap without thinking for a second that in most of the world you have to deal with some shitty local company that bought the exclusive rights and buried the option to watch it 6 layers deep in some bullshit.

Add on top of that issues like the Australian exclusive rights holder having shitty servers that crash due to viewing demand, half my twitter yesterday was Australians showing pictures of their broken (paid) streaming service telling them there was an error and being unable to watch that night.

I don't condone piracy, I do think some of those pirates could be turned in to paying customers if the experience of being a paying customer was remotely good. Kind of like how Steam saw PC piracy as largely a service problem.
 

CrazyDude

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,119
It just shows how well the show is doing, if piracy did any real damage to the show it would have been cancelled a while ago.