As we’re seeing from Apple and Amazon, Roku intends to generate incremental revenue and streamline the end-user experience by offering premium video subscriptions directly within their interface. Although, Roku’s not quite there yet and is directing folks into The Roku Channel app to seek out Premium Subscriptions… now featuring HBO, just in time for Game of Thrones to wrap up with Season 8.
Instead of accessing a separate HBO app, which is oh so horribly inefficient *wink*, all HBO content will be available directly within the The Roku Channel. Unfortunately, your $14.99 subscription may not extend beyond the Roku platform. However, that now includes iPhone, iPad, and Android Roku apps. So you have some decent options. Just not that Xbox in the other room.
Reports indicate the actual Roku homescreen could eventually look a lot more like The Roku Channel with all this content folded in (but hopefully somewhat better than Amazon’s ‘garbage Fire’ TV) — further improving efficiency and maximizing discoverability. In fact, to even see the updated Roku Channel that provides the premium video, your box or set will have to be upgraded from Roku OS 8 to Roku OS 9… as mine was this week.