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How to Watch Game of Thrones Season 6

Game Of Thrones Character
Source: http://www.makinggameofthrones.com/

“Knowledge is a weapon, Jon. Arm yourself well before you ride forth to battle.”

― Maester Aemon

Winter continues its six-season-long stroll into our favorite heroes’ lives starting April 24th. The HBO adaption of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice novels has seriously impacted television. The Emmy-award-winning and record-breaking series has enraptured millions of fans and garnered critical acclaim worthy of the old gods. If you’re all caught up on Game of Thrones, you’ve found a way to watch it in the past, but with the new season looming in the distance, are you going to be able to keep up?

“When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.”

―Eddard Stark

Sure, HBO has already declared that sharing usernames and passwords serves as a “terrific marketing vehicle for the next generation of viewers” (although it is discouraged). But what if you don’t have anyone who is willing to share their HBO GO login information? Winter is coming, and whether you’ve scorned your parents by marrying the wrong woman or blew it with your roommates for indulging in a bit too much wine, you could be left in the cold…and you don’t want to wait for the White Walkers to come around.

Which Service Is Right for Me?

“Choosing… it has always hurt. And always will. I know.”

―Maester Aemon

There’s more than one way to skin a wolf, and with Game of Thrones you’ll have plenty of options to thank the ancients for. Whether adding HBO to your existing cable service at home, taking HBO GO with you on your travels, or tapping into a new power altogether with HBO NOW or Sling TV, the world of the Seven Kingdoms awaits. We won’t spend a lot of time discussing piracy/illegal methods, nor physical copies, because frankly we don’t feel like they’re worthy of the Iron Throne.

Service HBO HBO GO HBO NOW Sling TV w/ HBO
Description An add-on package to your TV service An additional On Demand service that allows you to stream online via compatible devices An internet-only subscription service that streams to compatible devices An online service geared toward those who want popular channels without a full-on TV package
Monthly Price $14.99–$20 + $40–$130 for TV service package $14.99 $14.99 $35 [$14.99 (HBO) + $20 (Sling service)]
Requires TV Subscription TV + HBO Subscription Internet Sling subscription, internet
Contract? 0–2 Years Same as your TV service No contract No contract
HBO
EXPAND FOR DETAILS

Description
An add-on package to your TV service
Monthly Price
$14.99–$20 + $40–$130 for TV service package
Requires
TV Subscription
Contract?
0–2 Years
HBO GO
EXPAND FOR DETAILS

Description
An additional On Demand service that allows you to stream online via compatible devices
Monthly Price
$14.99
Requires
TV + HBO Subscription
Contract?
Same as your TV service
HBO NOW
EXPAND FOR DETAILS

Description
An internet-only subscription service that streams to compatible devices
Monthly Price
$14.99
Requires
Internet
Contract?
No contract
Sling TV w/ HBO
EXPAND FOR DETAILS

Description
An online service geared toward those who want popular channels without a full-on TV package
Monthly Price
$35 [$14.99 (HBO) + $20 (Sling service)]
Requires
Sling subscription, internet
Contract?
No contract

HBO

“She had always heard that love was a surer route to the people’s loyalty than fear. ‘If I am ever a queen, I’ll make them love me.’”

―Sansa Stark

Like traveling on the Kingsroad, subscribing to HBO is the most recommended, tried-and-true method for getting what you want. You get to witness the show’s glory in high definition with great audio quality right along with the rest of the world—no streaming delays or glitchy pictures and sound. If you’re already a TV service subscriber, it’s easy to add HBO (and other premium channels) to your service. Typically, HBO is an add-on that starts around $14.99/month. If you’re interested in TV service, or looking to switch, we recommend providers like DISH and DIRECTV because they offer HBO for three months as a promotional trial. Some higher tier packages, like the Verizon Fios Ultimate Package or Optimum’s Gold or Silver Packages, include HBO as part of the monthly price.

“Old stories are like old friends, she used to say. You have to visit them from time to time.”

– Bran

If you still need to catch up or want to brace yourself for the new season, you’ll need to clarify your on demand availability. One of the biggest caveats with an HBO subscription is that some services, like Optimum, charge additional fees for on demand access. Not a problem if you’re only planning to watch it live, but chances are you’re going to want to revisit the series to pick up on clues and quotes you might’ve missed. You could also just use HBO GO, unless you have no way of connecting your device to your big screen television.

Pros:

  • Instant/live
  • Highest and most consistent visual and audio quality
  • Best option for channels beyond HBO

Cons:

  • Must subscribe (often requires a contract)
  • Certain providers charge for on demand content (just use your HBO GO login)

Perfect for:

  • Kings, queens, royalty
  • Mothers of dragons
  • Established families throughout the Seven Kingdoms

HBO GO

“‘Tis a big and beautiful world. Most of us live and die in the same corner where we were born and never get to see any of it. I don’t want to be most of us.”

―Oberyn Martell

If you’re about to embark across the Narrow Sea or need to disappear for awhile, HBO GO provides unlimited streaming for your computer, mobile, connected TV, or gaming devices. HBO provides this service for free as part of your subscription. Whether streaming or downloading, no matter where you are in Westeros, your friends (and enemies) won’t be far behind.

Pros:

  • Watch anywhere
  • Free on demand availability
  • Download episodes

Cons:

  • Only available to current HBO subscribers

Perfect for:

  • Adventurous souls, wanderers, or other travelers
  • Spies and the birds that whisper in their ear
  • White Walkers on the move

HBO NOW

“And when the sun rises, I promise you, Castle Black will stand! The Night’s Watch will stand! With me now! Now with me.”

―Alliser Thorne

HBO NOW only requires an internet connection, so for $15 a month, you can get Game of Thrones and the rest of HBO’s programming, contract-free. If you still want the big screen experience you can watch on an Apple TV, or connect an iOS device like your iPad, iPhone, or iPod via cabling. Apple TVs start around $60. Another option is using the Fire TV Stick from Amazon (starting around $40) or the Amazon Fire TV (starting around $100).

This is literally the least-expensive option because you can find free Wi-Fi just about anywhere these days; just make sure you’re not exposing the young ones to all the wonders (and horrors) of the Seven Kingdoms if you’re watching in public.

Pros:

  • Standalone service
  • Cancel anytime without fees
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • Only get HBO
  • Requires special connections or devices for big screen viewing

Perfect for:

  • Wildlings
  • Dothraki warriors
  • The Many-Faced God
  • Anyone who can’t be tied down by contractual services

HBO for Sling TV

“A single day of freedom is worth more than a lifetime in chains.”

– Grey Worm

If you don’t want to commit to a full-on TV package and the contract that comes with it, Sling TV offers 20 top channels for only $20 a month with the option to expand up to 65 channels. The HBO add-on is $15 a month, so your monthly total will be $35. Sling’s offering a free 7-day trial right now, and you can cancel without fear of fees anytime.

The biggest caveat with Sling TV is that it’s only available for one device/stream at a time. It also includes commercial breaks and national ads, just like regular TV service. You can get Sling TV for Apple and Amazon devices, as well as Roku, Android, PC and other devices.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Get more than just HBO, including top channels like ESPN, AMC, and Food Network.
  • On demand

Cons:

  • Can only use one stream/device at a time

Perfect for:

  • The Night’s Watch so they can keep up with the rest of the civilized world contract-free
  • Dwarves, bastards, and other outcasts who have plenty of alone time

(Don’t) Watch Game of Thrones for Free Online

“No man [or TV service] is free. Only children and fools think elsewise.”

—Tywin Lannister

We really can’t recommend going the highly illegal route of piracy any more than we could recommend spending a vacation with Joffrey. Although it’s as tempting as Melisandre, piracy poses a legal risk, and some would go so far as to say you’re essentially stealing from the cast and crew (even the poor janitors who have to clean up all that blood).

With epic cinematography, a slew of gorgeous people, a great soundtrack, and dynamic visual and sound effects, you’d be a fool to not want source-quality material. On top of that, you won’t be watching the action as it premiers, which means that not only will you be behind, but you might get a major plot point spoiled for you as well.

DVD/BLU-ray

“A long summer always meant a long winter to come.”

― Jeor Mormont, Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch

Because there are 10 episodes to last from spring through summer, you could be waiting a long time for physical copies of the show to come around. HBO released Season 5 digitally online months before the physical Blu-ray and DVD discs. If that’s any indication, Season 6 won’t be ready as a physical copy until sometime next year when Season 7 is ready to premier, possibly months after.

Conclusion

“Different roads sometimes lead to the same castle.”

― Jon Snow

No matter which method you choose, you’re going after the most sought-out TV drama; as such, it will be well worth the reward. Whether subscribing to HBO, wandering the earth with HBO GO, keeping it simple with HBO NOW, or getting a little extra with Sling TV with HBO, there’s an option for everyone. With so many ways to watch, it’s easy to marvel at the changing crowns on Game of Thrones.

Game of Thrones airs on Sunday evenings at 9 p.m. ET starting April 24th.

 

Is My Device Compatible?

When it comes to compatibility, most major devices will work, but some providers exclude certain devices due to licensing agreements.

HBO NOW Device Compatibility

  • Amazon Kindle Fire tablets
    • 3rd generation and later
  • Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
    • 1st generation and later
  • Android phones and tablets
    • Android 4.2 and later
  • Android TV
    • Android 5.0 and later
  • Apple TV
    • New Apple TV (4th generation)
    • Apple TV (2nd and 3rd generation)
  • Computer
    • Mac OS 10.6 or later
    • Windows Vista or later
      (Supported browsers: Chrome version 37 or later, Firefox version 31 or later, Internet Explorer 10 or later, Safari 7 or later)
  • iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch
    • iOS 7.0 and later
  • Roku
    • 2nd generation and later

HBO GO Device Compatibility

  • Amazon Fire tablets
  • Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
  • Android phones and tablets
  • Android TV
  • Apple iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch
  • Apple TV
  • Computers (web browser)
  • Roku
  • Chromecast
  • Samsung Smart TVs
  • TiVo
  • PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4
  • Xbox 360 and Xbox One

For a full list of compatible devices, click here.

Sling TV Device Compatibility

  • All Amazon Fire TV Players
  • Roku LT & higher
  • Chromecast
  • Android TV
  • ZTE
  • Channel Master
  • iOS 8 & higher
  • Android 4.0.3 & higher
  • Amazon Fire / Android 4.4.2+ Tablets
  • Xbox One
  • 10.7 & higher
  • Windows 7 & higher

For a full list of Sling compatible devices, click here.