Yesterday was a big news day for cord cutters and streaming TV fans.
First off, HBO Now launched for iOS devices and Optimum Online customers. This is HBO's service for people who aren't cable TV subscribers. I didn't sign up (I get HBO through my cable provider) but VentureBeat and The Verge both did. From what I can tell it's pretty much identical to HBO Go. [Update: Steve Belk over at Cut Cable Today offers a side-by-side comparison of HBO Go and HBO Now.]
VentureBeat in particular seems very excited about HBO Now, but it'll be interesting to see how things go Sunday night when the new season of Game of Thrones premieres. Re/Code pointed out an HBO Help Center page that says you might be experiencing buffering because "There might be too many people trying to watch HBO Now." If that doesn't happen Sunday night it'll probably never happen. If it does happen, expect howls of outrage from HBO Now early adopters!
Sling TV had to apologize after its servers crumbled under the demand for the the NCAA's Final Four Final basketball games last weekend. (More on this at Engadget.) Let's hope HBO is ready for the Thrones fans.
Moving on, CBS now supports the Roku for its CBS All Access service. $5.99/month gets you access to an extensive back catalog of CBS shows, episodes of sixteen current shows a day after they've aired, and if you're in one of 14 major markets (including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia) you can get live CBS programming too. In its press release CBS promises to bring the service both to more devices and (for the live stuff) more cities soon.
Android users can finally watch Amazon Instant Video, according to a post at TechCrunch. I'd about given up hope for this; it seemed like Amazon just had it in for users who opted to go pure Android rather than Amazon's Fire OS variant. You do still have to jump through some hoops, first installing the Amazon App Store and then installing Amazon Instant video from there. TechCrunch has step by step instructions for you if you need them.
Last up for today, if you're a Netflix fan and in the market for a new TV, the company now has a list of "Recommended TVs" for Netflix viewers. So what makes a TV a good fit for Netflix? Among other features called out are being able to turn on the set and launch Netflix with a single button press and the ability to 'save your place' when you turn off the TV so you can pick up right where you left off when you come back later.
The list is pretty short for now — LG 4K UHD TVs w/ webOS 2.0, Sony Android Full HDTVs and Roku TVs from Hisense, Insignia, and TCL — but I'm sure it'll grow over time. Personally I'm happy with a 'dumb' TV and an easily replaceable smart box connected to it but if you're looking for the all-in-one experience and you're a Netflix fan, this list is a good place to start your research.