Netflix and HBO finally arrived to Finland – and I’ve finally got to test both of them.
HBO Nordic almost blew their launch by first slipping in their schedules and expectation management, as well as letting people throw fits over really strong contract terms — especially mandatory commitment of 12 months. They back stepped soon, but some of the damage was done at least in terms of bad publicity.
As they now offered free month and ability to cancel the subscription without additional fees before January 31st – I decided to give it a try, especially as I was already using Netflix through their 3 months of free usage collaboration with Spotify. Netflix was the first one out of the gate and I already had the time to have my fling with Netflix — and stumble upon my first problems with it. Application works perfectly on iPad and AppleTV – as well as on the browser. Streaming works really well – and the only complaint is the lack of really interesting content. After a time it really starts to feel hard to find something to watch.
HBO Nordic on the other hand is lagging behind in applications. They do not have Apple TV application — which is a drag, HD support is still to come — and the browser streaming application seems at first a bit buggier than the Netflix version. Bugs weren’t that bad though noticeable – timing on subtitles was really off and rewinding and forwarding the stream caused the video stream to stop while the sound continued.
They have the HBO catalogue, including the next big thing: The Newsroom. Though clearly not everything and not every season is online they still do have an admirable collection of quality content to watch. And if they do add content in quick leaps to the catalogue, that alone will be good reason to pay for the subscription. Especially if they manage to get the Apple TV application into those magical devices.