What Is HBO on Demand?

By Lou Martin

Updated September 22, 2017

HBO On Demand is a video service offered by HBO that allows you to watch TV shows and movies on your schedule by giving you instant access to a large selection of programming. HBO On Demand, unlike other on-demand video services, charges a flat monthly fee instead of charging on a per-play basis.


As of July 2011, HBO On Demand is only available to HBO subscribers, and is offered through most cable providers. Currently, DirecTV is the only satellite service provider that offers HBO On Demand. Similar to regular HBO, HBO On Demand is billed through your cable or satellite provider, and gives you access to nearly all of the network’s programming, including TV shows, movies and sporting events. According to the network, the best of HBO’s offerings are available on HBO On Demand.


HBO On Demand offers more than 140 show titles each week, and adds new programs each Monday. At any given time, the on-demand service provides at least 50 movies and 20 children’s programs to choose from. More than 60 percent of the programs offered are made up of the network’s original programming, such as “Sex and the City,” “Entourage” and “The Sopranos.” Sports fans will find the service’s “Real Sports” and “World Championship Boxing” series to be of particular interest.

How It Works

You can access HBO On Demand through your regular cable or satellite hookup by locating the service’s assigned channel on the onscreen listings. Your remote control is all you need to select the programming you want to watch. The service does require a Wi-Fi connection to the Internet, as each program is downloaded to your receiver where you can watch using the same controls you use to watch TV, including pause, rewind and fast forward. Presently, HBO On Demand can only be accessed through your home receiver, and not online or at someone else’s house, unless they are a subscriber, as well.


Parents can control the content available through HBO On Demand using the cable or satellite provider’s normal parental controls feature. HBO On Demand does not require additional equipment. Service providers determine the cost of the on-demand service. The network’s HBO GO service allows you to access the network’s programming via a personal computer or mobile device, such as a tablet computer or mobile phone, as part of your regular HBO subscription. HBO GO gives you access to more than 1,400 movies and TV shows.