How to Watch HBO in Australia


Watch HBO

HBO is a name that’s become synonymous with high-quality, must-see television shows and movies. Its daring, ground-breaking original series – like Game of Thrones and Chernobyl – have made it a household name around the world.

To date viewers in the US have been able to access HBO content via HBO Go (bundled with cable or satellite subscriptions) or via the HBO Now streaming service.

However, HBO Go and HBO Now will be decommissioned on July 31st and replaced by the new HBO Max streaming service that was launched on May 27th 2020.

At the moment none of HBO’s platforms are available in Australia and the channel’s geoblocking functionality makes it (almost) impossible for Australians to sign up to an HBO branded streaming service.

Given HBO’s licensing agreements, we don’t expect to see HBO Max offered locally for a couple more years.

Fortunately, thanks to Foxtel’s continued licensing of HBO content, we do have three excellent local options that give Australians comprehensive and legal access to the HBO catalogue. And there’s also a geoblocking workaround for those willing to take the associated risks.

Your options therefore include:

  1. HBO on BINGE (streaming)
  2. HBO on Foxtel TV (satellite & streaming)
  3. HBO on Foxtel Now (streaming)
  4. HBO content available on BINGE, Foxtel TV & Foxtel Now
  5. HBO via a VPN or Smart DNS (streaming)

1. Watch HBO on BINGE

The new Foxtel owned streaming service, BINGE, offers the cheapest and easiest way to access HBO content in Australia.

BINGE offers over 500 TV shows which includes the HBO catalogue as well as great content from the BBC, FX, Fox, The CW Network and the DC Universe. And with a library of almost 800 movies available, the best cinema from Hollywood and beyond is accessible on demand too.

BINGE is available at an entry level price of just $10 per month and offers a 2 week free trial.

BINGE Plans

Plan
Inclusions
Price
Basic
  • New customers: 14 day free trial
  • Basic
  • No Lock-in Contract
  • Stream in SD on a single device
  • 10,000+ hrs of the best shows
  • $10/mth
$10/mth
Min Cost - $10/month after 14 days free trial

Standard
  • New customers: 14 day free trial
  • Standard
  • No Lock-in Contract
  • Stream in HD on up to two devices
  • 10,000+ hrs of the best shows
  • $14/mth
$14/mth
Min Cost - $14/month after 14 days free trial

Premium
  • New customers: 14 day free trial
  • Premium
  • No Lock-in Contract
  • Stream in HD on up to four devices
  • 10,000+ hrs of the best shows
  • $18/mth
$18/mth
Min Cost - $18/month after 14 days free trial

Last audited 27 October 2020

If you’re a Telstra customer, you can get BINGE free for 3 months.

BINGE from Telstra

Plan
Inclusions
Price
Standard - BINGE from Telstra
  • Telstra Postpaid: 3 mths free
  • Telstra Plus Member: 3 mths free
  • Standard - BINGE from Telstra
  • No Lock-in Contract
  • Telstra Plus Silver: 6 mths free
  • Telstra Plus Gold: 9 mths free
  • $0/mth
$0/mth
Min Cost - $0 for Telstra postpaid customers (3 months)Telstra Plus Member (3 months), Silver (6 months) and Gold (9 months), $14/mth afterwards

Last audited 27 October 2020

2. Watch HBO on Foxtel TV

Have a satellite TV installation? Foxtel’s Pay TV is a good choice for accessing HBO content if you are also interested in accessing other live TV channels, would like to enjoy 4K Ultra HD programming or live in an area without a reliable broadband connection. Foxtel TV also offers the perk of broadcasting the latest HBO shows as they go to air (something that was vital for Game of Thrones).

Foxtel TV serves its content via the iQ4 set top box, which functions as a satellite receiver, a digital video recorder and a platform for on-demand streaming (which requires a broadband connection). Foxtel TV customers with a broadband connection can also stream content to their tablets and mobile devices using the Foxtel Go app.

Most of HBO’s shows and movies are screened on the Fox Showcase channel. Other popular comedic shows, including Silicon Valley and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, can be found on the Comedy Channel.

Fox Showcase is available on all Foxtel TV bundles. For example the entry-level channel pack, Foxtel Plus, now includes Fox Showcase among its over 50 channels for just $49 a month. Spend a little more to upgrade your package and you can access a wider range of non-HBO content.

Foxtel Plans

Plan
Inclusions
Price
Foxtel Plus Bundle
  • $0/mth for the 1st mth. Ends 01/12
  • iQ4 box & install fees waived
  • Foxtel Plus Bundle
  • 12 Month Contract
  • Set-top Box Included
  • 50+ channels
  • Enjoy 130 complete drama series
  • For the 1st mth $0/mth
For the 1st mth $0/mth
$49/mth afterwards
Min Cost - $539 on a 12 month direct debit plan with iQ4. New customers only.

Last audited 19 October 2020

Note that Foxtel does waive the iQ4 box & installation fees if you opt for a 12-month contract.  And if you’re a Telstra customer you’ll want to consider the Foxtel from Telstra plans and bundles.

3. Watch HBO on Foxtel Now

If you prefer not to go all-in on a satellite dish installation but would still like to access HBO content along with live television programming, then Foxtel Now is the option for you. Foxtel Now is a streaming-only version of Foxtel TV but otherwise functions the same way as its satellite TV counterpart.

Foxtel Now offers the Fox Showcase channel and Comedy Channel, thereby providing access to all HBO content. Better yet, both channels are available in the entry-level ‘Essentials’ pack priced at only $25 a month.

Of course, a range of other channel packs are again available if you want movies or extra drama channels.

You can road-test Foxtel Now free of charge – they’ll give you full access to all packs for 10 days so you can try it out for yourself.

Foxtel Now Plans

Plan
Inclusions
Price
Essentials pack
  • Essentials pack
  • No Lock-in Contract
  • 25+ channels: Lifestyle, Drama, Comedy, Entertainment & more
  • 20+ channels of premium drama, kids, & documentaries
  • $25/mth
$25/mth
Min Cost - $25 over 1 month

Last audited 19 October 2020

You can also sign up to Foxtel through Telstra and get all your mobile, broadband and TV subscriptions billed together each month.

Foxtel Now from Telstra

Plan
Inclusions
Price
Pop & Lifestyle Essentials Pack - Foxtel Now from Telstra
  • New customers: 1 month free
  • Pop & Lifestyle Essentials Pack - Foxtel Now from Telstra
  • No Lock-in Contract
  • The latest TV shows on Telstra TV
  • Includes Pop & Lifestyle shows
  • $25/mth
$25/mth
Min Cost - Min Cost - $25/mth after 1st month

Last audited 27 October 2020

4. HBO content on BINGE, Foxtel TV & Foxtel Now

Game of Thrones

Having paid a fortune to renew their licence to broadcast HBO’s content, Foxtel cleverly extended the terms of the deal. They now have full streaming rights for all the shows and movies that HBO produces, as well as HBO’s entire back catalogue.

That means that for the price of a local subscription you can get full, convenient, high-quality access to the entire HBO library, as well as the latest HBO shows. This includes upcoming HBO Max Originals.

Please note that third-party content aired by HBO Max in the US that is not produced by HBO may  not be available in Australia through Foxtel.

Since Foxtel owns BINGE, Foxtel TV and Foxtel Now, you can find the same HBO content on each service. A small selection of the more popular HBO shows available includes:

  • Game of Thrones
  • Chernobyl
  • Euphoria
  • Big Little Lies
  • The Outsider
  • His Dark Materials
  • Succession
  • Westworld
  • Watchmen
  • Rome
  • Silicon Valley
  • True Blood
  • The Wire
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • Sex and the City
  • True Detective
  • Barry
  • Veep
  • The Sopranos
  • Band of Brothers
  • Flight of the Conchords
  • Insecure
  • Sharp Objects
  • The Righteous Gemstones
  • Boardwalk Empire
  • The Leftovers
  • Six Feet Under
  • The Night Of
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
  • High Maintenance
  • The Plot Against America
  • Olive Kitteridge
  • Vice Principals

5. Watch HBO Max via a VPN or Smart DNS

Using a VPN to watch HBO

Because HBO licenses its content to different companies in different countries, they put automatic restrictions on services when you’re outside the United States. However, you have probably asked yourself if its possible for Australians to access HBO Max directly.

The short answer is ‘yes’.

However, doing so requires some work. You’ll need to use either a VPN (good for a single device) or what’s called a ‘smart DNS’ service (good for multiple devices) to fool HBO Max into thinking you’re connecting from inside the US or to download the mobile or tablet app from the US app store.

HBO routinely identifies and blocks VPN and smart DNS services, so finding a stable working service can be challenging.

Setting up an account payment method is also complicated as credit cards from HBO-restricted countries are generally blocked.

Workarounds such as virtual credit cards are hit-and-miss and also present some degree of risk as some providers are shady. There’s also no guarantee that any virtual credit card will work or continue to work over any length of time.

And then there’s the cost. HBO Max costs $14.99 USD per month – which is a little more than 22 Australian dollars at the time of writing.

Add on the monthly cost of a VPN or smart DNS and it quickly becomes apparent that the Foxtel options make more sense, especially since they will stream far more reliably.

If you’re still determined to stream HBO Max from the source, the two VPN providers below offer you your best chance of success (ExpressVPN can also be set up so as to function as a Smart DNS).

VPN & Smart DNS Plans

VPN PlanDetailsOfferPrice (USD) hidden price
NordVPN 1-month plan
  • Secure and private access to the internet with no restrictions
  • Fast and stable connection anywhere
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Award-winning customer service 24/7
  • Feel safe on any device
$11.95 per month.11.95
ExpressVPN 1-month plan
  • Connect to any of their unlimited-bandwidth, ultra-fast servers
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Unrestricted access worldwide
  • Stay secure and anonymous anytime you go online
  • Use on all your devices
$12.95 per month. 12.95

Last audited 19 October 2020

FAQs

What channel is HBO on in Australia?

The best way to stream both previous and upcoming HBO shows, live or on demand, is with Foxtel Now. The Pop and Lifestyle pack includes Foxtel channels such as Fox SHOWCASE, which airs new HBO shows live and direct from the US. You can check out the wealth of HBO content on demand with Foxtel Now’s 10 day free trial before committing to a monthly, no lock-in contract plan.

Where can I watch HBO shows in Australia?

There are several options for watching HBO shows whether you want to use your TV and Laptop, or on the move with a mobile device. Not only can you watch HBO shows with the Foxtel Now Pop and Lifestyle pack, but you can also gain access via Foxtel’s newest streaming platform, BINGE. So it’s literally never been easier to watch and stream your favourite HBO shows in Australia.

How much does HBO cost in Australia?

As HBO shows are exclusively available with Foxtel and BINGE, there are several payment plans that are made to suit everyone from singles and couples to houseshares and families. With BINGE, a Basic plan costs only $10/month (SD only) which one user can use at any given time. A Standard Plan costs $14/month (HD, watch on two screens at once). A Premium Plan will set you back $18/month (HD, watch on four screens at once). Foxtel Now costs as little as $25/month for the Pop and Lifestyle pack that includes all HBO content.

Is HBO on Netflix Australia?

HBO series are not available on Netflix as the American streaming service doesn’t hold the rights to HBO content in Australia. HBO TV Shows are exclusively available with Foxtel, Foxtel Now and BINGE, with a deal that will run until at least 2023. That means that during this time, there will be no HBO content on any other platform, including Amazon Prime and Stan.

How can I get HBO for Free?

To stream HBO content at home or on a mobile device, you can take advantage of Foxtel Now’s 10 Day Free Trial, or a whole two weeks for free with BINGE. Both of these options give you access to HBO series new and old, from The Sopranos and Game Of Thrones to Mrs America and Katy Keene. Once both of these trials have finished, subscriptions are on a month to month basis with no lock-in contract.

How much is HBO in Australia?

Direct HBO access is restricted in Austalia but HBO’s content is available via BINGE (starting at $10 a month) Foxtel Now (starting at $25 a month) or via Foxtel TV, starting at $49 a month. As there is no HBO channel as such in Australia, these are the exclusive options for all residents, with Foxtel holding exclusive rights to HBO content until 2023.

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