It's apparent that HBO is in touch with what their viewers want. Not only does the pay-cable network continue to justify the additional cost to cable and satellite providers by delivering quality shows, but they've also expanded their reach through their streaming video app HBO Go. The Netflix-like feature, available online and as an app through various devices (iPad and most recently, Kindle Fire). In addition to hours and hours of HBO original series (previously aired and current shows), HBO Go also offers movies and other specials. Those features alone make HBO Go a must-have app for HBO subscribers. But HBO has taken it a step further by creating second-screen experiences for their programming. They did it for Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones, and they'll be doing it for True Blood, which returns for Season 5 this Sunday night.
Described as an "interactive viewing experience," the feature, which will be available for True Blood for the first time starting June 10, allows fans to access various bonus content relevant to the episode. Normally, we'd have to wait until the DVD/Blu-ray release to access content like that (and in HBO's case, that'd be a long wait), but HBO Go will deliver the added content to HBO Go users through this experience. Here's a list of the content True Blood fans can expect when the vampire-drama series premieres returns for Season 5.
An in-depth character guide that offers key info, quotes and imagery on the supernatural creatures inhabiting the world of True Blood, with characters organized by type: vampires, faeries, shape-shifters, werewolves, humans and The Authority.
It sounds like those using HBO Go through their iPad will get an even better, more immersive way to explore True Blood, which includes social networking capabilities and other functions.
Interactive features that are exclusive to the experience on the iPad include social functionality–the ability to post status updates to Facebook and Twitter directly while watching. Viewers can also choose to watch the series in portrait orientation on the iPad which enables them to browse an in-depth character guide during episode playback.
But the iPad's not the only way to get this bonus content. As mentioned, the Kindle Fire is now compatible with HBO Go, as is the iPhone, iPod Touch, numerous smartphones, Roku, Samsung Smart TV and XBox 360. HBO Go itself is "free" (or included) to HBO subscribers (subject to availability among their cable/satellite provider).
As fun and satisfying as any given True Blood episode might be, HBO Go's bonus content may take that to the next level, giving those hardcore fans even more ways to enjoy the show each week this summer.