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For alternate meanings of "HBO", see HBO (disambiguation).

HBO (Home Box Office) is a premium cable television network. HBO airs theatrically-released feature films, self-produced full-length television movies, and various original series. Some of its popular series past and present include The Sopranos, Sex and the City, Six Feet Under, and Curb Your Enthusiasm. HBO broadcasts boxing matches under the banner name HBO Boxing.



HBO was the first cable network to originate as a non-terrestrial broadcast TV network. HBO went on the air in 1972 after Time Inc. formed the network in 1971. Originally, the network transmitted via terrestrial microwave towers. In 1975, HBO became the first TV network to broadcast its signals via satellite when it showed the "Thrilla in Manila" boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. In January 1986, HBO also became the first satellite network to encrypt its signal from unauthorized viewing by way of the Videocipher II System. Later, HBO was one of the first cable TV networks to broadcast a high-definition version of its channel. HBO's parent company is Time Warner.

HBO has also developed a reputation for offering very high quality original programming. HBO is a subscription-only service and does not carry normal commercials; both of these factors relieve HBO from pressures to tone down controversial aspects in their programs, thus allowing for explicit themes, such as graphic violence, explicit sex and profanity.

The network is currently received in roughly one-third of households in the United States . It can be quite expensive to acquire HBO because subscribers are often required to pay for an extra "tier" of service even before paying for the channel itself (though all of the HBO channels are often priced together in a single package). Someone upgrading from a standard cable package might see their bill increase more than 40%.

Since TV critics are generally obligated to keep track of HBO, but the general public is not, the network's influence can be overstated. However, several HBO programs have been re-aired on other networks (usually after some editing), and a number of them are available on DVD.

HBO has several companion channels such as HBO 2, HBO Comedy, HBO Family, HBO Latino, HBO Signature, and HBO Zone. HBO also operates the Cinemax channels.

The Latin American pay-TV movie service HBO Latin America is not related to the American channels, however its owners, HBO Latin American Group, have licenced the HBO name, trademark and logo.

HBO original programming

These are shows that are either currently on HBO or have been on it in the past.

See also

External link

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