'Game Of Thrones' Premiere Live Stream Online, But Will HBO Go Crash Again?

Jonathan Vankin

The Game of Thrones Season Four premiere will stream online April 6, the same night that the episode entitled "Two Swords" airs on HBO. But even if you are not near your TV, you can watch the Game of Thrones premiere at almost the same time as the rest if the United States.

You may be able to watch the Game of Thrones Season Four premiere stream online legally, even if you do not subscribe to HBO.

The Game of Thrones premiere began airing at 9 pm Eastern Time in the United States. HBO subscribers who have the HBO Go app on their iPhones, iPads or other smartphones and tablets should find the episode available to steam online between 9:30 and 10 pm Eastern. Of course that gives West Coast viewers a head start — they can watch Game of Thrones online starting at around 6:30 pm, even before their TV-bound friends see the show.

HBO Go is available only to viewers who currently subscribe to HBO, but many viewers are known to "piggy back,"using login credentials from friends and family members to log in tyo the service. And HBO says it's okay with that.

Other online subscription services such as Netflix strictly regulate who may log in and who can't, but to HBO, allowing the technically unauthorized log-ins is just another way to market their service.

"What we're in the business of is building addicts, building video addicts," said HBO boss Richard Plepler, "and the way we do that is exposing our product and our shows and our brand to more and more people."

Using the HBO Go app on an iPhone, viewers who also own the Apple TV device can watch Game of Thrones on their TVs using the AirPlay feature. HBO Go is also available on the Roku device and other set-top internet boxes and "stick" devices that plug into a set's HD port, allowing the Game of Thrones premiere to be viewed on any TV set — not only tonight but any time in the weeks and months ahead.

There is one potential problem. When HBO aired the finale of its recently completed hit series True Detective, so many fans attempted to watch the online stream that HBO Go servers crashed due to the heavy load, frustrating thousands of fans.

Will the Game of Thrones Season 4 Premiere cause another HBO Go crash? The answer will become clear later Sunday night. But after the True Detective experience, HBO technicians have had plenty of time to prepare for another onslaught of online viewers hoping to watch a stream of Game of Thrones, so the Season Four premiere is likely to run smoothly online.