HBO’s Interactive TV Show App ‘Mosaic’ Launches Today for iOS and tvOS

Last month, HBO announced a new project called "Mosaic," a murder-mystery TV show that allows you to interact with and discover branching paths based on characters you choose to follow. This interactive version of Mosaic has now arrived in the form of an app for iOS and tvOS, and in 2018 a traditional, linear version of the story will debut on HBO. HBO will air the plot line that creators Ed Solomon and Steven Soderbergh envision for the series, which viewers can compare with their own versions.

The free app allows you to choose from various viewing orders, character decisions, and branching information options over the course of a 7.5-hour mini series, which stars Sharon Stone, Garrett Hedlund, Beau Bridges, Paul Reubens, and more. "Mosaic" won't just be a one-off series, with Soderbergh telling TechCrunch that he has made two more "made-for-Mosaic" shows, which will be coming after this first series launches. Soderbergh referred to the app as an "open source format" that will be available to other creatives in the future.

Soderbergh says “I looked at this as sort of an open source format that other fimmakesrs can come in and push.” Beyond the next two Mosaic titles he’s making, it’s unclear if other creators will launch their own separate apps based on the Mosaic tech, or if today’s app will become a hub for viewing or even buying this branching narrative content.
Soderbergh explained that the outcome of the story doesn't change because of choices you make, but that the app is more focused on what information you have -- or lack -- based on the branches you've taken. On Apple TV and iOS devices, the branching narrative will pop up with options after the end of certain scenes, letting you decide what a character should do next or switch to another plot line completely.


As you delve more into the mystery, you'll unlock "Discoveries" with extra clips, documents, and secrets that serve as additional pieces of the show's overall puzzle.
“The outcome and the events of the story don’t change based on your choices” says Soderbergh who avoided making Mosaic an overly-complicated video game. “It’s merely what information do you have about the story based on what you’ve been following.’ Some people like to just keep making choices and get to the end of a path, some people like to minesweep” jumping between separate characters in chronological order.
The Mosaic app was developed by PodOp, which was said to have filed 14 patents for the technology behind the interactive storytelling experience. The developer built storyboard management software that assisted Soderbergh and Solomon in planning out and scripting the branching narrative, as well as analytics tools that will help HBO and the creators see how audiences respond to the new format. If you'd prefer to wait for a more traditional experience, HBO's linear cut of the show will be six hours and debut on January 22, 2018.

You can download Mosaic on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV for free starting today. [Direct Link]

Related Roundups: Apple TV, iOS 11
Tag: HBO
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)

Discuss this article in our forums

HBO Announces iOS App-Based TV Show ‘Mosaic’ With Branching Narrative and Multiple Endings

HBO recently announced a new TV project in the works by director Steven Soderbergh called "Mosaic." The show will air as a six-part linear narrative in early 2018, but in addition to the traditional distribution, HBO is launching an app where viewers can watch the show, make decisions, and help shape the outcome of certain events (via The Verge).


The Mosaic iOS app will be available to download for free beginning in November, and it will let viewers choose what point of view they want to follow the story, effectively building their own experience from material written and directed by Ed Solomon and Soderbergh, respectively. According to HBO, each choice "builds upon one another," leading to different versions of the same scene, and different endings.


In January 2018, the linear version of Mosaic will air on HBO and the network said that this will allow viewers to compare their own version of the story with Soderbergh's narrative.
“MOSAIC is a branching narrative piece. While branching narratives have been around forever, technology now allows, I hope, for a more elegant, intuitive form of engagement than used to be possible. Also, we weren’t reverse engineering the story to fit an existing piece of technology; the story was being created in lockstep with the technical team. The fluidity of that relationship made me feel comfortable because I wanted it to be a simple, intuitive experience. I didn’t want moments where you are making a decision to feel like interruptions.”
In both mediums, the show will star Sharon Stone, Garrett Hedlund, Beau Bridges, Paul Reubens, and others. The iOS app will include character profiles and various pieces of content -- like newspaper clippings and voice recordings -- that serve to deepen the show's story. The plot itself is largely being kept under wraps by HBO and Soderbergh, but is expected to have some murder mystery elements.

Tag: HBO

Discuss this article in our forums

AT&T Unlimited Plus Data Plan Now Includes Free HBO Subscription

Thanks to AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner, customers on the network's Unlimited Plus data plan will now have the chance to watch HBO programming at no additional cost. Beginning tomorrow, April 6, customers on Unlimited Plus data plans who already subscribe to HBO through AT&T video services like DirecTV, DirecTV Now, or U-Verse TV, will no longer have to pay for the premium channel.

For the same customers on Unlimited Plus and one of AT&T's video services who don't have HBO, they'll be able to automatically receive access to the premium network as well. Lastly, for cord-cutters without a cable package who subscribe to Unlimited Plus, AT&T is offering HBO content either through DirecTV Now or HBO GO apps. Pricing on Unlimited Plus remains the same at $90/month for one line and $145/month for two lines, with additional lines added at the cost of $20 per new line.


Unlimited data plans have come back in full force this year, with new options from all four major carriers launching within a week of one another.
“People who want the best in entertainment want HBO. This latest unlimited wireless plan shows AT&T continuing to innovate and give customers what they desire,” said Bernadette Aulestia, executive vice president of Global Distribution, HBO. “When consumers see HBO as part of an entertainment package, they know they are getting the valued benefit of some of the greatest original programming and most recent Hollywood movies.”
AT&T is also offering Unlimited Plus users a $25 monthly video credit that can be used on its range of video services as long as they remain on the wireless plan. The monthly credit starts within three bill cycles, while the free HBO credit starts within two bill cycles.

In related premium channel news, cord-cutting service Sling TV recently added Showtime into its lineup at the additional cost of $10 per month for Sling TV users. The channels include Showtime, Showtime 2, Showtime Beyond, and more, and includes all of Showtime's original series like Homeland, Shameless, and the upcoming reboot of Twin Peaks.

Tags: AT&T, HBO

Discuss this article in our forums

Return date announced for third and final season of ‘The Leftovers’

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fcard%2fimage%2f309343%2fleftovers_season_3

Feed-twFeed-fb

It’s been a year to the day since The Leftovers last aired, which makes Dec. 6 the perfect date for HBO to announce when the Damon Lindelof drama will return for its third and final season. 

In a new video released on Facebook and Twitter, Lindelof and series co-creator Tom Perrotta (who wrote the novel on which the show is based) appeared in the white garb of the Guilty Remnant to tease fans about the show’s Season 3 premiere date.

While we still don’t have an exact date for The Leftovers‘ Season 3 return, Perrotta at least deigned to reveal the month: April 2017, meaning that the show is likely slipping into the slot vacated by Game of Thrones, which will return next summer instead of its usual spring debut.  Read more…

More about Hbo, Damon Lindelof, The Leftovers, Entertainment, and Tv

‘Westworld’ was never trying to trick you

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fcard%2fimage%2f308008%2f8b9ed7c1b4084a099d4fad02422a2196

Feed-twFeed-fb

After the credits rolled on Westworld‘s blood-soaked Season 1 finale, HBO invited fans to react to what they’d just seen with a card that read: “What just happened? Ask a host now,” before directing fans to the website DiscoverWestworld.com.

For most of the season, Discover Westworld has been presented as a typical promotional website for a vacation destination run by Delos Incorporated, albeit one with an intriguing terms of service contract (in which guests give Delos the rights to their “skin cells, bodily fluids, secretions, excretions, hair samples, saliva, sweat, blood, and any other bodily functions not listed here,” to be used however the company sees fit) and a virtual host called Aeden who is programmed to cryptically answer all your questions — including hints about the show’s ongoing plotlines. Read more…

More about Hbo, Lisa Joy, Jonathan Nolan, Lost, and Westworld

You can now get HBO and Cinemax through Amazon

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fcard%2fimage%2f303332%2fhttps-_2f_2fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com_2fuploads_2fcard_2fimage_2f278138_2femilia-clarke-and-peter-dinklage-in-game-of-thrones-season-6-episode-10

Feed-twFeed-fb

Amazon is still trying to take over cable. 

The tech giant’s TV replacement, Amazon Channels, is adding HBO and Cinemax. HBO will cost $14.99 a month for Prime members, and Cinemax will cost $9.99 a month. 

Amazon Channels lets users pay for some specific channels, rather than an entire cable subscription. The offering is more of a replacement for traditional TV than Amazon’s streaming services, Amazon Video and Prime Video. 

Users can already pay fees in the $10-a-month range to subscribe to about 80 on-demand channels, counting both traditional TV channels like Starz as well as digital-only channels like Seeso. Amazon has reportedly also been working on introducing a live TV option to compete with the likes of Dish’s Sling TV, Playstation Vue and DirecTV Now. Read more…

More about Cord Cutters, Cinemax, Hbo, Amazon Prime Video, and Amazon Video