On May 27th, 2020, AT&T released its newest streaming service, HBO Max. However, it wasn’t available on all the streaming devices that offer HBO, most notably Roku and Fire TV. Well, AT&T just announced HBO Max is now supported on Fire TV (As of November 17, 2020.) However, there are likely still many questions for HBO fans, so I wanted to do a full review of HBO Max.
What Is HBO Max?
HBO Max is a streaming service from AT&T launched on May 27th, 2020. AT&T owns both HBO and WarnerMedia, and HBO Max combines content from both of those brands into one streaming service.
Currently, HBO Max offers:
- Everything you will find on HBO
- An exclusive collection of new HBO Max Originals
- Select favorites from the WarnerMedia brands Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, DC, CNN, the Turner library, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes, and more
- A selection of acquired series and movies (South Park being a notable example)
HBO Max Features
Here are some of the features and specifications of HBO Max:
Video Quality: HBO Max does not yet support 4K resolution or HDR. The best you will see is 1080p. I understand that as a premium cable channel, nothing really streams in 4K. However, I’m shocked they haven’t upped the video standard on content like HBO Originals.
Audio Quality: HBO max offers Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound and Dolby Digital Plus on supported devices. However, it does not offer Dolby Atmos at this time.
Profiles and Parent Controls: Subscribers can have up to 5 profiles on their HBO Max account. Each profile will keep it’s own personal watch list no matter which device you are signed in on. Parents can create kid profiles with content restrictions based on age. Parents can choose for their kids to watch on their profile. Kids will need to enter a PIN if they want to switch to an adult profile.
How Many Devices Can You Watch At Once: You can stream HBO Max on three different devices simultaneously.
How Much Does HBO Max Cost?
A subscription to HBO-Max costs $14.99 per month after a 1-week free trial
Which Devices Does HBO Max Support?
On it’s May 27th launch HBO Max will support the following platforms:
- Android phones and tablets
- Android TV
- Apple TV (4th generation and later)
- Computers (PC and Mac browsers)
- Apple iOS devices: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
- Amazon Fire TV (As of Nov 17)
- PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
- Samsung TVs (2016 and later)
HBO Max isn’t yet supported on Roku. However, you can mirror your iOS devices to your Roku as Roku now supports Airplay 2.
How to Watch HBO Max
If you subscribe to HBO Now through Apple or Google Play, and use any of the supported devices, your HBO Now Login will work on the HBO Max app. If you are on a device that supports HBO Max, the following applies regarding to the switch over to HBO Now.
- Your HBO App should update to the HBO Max app. If it doesn’t, just download HBO Max from the appropriate app store for your device.
- Open the HBO Max. You shouldn’t need to log in. If you do, your HBO Now credentials will work.
- After agreeing to the terms of service, HBO Max will present you with the following two options:
- Access All of HBO Max – This option will give you access to HBO along with all the additional WarnerMedia and other content
- Access HBO Only – This will provide you will access to only HBO content. If you choose a show or movie not available on HBO, the app will prompt you to upgrade to the HBO Max account.
Considering HBO Max costs the same most are currently paying for HBO Now, I don’t currently see a downside to taking the HBO Max option. Considering the price is paid monthly, you can cancel anytime. Therefore, there is no obvious way to get caught in a price hike trap.
What If you Don’t Have a Device Supported by HBO Max
If you use a Roku or other device not supported by HBO max, existing HBO Now subscribers can still watch HBO. The HBO Now app will still be available on devices not supported by HBO Max. HBO Now subscribers will also be able to watch HBO through HBONOW.com.
Watch HBO Max Free and Other Deals
With AT&T owning HBO Max, there are plenty of ways to get the service free for a time. However, like many things AT&T, figuring out what you are entitled to can be a bit complicated. Here is a breakdown of who can watch HBO Max free of charge.
HBO Max is included at no additional charge in the following AT&T TV, Internet and Wireless plans (check the availability online):
- AT&T Internet 1000 plan
- These TV Plans:
- AT&T TV Now Max packages
- U-Verse U400, U450, and U450 Latino
- DirecTV Premier
- Lo Maximo
- AT&T TV Premiere package
- AT&T Unlimited Elite wireless plan
You Can Get 3 Months of HBO Max Free if with the following AT&T products:
- TV Plans not mentioned above except for DirecTV Family, U-Family, U-Basic and AT&T TV Now Plus
You can get 1 month of HBO Max free with any of these AT&T services:
- new and existing customers (HBO Max one-month free trial)
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