HBO Max. is an AT&T-owned streaming service that offers all the content from HBO along with several other WarnerMedia brands. In 2021 AT&T made a merger deal with Discovery Networks to sell off control of WarnerMedia and merge it with Discovery Networks into a new company. That deal will close in 2022 at which point HBO Max will then be owned by the yet unnamed company that is WarnerMedia and Discovery Networks. This article will cover how to watch HBO Max and more on what this streaming service has to offer.
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
- Warner Bros movies will be available to stream on HBO Max while they are released in theatres. This includes Wonder Woman 1984 and the entire Warner Bros 2021 slate of films.
- 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)
How Much Does HBO Max Cost?
HBO Max offers new subscribers options when signing up. There is the ad-free HBO-Max subscription which costs $14.99 per month and the ad-supported plan priced at $9.99 per month. You can sign up here for either plan. The service no longer offers a free trial.
HBO Max Ad-Supported Plan
There are a few notable service differences when subscribing to HBO Max’s ad-supported plan for $9.99 per month compared to the original $14.99 per month plan. I’ve outlined those differences in the list below:
- You will have to watch a maximum of 4 minutes of ads per hour
- Movies that are released on HBO Max during their theatrical release are not available to watch on the ad-supported plan
- You can’t download content for offline viewing
- Video quality is capped at 1080p (Very little 4K video exist on HBO Max anyway)
HBO Max Features
Here are some of the features and specifications of HBO Max:
Video Quality: HBO Max only supports 4K resolution with HDR on a few select titles. For the vast majority of HBO Max content, the resolution is capped at 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. Dolby Atmos is only available for a few select titles during the theatrical release period.
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.
Which Devices Does HBO Max Support?
HBO Max supports 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 is now supported on Roku
- HBO Max is now supported on LG Smart TV.
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.
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 DIRECTV STREAM, Internet and Wireless plans (check the availability online):
- AT&T Internet 1000 plan
- These TV Plans:
- DIRECTV STREAM Now Max packages
- U-Verse U400, U450, and U450 Latino
- DirecTV Premier
- Lo Maximo
- DIRECTV STREAM 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 DIRECTV STREAM Now Plus
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