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HBO Max review | Price, features and content
HBO Max lets you stream all of HBO plus even more series, movies and new Max Originals.
Pros and Cons
- 10,000+ hours of content. With iconic sitcoms, Max Originals and a vast selection of movies, HBO and WarnerMedia combine to create the HBO Max streaming library.
- Non-HBO shows are also available. Programs currently on Hulu or Netflix —like Rick and Morty and Adventure Time — move to the HBO Max library.
- No ads. Like HBO Go and HBO Now, this new service won’t make you sit through commercial interruptions.
- Free trial. You can try the service completely free for a week.
- No free trial — yet. We don’t see mention of try-before-you-buy.
- Lacks sports content. Live sports are among the few genres HBO Max isn’t offering right away — though it plans to offer them in the future
- Price. A little steep when you can get HBO content for the same price on other services.
- No Roku or Amazon Fire TV compatibility. Given that these are some of the most popular streaming devices around, that’s definitely a bummer.
What's in this guide?
What is HBO Max?
HBO Max is a shiny new streaming service which became available in the US on May 27, 2020. The platform, owned by WarnerMedia, offers more than 10,000 hours of premium content across movies and TV series. It bundles all of HBO together with even more movies, shows and original productions for the entire family.
The new service is meant to replace former apps HBO Now and HBO Go. In fact, the HBO Go app is no longer available on most devices, while HBO NOW has rebranded as simply the HBO app. If you’re a current HBO subscriber, you might already have access to HBO Max – though that depends on your provider.
HBO Max price
HBO Max costs $14.99/month. While the price matches what HBO charges for its regular channel on most pay TV providers, it’s pretty steep considering its competitors. For example, Netflix’s most popular tier costs $13.99 a month following a recent price increase, while Disney+ costs only $6.99 per month.
What is on HBO Max?
HBO Max offers everything on regular HBO, including current and past shows and theatrical movies, as well as all HBO original documentaries and specials.
Besides, the platform boasts an impressive selection of licenses across Warner’s properties like Adult Swim, TBS, Cartoon Network and more, so you can expect a well-mixed streaming library.
Finally, the service will debut exclusive new shows and movies called Max Originals. The list includes titles that have already been released like Raised by Wolves, Love Life, Expecting Amy, American Pickle and The Witches.
Here’s a quick rundown of the most popular content that’s already on the platform or it’s scheduled to drop in the next few months:
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
- South Park
- Adventure Time
- Rick and Morty
- Sesame Street
- Game of Thrones
- The Big Bang Theory
- The Sopranos
- DOOM Patrol
- Zack Snyder’s Justice League
- The Witches
- The Flight Attendant
- Gossip Girl (Reboot)
- Tokyo Vice
- Made for Love
- Grease: Rydell High
- Selena + Chef
- The Bachelor
- The Great Pottery Throw Down
- Haute Dog
- A Star Is Born
- Happy Feet
- Wonder Woman
- Spirited Away
- The Matrix
- Lord of the Rings trilogy
Does HBO Max have a free trial?
Yes, HBO Max offers a free 7-day trial. You can cancel before your free week is up and you won’t be charged.
HBO Max compatible devices
HBO Max is compatible with a wide range of devices. The list includes:
- Computer: PC, Mac, Chromebooks
- Game consoles: PlayStation 4, XBOX One
- Mobile devices: Android phones and tablets (with Android OS 5+), iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (with iOS 12.2+)
- Smart TV, streaming media and other: Apple TV (4th gen and later), Android TV (OS 5+), Samsung TV (2016+), Chromecast
What is the difference between HBO Now and HBO Max?
HBO Now has rebranded as simply the HBO app. You can use it to watch strictly HBO content (series, movies, specials and more). However, it doesn’t offer Max Originals or TV shows and movies licensed from other content providers like HBO Max. In other words, you can watch Game of Throneson the HBO app, but you can’t watch Friends.
Most HBO NOW subscribers currently have access to HBO Max as well. If your subscription provider supports HBO Max, you can sign in to HBO Max with your HBO NOW email and password on any supported device for no extra cost.
In other words, you can get HBO Max if you previously subscribed to Now through the HBO website (HBONOW.com), app stores (Apple, Google Play, Samsung TV), Hulu, most Internet providers or using a HBO NOW gift card.
Is HBO Max the only way to watch HBO content?
While HBO Max offers more than HBO, you can still watch HBO content through a TV provider or as an add-on channel on other streaming services. Here are all the ways to enjoy HBO in the US:
- HBO Max
- The HBO app (formerly HBO Now)
- Get HBO through a pay TV provider
- Subscribe to HBO or HBO Max through a streaming service by adding it as a premium channel (Hulu, Amazon Prime, AT&T TV Now, YouTube TV, The Roku Channel)
Whichever option you choose, the price stays $14.99, which makes HBO Max the more appealing alternative to consume HBO content. However, HBO Max isn’t available as a premium add-on on The Roku Channel, for instance, you can only add regular HBO.
Oh, and you can get HBO Max for free when you sign up for a select AT&T TV or Internet plan.
HBO Max features
HBO Max comes with a user-friendly interface and offers a variety of features streaming enthusiasts are already very much accustomed to. The platform supports mobile downloads, so you can watch on the go without burning through your data.
You can stream on up to three different devices simultaneously and create five separate user profiles. Users can set parental controls and there’s an option to skip intros and promotional trailers. You can also browse shows and movies from a single brand (e.g. Looney Tunes, Studio Ghibli, DC) with HBO Max Hubs.
As for downsides, HBO Max doesn’t offer content in 4K resolution just yet. You also can’t watch HBO Max if you’re outside the US.
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