(Pocket-lint) - There is no shortage of streaming services available, and yet still, Warner Media has launched its own: HBO Max.
HBO Max combines all of HBO's offerings with Warner Bros movies and Turner TV shows. It also includes originals and programming from Warner Media's other brands. Unlike HBO's previous service, HBO Go, HBO Max doesn't require a cable login, and it's priced the same as another old HBO service, HBO Now. As a result, both of those services are no longer available. Here, then, is what you need to know about HBO Max.
Where is HBO Max available?
- 27 May 2020 launch in US
- 2021 launch in Latin America and Europe
Latin America and Europe also started to get HBO Max in 2021, with HBO expanding its reach to an additional 39 countries and territories. Those include:
Anguilla, Antigua, Argentina, Aruba, BVI., Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St. Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
How much does HBO Max cost?
- $14.99 a month for the premium, ad-free plan
- $9.99 a month for the ad-supported plan
After months of teasing, HBO rolled out its ad-supported streaming plan for HBO Max in June 2021.
The new tier is $5 cheaper than the regular plan, costing just $10 per month in the US. Keep in mind the whole point of HBO from the get-go was an ad-free content experience, so many have wondered how the network plans to suddenly start incorporating commercials. Executives are promising "an elegant, tasteful ad experience that is respectful of great storytelling".
Those who choose to subscribe to the cheaper tier will not only get HBO Max's new "tasteful" ads but also fewer premium features. Video streaming quality will be limited to 1080p, reserving 4K streaming for the regular plan. Also, some titles will not be available for offline viewing, and even same-day movie premieres will be limited to subscribers of the regular plan.
Ad-supported plan subscribers will eventually be able to watch these titles; they'll just need to wait months after their theatrical release windows end in the US. Those on the ad-supported plan will have access to HBO Max Originals, however.
What can you watch on HBO Max?
Anything you can watch on HBO is available on HBO Max. That's because it has HBO's entire existing catalogue, which includes hit TV series such as Game of Thrones, Sopranos, Big Little Lies, and of course, movies and documentaries. You can see a listing of every title in the HBO catalogue here.
HBO Max also has original content called Max Originals. These include movies and TV shows, such as Mare of Eastown, Genera+ion, In treatment, Friends: The Reunion, Oslo, That Damn Michael Che, The Nevers, Hacks, and Generation Hustle. You can see a listing of every Max Original title here.
Warner Media content
You can access programming from Warner Media's other brands, too, such as Warner Bros, New Line, DC Entertainment, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, The CW, Turner Classic Movies, and Cartoon Network. Check out the promotional image above to see the types of brands on offer through Warner Media.
There are also shows and movies from the DC Universe. Plus, all 236 episodes of Friends are available, as are hit series like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Riverdale spin-off Katy Keene. In fact, HBO Max is the exclusive streaming home for The CW. Even Adult Swim and Looney Tunes are available.
In all, HBO Max expects to have 10,000 hours of content at launch.
In December 2020, Warner Bros announced plans to home-release some of its biggest films due to come out in 2021, which means you will be able to stream them from the comfort of your couch without a cable subscription and without having to risk your health by visiting a cinema. Specifically, the studio announced 18 blockbusters are scheduled to premiere in 2021. They include what may be some of the highest-grossing titles of the new year.
It plans to stream long-awaited sequels, best-selling adaptations, and other movies with A-list stars such as Hugh Jackman, Denzel Washington, and Will Smith. They will still all get theatrical releases, which may be good news for cinemas as well as movie buffs outside the US where HBO Max is unavailable. Warner Bros also made clear the films won't stay on HBO Max forever; they will be removed 30 days after debuting on the service.
Here’s a round-up of all the newly announced Warner Bros films coming to HBO Max in 2021.
Which devices support HBO Max?
HBO Max is available on a "very wide array of devices," including phones, tablets, the web, smart TVs, and game consoles. See the full support list here.
Want to know more?
When HBO Max launched, HBO already two TV streaming applications: HBO Now and HBO Go. Within a couple of months, however, HBO quietly removed HBO Go from most streaming platforms, and then HBO Now turned into just the HBO app. To help you figure out which is best for you now, we've pitted the HBO Max app against the HBO app. Our quick guide here covers how they differ in terms of pricing, supported devices, and content available to watch.