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HBO Max Review

  • No Ads
  • 3 Simultaneous Devices
  • Has Offline Downloads

HBO Max is a subscription video streaming service that gives access to content on HBO, but with additional original shows, movies, and a library of classic shows like Friends, The Big Bang Theory, and The West Wing.

The service is $14.99 a month, the same price as HBO and HBO NOW. Those who subscribe to HBO through Amazon, AT&T, DirecTV, Hulu, YouTube TV, Charter, Altice, Optimum, Suddenlink, Verizon, and Cox will get “Max” content for no additional cost.

When you subscribe to HBO Max, you will get access to shows that aren’t available to HBO subscribers like original series “The Flight Attendant” (Kaley Cuoco) and “Love Life” (Anna Kendrick). You will also get library of shows like “Friends”, “The Big Bang Theory”, “South Park”, “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”, “The West Wing”, and more.

Also, starting with Wonder Woman 1984, you will get access to every Warner Bros. film on HBO Max on the same day that it hits theaters.

You can subscribe for $14.99 a month either directly from HBO, or through partners like Hulu, YouTube TV, Apple TV Channels, Google Play, Samsung, or select cable companies.

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Review

We tested HBO Max and other subscription streaming services for more than 100 hours. HBO Max is compatible with most streaming players, gaming consoles, smart TVs, mobile devices, tablets, and smartphones.

You can see a full list of HBO Max supported devices here.


Content

Originals

HBO Max includes all originals shows that air on HBO like Westworld, Succession, Euphoria, Barry, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Watchmen — as well as originals that are only available to Max subscribers.

Some shows coming to the service:

  • “Dune: The Sisterhood,” an adaptation of Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson’s book based in the world created by Frank Herbert’s book Dune, from director Denis Villeneuve
  • “Tokyo Vice,” based on Jake Adelstein’s non-fiction first-hand account of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police beat starring Ansel Elgort
  • “The Flight Attendant,” a one-hour thriller series based on the novel by Chris Bohjalian, which will star Kaley Cuoco, who is also executive producing alongside Greg Berlanti
  • “Love Life,” a 10-episode half-hour romantic comedy anthology series starring “Pitch Perfect” star Anna Kendrick, who will also executive produce alongside Paul Feig
  • “Station Eleven,” a postapocalyptic limited series based on Emily St. John Mandel’s international bestseller, adapted by Patrick Somerville and directed by Hiro Murai
  • “Made for Love,” a 10-episode, half-hour, straight-to-series adaptation based on the tragicomic novel of the same name by Alissa Nutting, also from Somerville and directed by S.J. Clarkson
  • “Gremlins,” an animated series from Warner Bros. Animation and Amblin Entertainment based on the original movie

TV Shows

One of the big draws to HBO Max is that it is the exclusive home to classic comedies like Friends, The Big Bang Theory, and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Joining them will be The West Wing and streaming access to BBC shows like Doctor Who, Top Gear, and Luther.

The service has also snagged the rights to CW shows like Pretty Little Liars, Batwoman, and Riverdale spinoff Katy Keene.

Movies

Just like HBO NOW, you will get recently released movies with HBO Max including those from Warner Bros., Universal, and Dreamworks. Most new release films that aren’t made by Disney will end up on HBO Max 7-8 months after they are released in theaters.

But, now HBO Max subscribers will get access to all Warner Bros. movies the same day they are available in-theaters.

The service will also be creating exclusive documentaries for HBO Max including ones from Amy Schumer and Lisa Ling.

For Japanese film lovers, HBO Max has acquired the exclusive U.S. streaming rights to all Studio Ghibli films like Spirited Away.

Kids

Starting next year, HBO Max will become the exclusive home to Sesame Street including all 4,500 episodes in the Sesame Street library. That means all new episodes of the show will appear on HBO Max six months before they appear on PBS.

The service will also be launching a late-night talk show around The Not Too Late Show with Elmo, as well as a spin-off of Sesame Street called Mecha Builders. HBO Max will also be the home of Esme & Roy, including a new season of the show.

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Features

Up to 5 Profiles

HBO Max will allow you up to 5 profiles and lets you choose a unique color for each one.

Parental Controls

For kids, you can create specific profiles. They will limit the content that the child sees, but also will disallow playback of certain types of shows and movies by rating.

To activate, you will set a PIN, which will allow you to unlock or change the restrictions.

Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, Paramount Plus, Peacock, SHOWTIME, and STARZ also have parental control features.

Up to 3 Devices

HBO Max allows you to stream up to three different devices at the same time.

No Ads

HBO Max doesn’t have ads. However, they expect to launch a cheaper ad-supported plan in 2021.

Offline Downloads

One major improvement over HBO NOW is that HBO Max will let you download your favorite shows and movies to tablet and mobile devices. Similar to other service, we expect that you will have to refresh the content every 30 days.

International Access

In most markets, HBO Max does not allow access to the service outside the United States — but you will be able to watch offline downloads.

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Compatible Devices

HBO Max is compatible with these devices:

HBO Max is not compatible with Nintendo devices.

  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Apple TV
  • Google Chromecast
  • Roku
  • Android TV
  • iPhone/iPad
  • Android Phone/Tablet
  • Web Browsers
  • PlayStation
  • Xbox
  • Samsung Smart TV
  • VIZIO Smart TV
  • LG Smart TV

  • Nintendo
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Tech Specs

4K
1080p
720p

1080p HD
(Up to 4K UHD)

Nearly all content on HBO Max is in HD. As of now, the streaming service only offers new release Warner Bros. movies in 4K HDR with Dolby Vision. They expect to expand this to other content.

Stereo Sound
Some Surround

Stereo/Surround Sound

Most shows and movies on HBO Max are available in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. As of now, the streaming service only offers new release Warner Bros. movies with Dolby Atmos.

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