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 $15 a month, the same price as HBO and HBO NOW. When it launches in May 2020, all AT&T, DirecTV, and HBO NOW customers will get it right away. Others who get it through their cable company will have to wait until HBO Max makes new deals with their provider.
When you subscribe to HBO Max, you will get access to shows that aren’t available to HBO Now subscribers like Dune: The Sisterhood, Tokyo Vice (Ansel Elgort), The Flight Attendant (Kaley Cuoco), Love Life (Anna Kendrick), Gremlins, and Grease: Rydell High.
You can subscribe for $15 a month either directly from HBO, or likely through Amazon Prime Video Channels, Apple TV Channels, or Roku Premium Subscriptions.
We plan to test HBO Max, as we have with other subscription streaming services. While not confirmed, HBO Max is expected to be compatible with Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Roku, Android Phone/Tablet, Xbox, Samsung Smart TV, iPhone/iPad, Google Chromecast, Web Browsers, and PlayStation.
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
One of the big draws to HBO Max is that it will become the exclusive home to classic comedies like Friends (which is leaving Netflix in 2020), 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.
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.
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.
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.
Up to 3 Profiles
While they haven’t disclosed, we expect HBO Max will allow you to stream up to three different devices at the same time — the same as HBO NOW.
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.
Up to 3 Devices
HBO Max allows you to stream up to three different devices at the same time.
HBO Max doesn’t have ads. However, they expect to launch a cheaper ad-supported plan in 2021.
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.
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.
Nearly all content on HBO Max is in HD. As of now, the streaming service doesn’t offer any content in 4K.
Most shows and movies on HBO Max are available in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. HBO NOW doesn’t support Dolby Atmos audio.
HBO Max is compatible with these devices:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android TV
- Apple TV
- Android Phone/Tablet (4.1+)
- Samsung Smart TV (2016+)
- iPhone/iPad (iOS 8.0+)
- Google Chromecast
- Web Browsers