New HBO Max Price, Release Date, Content, 4K Paywall, And Everything Else You Need To Know
From Guy Fieri to The Lord of the Rings, the new streaming service Max probably has something you're interested in.
Max, the newly rebranded version of HBO Max, is now available. Warner Bros. Discovery announced the updated streaming service in April, and while Max is suffering from some launch-day issues, you may be able to access it, depending on your platform of choice.
Whether you're wondering about how much it costs, what happens to your existing HBO Max subscription, what shows and movies you can expect to find on it, or something else, we've rounded up all of the key information about Max
Goodbye HBO Max, Hello Max
HBO Max will officially become "Max" when it launches in the US on May 23, 2023. It's described as a single-stop destination for content from across the WB and Discovery pipelines, following the merger of the two media giants in 2022.
It's different from HBO Max because it combines both WB content and Discovery content, so viewers can watch an episode of Game of Thrones and follow it up with the pure joy of watching Guy Fieri eat a lot of food the next. WB Discovery is promising improved performance, smarter recommendations, and new hubs within the next Max streaming service. Here's a trailer:
What Does It Cost?
Max will be available in three tiers, starting at $10/month for an ad-based model and scaling to $20/month for an "Ultimate" package that comes with the highest-quality video and audio, as well as the most concurrent streams. In short, the ability to stream 4K is getting more expensive than before because it will be locked behind the most expensive tier.
Here is a breakdown of the offerings:
- $10/month or $100/year
- 2 concurrent streams, 1080p resolution, no offline downloads, 5.1 surround sound quality
- $16/month or $150/year
- 2 concurrent streams, 1080 resolution, 30 offline downloads, 5.1 surround sound quality
Max Ultimate Ad-Free
- $20/month or $200/year
- 4 concurrent streams, up to 4K UHD resolution, 100 offline downloads, Dolby Atmos sound quality
What Happens For Existing HBO Max Subscribers?
Anyone who currently holds an HBO Max subscription will be able to use Max at the same price as their existing HBO Max membership, which is $10/month with ads or $16/month without ads. Existing subscribers to HBO Max do not need to do anything. The HBO Max app will become Max on May 23. On that day, users who have HBO Max installed on their device will see it automatically update to become Max or they will be prompted to download the Max app.
WB Discovery also confirmed that HBO Max subscribers will continue to have access to existing plan features "for a minimum of six months" following Max's launch on May 23.
All existing profiles, settings, watch history, and lists from current HBO Max plans will migrate to Max at launch. WB Discovery will send existing HBO Max subscribers an email soon with more details on Max and the transition.
What About Discovery+ Subscribers?
Anyone currently subscribed to Discovery+ will have the opportunity to continue using that app as a standalone service. Alternatively, they can sign up for Max.
Where Is Max Available And On What Devices?
Max will be supported on phones, tablets, computers, TVs, set-top boxes, and gaming consoles, though a specific list of supported devices was not announced. In terms of geographic availability, WB Discovery has only announced Max for the United States at this stage.
What Can I Watch?
Members can watch HBO's iconic shows like Game of Thrones, The Last of Us, and The Sopranos, as well as WB moves like The Lord of the Rings and The Departed. The library of DC Universe films and TV series are included as well, as are the Harry Potter films. Max will also include Discovery's content, including shows from HGTV, Food Network, TLC, and Discovery Channel. The full list of HBO Max content is available on the streamer's website, but whether or not every last TV show and movie makes it to Max remains to be seen. Keep checking back for more.
WB Discovery is promising an average of 40 new titles and seasons each month to keep the catalog feeling fresh.
Some of the upcoming brand-new content for Max will include a new Harry Potter TV series, a new Game of Thrones prequel called A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight, and a new Big Bang Theory TV show. There will also be a new Conjuring TV series and Rick and Morty: The Anime.
New Features And Paywalls
WB Discovery says Max will have new "premium video playback" that aims to offer a "smooth and cinematic video" experience. This is notable since members have complained about the video quality and smoothness of HBO Max over the years.
The company also said it has "significantly" increased its investment in the machine learning space to help users discover new content. It's not just AI that is doing this, though, as WB Discovery said Max will maintain an "editorial voice" as part of its blend of "unique human and machine approach" to surface the kind of content people want to see. Only time will tell if this actually works, though.
Additionally, Max will have a new kids profile option and parental control settings. With the parental controls, parents can limit the kind of content available to youngsters by choosing from the following: little kids (TV-Y), big kids (TV-Y7, TVY7-FV), big kids plus (TV-G, G), preteens (TV-PG/PG), or teens (TV-14, PG-13). Additionally, parents can set profile PINs to lock their adult profiles.
What's more, Max will have a simplified navigation system that aims do the heavy lifting "so viewers don't have to." Members can expect streamlined categories, better content detail pages, shortcuts, and dedicated brand hubs.
Finally, Max will offer 4K UHD, but only at the most-expensive subscription tier. People who sign up for the $20/month Ultimate Ad-Free tier can watch supported content in 4K UHD. WB Discovery said all WB theatrical movies released in 2023 and going forward will be available in 4K UHD when they come to Max after their run in theaters.
More details on Max will be announced in the weeks to come, so keep checking back with GameSpot for the latest.
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