HBO Max launched in May.
Warner Bros., HBO max
HBO Max is the premium network's streaming service that replaces HBO Now andWith all of the broadcaster's programming and an extensive library of additional shows, films and originals that you cannot get anywhere else. For example, a reunion special from The West Wing will match many of the original leads with personalities like Michelle Obama and President Bill Clinton. it lands on Thursday. But HBO Max has confused a lot of people and failed to attract millions of existing HBO subscribers who can upgrade to Max for free. And on Roku and .
Similar to rivals Netflix and, is the most expensive of them all. New subscribers can sign up for a one-week free trial and pay $ 15 per month. This is in line with the price that HBO is already charging for its regular channel with most pay-TV providers and for its existing stand-alone streaming service HBO Now. Some (but not all) current HBO customers can get HBO Max at no additional cost.
The various apps from HBO –, HBO Now and Now HBO Max – shut down in early August. The company got rid of HBO Go, and HBO Now became a renamed app that is simply called HBO. Now the company only has two apps: an HBO app that is limited to programming on the regular network, and then HBO Max about twice as many shows and films.
HBO Max kicked off with almost the entire catalog of Studio Ghibli animated films, streamed for the first time in the United States.
Studio Ghibli / GKids
But all of these changes to HBO's streaming options gave Roku and Amazon Fire TV users some headaches. Because HBO Max was unable to enter into a distribution agreement with Roku or Amazon, its app cannot be streamed on these devices – the most popular streaming devices in the country. Roku and Amazon Fire TV combined made up 70% of streaming devices in the United States last year.
To entice you to try it out on other platforms, HBO Max has stocked up with more content than you can find on the regular HBO channel. For the same price, HBO Max doubles the programming effort. AT&T, which owns HBO as part of its TV and film division of WarnerMedia, has poured billions of dollars into its budgets for original programming and expensive deals on streaming blockbuster films, Studio Ghibli and the as well as popular shows like Friends, South Park, The Big Bang Theory, Rick and Morty, and new episodes of . (A deep dive into Max's shows and films is provided towards the end of this article.)
With the coronavirus pandemic closing cinemas and forcing millions to chat at home, HBO Max's parent company, which also owns the Warner Bros. film studio, is reaching out to HBO Max to release new films originally made for the big screen were intended. A reboot of The Witches, the classic Roald Dahl book and 1990 film, will be released exclusively on HBO Max on October 22nd before it hits theaters on October 28th – earlier than expected.
HBO Max also has podcasts in its library associated with its program, similar to last year's podcast companion from the Chernobyl miniseries. For example, Raised by Wolves, an original science fiction drama directed by Ridley Scott, now has a podcast on Max.
The so-called Max Originals from HBO Max also offer new, exclusive shows and films. A top-class exclusive product is the legendary one. Another will be Peacemaker, a DC spin-off series that is slated to be associated with next year's movie The Suicide Squad. John Cena repeats his role and James Gunn writes and directs before starting work on the next Guardians of the Galaxy film. Other originals that have already been released include Raised by Wolves, Max's most popular original to date; an Adventure Time animated one-hour special, the first of four; and indie film Class Action Park, a documentary about the world's most dangerous amusement park.
An eagerly awaited original is still missing. A Friends Reunion Special should function exclusively as a marquee for the service on the first day. But like most things in the world, the original productions of HBO Max were made by thePandemic. People across the country are confined to their homes and streaming a lot more, but the novel coronavirus and its respiratory diseases have also stopped television productions worldwide. (The company had announced it would film the friends reunion until the end of summer, but it was postponed again in August.)
The $ 15 monthly price for HBO Max is the same as the cost of HBO Now and the regular HBO channel when you get it through most pay TV providers. By comparison, Disney Plus costs $ 7 per month and Netflix's most popular tier is $ 13 per month.
For new HBO customers, pricing is straightforward. Just sign up and pay the $ 15 monthly fee after a seven-day free trial. Early next year, HBO Max will be adding a new tier that is cheaper every month but has commercials to help support the discount.
However, if you're already paying for HBO, the question of whether or not you can get a free upgrade to HBO Max is more complicated. Some people who already have a regular HBO subscription or HBO Now received it, but not every. In order for you to receive the automatic upgrade to Max, HBO must sign a contract with the company that is already charging you for HBO, whether it is a cable television company like Charter or a digital provider like Apple or Amazon.
HBO Max has stepped up these offerings, and there is a growing list of providers offering their HBO customers an upgrade to Max. (See the full list below.) However, HBO Max doesn't have deals with every provider. If you're in that boat and can't live without Max, you may have to choose: either pay twice – one bill for regular HBO and another for HBO Max – or cancel your current HBO subscription to sign up for Max directly instead.
This confusion can be a factor in HBO Max's difficulty in getting current HBO pay TV subscribers to sign up with Max, even if they already qualify for an upgrade at no additional cost. Only about 1.1 million people have activated a Max account by upgrading their existing HBO service, which they pay for through a regular TV provider. This goes back to more than 30 million current HBO customers who may qualify for a free upgrade. All you have to do is download the app, sign up, and watch – but millions are not there yet. In total, around 4.1 million account holders signed up for HBO Max in the first month. That's far less than the 10-million plus signups Disney Plus reported in just over 24 hours after it launched in November.
One thing that would cause more people to flock to HBO Max during the coronavirus pandemic would be the premiere of big budget films like Tenet or Wonder Woman in 1984. Other Hollywood giants, including Disney and Comcast's Universal Pictures, have for switched some of their films originally intended for the big screen to online debuts, such as Disney Plus' release of Hamilton in July, Mulan in September, and Pixars Soul in December.
But HBO Max didn't premier Warner Bros. & # 39; Teaching that had a complex theatrical release. AT&T has previously indicated that other films like Wonder Woman 1984 are unlikely to hit the streaming service until long after their later theatrical debut. Although the company may be moving some movies off its cinema table to HBO Max, AT&T CEO said this was "on the edge" satisfied. However, the decision to release The Witches on HBO Max in front of theaters could indicate that WarnerMedia is easing its stance.
Another missing item:Startup resolution or high dynamic range image quality. This reflects HBO's feeling that it is still a work in progress for the service to resolve these issues.
So it's complicated. Below are the fuller details of HBO Max's costs, discounts, app, and shows and movies.
What devices can HBO Max stream?
HBO Max is available on a variety of devices, but it lacks apps for Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
- Most Apple devices that can stream video support HBO Max – iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV 4K, and Apple TV HD. However, customers with second and third generation Apple TV models will need to stream HBO Max content from their iPhone or iPad to their TV using AirPlay.
- Google's Android operating system for phones and tablets has an app for Android TV devices. Chromebooks, Google Chromecast, and built-in Chromecast devices also support HBO Max.
- Sony's PlayStation 4 systems can download the HBO Max app from the PlayStation Store.
- Microsoft's Xbox One game consoles have the HBO Max app through the Microsoft Store.
- Select Samsung internet-connected smart TVs – 2016-2020 models – can download and purchase HBO Max directly.
However, two major streaming devices don't have HBO Max. Neither Roku nor Amazon Fire TV devices support HBO Max, although those devices make up the vast majority of streaming devices in the United States. Researcher Parks Associates estimated that nearly 70% of the streaming TVs installed in the country last year were either Roku or Amazon Fire TV products, and the companies have more than 80 million active users.
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Executives at HBO Max say they have apps ready for Roku and Fire TV, but the company needs to sign deals with these two distributors first.
NBCUniversals Peacock, a competing streaming service that launched a few months after HBO Max, was also absent from Roku and Amazon Fire TV for months, but signed a deal with Roku in September to provide the service to those users. However, there is no evidence that HBO Max is entering into a contract with either device manufacturer.
In general, Roku has stated that it focuses on mutually positive distribution agreements with all new services without much elaboration. Amazon's comments on the matter were a little more fiery. The dead end with HBO Max is partly due to Amazon's Prime Video Channels. With this service, users can subscribe to multiple streaming services in one place and pay through Amazon. In a statement on the day HBO Max launched, Amazon said that nearly 5 million HBO streamers are subscribed to through Amazon's Prime Video Channels.
"Unfortunately, with the launch of HBO Max, AT&T decides to deny these loyal HBO customers access to the expanded catalog," the company said. "We believe that if you pay for HBO, the method you are already using will entitle you to the new programming. That is just good customer service and that is our priority."
AT & T fired back on Amazon at the end of July. "We have repeatedly tried to make HBO Max available to all customers with Amazon Fire devices, including those who purchased HBO through Amazon," said John Stankey, CEO of AT&T, referring to people who use HBO Pay via Amazon Channels. "Unfortunately, Amazon took an approach of treating HBO Max and its customers differently (than) how they treated other services and their customers."
What do I do if I previously used HBO Go or Now on Roku or Fire TV?
The HBO Go sunset and HBO Now rebranding caused trouble for some Roku and Amazon Fire TV users. Anyone who had previously streamed HBO Go on a Roku or Fire TV suddenly found themselves stuck with a non-working app and not received much guidance on how to use it.
The good news is that these users can unlock the newly renamed HBO app, but they have to jump through some frames first. AT&T pseudo-collapsed HBO Go and HBO Now together in the renamed HBO app. Although this app doesn't include any additional originals, shows, or movies that you get with HBO Max, you can still use it to stream regular HBO programs on Roku and Fire TV.
However, for older HBO Go customers, you will need to update your HBO account for HBO Max. Once you have registered an email address and password with HBO Max, you can use your HBO Max credentials to log into the newly renamed HBO app on Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
Additionally, Roku noted that people who pay for HBO through Comcast are chartered or AT&T TV can also stream HBO in the Comcast Xfinity Stream, Spectrum TV and AT&T TV apps. Amazon did not respond to messages seeking comment.
What does HBO Max cost?
HBO Max starts at $ 15 a month and is free to try for seven days.
AT&T CEO John Stankey said HBO Max will roll out a cheaper, ad-supported tier early next year. He did not provide the price, exact start date or catalog restrictions for this tier.
Before the launch, people who pre-ordered the service at HBOMax.com unlocked a discount offer that lowered the price to $ 13 per month for the first year. Pre-ordered accounts did not qualify for the seven-day free trial.
Legacy HBO Now, subscribers can still stream programming from regular HBO without signing up for HBO Max, but they pay essentially the same amount for less programming.
Compared to competing streaming services that launched before HBO Max, the pricing can feel steep. Disney Plus is $ 7 a monthis $ 5. Both have offers that can lower the price further, or offer some customers longer free periods. For example, Apple is giving away an annual subscription to everyone who has bought an Apple device. And Disney has signed a contract with Verizon so that every cellular subscriber of the carrier receives one year free.
How do I get HBO Max if I'm already paying for HBO? What does it cost me?
It gets more complicated if you already have HBO and want to know what the introduction of HBO Max means to you. Some people who already have a subscription to HBO can unlock HBO Max at no additional cost..
Some HBO Max distributors are unlocking an HBO Max upgrade at no additional cost to current HBO and older HBO Now customers thanks to the deals HBO Max has made with them. You will qualify for the HBO Max upgrade at no additional cost if you are already paying HBO through:
- (HBO's parent company) and DirecTV, U-Verse, AT&T TV Now, AT&T TV, and AT&T Wireless users who can add HBO with certain unlimited plans
- or google
- Altice USA and its Optimum and Suddenlink services
- Verizon and its Fios services
- Cox Communications
- The NCTC group of independent cable and broadband companies – including WOW !, Atlantic Broadband, RCN, Grande Communications & Wave, MCTV, and others. (Check to see if your pay TV provider is an NCTC member.)
- Comcast X1 and Flex customers
However, it is unclear whether HBO Max will do more deals with other pay-TV providers, whether they are traditional providers like Dish or internet-based providers like Amazon Prime Video Channels and The Roku Channel.
AT&T also offers a complicated matrix of promos for HBO Max. Some customers get Max at no additional cost, while others qualify for a one-month, three-month, or one-year free trial. The best way to find out if you qualify is to check your account or the myAT&T app. However, CNET also lists AT & T's qualification requirements.
When will HBO Max be rolled out elsewhere?
HBO Max launched in the US on May 27th.
After that, HBO Max's first international expansions will prioritize Latin America and Europe. Latin America will receive HBO Max in 2021, the company said.
The US timing of HBO Max will bring it towards the end of a parade of streaming service launches. Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus were launched in November. April brought Quibi, a mobile-only streaming service that features short, episodic originals. Also in April, NBCUniversals Peacock started a "sneak peek" at Comcast before launching it nationwide on July 15th.
What product features does HBO Max have?
In a long-awaited role for anyone streaming HBO Go, HBO Max has downloads for its mobile apps. Unfortunately, like most things at HBO Max, the company doesn't have a straightforward answer as to whether there are any restrictions on the amount of programming you can download.
HBO Max brokered a reported $ 425 million deal for all episodes of the '90s hit Friends, which left Netflix to start streaming on HBO Max when it launched.
"We don't have a straight answer for you how many downloads are allowed, but it will be a very comfortable number for most people," said Andy Forssell, HBO Max's product manager. "The limit will likely be how much space you have in your Device compared to our limit and that will liberalize over time. "
With HBO Max, you can stream to three different devices at the same time. In comparison, Disney Plus allows four simultaneous streams and Netflix allows between one and four, depending on how much you pay each month.
You can also create up to five profiles to keep referrals separate for different household members. There are also child accounts that can be unlocked by entering a PIN. These parental controls allow mothers and fathers to set the maturity level of the programs that each child profile can access based on ratings like PG and TV-14.
For HBO Now members, HBO Max will automatically replace the HBO Now mobile app with a software update.
However, the transition from HBO Now and HBO Go to HBO Max has one downside: HBO Max won't keep any of your clock histories when you switch from an existing HBO streaming account. So your personal recommendations start with a clean board, and for example, HBO Max won't know if you've seen every episode of Game of Thrones three times or if you're in the middle of the Joker movie and want to fall back on where you left off .
Another missing item:Startup resolution or high dynamic range image quality.
Where can I sign up for HBO Max?
The easiest way to get HBO Max is to sign up directly to hbomax.com.
Via Apple, HBO Max will be an iOS app for iPhone and iPad that you can use to log in and pay via an in-app purchase. Apple will also integrate HBO Max with its own TV app, which will allow you to collect specific streaming channels to watch in one place.
Via Google, HBO Max will have an app for Android phones and tablets on the Google Play Store, and you can sign into the app with an in-app purchase. You can also stream HBO Max to Android TV, Chromebook, and Google Chromecast. If you have already subscribed to HBO Now through Google Play, you can automatically sign in to HBO Max at startup at no additional cost and you will still be billed through Google. YouTube TV, the streaming pay-TV service operated by Google's YouTube, will also broadcast HBO Max.
People with Samsung Smart TVs who support the HBO Max app can also log in directly there.
Look at that:
HBO Max: How to Get It
Shows and Movies: What Can I See?
In general, HBO Max includes all of the shows and movies on HBO, as well as a selection of high profile licensed content such as Friends, The Big Bang Theory, Rick & Morty, and South Park. It will stratifyon top of that. HBO Max said it will have 30 originals in the first year and 60 in the second year.
Now that the service is live, you can easily see what's available without logging in, using a third-party catalog search service like Reelgood. The following section summarizes what HBO Max has and what's coming.
The easiest part of the catalog to understand is HBO itself. HBO Max contains everything that has to do with regular HBO. So that means that all movies come and go from the channel. new episodes from all HBO series such as Perry Mason and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver; and the past seasons of these programs as well as the full HBO back catalog such as Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley, Veep and The Wire; as well as all original HBO films, documentaries and specials.
Films are an integral part of the catalog. Any movie that can be viewed on the traditional HBO network can also be streamed on HBO Max. HBO Max movie catalog highlights include (but may come and go due to license changes):
- The so-called Snyder cut of the Justice League is due to appear on HBO Max in 2021.
- DC films like Joker, Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad, Shazam, Aquaman and all Batman and Superman films from the past 40 years.
- Studio Ghibli Anime films that have never been released for streaming in the United States.
- Anime selections like Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and other top titles from the anime-focused streaming service Crunchyroll, which also belongs to AT&T.
- Classic films like The Wizard of Oz, Casablanca, Citizen Kane, Gone with the Wind, Singing & # 39; in the Rain, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner: The Final Cut and many others.
- Newer hits like The Invisible Man, Jojo Rabbit and Ford versus Ferrari.
In addition, AT&T has licensed outside hit shows to improve HBO Max's catalog. The most noticeable offers were:
- A reported $ 425 million deal for all episodes of Friends from the '90s, who left Netflix to start streaming on HBO Max at launch.
- A reported $ 500 million deal to stream the Big Bang Theory.
It has also secured deals for past seasons from Rick and Morty; 11 of the final seasons of Doctor Who plus three more; CW dramas like Pretty Little Liars, Batwoman and Riverdale spin-off Katy Keene, as well as other upcoming CW series; The Prince of Bel-Air; The western wing; and British series like Luther and Ricky Gervais' Original The Office, among many others.
In addition to contributing their full back catalog to HBO Max, the animated satire South Park will be streaming new episodes as well. The latest episodes of South Park will air on HBO Max 24 hours after they air Comedy Central for the next three seasons.
And HBO Max will have exclusive new shows and movies called Max Originals. In the original series on HBO Max, new episodes are released for the most part weekly. Some of the originals include:
- Love Life, a romantic comedy starring Anna Kendrick, produced by Kendrick and Paul Feig, who is known for blockbuster comedies like Bridesmaids
- Doom Patrol, the second season of the DC Universe series
- Adventure Time: Distant Lands-BMO, the first of four specials to revive Cartoon Network's Adventure Time franchise
- Expecting Amy, a three-part documentary about the life of comedian Amy Schumer on tour during her pregnancy
- American Pickle, the Seth Rogen comedy, which is HBO Max & # 39; s first original film, is about a 1920s immigrant kept in pickle brine for 100 years and his great-grandson (both characters portrayed by Rogen) in what is now Brooklyn meets
- Class Action Park, the indie doc about the world's most dangerous theme park
- Raised up on Wolves, the science fiction epic from director and executive producer Ridley Scott; The 10-episode series focuses on two androids raising human children on a mysterious planet
Over the fall and beyond, HBO Max will be adding more originals including:
- The Witches, the new movie based on the classic book starring Octavia Spencer and Anne Hathaway.
- The Flight Attendant, with and by Kaley Cuoco based on the novel by Chris Bohjalian
- The Friends unscripted Cast Reunion Special
- A restart of Pretty Little Liars
Of the originals from HBO Max, about half are aimed at young adults ages 16 to 34, and the rest are split between more adults and children and family content outside of the HBO brand.
Some of the other highlights of the originals in the pipeline for HBO Max are:
- New DC titles. ONE Green Lantern The series, said by producer Greg Berlanti (a young adult television guru behind Riverdale and Arrow), will travel to space and "promises to be our greatest DC show ever made". Strange adventures, an hour-long drama anthology series, also produced by Berlanti, that explores the intersecting lives of mortals and superman. DC Super Hero High will be a half-hour comedy by Elizabeth Banks, the producer and actress best known for the Hunger Games films and 30 Rock, that focuses on a group of teenage students at a boarding school for "gifted" children.
- Projects by J.J. Abrams. Abrams, known for a TV and box office hit parade, signed one To make projects for the company. On HBO Max, he'll help produce a show set in the Justice League Dark universe. Overlook, a thriller based on Stephen King's The Shining set in the Overlook Hotel; and a 1970s crime series called Duster.
- A half-hour comedy by actress-producer Issa Rae. Raes Rap Sh * t Explore the Miami music business through the eyes of three women: an aspiring hip-hop duo and their busy manager.
- A half-hour comedy by actress / producer Mindy Kaling. College girls (a working title) persecutes three 18-year-old roommates at Evermore College in Vermont.
- The boondocks The animated series will receive "two reinterpreted seasons" and a 50-minute special that was originally planned for autumn 2020.
- A new Jellystone animation series featuring the classic Hanna Barbera characters from Warner Bros. Animation.
- Comedy specials from Conan O & # 39; Brien and the team behind his TBS show. They will develop five stand-up specials for HBO Max: O'Brien will host two specials that will feature short sets from several up-and-coming comics and curate hour-long sets from three comedians. This board will join another hour long special from comedian James Veitch.
The service will have a smaller list of original films, between five and ten a year, according to the original plan. The first highlights on the original film include:
- A two-picture deal with Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine.
- A documentary about Anthony Bourdain.
- A four-picture deal with Berlanti, including Unpregnant, a September publication about two teenage girls taking a road trip to New Mexico after being found pregnant, based on the young adult novel by Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan.
- Super Intelligence, a comedy starring Melissa McCarthy about a woman whose romantic life was chosen for artificial intelligence observation.
- Bobbie Sue, a comedy starring Jane the Virgin's Gina Rodriguez as an aspiring young attorney who joins a stuffy law firm in Boston.