The pandemic has affected the entertainment industry in such a way that not many new movies and TV shows were released in the past 12 months. With this being the case, there was a lot of room for streaming platforms to attract millions of new subscribers because people were spending more time at home.
Home Box Office, which is a subsidiary of Warner Media, founded a new streaming service called HBO Max to offer hundreds of hours of more content than what HBO Now was presenting. Apart from the TV shows and movies that users can already watch, it surprised viewers with a huge library of Warner Media content.
We were naturally interested in determining whether it makes sense to switch from the “Now” to the “Max” app, which is why we tested Max for a couple of days. To help you understand better, we will highlight what this streaming app is all about, as well as the positives and negatives of the app.
What Is HBO Max All About?
Let’s start by saying that this streaming service was launched back in May 2020, just when the pandemic mess was at its peak. As a replacement to HBO Go, which has since gone obsolete (except in certain European regions), the idea wasn’t to simply change the name.
The developers promised that HBO Max would offer thousands of hours of new content. Most of the TV shows and movies that this service has added come from Studio Ghibli and Warner Media.
Along with that, you will still be able to enjoy popular titles such as Game of Thrones, Indiana Jones, Friends, Rick and Morty, Sopranos, and much more content that was offered on HBO Now. The price is similar to what the previous service required, set at $14.99 on a monthly basis.
Although it introduced a lot of innovations, you can’t connect it to Roku or Amazon TV. This is something that we would like to see corrected, especially because it greatly reduces the potential for enjoying your favorite films in 4K resolution.
Still, there is a gamut of advantages that it has over HBO Now, even if this one is a bit frustrating.
The Main Differences – HBO Max vs HBO Now
As neither Roku and Amazon made a deal with Warner Media, the main and only benefit you will be getting by staying with HBO Now is being able to connect to these platforms. However, in the recent feature, the people that stand behind HBO Max will probably be able to settle this issue, as well.
In terms of the app interface, you are going to have a much easier time going through the huge library that offers more than 10,000 hours of content in TV shows and movies combined.
HBO Max stands as the main service presenting HBO content for both cable subscribers and those who don’t have cable. With HBO Go not functioning anymore in the USA, this is a versatile app that will allow you to access your favorite movies or shows at any given moment.
You might be wondering if this service offers a free trial. That was the case for the first 6 months, but on December 3rd, the promotion was terminated. Still, if you are an existing subscriber to HBO Now (meaning that your membership is paid for), you will be able to access all the Max content without any additional fees.
How To Get HBO Max
The first thing that we want to point out is that this service is available for both iOS and Android users.
The app itself is completely free, and you can download it in a couple of simple steps from either Google Play or the Apple Store. Once you have done that, it all comes down to choosing one of the offered plans (depending on how long you want to subscribe for).
The most common monthly plan is set at $14.99. This isn’t as affordable as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, but given the fact that you are getting a lot of original content, access to the Warner Media library, and everything else that HBO cable has to offer, the price is justified.
When it comes to compatibility, we found that you can easily connect this service with an Android TV or Apple TV for a more immersive streaming experience.
Additionally, leading tech companies, such as Samsung, LG, and Sony, also offer smart TVs that you can watch HBO Max content on. Not to mention, it can also be connected to an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 for gamers who want to take some time off to enjoy a nice classic.
How To Use HBO Max
The Hulu streaming platform allows its users to connect to HBO Max. You may not be able to save a lot of money this way, but you can still benefit from being able to watch even more content in a single app. There is also an add-on plan that features a 7-day free trial (although the HBO Max standalone has terminated it).
We were impressed with the intuitive design this service is highlighted by. Once you log in, you will be immediately presented with trending shows and movies.
If you aren’t interested in any of those, the “explore” feature will allow you to find what you are looking for depending on your favorite genre. After adding it to your list, you can expect suggestions to pop up based on your preferences.
The “just added”, “coming soon”, and “last chance” sections are helpful if you don’t want to miss out on anything that HBO Max has prepared. As we have mentioned above, excluding Roku and Amazon Fire, this service can be used on all other devices.
Most importantly, you can successfully track who has logged in for enhanced security. Much like with Netflix, you can download all of the content that you watch – just keep in mind that you will have to select content episode by episode.
Get the Most Out Of HBO Max
Judging by what we have discussed so far, it is safe to conclude that HBO Max is a user-friendly service that offers many cool features. This includes parental controls that you will appreciate if you create a kid’s profile.
The best thing is that your kid can’t access “restricted content” without a pin, which is known only to you. This will allow them to enjoy the fun shows that this service offers without coming across movies with criminal or sexual content.
By inputting how old your kid is, HBO Max will recommend a number of classics with a suitable rating.
Create Your Own List
Another cool point is that you won’t have to worry about forgetting the show you wanted to watch. By saving it to “my list”, all the content that you are interested in will be set and ready when you get back home and begin to relax.
Other Great Features
Among the features that you may not have discovered is the ability to restrict streaming unless you are connected to a stable WiFi network. This will save you money, as you won’t be met with huge costs for the data connection.
Out of all the innovative features, we have to say that the most impressive one is the hub. This page is available for users of both smart devices and desktop devices, and it lists all of the different libraries that you have available to you.
What You Can Access
You will be able to access Cartoon Network, DC, Warner Bros., as well as Studio Ghibli and Adult Swim content with just a single click. Not only that, but it also allows new users an opportunity to distinguish what content is exclusive to HBO Max and what was being streamed at HBO Now.
Last but certainly not least, the HBO Max developers did a great job making this service available for people around the world, so you do not need to worry about location restrictions or geo-blocking.
Apart from subtitles in several languages including Spanish, Portuguese, and French, you will also find it quite funny that certain shows can be listened to in Japanese.
This is a nice touch, especially if you are a student of this beautiful language and would like to hear how it is spoken in context.
Over the past several months, the competition between streaming services has grown more than ever. With that in mind, it would be safe to assume that Home Box Office is doing well, given what they did with the new HBO Max service.
Whether you enjoy classic movies, popular TV shows, cartoons, or documentaries, this platform has it all. No, it may not be the most budget-friendly service out there, but the app itself is simple to navigate and has 10,000+ hours of high-quality content.