HBO Max Becomes Max Today: Here’s What You Should Know – best news


Max will look pretty familiar, but you may have to download a new app to get it.
Photo-Illustration: Martin Gee

Today’s the day. HBO Max is all but dead, making room for its much bluer, much larger streaming-service son, Max. There’s not much more to say about this transition that we haven’t already said. It’s been a year of watching Warner Bros. Discovery endure change, pain, and content removal from HBO Max, as well as funnier shenanigans by CEO David Zaslav. The HBO Max–to–Max changeover, though, is something that may directly affect you and your streaming habits, so we’ve put together this handy guide to answer a few questions, because we love you.

Basically, Warner Bros. and Discovery tied the knot and decided they needed to overhaul their streaming strategy. That led to Max, the latest Pokémon evolution of HBO Max (earlier forms being HBO Go and HBO Now). Max will combine programming once found on Discovery+, like 90 Day Fiancé and Property Brothers, with the stuff that was on HBO Max, like Sex and the City and The Other Two. Change is hard, but at least you can maybe get a cute Totoro avatar with Max?

Yes and no. Both the WBD executives and product teams involved with the rollout of Max have repeatedly said the transition for existing subscribers will be seamless: “On May 23, the HBO Max app will become Max,” the website states. They want to avoid a repeat of the user confusion that marked the transition from HBO Now to HBO Max roughly three years ago.

However, the transition will differ slightly by devices. On some devices, you will have to download a new Max app, whereas on others, the existing HBO Max app will update automatically to Max. Here’s the breakdown:

Automatically updating: Amazon, Cox, Roku, Vizio TV, Xfinity

Download prompted: Android, Apple, DIRECTV, LG TV, PlayStation, Samsung TV, Xbox*

This is why keen observers may have noticed that there is a new Max app already strutting on the Apple Store. WBD has encouraged new users to pre-download the app before HBO Max disappears.

Yes, basically anything you’d log in to access — profiles, watch history, your saved watch queue, and settings — should carry over once you log in to Max.

If you want the nicer features, yes. The cost of the standard ad-free and ad-supported tiers are staying the same — about $16 and $10 a month, respectively. But a new premium tier has been added for folks who want features like 4K streaming and Dolby Atmos sound (which used to come standard in the HBO Max days). Here’s the full breakdown of the new pricing moving forward:

Max Ad Lite: $9.99/month or $99.99/year
• Two concurrent streams, 1080p resolution, no offline downloads, 5.1 surround-sound quality

Max Ad Free: $15.99/month or $149.99/year
• Two concurrent streams, 1080p resolution, 30 offline downloads, 5.1 surround-sound quality

Max Ultimate Ad Free: $19.99/month or $199.99/year
• Four concurrent streams, up to 4K UHD resolution, 100 offline downloads, Dolby Atmos sound quality

Your existing HBO Max plan, assuming you’re a current customer, will stay in effect for at least six months, at which point you’ll be given the option to switch to one of the three plans, above.

Content-wise, Max will look pretty familiar. There will still be collections for HBO shows and films, the DC superhero characters, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Max Originals, the Studio Ghibli films, and others. Additionally, content you might recognize from Discovery+ is going to be available on the platform, with categories and collections devoted to true-crime, reality-TV, food, and comedy programming from the likes of HGTV, Food Network, Discovery Channel, TLC, and ID.

Over the next month it’ll be the streaming home of new Max Originals premieres like And Just Like That … and Clone High as well as HBO series such as ​​The Idol, broader linear programming like Chopped and Build It Forward, and film premieres such as Avatar: The Way of Water. Max is also emphasizing its kids’ offerings as a way to hammer home that it’s a broadly appealing service; every newly signed-up account will include a child’s profile as a default option. (One of its competitors, after all, is Disney, which has a similarly priced streaming bundle and recently pulled some Zas-like streaming moves of its own.) In general, think of Max as a more stuffed HBO Max. Hopefully, you’re actually interested in the stuff on it.

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