HBO Max has officially arrived, which means yet another major streaming service has entered the marketplace. This one arrives from WarnerMedia, and comes with the spoils of the Warner Bros. catalog, including the Harry Potter movies, a host of DC content and much more. For those who are looking to subscribe, there are a few inconveniences to work around in the beginning. For starters, it is not available on some of the most popular devices used for streaming, and those hoping to maximize the fidelity are going to be out of luck.
The app is available on iOS and Android devices, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast and through a web browser. However, HBO Max does not currently have an app for Amazon Fire TV devices or Roku devices. WarnerMedia has yet to strike a deal with the companies to bring the streaming service to those devices, which means that people who primarily use Fire TV or Roku to stream content will have to find another option. This could be viewed as especially frustrating, considering that HBO Go and HBO Now are available on those devices.
Videophiles or those who simply want to get the most out of their high-definition TV also have an issue to contend with. Currently, HBO Max does not allow for 4K streaming. The service allows standard HD but, for now at least, 4K isn’t available. The company has said that 4K streaming is “on our roadmap” but no timetable has been provided. Meanwhile, Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+ and Hulu all support 4K streaming. Granted, Netflix charges $16 per month to do so, $3 more than its most popular plan, but that is in the same ballpark as HBO Max.
Those who subscribe to HBO Max will need to shell out $14.99 per month. That is on the high side for streaming services. Granted, the service does offer a ton of premium content, including Friends and South Park, as well as movies like Joker, Gone With the Wind, Crazy Rich Asians, The Lord of the Rings trilogy and much more. Plus, Zack Snyder’s Justice League will debut on the service next year. Everything that is currently offered by HBO is included.
This comes as the streaming wars have really begun to heat up. Virtually every major studio and media company is looking to compete with Netflix, the unquestioned leader of the pack at the moment as it boasts more than 180 million subscribers worldwide. NBCUniversal will be getting in on the action soon as well with Peacock, which arrives in July. Some HBO subscribers, as well as certain AT&T customers, will be offered a free upgrade to the service. For those who are looking to give it a try, the company is currently offering a seven-day trial. To give it a go, head on over to HBOMax.com.