After Wonder Woman 1984 introduces 4k to HBO Max on Dec. 25, WarnerMedia says there will be more Ultra HD content to follow. That could mean HBO shows that have been upgraded to 4k on Blu-ray disc such as Game of Thrones and Chernobyl might be streaming soon in 4k on HBO Max.
It could also mean newer shows like Lovecraft Country, Raised by Wolves, and The Undoing which were all digitally mastered in 4k could already be queued up for the streaming upgrade.
And what about movies? Today, Warner Bros. announced its entire 2021 movie slate will premiere in a hybrid model that includes HBO Max along with theater locations. The movies will only stay on HBO Max for one month, but subscribers will not have to pay more for the access.
Upcoming movies include Dune, Godzillla vs. Kong, The Suicide Squad, and The Matrix 4 among a total of 17 movies listed as “expected” to release in 2021. And, the films will stream in Ultra HD and HDR according to WarnerMedia’s press release.
The other movies mentioned include The Little Things, Judas and the Black Messiah, Tom & Jerry, Mortal Kombat, Those Who Wish Me Dead, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, In The Heights, Space Jam: A New Legacy, Reminiscence, Malignant, King Richard, Cry Macho, and The Many Saints of Newark.
As far as existing movies on HBO and HBO Max, the outlets are already showing blockbusters like Gladiator, Prometheus, and the first Wonder Woman film that are all available in 4k from other streamers such as Apple TV and Fandango/Vudu, and on 4k Blu-ray, so you can likely expect an upgrade across the board (if 4k resolution is readily available from the corresponding studios).
The launch of 4k on HBO Max might put the company a step ahead of competing services like CBS (who doesn’t offer 4k) and Hulu (with a limited selection of 4k content), and even closer to contention with Disney+ and Netflix. Up until WW84, neither HBO or HBO Max have ever broadcast or streamed in 4k.
You have to bet HBO and WarnerMedia have been planning on 4k for a while now, and if the company follows through with their plans there should be a good amount of 4k content available before the streamer reaches its 1-year anniversary in May.
It will be interesting to see if any of the other networks offered on HBO Max, such as TCM, Adult Swim, or DC will offer content in 4k any time soon. TCM, for its part, houses several classics that have been restored to 4k (both streaming and on disc) such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien, and Jaws.
HBO Max 4k will be supported by Apple TV 4K, Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, Amazon Fire TV Cube, 4K Fire TV Edition Smart TVs, Chromecast Ultra, AT&T TV and supported Android TV devices.