Warner Bros. Discovery’s Max officially launched on Tuesday, May 23, 2023. The rebrand of HBO Max delivers a wider library of content but with new pricing tiers with and without ads to compete with other streaming services. Here’s our review after 5 days with the service.
You’ve probably seen plenty of advertising for the launch of Max, something that Warner Bros. Discovery didn’t really seem to spend money on when it premiered HBO Max almost two years ago to the day on May 27, 2020. But Max has been marketed everywhere, from social media to primetime advertising on TV networks.
Max was launched to offer a bigger variety of content including shows, documentaries, and movies from HBO, HBO Max, and Discovery+ channels that distribute content from HGTV, Food Network, Discovery Channel, TLC, and ID. With Max you also get Max Originals, HBO Max Hubs with brands like Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Looney Tunes, and curated classics from TCM, DC, and more.
Included with a subscription are movie franchises such as Harry Potter, Games of Thrones, and The Lord of the Rings, as well as new-released movies and TV series. Best of all, we finally get to see more of those movies and TV series in 4k. Although HBO Max did offer a limited number of titles in Ultra HD, there were many that only streamed in HD even when 4k Blu-rays were readily available.
As well as 4k resolution, titles also stream with Dolby Vision/HDR10 and Dolby Atmos audio. The three video/audio specs together provide the best home theater formats possible (although it’s easy to argue 4k discs are unbeatable in terms of quality). After doing testing on several titles we found the bitrates to be competitive with other services. One example is Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone which streamed at an average of 19.17 Mbps with an above-average indicated peak of 26.43 Mbps.
New movies now available in 4k include Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023) and Love to Love You, Donna Summer (2023), as well as many movies that were not previously available in 4k such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Wizard of Oz, Casablanca, the Harry Potter franchise, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and The Dark Knight Trilogy, to name a bunch.
Max has also upgraded many TV series to 4k. Complete series such as Friends (10 Seasons), Rick and Morty (6 Seasons), South Park (26 Seasons), and The Big Bang Theory (9 Seasons) are now available to stream in 2160p resolution.
But the switch to Max didn’t go as smoothly as Warner Bros. Discovery would have wanted. We reported multiple issues with logging in, watching in browsers, missing profile information (users, avatars, history, etc.), and even trying to find a log-out button on browsers. The streaming app for Apple TV has given us plenty of trouble (even 5 days later) and finally had to use an iPhone to get the log-in to work.
There are many users who also noted the number of movies already in the “Last Chance” list. Meaning, titles won’t be on there that much longer. Movies that have limited time left number at least 50 such as Blade Runner: The Final Cut, No Country for Old Men, West Side Story (2021), and six Star Trek films from the original cast and TNG periods.
How do you get Max?
If you already have an HBO Max account Max will automatically appear as your new streaming service. HBOMax.com redirects to Max.com. If you already have an account you should sign out. Important: If you don’t have a TV provider (and just have a streaming subscription) ignore that part and just sign in.
How do you get 4k UHD with Max?
Subscribers to Max need to choose the highest-priced tier offered to get 4k, Dolby Vision HDR, and Dolby Atmos (depending on title). Ultimate Ad-Free costs $19.99 per month and allows up to 4 devices at once and up to 100 offline downloads.
- Max Ad-Lite ($9.99/month or $99.99/year): Two concurrent streams, 1080p HD resolution, no offline downloads, 5.1 surround sound quality
- Max Ad Free ($15.99/month or $149.99/year): Two concurrent streams, 1080p HD, up to 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 Ultra HD resolution, 100 offline downloads, Dolby Atmos sound quality
Also Read: How To Get Dolby Atmos on HBO Max.