Update: This article has been updated to include watching on Max (formerly HBO Max).
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by Director Peter Jackson is still one of the most popular movie series even after releasing in theaters 20 years ago. The 3 movies: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002), and The Return of the King (2003) are also available to watch in Extended Editions.
In total, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy extends 558 minutes (theatrical) or 686 minutes (extended) — not including any bonus material. It’s a film series that many fans tend to watch at least every year. So what is the best way to watch The Lord of the Rings movies? Read below for various options.
How To Watch The Lord Of The Rings Movies
On 4k Blu-ray (4K/BD)
We rank The Lord of the Rings Trilogy on 4k Blu-ray Disc among the best of all time, and the 1080p Blu-rays are right there at the top. But, you’ll need a 4k Blu-ray or Blu-ray player to watch the discs. In 4k with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, you’ll get the highest quality possible at home. We gave the 4k Blu-ray edition of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy top scores (Read Review) and rank it in the Top 25 4k Blu-ray releases of all time.
On HBO & Max (SD/HD/UHD)
If you have a Max (formerly HBO Max) or HBO subscription you can watch The Lord of the Rings Trilogy for free, both the Extended and Theatrical versions. HBO and Max offer the films in SD, HD, and 4k UHD. If watching on cable or satellite you would need to choose the HD broadcast for the higher quality. With the launch of Max, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is now available in 4k, Dolby Vision/HDR10, and Atmos with the Ultimate Ad Free Plan ($19.99 per month). By the way, some cellular services offer HBO and Max free with certain plans.
Streaming/Download Services (4K/HD)
You can also watch The Lord of the Rings Trilogy through various digital retailers such as Apple TV, Prime Video, and Vudu. And, the movies are available in 4k UHD, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos. However, audio/video quality may also vary. For example, as of this article Apple TV, Prime, and Vudu offer The Lord of the Rings Trilogy in 4k UHD, but Prime Video does not currently offer Dolby Atmos.
On TV (HD/SD)
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is often playing on TV networks free but with commercials. This is especially true during the holidays when lots of people watch the films. You can watch the movies live or set a DVR to record and watch later. If you don’t see an airtime with your TV provider, try searching On Demand titles. Be sure to watch the channel in HD if possible.
Most TV providers offer The Lord of the Rings Trilogy films On Demand for purchase or rent, or free if currently playing on a network you are subscribed to. Find the On Demand library selection from your TV service provider and search for “The Lord of the Rings.” Audio quality (Atmos or 5.1) and video quality (4K or HD) may vary according to the provider. Be sure you are getting the quality that matches your TV or projector!
Also Read: How To Get Dolby Atmos On Max