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HBO Max Streaming Service Review: Best for Prestige TV shows

Boasts an impressive on-demand library of movies and TV shows. Its apps support the latest streaming features, and you can create up to five user profiles.

5/5

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OUR EVALUATION

HBO Max has enough content to woo new subscribers from Disney Plus and Netflix. However, its high subscription cost and lack of big-name original titles make it lag behind these two streaming services.

PROS

  • You can create up to five profiles
  • Has all Warner Bros. 2021 movies
  • A vast catalog of popular shows and movies

CONS

  • Few 4K titles
  • No selections for streaming resolution

OUR EVALUATION

HBO Max has enough content to woo new subscribers from Disney Plus and Netflix. However, its high subscription cost and lack of big-name original titles make it lag behind these two streaming services.

PROS

  • You can create up to five profiles
  • Has all Warner Bros. 2021 movies
  • A vast catalog of popular shows and movies

CONS

  • Few 4K titles
  • No selections for streaming resolution
4.4/5

3.75/5
OVERALL​
Streaming speed
4.5
Ease of use
3.5
Content
4
Value
3
4.4/5

3.75/5
OVERALL​
Streaming speed
4.5
Ease of use
3.5
Content
4
Value
3

OUR PICKS

HBO Max streaming service

Its parental control options are pretty impressive. They allow parents to restrict the kind of content kids can watch by creating a secret PIN and adding your child’s birth month and year. Parents can also customize the profile using suggested content restrictions or specify the movies and TV shows your child can watch manually.

Brand:HBO Max
Live TV:No
Founded:2020

*At the time of publishing, the price was $30.

OUR PICKS

HBO Max streaming service

owlratings

Its parental control options are pretty impressive. They allow parents to restrict the kind of content kids can watch by creating a secret PIN and adding your child’s birth month and year. Parents can also customize the profile using suggested content restrictions or specify the movies and TV shows your child can watch manually.

Brand:HBO Max
Live TV:No
Founded:2020

*At the time of publishing, the price was $30.

The details

HBO Max is HBO’s third streaming service after the company decided to retire HBO GO. This means all HBO Go customers will move to HBO Max, which features a chock-full of popular TV shows and movies. It adds titles like the Flight Attendant with Kaley Cuoco and Wonder Woman 1984, making it a compelling competitor to Netflix.

Despite being the new kid on the streaming block, HBO Max has tons of content on offer, including the renowned Game of Thrones, The Wire, and the HBO prestige series. HBO Max also has a few original programs, including The Flight Attendant and American Pickle.

Streaming speed

Whether you’re using a mobile device, computer, or TV to stream HBO Max content, you need a minimum speed of 5.0 Mbps to stream HBO Max content. However, if streaming 4K UHD content, you need higher speeds of 25.0 Mbps.

If your internet connection is slower than this speed, HBO Max adjusts the stream’s quality to a lower bitrate, such as 720p. If it’s a frequent occurrence, check HBO server or your internet connection.

Ease of use

Its user interface is easy to navigate. However, since its difficult to sort through HBO Max’s 10,000 hours of film using its menu, we decided to create a brief description. First, the home screen displays a carousel of 7 promoted movies and shows.

Below My List and Continue Watching sections is the general promoted content with rows for Originals, movies, and TV shows. Next is a row for the editor’s picks and the Harry Potter series.

The nine hub icons display HBO Max’s main offerings (Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies, Looney Tunes, Studio Ghibli, and more). In the next rows, you’ll find family-friendly shows, buddy comedies, and mysteries. Clearly, HBO Max needs to improve its user-interface.

Content

Being an entry-level streaming service of HBO, it airs HBO’s entire catalog, including favorites like Friends, the Lord of Rings movies, Rick and Morty, to mention a few. It starts with an inimitable lineup of HBO original programming, Warner Bros, and Studios film archive films.

Also, you’ve got selections from DCEU movies and lots of content from Criterion Collection and Turner Classic Movies. A count of HBO Max library shows it has 10,000 hours of content. It’s a little less than Netflix 36000 hours and Disney Plus 4000 hours, but pretty impressive for a new streaming service.  

Original shows comprise titles like Big Little Lies, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Sex, and the City, to mention a few. This trove of premium content is the backbone of HBO Max streaming service.

The streaming service has a decent selection of kid-friendly shows too. They include Looney Tunes Cartoons, the crafting competition run by Lauren Riihimaki, Wile E. Coyote cartoons animated in the classic style, among other titles.

What’s more, it hasn’t slouched on its library of on-demand movies thanks to its partnership with Warner Bros and external content sources such as The Criterion Collection. That’s why it can broadcast titles like A Star is Born, Alien, Gangs of New York, The Dark Knight Rises, and The Fast and The Furious fans will get a fair dose of this riveting film.

Value

By comparison, HBO Max is the most expensive streaming service as it costs $15 a month. Other on-demand video streaming services cost way less. Amazon Prime Video, for example, costs $8.99. Hulu’s ad-free plan costs $11.99 while Disney is only $7.

We understand the cost is similar to HBO’s traditional channel but is it worth the money? First, it has an expansive catalog of TV shows and movies. Also, you can create up to five user profiles, a feature that wasn’t available on previous HBO Now or HBO GO apps.

With the additional profiles, you can simultaneously share an account and stream content on up to three devices. Still, we couldn’t find any other new feature that warrants the high price. HBO plans to introduce another tier which we hope will be cheaper or free.

Final verdict

HBO Max is a worthy upgrade for existing HBO subscribers, but if you’re a new subscriber, we’d recommend other streaming services like Disney+. However, if you’re big on Warner Bros prestige TV shows, it’s worth a try.

The additional TV shows, movies, and the ability to create more profiles make it a great buy. The service is also impressive from a technical standpoint. Its well-designed applications, multiple viewing profiles, offline downloads, and absence of ads make it stand out.

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