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HBO Max was first launched in May 2020 (which seems like both an eternity and not all that long ago at the same time) but not everyone dove into AT&T’s ambitious streaming service when it first launched for a number of different reasons but want to see what the platform is all about. Whether this is your first time dipping your toes in the water at giant streamer combining HBO programming, dozens of other brands, and a slew of originals or your parents/old roommate/ex finally changed their password, we’ve got everything you need to know about from the HBO Max price, different models, and other key information you might have missed.
So if you want to know how it will cost you each month to enjoy everything HBO Max has to offer, we have a quick breakdown for you...
How To Get HBO Max
Before you go and get yourself all worked up in a frenzy about trying to justify spending money on another streaming service, there’s a good chance you already have access to HBO Max. And if not, signing up is fairly easy.
If you have HBO through a cable/satellite/internet TV provider then you already have HBO Max (the ad-free version at that) and don’t have to pay any addition charge each month. All you need to do is download the HBO Max app on a supported device (more on those later), and simply sign in through your provider. In the event you have a smaller cable/satellite provider that’s not one of the bigger and more known companies and want to make sure you have access, the HBO Max website has a full list of providers.
If you have one of the eligible plans through AT&T, you already have access to HBO Max. If you have AT&T Unlimited Elite (wireless plan), AT&T Fiber internet, or AT&T TV Choice, then HBO Max is included with your package at no additional charge. It should be noted that the TV Choice plan only includes free HBO Max for one year and you’ll have to cover the cost after 12 months.
If you have neither of those plans, you’re not out of luck; you will just have to sign up for HBO Max on your own, which takes little to no time at all.
If you're not an HBO Max subscriber, you can sign up here*. *
How Much Does HBO Max Cost? - There Are Two Plans
The standard, ad-free version of HBO Max that has been around since May 2020 will cost you $14.99/month or $149.99/year while the cheaper, ad-supported model will run you $9.99/month or $99.99/year. These two plans, while offering a lot of the same content, have some very key differences in terms of what is included and the overall viewing experience (remember, the less-expensive model has commercial breaks), which we are about to breakdown.
What’s Included With The Ad-Supported HBO Max Model
The ad-supported version of HBO Max is cheaper than the standard option, but there are some serious tradeoffs that you will be forced to deal with in order to save $5/month. Obviously, you will have to sit through ads, though Next TV has reported the number of commercials is much lighter than on other streaming services with similar models. It should be noted that while episodes of Friends, Big Bang Theory, and other licensed content on HBO have ad breaks, none of the HBO original programming has any interruptions.
One key difference to keep in mind if you're considering the ad-supported HBO Max subscription: The HBO Max with Ads option doesn’t give you access to all the 2021 Warner Bros. movies that are available to HBO Max ad-free subscribers for 30 days during the movie's theatrical run (eg. Wonder Woman 1984, In The Heights, The Little Things, etc).
What’s Included With The Ad-Free HBO Max Model
The standard ad-free version of HBO Max comes with everything that’s included with the cheaper version but doesn’t have any of the drawbacks of its less-expensive counterpart. You will be able to enjoy everything on HBO Max with select movies in 4K Ultra HD (like all those 2021 Warner Bros. movies, which are available for 30 days upon the film's theatrical release), as well as the option to download movies and shows on supported devices. So if you’re looking for great documentaries, action movies, or just something to watch while you doze off to sleep, you’re more than covered here.
HBO Max Supported Devices
Before you get a service like HBO Max it is probably best to check the list of supported devices to make sure the streaming box, gaming console, or smart TV you use to take in all your digital content can handle all the movies, shows, and other programming included in the platform’s offerings. Remember when HBO Max wasn’t supported by Roku for more than six months after the service first went live and was only added just before Wonder Woman 1984 launched in December 2020 (some of us will never forget)?
Here is a sampling of supported devices: Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, Roku, Samsung TV, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S, and select cable boxes. For a full, detailed list of supported devices and the specifics about each one, here's HBO Max's support page.
Are HBO GO And HBO Now Still Around?
When HBO Max launched in May 2020 the future of the HBO GO (streaming services that required cable credentials) and HBO Now (standalone streaming service) apps. Well, it didn’t take long for WarnerMedia to “sunset,” aka kill off, the HBO Go App, and according to The Verge, the app was removed from various platforms by the end of July 2020.
The fate of HBO Now, however, was a little more complicated. For everyone with devices like Apple TV, PlayStatioon, and various smart TVs, the app simply updated itself to become HBO Max, but those without a supported device (like those of us with Roku at the time), it became the HBO app but without all the pomp and circumstance of HBO Max.