HBO Max: Cost, devices, and how to make the most of your subscription

HBO Max is arriving May 27. Here's what to expect.

May 28, 2020, 8:27 am*



Phil West

HBO Max logo


  • HBO Max is the newest streaming service from HBO, joining HBO NOW and HBO GO as platforms by which subscribers can access HBO’s movies, original shows, and comedy specials.
  • HBO Max is $14.99 a month, the same as HBO NOW.
  • HBO Max has more than just HBO’s amazing bank of movies and shows. There’s a new series of programs, Max Originals, only available on the platform. It’s also got tons of content under the WarnerMedia banner, and it’s the new home for Sesame Street. The launch also unveiled two special treats for subscribers: The Studio Ghibli collection and all 10 Harry Potter movies.
  • HBO Max is available through a variety of devices, including iOS and Android devices, Google Chromecast, Samsung smart TVs, Playstation 4, and XBox One. (There’s an expectation that two major devices, Amazon Fire TV and Roku, will soon follow.
  • HBO Max starts new subscribers with a seven-day free trial.

HBO Max launched May 27, becoming the newest and arguably best way to stream HBO content—bringing with it a series of Max Originals that will only be available through the new platform. If you’ve finally managed to understand the difference between HBO GO and HBO NOW, know that HBO Max will change the equation, offering what the entertainment giant is positioning as an upgrade over its prior platforms.

Here’s everything you need to know about the latest member of the HBO family before you sign up.



How much is HBO Max?

HBO Max is $14.99 a month, the same as HBO NOW is for its subscribers.


hbo max HBO HBO

What’s on HBO Max?

HBO Max has just one all-you-can-watch plan that touts HBO’s relationship as part of the WarnerMedia family. In its promotional campaign, HBO touts “10,000 hours of premium content bringing together diverse brands including Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, DC, Turner, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, and Looney Tunes.

It’ll have access to award-winning HBO series and documentaries, of course, just like HBO NOW and HBO GO. HBO built its reputation on shows like The Sopranos, The Wire, Game of Thrones, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Veep, and they’ll be available to stream alongside newer entries like Westworld, Insecure, and I Know This Much Is True.

There’s also a block of kids’ programming on HBO Max highlighted by Sesame Street. HBO acquired the beloved program in October 2019 and it’s ordering five new 35-episode seasons to accompany the massive 50-year archive now in its stable.

The movie options go deep into the Warner Empire’s vaults. If Max is like its predecessors, there will be some titles available for access for only a limited time, to join the plenty of movies joining everything from classics to relatively new titles accessible anytime.

Also, as the Daily Dot reported in the run-up to HBO Max’s launch, the Zach Synder cut of 2017’s Justice League is promised as an HBO Max exclusive by 2021. That’s thrilling those who made #ReleaseTheSnyderCut a trending hashtag for months.



Max Originals

Part of HBO Max’s appeal will be a new slate of original programming, including streamable new titles that will launch along with HBO Max on May 27. Those include:

  • Legendary, a vogueing competition that includes members of the Queer Eye team as executive producers. The cast includes MC Dashaun Wesley and DJ MikeQ as well as celebrity judges Law Roach, Jameela Jamil, Leiomy Maldonado, and Megan Thee Stallion;
  • Love Life, a new Anna Kendrick-propelled romantic comedy also starring Zoë Chao, Peter Vack and Sasha Compere;
  • On The Record, a documentary that debuted at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival to great acclaim, covering music executive Drew Dixon’s journey to publicly accuse hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons of sexual assault;
  • Craftopia, a kids’ crafting competition show doubling as a vehicle for YouTube influencer Lauren Riihimaki (better known as LaurDIY), who will be the show’s host and executive producer; and
  • The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo, featuring the endearing Sesame Street character breaking into the talk show host game. Guests will include Jimmy Fallon, John Oliver, comedian John Mulaney, New York Times best-selling author Kwame Alexander, actress Blake Lively, and performers Lil Nas X and The Jonas Brothers.
The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo HBO



HBO Max streaming devices

HBO Max launched with some but not all of the HBO NOW options for customers. Apple and iOS devices, Google Chromecast as well as gaming consoles like Xbox One and PlayStation 4 all work, as do Samsung Smart TVs, but you can’t connect (for now) via Amazon Fire TV Stick and Roku. HBO’s also announced that Max will be available as a Hulu add-on, and it’s likely that more options come online as HBO weathers the initial transition.



HBO Max DVR and multiple screens

HBO Max, unlike its predecessors, allows for downloads of up to 30 show episodes and/or movies across all devices you use for accessing the platform. Once you get to 30, you have to choose what to delete before you’re allowed to download something new. The Downloads section of your profile lets you know what you’ve claimed, and the Manage Devices section of your account helps you know which devices are tied to your account.

As far as multiple screens go, HBO Max customers can access the service from three devices simultaneously, just like HBO NOW customers.



How to sign up for HBO Max

The good news for current HBO NOW and HBO GO customers is that many of them got access to HBO Max instantly upon its launch at no extra cost. That includes NOW subscribers billed directly through HBO, through Apple, or through Google Play, as well as GO subscribers who get cable from AT&T TV, DIRECTV, AT&T U-Verse, or Spectrum, or those who access HBO as a Hulu add-on.

If you’re new to HBO (or a returning eligible NOW subscriber), here’s what you do:

  1. Put in your first and last name, email address, and choose a password.
  2. Click the “Create Account” button.
  3. Fill out all your payment method information when you’re moved to the “Add a Payment Method.”
  4. Click the “Start Subscrption” button to confirm.
hbo max HBO HBO

Premium Streaming Service Guides

Acorn TVAmazon PrimeApple TV+
BritBoxCuriosity StreamCrunchyRoll
DC UniverseDisney PlusHulu
ShowtimeStarzRooster Teeth

Live TV Service Guides

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Hulu with Live TVPhiloPluto TV
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Entertainment Channel Guides

A&EAMCAnimal Planet
BBC AmericaBETBravo
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Disney ChannelDisney XDE!
Food NetworkFreeformFX
FXXHallmark ChannelHGTV
History ChannelIFCLifetime
MTVNat GeoNickelodeon
Nick JrParamount NetworkScience Channel
TLCTravel ChannelTruTV
VH1WillowThe Weather Channel

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*First Published: May 21, 2020, 12:27 pm