On Tuesday (May 23), the updated and expanded streaming service Max from Warner Bros. Discovery, which will now take the place of HBO Max, will make its debut in the United States. Max introduces a number of under-the-radar improvements with the intention of making the service more accessible and interesting, and its executives believe it will also be more reliable than HBO Max.
A “large portion” of HBO Max members will have their apps automatically updated to Max, as stated by the firm; but, in some instances, users may be requested to download an updated version of the Max app. In the event that everything goes according to plan, subscribers to HBO Max will have all of their old plan information, profiles, avatars, and settings, including “Continue Watching” and “My List” items, moved over to the new Max platform.
For the purpose of the Max launch, WBD has established “war rooms” in a number of sites across the world, notably in Bellevue, Washington, New York, and London. These “war rooms” are equipped with staff monitoring systems that are programmed to issue up to one thousand warnings in the event that something goes wrong. “The entire team is on standby,” Warner Bros. states.
WBD claims that beginning in the middle of June, brand-new updates for the Max app will become available every few weeks. The company has stated that it will examine comments from customers on a daily basis to determine the order in which new features and bug fixes will be implemented.
Max is available on the same platforms as HBO Max. These platforms include iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android, Amazon Fire TV and Fire Tablet, Android TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, LG Smart TV,Roku, Samsung TV, Vizio SmartCast TV, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One, and web browsers (including Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge for Windows and Apple Safari). Max is also available in the United Kingdom.
The following is a list of the primary distinctions between Max and HBO Max:
More than Twice as Much Content: Max kicks off its service with more than 35,000 hours of programming, which is more than twice as much as what was previously available on HBO Max. The addition of hundreds of episodes from HGTV, Food Network, Discovery Channel, TLC, ID, Magnolia Network, and other heritage Discovery networks is mostly responsible for this development. The supplementary material features complete seasons of popular television programs such as “House Hunters,” “Property Brothers,” “Chopped,” “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives,” “Say Yes to the Dress,” “Deadliest Catch,” “Fixer Upper,” and “Magnolia Table With Joanna Gaines,” as well as other programs.
With a Redesigned Video Playback Experience, Enjoy More Consistent Performance: According to Saxena, Max runs on a newly rebuilt code base in order to give a more consistent and stable performance across all devices. Saxena also claims that the merged Max includes the best aspects of both HBO Max and Discovery+. “Discovery+ was built only two years ago, so it has a very robust platform,” explains Saxena. “There were some performance issues with HBO Max.” According to him, around fifty percent of Max is fresh code, while the other fifty percent is code that was taken from one of the platforms that came before Max. According to WBD, the updated video playback experience offered by the application is intended to give “smooth and cinematic video.”
Simplified Navigation: In general, Max has simplified its categories, and updated its content information pages, dedicated brand hubs, and thematic content rails in order to make it quicker and easier to search material and discover new TV episodes and movies. HBO will be removed from the name of the service, but there will be a tab just for HBO at the very top of the menu for linked TVs. This is to stress that HBO will continue to be an essential component of the service. The left-hand rail of the Max UI on TVs only contains four items: search, home, My Stuff, and settings. In comparison, the HBO Max left-hand rail contained 45 items, including submenus. In addition, the sign-in process for Max is made simpler on certain platforms with the addition of the ability to scan a QR code or use sign-in features that are based on Wi-Fi.
The following are some new personalization features: Only the home screen of the HBO Max app displayed content suggestions and recommendations. This is expanded upon by Max, which, unlike HBO Max, does not yet incorporate user ratings into its personalized content suggestions for individual user profiles across the entire service. These recommendations are based on the user’s viewing behavior. In addition, when you complete watching a show or a TV season, a new end-card recommendation, which WBD refers to as the “genre outro,” will provide suggestions for more content that you might enjoy watching.
Updated 4K Plan:
Max is offered in three levels, two of which have the same pricing as HBO Max’s previous plans, and one of which is a new premium option that offers material in 4K Ultra HD and allows for up to four simultaneous streams:
Max with Ads ($9.99 per month or $99.99 per year): 5.1 surround sound quality, no offline downloads, and 2 simultaneous streams with a resolution of full high-definition video.
The Max Ad-Free plan costs $15.99 per month or $149.99 per year and includes 5.1 surround sound quality, 30 offline downloads, and 2 simultaneous streaming in Full HD resolution.
Max Ultimate Ad Free is available for $19.99 per month or $199.99 per year and includes the following features: four concurrent streams, material in 4K Ultra HD resolution, one hundred offline downloads, and immersive audio with Dolby Atmos (certain content categories may carry restrictions). More than 1,000 movies and episodes of television will be included in the extended 4K UHD content catalog. This includes all of the Warner Bros. movies that were released in the past year and will be released in the future when they arrive on Max following their respective theatrical windows.
More Prominent Kids Experience:
Max provides new subscribers with a default kids profile and related parental controls. These controls include the option to block content based on ratings, lock access to adult profiles, and prevent kids from leaving a kids’ profile. By default, children’s profiles are configured to permit access to content that has a PG or TV-PG classification, or one that is lower than that.
New Download Experience for Offline Viewing: According to WBD, Max offers a new download experience that intends to address issues with HBO Max, which did not always work properly. This update will let users watch content downloaded to their device offline.
Expanded Profile Avatars Icons:
Max will have more than 350 profile icons for users to choose among, after adding about 100 new avatars for characters like Harry, Hermione, Ron, Dobby, Voldemort, Professor McGonagall, and Hagrid from Harry Potter; Joel, Ellie and a Clicker from “The Last of Us”; Tanya, Portia and Valentina from “The White Lotus”; and Peacemaker, Emilia Harcourt and Adrian Chase from “Peacemaker.” Also available are avatar icons from various Discovery programs, such as Chip and Joanna Gaines from “Fixer Upper,” Guy Fieri from “Diners, Drive-ins & Dives,” Bobby Flay from “Beat Bobby Flay,” Jonathan and Drew Scott from “Property Brothers,” Dr. Sandra Lee from “Dr. Pimple Popper,” Trixie Mattel from “Trixie Motel,” Annie Suwan and Kenny Niedermeier from the “90 Day Fiancé” franchise The characters from “Game of Thrones,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “The Sopranos,” “Friends,” “The House of the Dragon,” “Insecure,” “Succession,” “Hacks,” and “The West Wing” have also been made available in HBO Max. These new additions are in addition to the characters that have been made available in the past.
New ad formats include:
According to the firm, the ad experience that is included with the Max With Ads package will continue to provide one of the industry’s lowest ad loads (three to four minutes per hour). The advertising formats of HBO Max and Discovery+ will be combined in Max. These will include traditional pre-roll ads (15 seconds), mid-roll ads (15 or 30 seconds), takeovers (which permit an advertiser to be the first ad all users see on the platform for one day, with ownership of the pre-roll and first mid-roll ad in each consumer’s first stream), Brand Block, which permits one brand to exclusively own every ad moment within a piece of content, and InFront, which permits brands to sponsor an exclusive ad-free experience for viewers by eliminating
When Max first launches, it will have 6,500 hours of audio-described content available to users. This now includes original programs produced by Magnolia, TLC, and HGTV, in addition to those produced by HBO and Max. In addition, when Max initially launches, it will support screen reader technology on the web, as well as on Roku, Vizio, LG, Samsung, Xbox, PlayStation 5, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Android Mobile, Android TV, Google TV, Amazon Fire TV, DirecTV, and Cox.