HBO Max: Everything to know about HBO’s new, bigger streaming app

HBO Max launched in Could.

Warner Bros./HBO Max

HBO Max, the streaming service from AT&T’s WarnerMedia, options an all of the common community’s programming plus an amped-up library of additional exhibits, films and originals that you would be able to’t get elsewhere. However should you’ve been confused by the brand new, larger app’s rollout, you are not alone: Many individuals have been stumped by how a lot it prices them, what occurred to HBO Now and HBO Go and why it’s unavailble on Roku or Fire TV

Much like rivals Netflix and Disney Plus, HBO Max has a sprawling catalog of hit exhibits and movies, plus a big-budget slate of unique originals. Usually, HBO Max is the costliest of the bunch. New subscribers can enroll and pay $15 a month after a weeklong free trial. That matches the value HBO already fees for its common channel on most pay-TV suppliers and for its preexisting standalone streaming service, HBO Now. Some (however not all) present HBO prospects can get HBO Max at no added price. 

And HBO’s varied apps — HBO Go, HBO Now and now HBO Max — had been winnowed down firstly of August. The corporate removed HBO Go, and HBO Now turned a renamed app merely known as HBO. On the finish of the adjustments, the corporate can have simply two apps: An HBO app, which is $15 a month and is proscribed to programming on the common community for individuals who pay for the app immediately, after which HBO Max, which can also be $15 a month however with double the exhibits and flicks. 

However these adjustments create some complications for Roku and Amazon Fire TV customers. As a result of it did not safe distribution offers, HBO Max is not accessible to stream on these gadgets. And so they’re the preferred streaming gadgets within the nation. Roku and Amazon Hearth TV collectively represented 70% of the streaming devices in the US final yr. 

Anyone who at present streams HBO Go on a Roku or Hearth TV is left within the lurch. With out Max, which is the app meant to successfully substitute Go, individuals who use these gadgets want to leap by some hoops to stream HBO now that Go is gone. (See the gadget assist part beneath for extra particulars.)


HBO Max launched with virtually the total catalog of Studio Ghibli animated films, streaming within the US for the primary time. 

Studio Ghibli/GKids

Nonetheless, to entice you to provide it a attempt on different platforms, HBO Max has padded itself with extra content material than you may discover on the common HBO channel and HBO Now. For a similar worth, HBO Max doubles the quantity of programming. AT&T, which owns HBO as a part of its WarnerMedia TV and movie division, has been pouring billions of {dollars} into its budgets for unique programming and into costly offers to stream blockbuster films from DC, Harry PotterStudio Ghibli and the Criterion Collection, in addition to well-liked exhibits like Friends, The Big Bang TheoryRick and Morty, Doctor Who and new episodes of Adventure Time. (There is a deep dive into the exhibits and flicks on Max close to the top of this text.) 

HBO Max will even have podcasts in its library based mostly on its programming, alongside the traces of final yr’s podcast companion to the miniseries Chernobyl. It is working with iHeartRadio on a slate of podcasts linked to HBO Max’s upcoming originals and legacy exhibits. Two of the primary exhibits getting a companion podcast are Search Celebration, the comedy thriller that beforehand aired on TBS, and Raised by Wolves, an unique sci-fi drama directed by Ridley Scott. 

HBO Max’s so-called Max Originals will even supply new, unique exhibits and flicks. The most recent high-profile unique is the fabled “Snyder cut” of the 2017 movie Justice League. Past that, the service had six originals at launch, together with anthology series Love Life, starring Anna Kendrick, which is able to return subsequent yr for a second season. HBO Max is including 11 extra originals over the summer time, and has extra on the best way. 

One extremely anticipated unique was lacking at launch. A Buddies reunion particular was anticipated to function the service’s marquee exclusive on day one. However like most issues on the planet, HBO Max’s unique productions have been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. Confined to their properties, individuals throughout the nation are streaming way more, however the novel coronavirus and its respiratory illness, COVID-19, have additionally shut down tv productions globally. HBO Max has mentioned it is delivering 95% of the brand new exhibits and flicks it had deliberate for launch and shortly thereafter. (The corporate has mentioned it is aiming to movie the Buddies reunion by the top of the summer time.)

HBO Max’s $15-a-month worth matches the price of HBO Now and of HBO’s common channel whenever you get it by most pay-TV suppliers. By comparability, Disney Plus is $7 a month and Netflix’s hottest tier is $13 a month.

For brand new HBO prospects, pricing is easy. You simply enroll and pay the $15 month-to-month price after a seven-day free trial. Early subsequent yr, HBO Max will add a brand new tier that is cheaper every month however contains commercials to assist the low cost. 

However should you already pay for HBO, the query of whether or not you get a free improve to HBO Max has no easy reply. Some individuals who have already got an everyday HBO subscription or HBO Now will get Max for no extra cost, however not everybody. So that you can get the automated improve to Max, HBO must strike a cope with the corporate that is already billing you for HBO, whether or not it is a cable TV firm like Constitution or a digital supplier like Apple or Amazon. 

HBO Max has been ramping up these offers, and there is a rising checklist of suppliers which can be letting their HBO prospects improve to Max. (See the total checklist beneath.) However HBO Max does not have offers with each supplier. In the event you’re in that boat, you can be compelled to decide on: both pay twice — one invoice for normal HBO and one other for HBO Max — or cancel your present HBO subscription to enroll in Max immediately as an alternative. 

This confusion could also be a think about HBO Max’s problem getting present HBO pay-TV subscribers to enroll in Max, even when they already qualify for an improve at no added price. Solely about 1.1 million individuals have activated a Max account by upgrading their present HBO service that they pay for by an everyday TV supplier. That is out of greater than 30 million present HBO prospects that probably qualify for a free improve. All they’d should do is obtain the app, log in and watch — however tens of millions aren’t up to now. 

General, about 4.1 million accounts have signed up for HBO Max in its first month. That is far lower than the greater than 10 million sign-ups Disney Plus reported in little greater than 24 hours after its launch in November. However people who find themselves utilizing HBO Max appear to love it: Persons are spending 70% extra time watching Max than they did HBO Now, the corporate’s earlier standalone streaming app, based mostly on common hours spent viewing per week.

One factor that might get extra individuals flocking to HBO Max throughout the coronavirus pandemic can be premiering big-budget films like Tenet or Surprise Lady 1984 there. Different Hollywood giants, together with Disney and Comcast’s Universal Pictures, have been switching to on-line debuts for a few of their movies that had been initially destined for the massive display, like Disney Plus’ launch of Hamilton In July. 

However HBO Max will not premiere Warner Bros.’ Tenet on the streaming service, and AT&T indicated that different films, like Wonder Woman 1984, doubtless will not find yourself on the streaming service till lengthy after theatrical launch, each time that occurs. Whereas the corporate might transfer some movies off its theatrical slate and onto HBO Max as an alternative, AT&T’s CEO mentioned this is able to be content material “on the margins.”

One other massive gap? HBO Max doesn’t offer 4K decision or high dynamic range picture high quality at launch. CNET’s review of HBO Max displays that till the service resolves these points, HBO feels prefer it’s nonetheless a piece in progress. 

So yeah, it is all difficult. Beneath are the finer particulars about HBO Max’s price, reductions, app and its exhibits and flicks.

What gadgets assist HBO Max?

HBO Max is offered on all kinds of gadgets, together with telephones, tablets, the net, linked TVs and sport consoles — however it’s lacking apps on Roku and Amazon Hearth TV.

  • Most Apple gadgets that may stream video assist HBO Max — iPhone, iPad, iPod Contact, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD. Nevertheless, prospects with second- and third-generation Apple TV fashions might want to stream HBO Max content material from their iPhone or iPad to their TV with AirPlay.
  • Google’s Android working system for telephones and tablets have an app for Android TV gadgets, Chromebooks, Google Chromecast and Chromecast built-in gadgets will assist HBO Max too. 
  • Sony’s PlayStation four methods can obtain the HBO Max app through the PlayStation Retailer. 
  • Microsoft’s Xbox One gaming consoles have the HBO Max app through the Microsoft Retailer.
  • Choose Samsung internet-connected sensible TVs — fashions from 2016 by 2020 — can obtain and buy HBO Max immediately.

However two essential streaming gadgets haven’t got HBO Max. Neither Roku nor Amazon Hearth TV gadgets assist HBO Max, regardless that these gadgets characterize the overwhelming majority of streaming gadgets within the US. Researcher Parks Associates estimated that just about 70% of put in streaming TV gadgets within the nation had been both Roku or Amazon Hearth TV merchandise final yr, and the businesses have greater than 80 million energetic customers between them. 

HBO Max executives say they’ve apps prepared for each Roku and Hearth TV, however the firm should hammer out offers with each these distributors first. 

On the day of HBO Max’s US launch, Roku mentioned that regardless that HBO Max wasn’t on Roku’s gadgets but, the corporate appears ahead “to serving to HBO Max sooner or later efficiently scale their streaming enterprise.” Roku mentioned it was centered on mutually optimistic distribution agreements with all new providers.

Amazon’s feedback on the matter have been a bit of extra, nicely, fiery. The deadlock with HBO Max partly stems from Amazon’s Prime Video Channels, which is a service that lets individuals subscribe to a number of streaming providers in a single place and pay for them by Amazon. In an announcement on the day HBO Max launched, Amazon mentioned almost 5 million HBO streamers are subscribed by Amazon’s Prime Video Channels. 

“Sadly, with the launch of HBO Max, AT&T is selecting to disclaim these loyal HBO prospects entry to the expanded catalog,” the corporate mentioned. “We imagine that should you’re paying for HBO, you are entitled to the brand new programming by the strategy you are already utilizing. That is simply good customer support and that is a precedence for us.”

By late July, AT&T was firing again at Amazon — however staying silent on Roku. “We have tried repeatedly to make HBO Max accessible to all prospects utilizing Amazon Hearth gadgets, together with these prospects which have bought HBO through Amazon,” AT&T CEO John Stankey mentioned, referring to individuals who pay for HBO utilizing Amazon Channels. “Sadly, Amazon has taken an method of treating HBO Max and its prospects in another way [from] how they’ve chosen to deal with different providers and their prospects.”

As of late July, HBO Max mentioned that it has nothing new to share. “We proceed to work laborious to succeed in agreements with the few excellent distribution companions left to deliver all of HBO Max to prospects on platforms,” a spokeswoman mentioned. Beforehand, HBO Max has mentioned it has apps for Roku and Fire TV ready to go. However the service should work out offers with each firms first. 

What do I do if I beforehand used HBO Go or Now on Roku or Hearth TV? 

The sunsetting of HBO Go and rebranding of HBO Now arrange difficulties for some Roku and Amazon Hearth TV customers. Anyone who at present streams HBO Go on a Roku or Hearth TV will likely be left within the lurch, with out a lot steering about methods to cope. 

For legacy HBO Now prospects, you should not discover a lot distinction. It’s best to be capable to log in to the HBO app with the identical credentials you beforehand used for HBO Now. 

However what do you do should you relied on HBO Go to stream on a Roku or Hearth TV?

In the event you’re on this group, the excellent news is you possibly can unlock the newly renamed HBO app, however you have to leap by some hoops first. AT&T pseudo-collapsed HBO Go and HBO Now collectively into the rebranded HBO app. Whereas this app will not have any of the additional originals, exhibits or films that you simply get with HBO Max, you may nonetheless be capable to proceed streaming common HBO programming with it on Roku and Hearth TV. 

However for legacy HBO Go prospects, you have to improve your HBO account for HBO Max. When you register an e mail deal with and password with HBO Max, you need to use your HBO Max credentials to sign up to the newly rebranded HBO app on each Roku and Amazon Hearth TV.  

As well as, Roku famous that individuals who pay for HBO by Comcast, Constitution or AT&T TV can stream HBO on the Comcast Xfinity Stream, Spectrum TV and AT&T TV apps too. Amazon did not reply to messages in search of remark. 

How a lot does HBO Max price?

HBO Max is $15 a month at launch with a seven-day free trial. 

AT&T’s CEO John Stankey has mentioned HBO Max will launch a cheaper, ad-supported tier early subsequent yr. He did not specify the value, the exact launch date nor any catalog limitations that this tier may need. 

Earlier than launch, individuals who preordered the service at unlocked a reduction deal that lowered the value to $13 a month for the primary yr. Preordered accounts did not qualify for the seven-day free trial. 

HBO’s legacy standalone streaming service — HBO Now, to be rebranded as merely HBO– additionally price $15 a month. Although HBO Now will proceed to function beneath the streamlined identify HBO, HBO Max primarily replaces it. 

Legacy HBO Now subscribers are welcome to stay with that service, however they will primarily be paying the identical quantity for much less programming. On cellular, the HBO Max app successfully changed the HBO Now app by computerized software program replace on Apple and Android telephones and tablets.         

In contrast with rival streaming providers launching earlier than HBO Max, that pricing might really feel steep. Disney Plus is $7 a month, and Apple TV Plus is $5. Each are providing offers that may minimize the value additional or providing prolonged free intervals to some prospects. Apple, for instance, is making a gift of a yr’s subscription to anybody who’s bought an Apple gadget since early September. And Disney arrange a cope with Verizon so any of the provider’s cellular subscribers get a yr free. 

How do I get HBO Max if I already pay for HBO? What’s going to it price me?

Issues get extra difficult if you have already got HBO and wish to know what the launch of HBO Max means for you. Some individuals who have already got an present subscription to HBO are capable of unlock HBO Max at no further price, but not everyone

Legacy HBO Now subscribers by Apple or Google barely wanted to do something to unlock HBO Max. The HBO Now app was routinely changed by the HBO Max app through a software program replace on these cellular gadgets that assist HBO Max. In these instances, whenever you open the brand new HBO Max app, you simply must conform to the HBO Max Phrases of Use and Privateness Coverage and select to “Entry All of HBO Max,” and also you’re set, in response to an HBO Now support page.

Some HBO Max distributors unlock an HBO Max improve at no further price for any present HBO and legacy HBO Now prospects, because of offers HBO Max has struck with them. You qualify for the HBO Max improve at no further price should you already pay for HBO by: 

  • AT&T (HBO’s dad or mum firm) and DirecTV, U-verse, AT&T TV Now, AT&T TV and AT&T wi-fi customers who can add HBO with sure limitless plans
  • Charter and its Spectrum services
  • YouTube TV or Google
  • Apple
  • Hulu
  • Altice USA and its Optimum and Suddenlink providers
  • Verizon and its Fios providers
  • Cox Communications
  • The NCTC group of unbiased cable and broadband firms — that features WOW!, Atlantic Broadband, RCN, Grande Communications & Wave, MCTV and others. (Check if your pay-TV provider is an NCTC member.)
  • Comcast X1 and Flex prospects

Nevertheless, it is unclear if HBO Max will strike extra offers with different pay-TV suppliers, whether or not that is conventional suppliers like Dish or internet-based ones like Amazon Prime Video Channels and The Roku Channel

Amazon mentioned in an announcement that just about 5 million HBO streaming prospects entry their subscription by its Amazon’s Prime Video Channels. “Sadly, with the launch of HBO Max, AT&T is selecting to disclaim these loyal HBO prospects entry to the expanded catalog,” the corporate mentioned. “We imagine that should you’re paying for HBO, you are entitled to the brand new programming by the strategy you are already utilizing. That is simply good customer support and that is a precedence for us.”

AT&T can also be providing an advanced matrix of promos for HBO Max. Some prospects get Max at no further price, whereas others qualify for a one-month, three-month or one-year free trial. Your finest shot at determining whether or not you qualify is to test your account or the myAT&T app, however CNET additionally lists AT&T’s qualification phrases for its HBO Max promos

When is HBO Max launching elsewhere?

HBO Max launched Could 27 within the US. 

After that, HBO Max’s first worldwide expansions will prioritize Latin America and Europe. Latin America will get HBO Max in 2021, the corporate has mentioned. 

HBO Max’s US timing will put it close to the top of a parade of streaming service launches. Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus launched in November. April introduced Quibi, a mobile-only streaming service that options quick, episodic originals. Additionally in April, NBCUniversal’s Peacock launched a “sneak peek” at its service on Comcast earlier than launching nationally July 15. 

What product options does HBO Max have? 

In a long-anticipated function for anybody streaming HBO Go, HBO Max has downloads for its cellular apps. Sadly, like most issues with HBO Max, the corporate does not have a transparent reply for whether or not there are limitations on the quantity of programming you possibly can obtain.


HBO Max brokered a reported $425 million deal for all episodes of ’90s hit Buddies, which exited Netflix to start out streaming on HBO Max at launch.


“We do not have a crisp reply for you on what number of downloads will likely be allowed however it may be a really snug quantity for most individuals,” Andy Forssell, the product chief of HBO Max, mentioned. “The restrict will most likely be how a lot area you’ve gotten in your gadget versus our restrict, and that may liberalize over time.” 

HBO Max lets you stream to 3 completely different gadgets concurrently. By comparability, Disney Plus permits 4 simultaneous streams, and Netflix permits between one and 4 relying on how a lot you pay every month. 

You may also create as much as 5 profiles to maintain suggestions separate for various members of the family, and it additionally has child accounts which can be unlocked by coming into a PIN. These parental controls permit mothers and dads to set the maturity ranges of the programming every children’ profile can entry, based mostly on rankings like PG and TV-14. 

For HBO Now members, HBO Max routinely replaces the HBO Now cellular app by a software program replace. 

However there is a draw back to the transition from HBO Now and HBO Go to HBO Max: HBO Max will not protect any of your watch historical past should you swap from an present HBO streaming account. So your customized suggestions begin with a clear slate, and HBO Max will not know, for instance, should you’ve already watched each episode of Sport of Thrones thrice or should you’re midway by the film Joker and wish to decide again up the place you left off. 

One other lacking aspect: HBO Max doesn’t offer 4K decision nor high dynamic range picture high quality at launch. 

The place can I join HBO Max? 

The best solution to get HBO Max is to enroll in it immediately at

Via Apple, HBO Max will likely be an iOS app for iPhone and iPad, which is able to will let you enroll and pay by an in-app buy. Apple will even combine HBO Max into its personal TV app, which lets you congregate sure streaming channels to look at them in a single place. 

Via Google, HBO Max can have an app for Android telephones and tablets within the Google Play retailer, and you’ll enroll contained in the app with an in-app buy. You will additionally be capable to stream HBO Max on Android TV, Chromebook and Google Chromecast. In the event you already subscribe to HBO Now by Google Play, you may routinely be capable to log in to HBO Max at launch at no extra cost, and you will proceed to be billed by Google. And YouTube TV, the streaming pay-TV service operated by Google’s YouTube, will even carry HBO Max. 

Individuals with Samsung Sensible TVs that assist the HBO Max app will even be capable to enroll immediately there. 

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HBO Max: How to get it


Shows and movies: What can I watch?

Generally, HBO Max includes all the shows and movies on HBO, plus a selection of high-profile licensed content, like Friends, The Big Bang Theory, Rick & Morty and South Park. It’ll layer exclusive original programming on top of that. Originally, HBO Max planned to have 31 originals in its first year and amp that up to 50 originals in the second year. Despite the coronavirus, HBO Max says it will have 30 originals in year one and 60 in year two.

Now that the service is live, an easy way to see what’s available without signing up is a third-party catalog search service like Reelgood. The following section summarizes what HBO Max has and what’s coming. 

The simplest part of the catalog to understand is HBO itself. HBO Max includes everything on regular HBO, so that means all the theatrical movies that come and go from the channel; new episodes from all HBO series, like Perry Mason and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver; and the past seasons of those programs as well as the full HBO back catalog, like Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley, Veep and The Wire; plus all of the HBO original films, documentaries and specials. 

Movies are a crucial part of the catalog. And any movie that’s available to watch on the traditional HBO network will also be available to stream on HBO Max. Highlights of the HBO Max film catalog will include (but not necessarily be available at launch):

  • The so-called Snyder cut of Justice League, slated to arrive on HBO Max in 2021.
  • The full sets of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Matrix trilogies.
  • The Lego movies.
  • DC films like Joker, Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad, Shazam, Aquaman and every Batman and Superman movie of the last 40 years.
  • Studio Ghibli anime films that have never been released for streaming in the US before.
  • Anime selections like Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and other top titles from anime-focused streaming service Crunchyroll, which is also owned by AT&T. 
  • Classic movies like The Wizard of Oz, Casablanca, Citizen Kane, Gone With the Wind, The Shining, Singin’ in the Rain, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Goonies, Blade Runner: The Final Cut, the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise and many others.
  • Newer hits like Crazy Rich Asians and A Star Is Born.

On top of that, AT&T has been licensing outside hit shows to beef up HBO Max’s catalog. The most eye-popping deals have been:

  • A reported $425 million deal for all episodes of ’90s hit Friends, which exited Netflix to start streaming on HBO Max at launch.
  • A reported $500 million deal to stream The Big Bang Theory.

It’s also secured deals for past seasons of Rick and Morty; 11 of the most recent seasons of Doctor Who, plus another three to come; CW dramas like Pretty Little Liars, Batwoman, and Riverdale spinoff Katy Keene as well as more upcoming CW series; The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air; The West Wing; and British series like Luther and Ricky Gervais’ original The Office, among many others. 

Animated satire South Park will not only contribute its full back catalog to HBO Max but also stream new episodes. The latest episodes of South Park will stream on HBO Max 24 hours after they air on Comedy Central for the next three seasons.

And HBO Max will have exclusive new shows and movies called Max Originals. For the most part, original series on HBO Max will drop new episodes on a weekly basis. 

At launch, the originals are: 

  • Love Life, the romantic comedy starring Anna Kendrick and produced by Kendrick and Paul Feig, known for blockbuster comedies like Bridesmaids.
  • On the Record, a controversial Me Too documentary film about record executive Russell Simmons.
  • Legendary, a competition show based on underground drag balls. 
  • Craftopia, a YouTuber-hosted craft series.
  • New Looney Tunes cartoons.
  • The Not Too Late Show with Elmo.

After launch, Max subsequently released more Originals, including: 

  • Karma, an unscripted kids adventure competition series — June 18.
  • Doom Patrol, the second season of the DC Universe series — June 25.
  • Esme & Roy, the second season of the preschool animated series from Sesame Workshop — June 25.
  • Search Party, the third season of the comedy thriller that originally aired on TBS — June 25.
  • Adventure Time: Distant Lands-BMO, which is the first of four specials resurrecting Cartoon Network’s franchise Adventure Time — June 25.
  • Expecting Amy, a three-part docuseries about comedian Amy Schumer’s life on tour during her pregnancy — July 9.
  • Close Enough, an animated comedy about millennial roommates — July 9.
  • The House of Ho, a multigenerational family docusoap — July 16.
  • Tig n’ Seek, an animated children’s series from Cartoon Network Studios about an 8-year-old and his gadget-building cat — July 23.
  • Frayed, a scripted comedy about a wealthy Londoner who goes back to her Australian hometown — July 30.
  • The Dog House, an unscripted British animal rescue series — July 30.
  • American Pickle, the Seth Rogen comedy that is HBO Max’s first original film, about a 1920s immigrant who gets preserved in pickle brine for 100 years and meets his great-grandson (both characters portrayed by Rogen) in modern-day Brooklyn — Aug. 6.

Then over the course of the fall and beyond, HBO Max will add other originals, including: 

  • Raised by Wolves, a sci-fi epic from director and executive producer Ridley Scott; the 10-episode series focuses on two androids raising human children on a mysterious planet — Sept. 3
  • Unpregnant, a movie about two high-school students who go on a roadtrip to seek an abortion — Sept. 10
  • The Flight Attendant, starring and executive produced by Kaley Cuoco based on the novel by Chris Bohjalian.
  • The Friends unscripted cast reunion special.

Of HBO Max’s originals, about half are targeted at young adults aged 16 to 34, and the rest will be divided between more adult fare and kids and family content outside the HBO brand. 

Some of the other highlights of the originals set for HBO Max include: 

  • New DC titles. A Green Lantern series that producer Greg Berlanti (a young-adult TV guru behind Riverdale and Arrow) says will travel to space and “promises to be our biggest DC show ever made.” Strange Adventures, a one-hour drama anthology series also produced by Berlanti that explores the intersecting lives of mortals and superhumans. DC Super Hero High will be a half-hour comedy from Elizabeth Banks, the producer and actress known for the Hunger Games films and 30 Rock, that’ll focus on a group of adolescent students at a boarding school for “gifted” kids.
  • Projects by J.J. Abrams. Abrams, known for a parade of television and box office hits, signed a megadeal with AT&T and WarnerMedia to make projects for the company. On HBO Max, he’ll help produce a show set in the Justice League Dark universe; Overlook, a thriller based on Stephen King’s The Shining and set in the Overlook Hotel; and a 1970s crime show called Duster. 
  • A half-hour comedy from actress-producer Issa Rae. Rae’s Rap Sh*t explores the music business in Miami through the eyes of three women: an upstart hip-hop duo and their hustling manager.
  • A half-hour comedy from actress/producer Mindy Kaling. College Girls (a working title) tracks three 18-year-old freshman roommates at Evermore College in Vermont. 
  • The Boondocks animated series is getting “two reimagined seasons” along with a 50-minute special originally planned for fall 2020. 
  • A new Jellystone animated series with the classic Hanna-Barbera characters from Warner Bros. Animation. 
  • A new animated series from Cartoon Network Studios called The Fungies, as well as a hybrid live-action/animated comedy, Tooned Out, from Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis.
  • Comedy specials from Conan O’Brien and the team behind his TBS show. They’ll be developing five stand-up specials for HBO Max: O’Brien will host two specials that feature short sets from multiple up-and-coming comics and curate hourlong sets from three comedians. That slate will join another one-hour special from comedian James Veitch.

The service will have a smaller slate of original films, between five and 10 per year, according to the original plan. Early highlights on the original movie slate include: 

  • A two-picture deal with Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine. 
  • A documentary about Anthony Bourdain.
  • A four-picture deal with Berlanti, including Unpregnant, about two teenage girls who go on a road trip to New Mexico after one finds out she’s pregnant, based on the young adult novel by Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan.
  • Super Intelligence, a comedy starring Melissa McCarthy about a woman whose romantic life is selected for observation by artificial intelligence.
  • Bobbie Sue, a comedy feature starring Jane the Virgin’s Gina Rodriguez as an up-and-coming young lawyer who joins a stuffy Boston law firm.

How is HBO Max different from all the rest of AT&T’s streaming services?

AT&T itself has even more streaming services. 

AT&T TV is similar to a cable or satellite pay-TV service, except it’s delivered over the internet. AT&T TV includes live channels, DVR and video on demand that cable subscribers are familiar with, plus the ability to stream from apps like Netflix and Pandora. To watch on TVs, AT&T TV has its own proprietary streaming box that AT&T requires you use, and subscribers can watch everything on mobile devices with an app too. Right now, it starts at $60 a month for the cheapest tier’s first year but the price jumps in the second year.

AT&T TV Now, on the other hand, is a live-TV streaming service along the lines of Sling TV or YouTube TV.  If you were familiar with DirecTV Now, AT&T TV Now is just the renamed version of that service. Rather than requiring a specific box, it lets subscribers stream live channels to Rokus, Apple TVs, Fire TVs and more, and the channels are available on a mobile app as well. It also has a cloud DVR. Services like this are sometimes called skinny-bundle streaming services, but AT&T TV Now’s cheapest package isn’t particularly skinny — $55 a month for more than 45 live channels (not including HBO). Still, it isn’t quite as robust as AT&T TV, which is meant to replicate the giant cable packages of traditional TV. 

Finally, AT&T Watch TV is the company’s service closer to a traditional skinny bundle, but AT&T is in the process of phasing it out. AT&T Watch TV offered more than 35 live channels, including AT&T-owned TBS, TNT and CNN;  it was a free perk included with certain unlimited AT&T wireless data plans, but anyone could sign up for it for $15 a month. It was designed as a mobile-first service, but you can stream AT&T Watch TV to televisions with a few boxes, including Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV, but others aren’t supported, like Roku boxes. But AT&T has stopped allowing new people to sign up for the service, and so only existing customers or people who qualify for it as a free perk can continue to use it. 

Simple, right?

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Joan E. Solsman