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What is Max? The new streaming service from HBO and Discovery explained

What is Max? HBO Max and Discovery+ will soon be no more. Instead they’re aligning under one banner with the new Max streaming service. Here’s everything you need to know.

Max is the alignment of HBO Max and Discovery+. They’re becoming one service with the content libraries merging under one roof. So, you’ll get House of the Dragon and Succession from HBO Max and the Discovery+ library like Ghost Brothers: Lights Out, Crikey! It’s The Irwins and the January 6th documentary Unprecetented.

It’ll be available from the US from May 23 at, with a host of new apps coming too. There’s no news on a UK launch yet, or in any other territories.

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Tears of the Kingdom is already massively discounted

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How much does Max cost?

There are three tiers to consider here and, if you want the full whack with the best A/V standards, you’re going to need to pay a little more than you have been for HBO Max. There’s Max Ad-Lite, Max Ad-Free and Max Ultimate Ad-Free. You can probably figure out what’s what, but here are the descriptions from the horse’s mouth:

  • Max Ad-Lite | $9.99/month or $99.99/year.
    2 concurrent streams, 1080p resolution, no offline downloads, 5.1 surround sound quality
  • Max Ad Free | $15.99/month or $149.99/year.
    2 concurrent streams, 1080 resolution, 30 offline downloads, 5.1 surround sound quality
  • Max Ultimate Ad Free | $19.99/month or $199.99/year.
    4 concurrent streams, up to 4K UHD resolution, 100 offline downloads, Dolby Atmos sound quality.

What does it mean for my current HBO Max subscription?

Current HBO Max subscribers will be able to roll over their sub, and will keep their plan features for at least six months. That means if you’re currently paying for ad-free, you’re guaranteed Dolby Atmos and 4K support for half a year. After that you’ll probably going to have to go to the Max Ultimate tier which costs $19.99 to retain the full res and best sound.

What’s the headline new content on Max?

To celebrate the launch, the Warner Bros. Discovery announced a brand new Harry Potter live action series with an all new cast of characters. The series will run for a decade and will be executive produced by J.K. Rowling. We can expect the same controversy over that as we had with Hogwart’s Legacy. There’s also a new Game of Thrones spin-off called A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight.

However, those are years away from materialising. For the time being…

“The service will feature a regular freshness of content with an average of more than 40 new titles and seasons every month. With a library of iconic favourites, Max will offer a world-class collection of globally recognised brands, franchises, series, and characters, making it a truly unprecedented offering,” the company writes in a press release. “Audiences will be able to explore the iconic worlds of HBO, the DC Universe, and Harry Potter, plus hit movies, original series, and fan-favorite genres like true crime, reality, food, and comedy, all in one place.”

Here’s some content highlights out of the gate…

Why are HBO Max and Discovery+ merging?

The two streaming services are merging due to the merger of their parent companies. Warner Brothers and Discovery coming together means HBO Max and Discovery+ are merging too.

Rather than use the iconic household names possessed by either brand, the decision has been made to ditch them both. Instead, it’s going to go by just Max. As Frank Lesser (@sadmonsters on Twitter) wrote: “It’s like Coca-Cola changing their name to Cola instead of Coke.”

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