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HBO Max : Our Review and how to subscribe outside the US ?Published on
The SVOD war is raging. Netflix’s competitors are multiplying and the big entertainment groups all want their share of the pie. We’ve seen it in recent months with the grand launch of Disney in full containment and all the buzz generated by its Star Wars: The Mandalorian series. HBO has just entered the dance with HBO Max, a streaming service that we tested for you. The service was launched in the United States on Wednesday, May 27 and is not yet available in France.
INTRODUCING HBO MAX
HBO Max is a new streaming platform launched by WarnerMedia (HBO). The entertainment giant known for its hit series (The Wire, the Sopranos, Game of Thrones, Westworld, etc.) is also looking for shares in a market dominated by Netflix. HBO Max takes the form of a paid service that allows you to watch shows, movies and series for children and adults as well as documentaries.
WHAT PLATFORMS IS HBO MAX AVAILABLE ON?
Like its competitors, HBO Max is multi-platform and is therefore supported by many devices and operating systems:
- Game consoles (Xbox One, PS4)
- Android TV (minimum Android 5.0) and Samsung TV (models from 2016)
- Android smartphones and tablets (equipped with at least Android 5.0)
- iPhone and iPad (equipped with at least iOS 12.2)
- Apple TV
- Computers running ChromeOS, Windows and macOS via a web browser
WHAT DOES HBO MAX LOOK LIKE ?
We were able to access HBO Max on Android (OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 8 Pro) as well as from our Windows computer with the Microsoft Edgebrowser. The service is distinguished by its very dark interface oscillating between black and purple. This is the homepage of HBO Max.
On the upper part, the user can navigate between the different programs highlighted via the side arrows. The same is true for other content displayed below. For now, on the home page the programs are categorized as follows:
- Featured series
- HBO Max Original
- Featured movies
- The Harry Potter Saga
- The series “Choice of the Editorial”
- Romantic comedies
- Programs to watch with your family
- Programs inspired by literary works
- The blockbusters
In the middle of the page, the user will find the HBO Max portal allowing you to switch from one universe to another. We will come back to these different universes later.
On the left, you will find a menu that unfolds sideways. From this pane, you can easily switch from one genre to another. It’s also from this menu that you can choose the type of content you want to watch (series, movies, exclusive HBO Max content, etc.).
At the top right, HBO Max displays the user account. From this menu, you can manage your account in all its aspects:
- Billing information
- Connected devices
- Personal content list
- Parental control
- Profile management
The search feature is fast and automatically suggests content as you enter your query. Unlike Netflix, HBO max simply displays the vignettes of the most relevant content without offering text suggestions in the Search menu.
When you launch a content, you can add it to a list of favorites that can be accessed from your user account. Of course, the service has a captioning feature. HBO Max offers several subtitle customization options (police, size, color, background, etc.).
Unfortunately, at the moment, only the English language is available. The same goes for the audio track.
A RICH CATALOGUE
You could see it on the screenshots, the catalog of HBO Max is rich and very qualitative. This catalogue includes works from the following universes or networks:
In the DC universe, the user will be able to find films and animations from the eponymous comics. Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Joker and Justice League are among them. Note that the famous Snyder’s Cut of Justice League will be offered later on the platform. The great classics of cinema are also part of the game via TCM. There are great films like Ben Hur, Casablanca or Once Upon a Time in the West.
Fans of animated films will be delighted to learn that the works of the Japanese Studio Ghibli are also available on HBO Max. In fact, since we are talking about animation, the Looney Tunes, the animated Crunchy Roll and all The Cartoon Network programs are available on the platform.
For the older ones, again, HBO Max does in quality, since Rick and Morty are present. The same goes for Samurai Jack and the Boondocks in the Adult Swim collection.
Finally, be aware that all HBO series as well as blockbusters such as John Wick, Fast and Furious, and the Harry Potter Saga are available. As you will have understood, HBO Max is attacking the market very hard and this is reflected in its price.
THE PRICE: A PREMIUM POSITIONING
HBO Max is a resolutely premium streaming service. To access it, you’ll have to pay $14.99, which is still cheaper than Netflix’s most comprehensive offering at $15.99. For this $14.99 you can add up to 5 profiles but you can only use the service on three devices simultaneously.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE TO HBO MAX?
At the time of writing, the service is exclusively available in the United States. In addition, it is geo-restricted. The restriction is found at two levels:
- The service is inaccessible to non-geolocated IP addresses in the United States
- It is not possible to use a bank card provided by a bank not located in the United States.
However, it is very easy to circumvent these two restrictions. Indeed, we managed to create an HBO Max account in a matter of seconds using:
- A VPN
- Our Google account via our Android smartphone
- HBO Max’s APK
For now, let’s be honest even if the catalog is very interesting, unless you are bilingual, there is no point in rushing on the platform. Indeed all content and interface are exclusively in English. But if you still want to try the adventure, here’s the way to go.
EASILY SUBSCRIBE TO HBO MAX FROM ANY COUNTRY
1.Install HBO Max’s APK
Download HBO Max’s APK and install the app on your Android smartphone. Allow apps from unknown sources to be installed in your smartphone settings. Remember to return the default setting once the installation is complete.
2. Use a VPN
3. Subscribe with Google Pay
Once the VPN is activated, all you have to do is launch the HBO Max app from your smartphone and sign up using Google Pay. For our test, we used a Revolut card. We did not attempt manipulation with a French bank card.
HBO Max: What you need to know
|Number of profiles||5 profiles maximum|
|Video quality||4K not available yet|
|Featured content||Game Of Thrones, Friends, Rick and Morty, Big Bang Theory,The Wire, DC movies, Cartoon Network anime, Studio Ghibli works, etc.|
|Duration of trial period||7 days|
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