Is HBO Max similar to Max? Differences between the two explored

Max was launched back in May 2023. (Image via HBO)
Max was launched back in May 2023. (Image via HBO)

It has been a few months since HBO Max underwent a complete transformation to emerge as Max. Of course, apart from the name of its offering, HBO also brought about a range of other changes to the subscription that have comprehensively improved the overall experience.

The move, which happened in May 2023, saw HBO increase its scope of content by adding a range of other network offerings. This includes HGTV, Food Network, Discovery Channel, ID, TLC, and a range of other minor shows. Here, we look at all the differences that HBO undertook after the transformation.

HBO Max vs Max: What are the differences?

A simple look into the offerings tells us that Max is a comprehensively more varied content subscription. With the recent partnership between HBO Max and Discovery, the idea was that Max would offer viewers a much more expansive catalog of content without resulting in any price increase.

For starters, HBO Max included a range of HBO’s own offerings, such as Originals and Max Originals. Furthermore, HBO’s partnerships with other networks meant that TV series and movies produced by Warner Bros. and DC were also a part of the original subscription service.

After the transformation to Max, in addition to the above, a range of Discovery Plus content is also available. This includes some iconic money-churners such as the 90 Day Fiance series. While the lowest tier of both subscriptions starts at $9.99, Max introduced a number of new and more expensive tiers.

HBO Max, for example, provided a monthly ad-free membership for $15.99 a month. While that remains under Max, it also introduced a monthly “Ultimate ad-free” tier, which costs $4 more.

In addition to the changes in the pricing, offerings, and networks on show, Max also has elevated the overall streaming experience for its subscribers.


Max represents the overall improvement of experience for subscribers

While HBO Max only supports content up to 4k, Max offers full HD right from the lowest, $9.99.

However, not much has changed in terms of price and general experience. Max only offers Dolby Digital and Atmos on selected content as part of its $15.99, Ultimate subscription. This was a feature available across subscriptions on selected content with respect to HBO Max.

Moving on, the ultimate tier offers four ad-free streams, while HBO Max subscriptions could only be used on 2 devices at a time. HBO Max also offered only 30 downloads a month. However, Max’s Ultimate tier offers a total of 100 downloads every month to its users.

That seems to be about all the changes that were brought in as part of Max, compared to the previous offering from HBO. The overall increase in content and networks means that Max has 35,000 hours of extra streamable content compared to HBO Max.

Furthermore, while the name change occurred, there has been little to no change in the overall interface and home screen of the new service.

That might come as a surprise, but appears to be a feature aimed at maintaining familiarity. Other minor changes might be in the form of yearly price offerings.

A 1-year subscription of HBO Max starts at $99.99 for the ads tier. The ad-free tier costs $149.99 a month, while the Ultimate tier will set viewers back by $199.99 if they wish to get the yearly subscription.

Hence, while the most significant changes occurred in the form of the available content, there were a range of other changes that were made as part of the name change. Most notably, the increase in catalog has come without an increase in price, which is bound to delight viewers.