After decades as a premium cable channel, HBO finally jumped into standalone streaming with HBO Now in 2015. However, in order to better compete with the rest of the video streaming world, WarnerMedia consolidated all of its content resources into HBO Max. , which was launched in 2020. .
The service bundles shows from Adult Swim, Cartoon Network and HBO as well as the Warner Bros. Film Library. Studios and Studio Ghibli animated film distribution rights. In order to take advantage of a service that has so much to offer, here are some features you need to know how to use before launching your next binge-watch.
1. On a budget? Get ad-supported tier
When HBO Max originally launched, it only offered an ad-free plan for $14.99 per month, which we found expensive for a streaming service. While you can save a little money by signing up for the $149.99 annual plan, WarnerMedia launched an ad-supported tier last summer that’s $9.99 per month or $99.99 for the full year.
If you’re on the ad-free plan and want to switch to ad-free streaming, or vice versa, click your profile icon (then click the settings gear on mobile) and choose Subscription > Manage subscription > Change plan.
HBO Max doesn’t offer a free trial, but it does. Section “Watch for free” where you can sample episodes of some of its shows without signing up for HBO Max. This includes the first episodes of And Just Like That, Euphoria, Succession, The White Lotusand Golden age.
2. Add profile picture
Want to personalize your account profile with a unique image? Click on your profile icon and select Change Profile > Manage Profiles. Choose the profile, then tap the camera icon. From there, you can choose to take your own photo, upload an image, or choose a character from the app’s collection. With Choose a characteryou can choose character images from HBO, Adult Swim, and Warner Bros. franchises.
3. Control what kids see
HBO Max has content for many different age groups. Although you can trust a tablet to keep your little ones with a few episodes of sesame streetyou probably don’t want them to turn on accidentally Euphoria. As such, HBO Max lets you create child profiles and determine what they are allowed to watch. When a child’s profile is engaged, they require a pin to switch back to an adult profile.
To set it up, tap the profile icon on mobile or web, then select Change profile > Add a child. (HBO Max only supports five profiles, so the child option will only appear if you have four or fewer profiles.) You then create a PIN that allows you to switch back and forth. Change your four-digit PIN at any time by going to your profile and selecting Parental control.
Once the PIN is set, you can add a name and birthday, and choose which movie and TV ratings (G to NC-17 and TV-Y to TV-MA, respectively) your child is allowed to see . If you need to update restricted content, go to Change Profile > Manage Profilesthen select the profile in question and choose Change age and parental controls.
4. Download video for offline viewing
Like other video streaming services, HBO Max supports downloads for offline viewing. Navigate to the content you want to download and tap the Download icon to save it to your device. Wait for the download to complete or press the stop button at any time to pause. When you’re ready to watch offline, tap the profile icon and tap Downloads. To delete, press Edit and select the X button.
Unwatched downloads expire after 30 days and you have 48 hours to complete once you start watching. Downloads will also automatically expire when the show or movie leaves HBO Max. Expired content can be renewed when connected to the Internet, and the same videos can be renewed multiple times. Just tap on the expired download and select Renew.
5. Check out the hub
HBO Max’s biggest selling point is its wealth of content from WarnerMedia’s in-depth catalog. You can watch HBO Originals, Max Original content, DC’s Animated Movies Collection, and TCM’s Classic Movies Library all in one place. To help you find what you want, HBO Max offers hubs that divide the app’s library into sections including HBO, Max Originals, DC, TCM, Adult Swim, Studio Ghibli, Cartoon Network, Sesame Workshop, Looney Tunes and Cartoonito. Open the hamburger menu and scroll down to select one of these sections.
6. Audio description for the masses
For people with visual impairments, audio descriptions are essential. However, it’s impossible to search through every TV and movie to see what options are available. Instead, open the hamburger menu and choose Audio description to see a collection of content with audio descriptions available. Once you find something to watch, choose the text box option from the playback menu and select audio description from the Audio section.
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7. Watch anime in Japanese
HBO Max has Japanese-language productions from Studio Ghibli and others, but they’ll play in English by default. If you speak Japanese or want to watch in Japanese with subtitles, select the English button to enable Japanese audio. Press the Japanese button to return to English.
Remember, once you’ve made a choice, there’s no way to switch during gameplay. If you decide to switch languages, you’ll have to drop what you’re watching, make the switch, and start over. All content will also default to whatever option you choose, so be sure to review your language preference before jumping into anything new.
8. Clear “Continue Watching” Content
If you start a TV show or movie but decide it’s not for you, you don’t want it hanging out in your Continue Watching section. Zap it on the profile screen and select Continue watching > Editwhere you can delete individual entries or choose Erase everything to wipe the slate clean.
9. See what’s new and coming soon
HBO Max makes it easy to keep tabs on new and upcoming shows and movies. Open the hamburger menu and choose just added to see what was recently added to the service. To select Last chance to see what’s about to go at the end of each month. Want to look to the future? To select Future to see trailers, previews, and other videos of upcoming shows and movies.
10. Log out of devices
If you left your account logged in on a device that isn’t yours (a friend’s phone or TV, for example) or if you believe someone has unauthorized access to your account, you can revoke remote access.
Open your profile (then click the settings cogwheel on mobile) and select Manage devices. Here you will see all devices currently connected to your account. Hit it X icon next to any device to revoke its access. You can also choose Disconnect all devices to clear them all and ask anyone with the password to log in again.
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