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While HBO Max can be streamed on a variety of devices, there are plenty of TVs and players the service can’t be accessed on. In spite of HBO Max launching with a focus on the quantity of content, the full list of supported devices is limited, compared to other streaming services. Although additional devices will gain support in the future, those interested in subscribing will want to make sure they currently have access to one of the officially supported HBO Max devices in the meantime.
Before downloading a HBO Max app on a device, this is a service that requires a paid subscription. HBO Max currently costs costs $14.99 per month and there is a seven-day free trial available. Some consumers may find they are able to secure a longer free trial period, and this is especially true for existing AT&T customers. Besides the cost and duration of free trial, the only other caveat is whether the device you want to watch on has a corresponding HBO Max app available.
Every device you can currently stream HBO Max on:
- Android phones (Android 5.0 ‘Lollipop’ or newer)
- Android Tablets (Android 5.0 ‘Lollipop’ or newer)
- Android TV (Android 5.0 ‘Lollipop’ or newer)
- Apple TV (4th gen and newer)
- Apple iPhone (with iOS 12.2 or newer)
- Apple iPad (with iOS 12.2 or newer)
- Apple iPod touch
- PC and Mac computers
- Sony PlayStation 4
- Samsung TV (2016 or newer)
- Microsoft Xbox One
Streaming HBO Max on a smart TV
While most of the devices on the list above make it possible to stream HBO Max on a smart TV, there’s surprisingly very few TVs that you can use to watch HBO Max without an additional device. In fact, it is only Samsung that’s officially named as a supported smart TV brand. This may seem like it automatically rules out a lot of TV owners out, but Android TV is also supported and that makes a difference.
Android TV is Google’s TV optimized platform and currently powers a range of smart TVs sold in the US and elsewhere. Owners of TV models from Sony, Sharp, Hisense and Philips, among others, might find their TV is actually powered by Android TV and if that is the case, then there shouldn’t be any issues with downloading the HBO Max Android TV app from the Google Play Store.
Streaming HBO Max through a set-top box
One of the easiest and most accessible ways to stream HBO Max is through a dedicated set-top box or player. For example, Android TV is also available in player form with some of the most popular options consisting of the NVIDIA SHIELD TV, Xiaomi Mi Box, AT&T TV player, and the JBL Link Bar. All of these devices and more will be able to provide access to HBO Max through the Android TV app.
Other streaming based options available include Apple TV and Chromecast. Both of these devices are officially supported HBO Max devices and are both popular options, opening up the door to even more consumers.
Where’s Amazon Fire TV and Roku
While Android TV and Apple TV support is beneficial, the lack of support for Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices is a major hurdle facing both HBO Max and the general public. Especially considering how many players and TV sticks these two brands sell each year.
Officially, there’s been very few words said on why neither of these platforms are currently supported, although it is likely to be the result of a lack of a deal being agreed by AT&T and WarnerMedia with Amazon and Roku. Two of the sticking points are likely to be the subscription revenue split and the delivery system for HBO Max content. Until these points are worked out and agreed between the companies, it is likely HBO Max will remain unavailable on all Fire TV and Roku devices.
Amazon devices you can’t stream HBO Max on:
- Fire TV Stick
- Fire TV Stick 4K
- Fire TV Cube
- Nebula Soundbar
- In addition to Amazon Fire TV Edition smart TVs, such as Insignia and Toshiba
Roku devices you can’t stream HBO Max on:
- Roku Express
- Roku Premiere
- Roku Streaming Stick+
- Roku Ultra
- Roku Smart Soundbar
- In addition to smart TVs powered by Roku TV, such as TCL and Westinghouse
Although the lack of support for what is essentially, the two most popular TV platforms in the United States is a problem, the impact and reality is that it would seem highly likely a deal will eventually be done. After all, these are the two of the most popular TV platforms in the United States. While nothing is guaranteed in TV service disputes, it is probably a matter of when, rather than if.
Additional ways to stream HBO Max
If a smart TV or set-top box is not an option, there are other devices listed above that might be able to help. For example, both the Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One are compatible with HBO Max, making them both a good option for any household that has at least one of these popular consoles. Similarly, HBO Max can also be accessed via the service’s main website through a browser.
This option alone opens up the door to multiple possibilities, including watching Friends and the rest of the HBO Max catalog on a Chromebook, PC, or Mac. This may also be an option for those who want to watch on a smart TV but don’t have an officially supported model as they can also connect the computer directly to the TV. While not ideal, it is a solution if one is needed.
No support? Waiting is always an option
While most of the talk right now surrounds HBO Max, that doesn’t mean you have to go out of your way to find a device to watch on. HBO Max is still a very new streaming service and over time it will evolve.
This is not only in terms of the device support, but also the content, as one of the downsides of HBO Max right now is the lack of originals or fresh videos. Although that’s not going to be much consolation to those who want to stream their favorite shows and movies, there are plenty of streaming services out there and most of them are cheaper than HBO Max.
In other words, waiting won’t only ensure that when your device gains support, you can enjoy those movies and shows in the best way possible, but you’ll likely save money by holding off on that HBO Max subscription for now.