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Max Simultaneous Streams: How Many Devices Can You Watch On At Once?

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Max logo shown on three smart TVs

Max allows subscribers to stream movies, shows and other titles on up to four devices at the same time. However, the exact number of streams a subscriber has access to depends on their plan. For example, With Ads and Ad-Free subscribers can only stream on up to two devices at the same time.

Simultaneous streams are an increasingly important factor to take into consideration when signing up to a paid streaming service. After all, knowing exactly how many same-time streams an account has access to can help to avoid issues later on, and ensure that everyone who shares a subscription can watch what they want, when they want, and on the devices they want.

When it comes to Max, understanding the simultaneous streams policy before signing up is even more important as it is one of the factors that determines which plan you should subscribe to.

Understanding Max’s same-time streams

While previously operating as HBO Max, the streaming service allowed subscribers to stream on up to three devices at the same time. However, with the switch to Max, and the introduction of the Ultimate Ad-Free plan, the streaming service made some changes to the number of simultaneous streams. Specifically, the number is now dependent on the plan.

PlanStreams
With Ads2
Ad-Free2
Ultimate Ad-Free4

Even though the number of streams is limited, Max doesn’t place any additional limits on devices. In other words, family members can sign in on as many supported devices as they want, including phones, laptops, computers, and living room devices. The difference is simply that only 2 or 4, depending on the plan, can be used to watch videos at the same time.

For those that need access to more streams, there’s no way to increase the limit without upgrading to a higher tiered subscription.

Choosing a Max plan

Max offers a total of three plans to choose from. The cheapest is the $9.99/month With Ads tier, which offers the ability to stream on 2 devices at once and up to a Full HD video resolution. The next tier is the $15.99/month Ad-Free plan. While this tier also limits streams to 2 devices at once, and a Full HD video resolution, it does remove the ads and unlocks the ability to download videos (up to 30) to watch offline.

For those that want the ultimate Max experience, there’s the Ultimate Ad-Free plan. This $19.99/month tier unlocks the maximum 4 streams, boosts the video quality to 4K Ultra HD (where available), adds support for Dolby Atmos (where available), and increases the downloads limit to 100 downloads.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to gain access to more than 4 streams at the same time other than signing up for a second Max account.

Streaming Max on too many devices

The maximum number of streams is likely to mostly impact busier households and larger families. If an account does go over their plan’s stream limit, any additional people trying to watch Max will be presented with a warning message stating that they are streaming on too many devices. They will also be blocked from watching content.

In situations where the user is sure they are under their plan’s limit, it might be worth checking to make sure that only those permitted to use the service are accessing it. This can be checked by heading to the Manage devices section (under Devices) of the Account section of the Max website.

One in the Manage devices section, the account holder can view any devices that have accessed the streaming service recently and remove any they don’t recognize.

Max through a third-party service

The same-time streams limit described here specifically applies to those that have signed up and are accessing the service directly through the Max app or website. For those that have subscribed and usually watch Max through a third-party provider, such as Hulu or YouTube, or a live TV provider, there might be additional restrictions on how many devices can stream at the same time.

Using Hulu as an example, those signed up to the Unlimited Screens Add-on can stream on an unlimited number of devices at the same time, so long as they are connected to the home network. However, when it comes to premium network add-ons, like Max, Hulu subscribers can only stream content on a maximum of five screens at the same time. In addition, this number is further decreased to three when accessing the service outside of the home network.

As these same-time limitations are only in relation to watching Max content through a third-party, they can sometimes be used to the subscriber’s advantage. For example, those that sign up to Max through Hulu can also sign in to the Max app to watch content, typically unlocking access to the additional streams Max offers users of its app.

John Finn
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