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HBO Max While Traveling: What To Know Before Leaving Home

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One of the benefits of an HBO Max subscription is the ability to stream shows and movies wherever the subscriber is at the time, and on whichever devices are nearby. Like many other streaming services, however, there are some restrictions in place that subscribers will want to be aware of before venturing out of the door and away from the warm glow of their living room TV.

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In general, HBO Max comes with a pretty good level of device support. Whether watching on a living room device, such as a smart TV or streaming player, or on a mobile device, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops, HBO Max can either be accessed via the website or through one of the dedicated platform apps. When traveling within the United States, or any home country, subscribers should find that there are no major issues with streaming shows and movies, outside of their own internet connection.

Regardless of the quality of the internet connection, HBO Max does also allow subscribers to download videos so they can be played back when offline. This can be a great way to watch episodes and movies when away from home. It should be mentioned that the ability to download only applies to those signed up to the ad-free HBO Max plan. For those currently subscribed to the cheaper, ad-supported HBO Max tier, watching shows and movies at home or away from home will require an internet connection.

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Using HBO Max in another country

If planning a trip outside the United States, or any other home country, using HBO Max becomes a little more complicated. In general, HBO Max has no issues with using the service in other countries, but the subscriber does need to be in a country where the service is accessible. HBO Max is currently available in North America and select European, Latin American and Caribbean countries. Subscribers can visit the HBO Max website to see a full list of supported countries before traveling to confirm that they will be able to use HBO Max when they arrive.

If traveling to a country where HBO Max hasn’t launched yet, the subscriber will end up seeing an HBO Max isn’t available error message when attempting to open the app and play a video. Once again, a good workaround when traveling to these countries is to download shows and movies while still in a supported location, as downloads remain available when in an unsupported country.

HBO Max error

For reference, HBO Max does limit the number of videos that can be downloaded at any one time to 30, so this is an additional limitation to keep in mind when traveling and relying on the download feature.

Even in countries where HBO Max is commonly available, subscribers should still expect some changes to their service. Specifically, they should expect that the selection of videos will change, depending on what’s available through the streaming service in the destination country. While this could mean that subscribers gain access to some shows and movies they don’t usually have access to in their home country, it can also mean that they might lose access to some shows and movies.

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It also should be noticed that the ability to watch HBO Max outside of a home country is another of the primary differences between the ad-free and ad-supported HBO Max plans. As a result, HBO Max subscribers currently signed up to the ad-supported plan won’t be able to stream HBO Max at all. If signed up on a monthly basis (and not an annual plan), then it might be worth upgrading to the ad-supported plan while traveling and then downgrading to the ad-supported plan again once back at home.

HBO Max while traveling summary

HBO Max subscribers should encounter no real issues when traveling within the United States or any home country. As long as they have an internet connection then they will be able to stream any of the shows and movies from the HBO Max library. If signed up to the more expensive ad-free HBO Max plan, subscribers also have the option of downloading shows and movies (up to 30) to watch while away from home, with or without an internet connection .

If traveling to another country then an ad-free subscription is required to stream anything on HBO Max. Users on a monthly ad-supported plan can always upgrade their subscription before traveling and downgrade again once home. If traveling to a country where HBO Max is currently unavailable, subscribers won’t be able to stream anything, although they still will be able to access any movies and shows that they downloaded before leaving home.

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John Finn

By John Finn

John started Streaming Better to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been writing about technology and TV-related services and devices since 2014 and believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingbetter.com or on Twitter

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