Those that sign up to Max through a third-party service like Prime Video, or through a live TV service like Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV, won’t get access to certain premium features, including 4K.
HBO Max is now Max, and with that rebrand came a number of other content and features changes. One of the big changes was the introduction of a new Unlimited Ad Free plan. Not only does this plan cost $19.99 per month, but it is now the only way to watch Max movies and shows in 4K.
While it is easy enough to sign up to Max directly, many will opt to bundle the service with their existing services including Hulu, Prime Video, and YouTube TV. The problem is, neither of these services offer an option to sign up to the Ultimate Ad Free plan.
Instead, all of the streaming services we’ve checked are only offering the option to sign up to Max’s standard Ad Free plan.
When Max was HBO Max, 4K support was available to anyone signed up to the standard Ad Free plan, and while that plan is still available, it no longer offers 4K support. For $15.99 per month, the plan now only provides access to two streams at once, Full HD resolution, and 30 downloads. All of which are limited compared to the Ultimate Ad Free plan.
Previously, Warner Bros. Discovery has confirmed that existing HBO Max subscribers would maintain access to the same features for at least six months. As far as we understand, that should also include those signed up through a third-party service.
The launch of Max had its teething problems which have resulted in some subscribers running into various issues. While we’ve also seen a number of reports of those signed up to Max through a live TV service having lost access to 4K content, we are of the understanding that this is just another example of the early teething problems.
Anyone that was signed up HBO Max’s Ad Free plan should have access to 4K just like they did before. For the next six months, that is.
For reference, anyone that was signed up to HBO Max directly can check their Max account and they will see that they are now classified as a legacy subscriber. For example, HBO Max ‘With Ads’ subscribers are now listed in Max as Legacy With Ads subscribers while Ad Free subscribers are listed as Legacy Ad-Free. It is possible that this distinction is what ensures they retain access to any features they may be eligible for.
If you are completely new to Max, and do want the option to watch in 4K, then you will want to consider subscribing directly. The same is true if you don’t need 4K and are willing to sit through ads to save on the cost, as none of the third-party services offer Max’s $9.99 per month ad-supported plan either.