This week in streaming was another busy week. While last week saw a change in DirecTV’s streaming strategy, Disney+ Basic with Ads finally working on Roku, and some new YouTube TV add-ons, this week saw a rebranding of HBO Max, the return of the Tennis Channel to YouTube TV, Walmart preparing a new $20 streaming player, and much more.
A Max rebrand
Starting with what was arguably the biggest news of the week, HBO Max is now officially in the process of being rebranded as Max. Among other things, the new name is designed to highlight that the streaming service offers more than just HBO content, mostly thanks to the integration of the Discovery family of brands.
The new service is due to officially go live next month at which point the current HBO Max apps will be updated to the new Max experience and all existing subscribers will automatically be ported over, including all of their settings.
While the ad-free and ad-supported plans will continue to be available, the launch of Max will see the introduction of a new Ultimate package. Priced at $19.99 per month, Ultimate will be the only way to watch Max content in 4K.
|Max||Ad-Lite||Ad Free||Ultimate Ad Free|
|Max Resolution||1080p||1080p||up to 4K UHD|
|Downloads||None||30 videos||100 videos|
|Audio||5.1 surround sound||5.1 surround sound||Dolby Atmos|
Tennis Channel on YouTube TV
Another notable change this week was the confirmation that the Tennis Channel is coming to YouTube TV. Technically, it is returning to YouTube TV’s lineup, as it was previously removed following a dispute with Sinclair. Considering the channel is now due to return on June 1st, it looks like that dispute was resolved.
For reference, it won’t be just the Tennis Channel arriving on June 1 as the same deal includes T2. This is a FAST channel related to the Tennis Channel, which basically means more tennis coverage. For those less interested in tennis, CHARGE! and TBD are also due to be added on June 1 as well.
Walmart’s new $20 streaming player
For those in need of a new streaming player, it looks like Walmart is preparing to sell you a new one, and at a rock bottom price. The new Onn 4K streaming player from Walmart is already listed on the website and costs just $20. At this price, it will be cheaper than most other budget streaming players you can buy today.
If the name sounds familiar, Walmart also released an Onn 4K streaming player in 2021. This is the newer version, and not only is it cheaper, but it also comes running on Google TV – the next step in the evolution of Android TV.
On the topic of Google TV, an update rolled out to the platform earlier this week, adding a bunch of free live TV channels. Google TV already integrated many of Pluto TV’s live channels, and it is essentially now doing the same for other services including Tubi. All of which results in a huge boost in the number of free channels available on Google TV.
Some new deals and services
If in the market for a new streaming service, a few notable deals have popped up this week. Firstly, it is possible to secure an annual Peacock plan for just $19.99, a saving of $30 on the usual $49.99 cost of the annual Premium plan. You will need to use the N2TEWDZZ promo code when signing up for this one, and the code can also be used to take $30 off the cost of the Premium Plus ad-free plan.
Speaking of annual plans, FreeCast also launched a new annual subscription option for its Value Channels bundle. This plan brings together a number of live TV channels for $7 per month. However, the new, and limited time, annual plan only costs $30 per year. That’s about $2.50 per month.
If looking for something new, but don’t want to spend anything more than you’re currently paying each month, the CBS Sports Golazo Network has now gone live offering sports fans even more access to soccer content, and for free.
Alternatively, Prime Video and Freevee users now have the option of watching a pickleball match on PickleTV, while those already subscribed to DirecTV Steam will find they have access to EarthxTV in time for Earth Day 2023.