There was a time when HBO was just another premium streaming app that only offered exclusive content. Those days are over. HBO, now owned by AT&T, made a serious move by introducing HBO Max in early 2020. The new streaming app is in direct competition with Hulu and Netflix as it now contains many more coveted movies and shows that go beyond HBO Now. With heavy-hitting additions like Adventure Time, The Big Bang Theory, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and South Park, HBO Max has effectively made its case for why you should have it. And if that weren’t reason enough, at the time of this writing, HBO Max is priced at $11.99/mo. for the next year. That’s a buck less than the standard version of Netflix ($12.99/mo.)
So, how do you watch HBO Max? There are a number of HBO Max compatible devices. Chances are that you own at least one device that can stream the new HBO streaming service. Like most other apps, it plays well with Android and iOS devices and even works with most game consoles. However, there are a few well-known devices that HBO Max doesn’t yet support at this time. To find out which devices HBO Max is and isn’t compatible with, keep reading. And if you’re in the market for a new device, we’ll recommend our top picks for any kind of viewer.
HBO Max compatible devices
HBO Max is compatible with everything from your smartphone to smart TVs. All you need to do is download the HBO Max app in order to start watching. Since HBO Max doesn’t support 4K streaming, you won’t need to worry about using a 4K capable device. Here’s a complete list of supported HBO Max devices.
- Android devices
- Android TV (2015+ models)
- Apple TV
- iOS devices
- PlayStation 4
- Samsung TV (2016+ models)
- Web browsers
- Xbox One
While the HBO Max app is available with most of your devices, there are two major exceptions. At this point in time, there’s still no HBO Max on Roku or Amazon Fire TV. Hopefully, the companies strike a deal so these popular devices can provide access to their large user bases. For now, though, you’ll need to find a workaround to stream HBO Max on Fire TV and Roku devices. Both devices do, however, have the HBO Now app, which you can use to access HBO content.
Which device should I use to stream HBO Max?
There are a few things you should consider before purchasing a streaming device. First and foremost, how do you intend to watch HBO Max — on the go or from the comfort of your home? You’ll also want to think about what some of your other media interests are. For instance, do you like to game? Or, are you someone who prefers to operate everything from your desktop or laptop? Other factors include personal preferences like size and streaming quality to the price of the device.
We’ve listed the best devices for specific experiences below.
HBO Max option for Amazon members: Amazon Fire TV Cube
For the benefits of Amazon’s Echo and streaming sticks all wrapped up into one, you can’t go wrong with the Fire TV Cube. Using Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa, you’ll have the power to control smart appliances like your lightbulbs and TV, all through simple voice commands. So, you can spice up your living room by saying, “Alexa, turn living room lights magenta.” Or, “Alexa, play Ad Astra on HBO Now.” As we touched on above, there’s no HBO Max Fire TV app at this point in time. The Fire TV Cube is priced at $119.99 on Amazon.
Amazon’s streaming devices appeal mostly to Amazon Prime members. Since Amazon streamlines its app and devices all within one ecosystem, you may be interested in an Amazon streaming device for the most reliable results. Before you make a purchase, take a look at some of Amazon’s other streaming devices along with our thoughts.
HBO Max option for in-home theater experience: Roku Soundbar
If you don’t have an effective soundbar, you’re not watching your favorite movies and shows as they were intended. Audio is just as important as the visuals in order to immerse yourself. Upgrade your home entertainment center for that in-theater experience with Roku Soundbar. For $179.99, the average cost for a solid soundbar, you’ll be able to enjoy Dolby Audio while also accessing all of your content from its built-in Roku player. But with no HBO Max, Roku users will need to use a workaround like screen mirroring from a mobile device.
Roku produces more media streaming devices than any other brand. We’ve reviewed all of them, from the affordable Roku Premiere to the premium Roku Ultra. Read our expert take to see which Roku streaming device is best for you.
HBO Max option for affordability: Google Chromecast
What sets Google Chromecast apart from the other devices on our list is more than just its affordability. With Chromecast, you can control all of your media from your mobile device — be it a laptop, smartphone or tablet — by casting apps directly to your TV.
Chromecast doesn’t operate an interface like Amazon Fire TV or Roku but instead uses your mobile device to access and cast certain apps. That way, all you need to do is download the HBO Max app and tap the cast icon to stream to your TV. Since HBO Max doesn’t carry 4K content, you can get by with the regular Chromecast model for $29.99 in the Google store.
Visit our Google Chromecast devices review to learn more.
Our hot take
HBO Max struck the streaming scene with much fanfare. AT&T took all of HBO and paired it with thousands of licensed titles from Friends to Looney Tunes, while throwing in tons of premium features. To learn everything you need to know about HBO Max, hop on over to our full review.
The HBO Max app works with most of your Android and iOS devices, smartphones and web browsers. But you won’t be able to stream HBO Max to Amazon Fire TV or Roku — at least for now.
If you already subscribe to HBO Now and Netflix or Hulu, HBO Max is worth your time. Try it out for seven days with HBO’s week-long free trial period.