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Wonder Woman 1984 will mark HBO Max’s 4K HDR debut

Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins took to Twitter yesterday to announce that the movie — which is slated to launch in theaters and on HBO Max on Christmas Day — will be presented in 4K resolution, with Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR) and Dolby Atmos surround sound. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be big news. Most of the premier Star Wars and Marvel content on Disney+, for instance, is already available in these formats. But since its launch, HBO Max hasn’t released a single title in anything better than full HD resolution, and there haven’t been any promises regarding HDR either.

The Wonder Woman sequel will be available in 4K, Dolby Vision, HDR10, and Dolby Atmos on Apple TV 4K, Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, Amazon Fire TV Cube, Chromecast Ultra, AT&T TV and supported Android TV devices.

That makes the Wonder Woman 1984 debut a watershed moment for HBO’s new streaming service. Not only will it become the first title to benefit from 4K and HDR on HBO Max, but it also brings with it much better audio quality. For fans of the DC cinematic universe who noted with irritation that HBO Max wouldn’t be presenting their favorite movies in the best possible audio and video quality, this announcement offers a glimmer of hope. It may signal that HBO is going to begin the process of upgrading its flagship content over time.

If HBO Max does indeed follow through, it could help the service quickly drive up subscribers. HBO Max has an enviable catalog of content, including all of HBO’s original shows and movies; a deep collection of Warner Media titles from DC, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, and Looney Tunes; and a curated selection of classic films in partnership with Turner Classic Movies. But despite this awesome library, the lack of an HBO Max app on Amazon’s Fire TV and Roku platforms — as well as the lack of high-quality audio and video — has kept the service from reaching its full potential.

In November, HBO Max announced that it was available on Fire TV, but Roku users still have no easy way to access the service.

HBO Max only offers one tier of service that costs $15 per month, making it more expensive than many of its streaming rivals. Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ both cost considerably less and both offer 4K and HDR content as part of their subscription fees. Netflix charges $18 per month for its premium tier — the only price plan that includes 4K, HDR, and Dolby Atmos on select titles.

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