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4K video will cost more on the new Max streaming service

The new Max streaming service — that is, the combined HBO Max and Discovery+ — is now official and will be available starting May 23. And with it comes a plethora of new series and shows. And execs made a big deal about pricing, and that it’ll be the same as the existing price of HBO Max.

But that wasn’t entirely true.

Max streaming service logo.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

HBO Max has two tiers — $10 a month if you don’t mind ads, and $16 per month if you don’t want ads. The latter gets you some shows and movies in 4K resolution, which is exactly the sort of thing you want if you’re watching the likes of Succession, or House of the Dragon.

But if you want to watch anything on Max in 4K resolution (Dolby Atmos is on board for audio; it wasn’t said whether Dolby Vision will be part of that equation), you’ll have to pony up a little extra. That tier — dubbed the Ultimate tier — will run $20 a month.

The good news, if there is any in any sort of price increase, is that you’ll also get the ability to stream on up to four devices at once, and keep up to 100 shows available for offline viewing. The ad-free tier tops out at 1080p, two concurrent streams, 30 offline downloads, and 5.1 surround sound.

All Warner Bros. movies released in 2023 and going forward will be available on the service in 4K resolution, the company said, once they clear their theatrical windows.

The existing HBO Max app will automatically update itself to Max on some platforms on May 23. (It has already done that once when the service changed from HBO Go to HBO Max.) Other services may require a new download.

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