HBO Max has become the latest streaming service to enter a very busy landscape and its ambitions clearly go beyond simply make HBO's premium cable available to a wider audience. Netflix is ​​the competitor that HBO Max really has in its sights, and that's why it's playing such a massive market with this new streamer.

Netflix has spent the last few years rolling out content that caters to every demographic you can think of, while HBO's dramas, comedies, and documentaries are firmly geared toward high-profile adults who watch television.

Now HBO Max is closing the gap with more shows for family audiences. The last-minute addition of the entire Harry Potter series to the service likely stems from this state of mind. Like Netflix, HBO Max wants to be a streaming service with content for everyone.

So how do the two compare at first glance? Next, we have made a quick comparison between HBO Max and Netflix in the US. Based on our initial experience with the new service. We'll have a full review of HBO Max on Friday with more detailed thoughts on the topics below.

Netflix vs. HBO Max: Price


(Image credit: Netflix)


Netflix has three pricing tiers: Basic ($8.99 per month), Standard ($12.99 per month), and Premium ($15.99 per month). Standard gives you Full HD streams Premium gives you 4K.

HBO Max has a fixed price for all this, €14.99. It's very positive, but that's exactly what people are already paying for HBO Now, and you get a lot more content for the money. That said, for people who don't already have HBO, a service that costs more than Netflix's standard tier may be a harder pill to swallow. You also don't have 4K streaming right now. More information below.

Still, if the price is a bit high, an ad-supported version of HBO Max is apparently in the works for 2021, which should bring the price down a bit.

The winner? Netflix

Netflix vs HBO Max: 4K and HDR

Netflix offers plenty of high-end originals in 4K, if you're willing to pay for it as part of the $15.99 Netflix Premium plan. HBO Max launched without 4K or HDR streams, which will be a point of contention for some given the hefty price tag. In the future, however, this will be added to the service, a spokesperson confirmed.

"4K HDR will not be available on HBO Max at launch, but we look forward to offering it in the future," they told us.

Given that Disney Plus has successfully included 4K and HDR at a price point of $6.99 at launch, it's a bit disappointing that HBO Max doesn't support it yet. But that will eventually change.

The winner? Netflix.

Netflix vs HBO Max: TV shows

(Image credit: HBO Max)


When it comes to original shows, HBO Max isn't exactly excited yet, with a new series of Looney Tunes cartoons and the Paul Feig/Anna Kendrick anthology show Love Life among the highlights. Rather, the appeal lies in its HBO archives, with everything from Succession to The Sopranos to The Larry Sanders Show ready to watch. HBO is responsible for several of the biggest television shows ever made, which is still the case today.

Also, a lot of old shows are available here outside of HBO, like The Big Bang Theory and Friends, as well as a good chunk of UK shows like Luther and Doctor Who.

Netflix, meanwhile, now has an enviable set of original shows to enjoy, and this catalog has been around for many years. It will take a while for HBO Max to catch up, but it should not be exceeded in its current form.

You could call it a quantity versus quality argument. As a premium cable channel, HBO makes far fewer shows than Netflix., but with an incredibly high success rate. Netflix has a lot of new shows every week, but there are a lot of shows you'll probably never watch. Still, for breadth and consistency of content, Netflix remains the king of television. However, we can't wait to see HBO Max challenge this.

The winner? Netflix

Netflix vs HBO Max: Movies


(Image credit: future)


It's too hard to call it, but if you like old movies, TCM files selected by HBO Max may be the best. You have a mix of international cinema and all-time classics like Casablanca, Ben-Hur, Gone with the Wind and Eraserhead.

Most of Warner's successful franchises are in full swing, and the service even offers all eight Harry Potter movies at launch, which is a welcome surprise. You can also stream Joaquin Phoenix's Oscar Joker right now. HBO Max also took advantage of Studio Ghibli's entire archive of anime movies (minus Grave of the Fireflies, which was finished on Hulu), all available for release. You can also watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy from day one.

Netflix also offers many great licensed movies and an absolute ton of originals, but right now the sheer size of the HBO Max library makes for an immediately exciting first impression. It sounds like a real moviegoer deal you've been waiting for from a movie studio for as long as Warner Bros. That could easily change over time, as Netflix offers more contestants for awards like Marriage Story and The Irishman and continues to secure some older movies. for transmission.

The winner? It's a tie.

Netflix vs HBO Max: user experience


(Image credit: future)


Given we've spent years with Netflix and only a few hours with HBO Max, we're not quite ready to declare a winner at this point yet. Netflix's algorithmic recommendations and homepage layout still provide a world-class user experience, as do manageable watchlists and profiles.

HBO Max has a lot of cool features at launch. Profiles and watchlists have been there from the beginning, and working with content verticals like channels works well. HBO, Crunchyroll, Cartoon Network, TCM, DC Comics, Adult Swim, Studio Ghibli, and Looney Tunes are the channels you can explore right now, and the amount of content for each varies. You can also create profiles for kids, and it's easy to search the library for anything you want.

The home page is organized, with a "Editor's Choice" selection of HBO shows, as well as featured movies and series. We've only spent time with HBO Max in the browser so far, so we'll wait for our HBO Max review before making a call about the app and the user experience after heavy use.

The winner? Determined

Bottom line: there's room for both, if you can afford it

Nobody expects a new streaming service to dislodge an existing champion, but HBO Max makes a good first impression. HBO's heart of library means you automatically start with most of Max's best TV shows, and Warner Bros. is going to great lengths for Netflix by making the most of its decades-old properties.

Additionally, HBO Max will also arrive in June with the release of the full South Park series and many other movies. Warner has a large archive to unravel here, and we look forward to seeing each of their channels develop over time.

Netflix, meanwhile, continues to release new series and movies every week. It's hard to see yourself wanting to unsubscribe from Netflix in the near future, but HBO Max's programming is so different that we can see how the two fit together.

In other words, if you don't mind spending more than €30 a month on streaming services.

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