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Without a doubt, it’s totally understandable for people to be on the fence concerning HBO’s subscription models and streaming platforms. It’s all more than a little confusing, especially when you compare HBO to their competitors—but you can’t deny HBO’s vast library of amazing titles. That’s the reason why people put up with HBO Go, HBO Now, the HBO app, and now HBO Max.
To start things off, let’s get some of the confusion out of the way. HBO Go and HBO Now are pretty much just the HBO app, so all you have to worry about (aside from the HBO app) is HBO Max. As such, it becomes a competition between HBO vs. HBO Max. So, what is the difference between HBO and HBO Max?
At the very least it’s not nearly as confusing now as it used to be. In any case, let’s figure out the key differences between the two, helping you make an informed decision when choosing a streaming platform.
HBO vs. HBO Max: Comparison Table
We’re going to go into detail concerning the intricacies between HBO and HBO Max, but why not start things out with a comparison table? This ought to give you a decent idea of which platform is superior.
What Are the Subscription Models of HBO and HBO Max?
Winner: HBO Max
Oh, we forgot to mention that there’s also a subscription to the HBO channel, but that’s quite different from how HBO and HBO Max work. Overall, you don’t need a subscription to the HBO channel to go for either streaming platform, so there’s no need to worry. That said, how much is the subscription for both HBO Max and HBO?
Interestingly enough, the basic plan for HBO and HBO Max are the same. Both are US$14.99/mo. (CAD 19.35 for those from the Big White North), and you get the ad-free package. However, it’s crucial to note that HBO Max has more pricing options, including a cheaper version (US$9.99/mo. or CAD 12.90) with ads, and a yearly plan (US$149.99 or CAD 193.66). The HBO app pretty much only has the monthly option.
HBO vs. HBO Max: Which Has Better Content?
Winner: HBO Max
If you’re wondering which version has the better content between HBO and HBO Max, if, the latter wins by a landslide. It’s a straightforward answer for those who want to make the most out of their money, and we definitely recommend HBO Max.
That said, if you’re fine with the regular lineup that the HBO app has, it’s not such a big deal. Of course, you’re paying the exact same thing with HBO Max (actually less if you go for the version with ads), so we can’t recommend the HBO app even if you’re not interested in extra content.
HBO vs. HBO Max: Which Has Lesser Ads?
Winner: HBO (?)
This one is a little strange, as the HBO app is only the winner due to a technicality. If you’re looking at which platform has lesser ads, HBO wins over HBO Max, but it’s definitely weird. HBO Max’s typical offering (the same price as HBO) has much more content, and no ads.
However, you can go for a cheaper option with HBO Max if you don’t mind watching ads now and again. As such, the only reason HBO clinches the victory is because it does not have a cheaper option that supports ads.
Which Has a Better Platform Between HBO and HBO Max?
Winner: HBO Max
As far as which is the better platform, the HBO app does have very similar features to HBO Max. You can download the films and watch them later without worrying about streaming, and you can watch some of the content in 4K UHD.
In fact, both platforms offer the same services, so you can’t go wrong with either one. But it’s obvious that HBO Max is the better one at this point. HBO Max wins simply because it offers much more while still having the same features.
Which Is Cheaper Between HBO and HBO Max?
Winner: HBO Max
One would think that the HBO app would win this one as it doesn’t have as much content as HBO Max, but think again. Not only does HBO Max offer more content, but it’s actually the cheaper option if you consider the subscription model that offers ads.
It’s interesting how the HBO app does not have as much content, while still being the same price as HBO Max. While HBO has some fantastic platforms, it does seem kind of confusing that they have the HBO app when HBO Max is clearly superior (and cheaper).
Availability Options: Are HBO and HBO Max Available in Canada?
While HBO Max has a habit of winning most of these little competitions, surprisingly enough, the platform isn’t available in Canada (unlike the HBO app). Why is HBO Max not available in Canada? The answer lies in licensing restrictions, and it’s a pretty tricky situation for the most part.
This leads to the next question: If HBO Max is not available in Canada, what are the options available to watch HBO Max content while in Canada?
Option 1: Using ExpressVPN
The simplest option is to use a top-quality VPN (virtual private network) to help get through geographical restrictions. Considering that most people utilize VPNs for everyday browsing, it’s not so far-fetched for some people to already have a VPN. Heck, some browsers even come with a built-in VPN.
Option 2: Using NordVPN
The second option is pretty much the same as the first, only you’re utilizing a different top-quality VPN to get the job done. It should be pretty easy to subscribe to HBO Max utilizing either ExpressVPN or NordVPN.
Option 3: Utilizing a free or in-built VPN through a browser
The third option, for those who would rather go for the free option (but there are limitations), is to go for free VPN options. This includes Windscribe (with a 10 GB monthly limit) and other similar apps. Some browsers (such as Opera GX) have an in-built VPN that is entirely free with no limits, but it is a little slower than the standard fare.
And the Winner Is…
It comes as no surprise that HBO Max is the clear winner. Not only does it have more content than the regular HBO app, but it also features more pricing options for those who want a little more control. If you’re looking for a fantastic streaming platform to watch your favorites, HBO Max is a must-sub.