Why HBO Max is the new trend in subscription VOD?
Forget Netflix and chill, now it’s time for HBOmaxing. In this article, you’ll find out why HBO max is worth $15 per month and how to make the most out of your subscription.
It has been announced that HBO Max is launching in 15 new countries on March 8, 2022. They are, among others Czech Republic, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, and Portugal, following six more European countries later this year, including Turkey and Greece. Whereas its main competitor Netflix is a huge player in the streaming market, there are some important facts about HBO, which work to its advantage.
Not-so-big but mighty movie library
First things first, HBO values quality over quantity. Yes, it has fewer titles than the competition, but does it matter how many mediocre productions a platform has to offer? Did you know that HBO content beats the competitors when it comes to average IMDB ratings? In 2021 it was 6.58 to 6.42 (Netflix) for movies and 7.28 to 7.05 (Hulu) for TV series. To put it simply, there’s no better place to watch good quality content. Just check out some of the top HBO originals, such as Chernobyl, Succession, Euphoria, or masterpiece which changed the television industry forever – The Sopranos.
The year 2020 was hard on all of us, including the movie industry. Some of the theaters were closed for many months and the majority of premieres got delayed leaving movie lovers from around the world frustrated. It was a moment when HBOmax introduced a solution – “project popcorn”. Some of Warner Media’s productions were shared for streaming at the same date as their theatrical release (Suicide Squad, Godzilla vs. Kong, or Dune). It’s a real treat for all the movie geeks out there. Now you can watch the newest fresh as daisy movies in your living room and there’s no need to wait months until they’d become available for home-watching.
Get the most out of your HBOmax subscription
Why though Netflix seems to be the most popular streaming platform out there? From a technical point of view, the service has been well designed and it has (at least in my opinion) a more user-friendly interface. Apart from that, they seem to listen to their users’ needs and act by constantly releasing updates and new features (such as removing unwanted series from continue watching). Moreover, there have been many tricks and hacks around the web on how to tweak some of Netflix’s features, such as watching the TV series online with friends, mods for changing the playback speed, or even personalizing the profile picture. These tools gain more and more popularity and make using the application more personalized and tailored to your needs.
The one thing which HBO could improve is its customer experience. There are numerous complaints around the web about many bugs and issues, still not fixed by HBO. There’s also a lack of handy features, which competition already has. It’s a shame such good quality content doesn’t go along with the application development, especially since the HBO subscription is pricier compared to competitors.
But worry not, there is some good news for all the HBOmax fans out there as well. New fan-made tools begin to emerge around the internet since the technical side of HBO has been an issue for many subscribers. Seems that the community crafts the ideas of which the original creators hadn’t thought before.
I’ve always had a few issues with the player itself, such as the mouse cursor not disappearing in the full-screen mode (HBO, you had one job and still failed!) or limited subtitle customization (sometimes they’re just too small or even hard to read). It would also be nice to have some kind of picture-in-picture mode, so I could have something on in the background while doing some other tasks. Luckily there’s an easy fix for the two of my pain points.
If you’re watching HBO Max on Chrome, you may check HBOMax Extended out. The name sounds familiar? Well, it’s not a coincidence. If you had a chance to use Netflix Extended, now you may add its version to other SVOD platforms, HBO Max included.
It’s a tiny browser extension, but with many handy tools to enjoy HBO content on your terms. Apart from hiding the cursor (someone finally made it!) and managing the subtitle style, there are a few more options like slowing down/speeding up the video or rotating the screen (I guess it may be useful for all the late-night binge-watchers, but I still need to test that function).
Sadly, I wasn’t able to find a floating window tool but given the fact that demand for impeccable user experience rises along with a strong community of tech-savvy developers, we may expect such functionalities to appear in a short period of time.
Wrapping up – is HBO Max worth it?
If you’re looking for thought-provoking, well-directed movie gems, HBO Max is for you. There are many hidden masterpieces among their originals, which you can accidentally find when exploring the platform’s library. Additionally, HBO constantly increases the level of home-watching video content by adding fresh releases straight from the theaters.
Sure, there are some issues from the users’ point of view and there’s still much room for improvement in this matter. Fortunately, there are fan-made tools out there to fix some problems you may have with the HBO player, leaving you to simply enjoy the best movies and series in the comfort of your home.