HBO® has long been a top source for premium programming, and HBO Max has increased its reach even further. HBO Max, a separate streaming service that debuted in May 2020 and is under the WarnerMedia Entertainment banner, mixes HBO’s vintage archive with fresh TV shows, films, and other media.
I assume that’s good news. But figuring out the precise distinction between HBO and HBO Max is also a bit complicated. You might also be asking what happened to HBO GO, the no-longer-available app that was previously included with your HBO TV subscription. HBO NOW, which was recently renamed HBO, is another option.
We share your confusion about HBO today if you’re asking yourself that question. To help you get HBO in the most convenient manner for you, we went ahead and lay everything up in the most understandable way we could.
HBO Go vs. HBO Now—What’s the Difference?
The only significant distinction between HBO NOW and HBO GO is that HBO GO is exclusively available to subscribers of cable or satellite services. Amazon Prime also offers subscription services. Contrarily, HBO NOW is accessible to all users, much like Netflix or Hulu.
You can watch HBO episodes and movies on your phone, tablet, computer, or another app-enabled device via HBO GO if you have an HBO subscription. You cannot access HBO GO if you do not have a subscription. HBO NOW is perfect for cord-cutters because of this.
One issue for cord-cutters is that there are so many options available, including general streaming services like Netflix and cable substitutes like Sling TV, that it’s simple to pay as much as or even more for streaming services than for cable.
The amount of content you receive for each service determines the distinction between HBO and HBO Max. If you have a subscription to HBO through a cable or satellite TV package, you can browse the HBO catalog and watch HBO live. HBO Max is a stand-alone streaming service that offers all of the content available on HBO as well as additional content from WarnerMedia Entertainment.
What about HBO NOW and HBO GO, though? Both of these systems will be gone as of July 31, 2020. HBO GO is no longer available via AT&T; cable and satellite customers should download HBO Max instead and utilize that to stream content. They can register for no additional cost.
The premium channel’s standalone streaming service version, HBO NOW, will now just be referred to as HBO. HBO Max is still the superior option because it offers all the material that HBO Max does.
|Service||Price||Content||Available formats||Sign up|
|HBO (channel)||$5–$20/mo. (requires cable or satellite TV)||HBO catalog||Cable and satellite TV||Sign up|
|HBO (app)||$14.99/mo.||HBO catalog||Web browser, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and other major platforms and providers||Sign up|
|HBO Max||$14.99/mo.||HBO catalog + WarnerEntertainment programming||Web browser, AT&T TV, Cox, Hulu, Spectrum, Xfinity, and other major providers (unavailable on Amazon Fire TV & Roku)||Sign up|
Price: Depends on the Cost of the Cable Package
$14.99 per month.
Included with a premium cable or satellite subscription.
A bit more expensive than Netflix, HBO NOW costs $14.99 per month. That may save you money when compared to the cost of a premium cable subscription. However, you need to factor in the benefits of cable TV (and the other channels and DVR features available with it) when assessing the overall value of HBO NOW vs. HBO GO.
Access: Anyone, Anywhere vs. Cable Subscribers
A standalone streaming service that doesn’t require an existing cable or satellite package.
The HBO NOW app can be downloaded on a Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or other streaming device and watched on a TV or mobile device.
Requires an HBO cable or satellite subscription through a cable provider, satellite TV provider, or Amazon Prime.
HBO GO can also be viewed on any device with the app, but it only exists for paid cable subscribers. It is only available to people who subscribe to HBO through a cable or satellite package. If you have an HBO subscription, HBO GO is free. If you don’t have an HBO subscription, HBO GO isn’t an option.
Content: Same Content, Different Subscription
Same content as HBO, but with no live feed.
Same content as HBO, but with no live feed.
HBO NOW and HBO GO include the same content. That includes all of HBO’s original shows, from The Sopranos to Game of Thrones. It also includes all the movies that HBO currently has the right to broadcast and stream.
HBO NOW and HBO GO don’t include a live feed of the HBO channel. Most shows become available to stream on the service around the time a show is broadcast on the HBO channel, but there is no option to watch a live stream of the channel.
HBO vs. HBO Max—which is better?
HBO Max is unquestionably the superior option. It is available both as a stand-alone service and, in many circumstances, as a free add-on to your HBO cable or satellite subscription. Even though it costs the same as the HBO app, it offers much more material.
HBO Max does have one limitation, though, in that it is not presently available on Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices (the most popular standalone streamers in the country). HBO is owned by AT&T, and there have been discussions about adding HBO Max to those streaming sticks. 1 So, it might be made accessible soon.
If Roku or Amazon Fire TV is your favorite streaming option, you will need to find alternative ways to watch HBO Max in the interim. Below, we’ll outline your options.
What Happened to HBO GO and HBO NOW?
The streaming service that comes with your HBO cable or satellite TV subscription was previously known as HBO GO. On July 31, 2020, AT&T stopped offering HBO GO, making it no longer accessible. In contrast, HBO will only be referred to as HBO. Although you can theoretically sign up for HBO as a single subscription, HBO Max is the most popular option and costs the same.
Open the HBO app (formerly known as HBO NOW) or utilize HBO Max to view HBO programming.