Q. I read that Comcast now has HBO Max, but I can’t find it. How do I watch it on Comcast? Is it really on Comcast? — Penny, Deale, Maryland.
Penny, the answer is yes and no, which may sound complicated. And, guess what, it is complicated because HBO Max is a bit complicated.
Update: On December 15, Comcast added the HBO Max app to X1 and Flex set-tops.
Let me explain.
For starters, HBO Max, which launched yesterday, is a new streaming service that combines the usual HBO catalog with non-HBO fare such as The Big Bang Theory (pictured above), Friends, South Park, and movies from TCM, among other programming.
Comcast and AT&T (HBO’s owner) announced yesterday that HBO Max would be available for free to new and existing Xfinity TV customers who subscribe to HBO, and Xfinity Internet subscribers who subscribe to HBO through Flex.
But this is where it gets complicated.
You can’t watch HBO Max on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 set-tops, or the Flex streaming device. You have to go to a HBO Max app, or HBOMax.com, and input your Comcast user name and password.
That’s just a little complicated, right? Yeah, but to watch HBO Max’s app on a TV, you have to find a streaming device that supports HBO Max. And that list does not include Roku or Amazon Fire TV. AT&T has yet to strike a carriage deal for HBO Max with the nation’s two leading streaming devices.
So where can you watch it? Here’s the list:
Android phones and tablets (with Android OS 5+)
Android TV (OS 5+)
Apple TV (4th gen and later)
Chromebooks (via HBOMax.com)
iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (with iOS 12.2+)
PC and Mac computers (via HBOMax.com)
Samsung TV (2016+)
Of course, you could just go to HBOMax.com, but that will limit your viewing to a mobile device or computer unless you cast it to your TV. And then it gets more complicated, doesn’t it?
Comcast promises it will add a HBO Max app to its Xfinity set-tops in the “coming months.” But until it does, you’ll have to deal with a little complication.
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann