By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, I am a big 4K guy and I want to know about the new Max service and whether you have to pay more for 4K like I heard on TV. Please give us the info. You are the 4K guy! Thanks!! — Peter, Fresno, Texas.

Peter, Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) CEO David Zaslav announced yesterday that HBO Max will change its name to ‘Max’ on May 23, which will reflect the streamer’s new programming mix of both HBO and Discovery shows. Company executives apparently believe that the HBO brand, which represents prestige TV (seen as high-brow as some), is a turn-off for potential Discovery viewers. So HBO will be removed from the name.

The name change also comes with a new pricing structure. And, sorry Peter, that means you will have to pay more for 4K. Here are the packages:

* The 4K ‘Max Ultimate’ plan, which will also include simultaneous streaming on four devices and no ads, will cost $19.99 a month. Dolby Atmos audio is included on select titles.

* The $15.99 a month plan, which previously included 4K programming, will only deliver 1080p HD programming. No ads with this package. Two simultaneous streams. 5.1 Surround Sound.

* The $9.99 a month plan stays the same — no 4K but you get ads. 1080p video and two simultaneous streams. 5.1 Surround Sound.

As you can see, you will need the $19.99 a month plan to watch 4K. The $15.99 a month HBO Max package, which has been the highest priced plan to date, included 4K. But there will be a $4 a month increase for 4K.

There is good news, however.

1. WBD executives promise that the $19.99 ‘Ultimate Max’ package will have more 4K titles than the current $15.99 HBO Max package. There isn’t a large selection of 4K (about 30 titles) on the current $15.99 HBO max plan although the list includes some gems such as Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon. If HBO, sorry, Max, has a larger library of 4K titles, the $4 a month increase could be worthwhile.

2. Chris Willard, a WBD spokesperson, says all HBO Max subscribers will have access to their current plan features for a minimum of six months after Max’s launch on May 23. That means you can continue to watch 4K in your $15.99 plan without upgrading until November 23. At least.

Peter, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann