TV Answer Man, can you explain this? I got an e-mail saying my Max plan won’t include 4K next month although I’ve had it in there since I had HBO Max. What gives? — Todd, Orlando, Florida.
Todd, when HBO Max switched monikers to just Max last May, the streamer rolled out a new $19.99 a month ad-free ‘Ultimate’ package that included a few hundred 4K titles. The $15.99 HBO Max ad-free plan would not include 4K, just 1080p HD. But company officials said legacy HBO Max $15.99 a month subscribers would continue to get the 4K titles for at least six months without upgrading to the $19.99 a month Ultimate plan. Well, the six months are almost over and still so is the free 4K.
When Will HBO Max Subs Lose 4K Programming?
Max has alerted the legacy HBO Max subscribers in an e-mail that, effective today, December 5, their $15.99 a month plans will no longer include 4K. If they want to watch 4K, and listen to it in Dolby Atmos, they will have to upgrade to the Ultimate package. This change affects AT&T subscribers who receive Max with their wireless plans as well as subs who ordered Max directly.
“On your next billing date, on or after December 5, 2023, the price of your subscription will stay the same, but some of your plan features will change,” the Max e-mail states. “You can still stream all your favorite blockbuster movies, fresh originals and iconic series. Or even switch to the Ultimate Ad-Free plan to unlock more features.”
In addition, the $15.99 a month plan will only permit you to stream on two devices at the same time instead of three.
How Can You Keep 4K On Max?
Max says legacy HBO Max customers will need to go through their providers to upgrade to the Ultimate package. In some cases, however, the provider may not offer the option to upgrade the plan. (As an AT&T/HBO Max subscriber, I was unable to upgrade yesterday.) In that case, the HBO Max subscriber would need to cancel his or her sub through the old provider and resubscribe to the Ultimate plan through Max.
The streaming service has provided these links that offer more advice:
Amazon: Go to Change an Amazon-billed subscription.
Apple: Go to Change an Apple-billed subscription.
Google: Go to Change a Google-billed subscription.
Prime Video Channels: You can cancel your subscription, wait for your subscription to expire, then resubscribe to Max and choose a different plan.
Roku: Go to Change a Roku-billed subscription.
Samsung: You can cancel your subscription, wait for your subscription to expire, then resubscribe to Max and choose a different plan.
WarnerMedia Direct: Go to Change a WarnerMedia-billed subscription.
Xfinity: Contact Xfinity or sign in to your Xfinity account at xfinity.com/buy/plan/myplan and then choose Manage Channels.
Todd, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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The TV Answer Man is veteran journalist Phillip Swann who has covered the TV technology scene for more than three decades. He will report on the latest news and answer your questions regarding new devices and services that are changing the way you watch television. See the bio for Phillip Swann here.