Why did Max remove 4K streaming for some ad-free users?
Many legacy HBO Max users subscribed to the standard $14.99-a-month ad-free plan were caught off guard in early November when they got emails from the streamer, telling them that a) their prices wouldn’t be going up (yay!) and b) they were about to lose 4K and Dolby Atmos support, and would soon be restricted to just two streams, down from 3 (ugh).
Starting next month, those Max users will need to subscribe to the $19.99/month “ultimate” ad-free plan for 4K streaming and 4 concurrent streams.
While the announcement came as an unwelcome surprise to many Max subscribers, the truth is that Max announced those changes back in May 2023 when it first rolled out its new pricing scheme.
At the time, Max promised former HBO Max users–who, before the Max re-brand, had been paying $14.99 a month for 4K streaming plus extra streams–that they’d be able to keep those features for at least six months.
Well, as of November 2023, those six months are up.
That doesn’t lessen the sting for former HBO Max subscribers who are about to lose 4K streaming access, but that (unfortunately) is the deal–and yes, it’s a de facto price hike.