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Max is taking 4K away from its legacy ad-free subscribers

Max is taking 4K away from its legacy ad-free subscribers


If you were still enjoying the perks of your old HBO Max plan, get ready for some changes (and fewer benefits) starting in December.

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Illustration of the Max streaming app logo
Illustration: The Verge

When HBO Max transformed into Max back in May, Warner Bros. Discovery said that existing subscribers on the ad-free plan would be able to hang onto certain perks (like 4K streaming) for at least the next six months without needing to spend more money. Well, we’re about to hit that six-month mark, and right on cue, the party’s over. That’s all, folks.

Max is emailing affected customers, letting them know that while their monthly price of $15.99 will remain the same moving forward, they’ll be losing a couple of perks on or after December 5th.

Specifically, 4K (and HDR) streaming will be removed for legacy customers; they’ll now be limited to HD quality, just like anyone signing up for Max’s ad-free tier today would be. If they want to keep 4K playback, it’ll require stepping up to the “ultimate” plan, which costs $19.99 per month.

Legacy ad-free subscribers also had an extra concurrent stream (for a total of three) compared to the standard two that new signups on the $15.99 plan normally receive. That perk will also be history beginning with the December billing cycle. The Verge has reached out to WBD for clarification on whether any subset of customers will be eligible to maintain these benefits.

Downloads are unaffected by this change: both legacy and current ad-free customers can save up to 30 titles on supported devices for offline viewing when they’re without a data connection.

Max’s cheapest “with ads” tier costs $9.99, and although it doesn’t include offline downloads, it still allows for two simultaneous streams and offers HD picture quality. The service recently introduced an optional sports add-on that is free until February 29th but will cost another $9.99 / month thereafter for customers who want to keep it.