Final warning: Max is about to turn off 4K streaming on old plans if you don’t pay up

The Max streaming logo on a TV
(Image credit: Max)

Last month we reported that Max was making some big changes for former ad-free subscribers: when the service was rebranded from HBO Max to Max in early 2023, Warner Bros Discovery said that if you were an existing ad-free customer you'd be able to keep all your features, including 4K and HDR, for at least six months. 

Inevitably, as soon as that six months was over Max decided to remove those features, so if you didn't upgrade your plan you're about to lose your premium quality streaming. Now it's December that change is imminent.

The change affects the $15.99 subscription tier, which will no longer include access to 4K and HDR streaming. If you want that, you'll need to upgrade to the 'Ultimate' subscription tier, which is $19.99 per month. 

Improve it or lose it

If you don't do anything about your subscription, you'll continue to be charged the same $15.99 per month but you'll no longer get your 4K resolution or HDR on one of the best streaming services. You're also going to lose another perk, the ability to watch up to three streams at the same time: the $15.99 plan for everybody else only offers two simultaneous streams. 

It's not all bad, though. You'll still be able to download shows to supported devices like one of the best phones or best tablets so you can watch them without an internet connection. 

As a result of these changes, there are now three Max subscription plans on offer, or four if you include the Sports Add-on. They are:

  • Max With Ads: $9.99 per month / $99.99 per year
  • Max Ad-Free: $15.99 per month / $149.99 per year
  • Max Ultimate Ad-Free: $19.99 per month / $199.99 per year

All of the plans offer access to the same content, including the best Max shows and best Max movies but put restrictions on what you can do with it, so for example 'With Ads' gives you 1080p, as does 'Ad-Free', while 'Ultimate' gives you 4K UHD with Dolby Atmos (provided of course the show or movie offers that). 'Ad-Free' gives you 30 downloads and two-device streaming; 'Ultimate' gives you 100 and four devices. 

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Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.