Google's YouTube TV has quickly become one of the top sources for live television. It's most definitely in the Top 3, right alongside Hulu With Live TV (which has been the official No. 1), and Sling TV. In addition to a rather solid stable of channels available for $49.99 a month, there also are a number of premium add-ons available.
And for the first time, those add-ons now include HBO and HBO Max, as well as Cinemax. The former has been available on other streaming services, like AT&T TV (AT&T is the parent company of WarnerMedia, which owns HBO and HBO Max) and Hulu. And while YouTube TV has offered monthly subscriptions to the likes of Showtime, HBO had eluded customers, leaving them to subscribe elsewhere.
Today, that's changed, meaning you can now watch linear (as in live) HBO and Cinemax directly from within your YouTube TV account, as well as pay for it via your YouTube TV bill and your Google account. (This actually was one of the first major pieces of news surrounding HBO Max.) One you add the service, the new channels will appear at the bottom of your live listings.
And for all the on-demand HBO Max stuff, you'll log in using your Google credentials.
And those probably are the two main benefits of getting HBO Max that way. You shouldn't expect any big technical boosts or anything — there's still no 4K playback. But ease of use isn't anything to turn your nose up at.
What's the big deal about HBO Max? In addition to all of the legacy HBO content you're used to (think movies, Game of Thrones, Westworld and the like), it's also the new home for all kinds of other WarnerMedia content, including movies from Warner Bros. and TCM, shows from TNT, TBS, Comedy Central and truTV, the entire Studio Ghibli catalog, the D.C. Universe, and more. And it also is now the only place you'll find all eight Harry Potter films.
In addition to HBO, HBO Max and Cinemax, other premium offerings inside YouTube TV include:
- Acorn ($6)
- AMC Premiere ($5)
- CuriosityStream ($3)
- EPIX ($6)
- Fox Soccer Plus ($15)
- Showtime ($11)
- Shudder ($6)
- STARZ ($9)
- Sundance Now ($7)
- Urban Movie Channel ($5)
HBO and HBO Max are the usual $14.99 a month (each) if you subscribe through YouTube TV. The latter has a seven-day free trial. Cinemax also has a seven-day free trial and costs $9.99 a month.
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