HBO Max News

Discussion in 'Internet Streaming Services' started by techguy88, Nov 13, 2020.

  1. Jun 5, 2021 #101 of 143
    glrush

    glrush Cool Member/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    I don't know if it's related to the same issue, but a friend using a new MacBook Air with 16Gb of RAM. Since the latest update, when she tries to watch HBO Max, she gets low memory warmings and then the program crashes. There must be a pretty big memory leak either in the OS or the app.
     
  2. Jun 5, 2021 #102 of 143
    harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Given the ruckus surrounding the contract negotiations with Amazon and Roku, I'd think not. I expect that any ads will be those from HBO and insertion will not be supported.
     
  3. Jun 5, 2021 #103 of 143
    harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    I'm having considerable difficulty with the HBO Max app on my Sony Android TV (X900H). It hangs a lot on startup and requires that I force stop the app and restart it.
     
  4. Jun 5, 2021 #104 of 143
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Peacock was really bad when it launched but they've since fixed most of the playback control issues in their Apple TV app. It still uses their own player, not the native Apple player, but it now works pretty similarly for basic controls (play, pause, jump back/forward, rewind, FF).

    I still have the 1st-gen remote and swiping to FF or rewind is basically useless in the new HBO Max app now. It just goes crazy and who knows where the playhead will end up. Sometimes it just runs all the way to the start or end of the show. It's completely broken.

    Yes, I wish that was the case too. I had one of the old-style Apple TV boxes a few years ago, back before it had its own app store; it only featured whatever apps that Apple directly installed on it. And each of those apps was forced to use Apple's own UI design template, not just for playback, but for the entire app. So browsing for something to watch in Netflix looked much the same as in Hulu or HBO Now or YouTube. There was a high degree of uniformity -- everything looked "Apple". I can understand why app makers rebelled against that almost total lack of branding. Frankly, that's not even what I would want now as a consumer.

    But where Apple should have drawn the line was in terms of the playback controls/UI. They should have insisted that apps retain Apple's design for that. Because consumers shouldn't need to learn a different set of remote control behaviors to operate each different app. There should be a consistency and reliability across all apps for such basic tasks (especially given that the Apple TV remote lacks dedicated buttons for all playback controls except play/pause). And to a large extent, apps were voluntarily choosing to use Apple controls when they launched apps for the new Apple TV with its own App Store. But that's becoming less true over time. YouTube and Peacock have their own, although they're not too different from the default Apple player for basic tasks. Disney+ has its own. Now HBO Max has its own (although it remains to be seen how bad it will be, because I have to think that the current atrocity they've foisted on us will be somehow amended). At this point, I'm starting to wonder whether it's worth sticking with Apple TV or if I should explore alternatives.
     
  5. Jun 5, 2021 #105 of 143
    CTJon

    CTJon Godfather

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    I find the Apple+ playback process the worst. I watch stuff on my iPhone while at a gym and most of the time what I am watching is longer than my time at gym. Other apps remember where I am so I just bring the program up and it is where I stopped. Apple + I have to remember exactly and move the bar to that point. Also, Apple + on my phone stays with the orientation lock (so I have to turn off) where others such as HBO Max, Netflix etc just orient as needed.
     
  6. Jun 5, 2021 #106 of 143
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

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    Possible ... I can see many uses for the "with ads" level where HBO Max may not want to give full access to all content "ad free" to every provider they write a contract with. Perhaps an MVPD would offer HBO linear channels via their service with HBO with-ads instead of HBO Max and be able to use the $9.95 price point.

    I was not suggesting the MVPD insert their own ads.
     
  7. Jun 6, 2021 #107 of 143
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Warner isn't doing any distribution deals for HBO that don't include access to the HBO Max app as part of the package. But even in the new $9.99 tier with ads, all the content in the HBO hub inside the HBO Max app (i.e. all the HBO Originals plus the theatrical films in the HBO library, which currently includes Tenet, Wonder Woman 1984, Greenland, etc.) is still ad-free. And that body of content is the only stuff that airs on the ad-free HBO linear cable channels and resides in the ad-free HBO OnDemand library available through the MVPD's portal/platform.

    Customers who sign up directly at HBOMax.com or via the HBO Max app (and therefore get billed by an app store operator like Apple, Google, Roku, Amazon or Samsung) now have the option to choose the cheaper tier with ads in the non-HBO content. What I don't know is whether any MVPD distributors will offer it (or even be allowed by Warner to offer it). IMO, it would be a risky move to do so if existing HBO cable TV customers could lop off 1/3 of the monthly price and still have the same core HBO experience on their cable box -- same set of ad-free live channels, same ad-free HBO OnDemand library. Sure, there would be ads in the other non-HBO stuff in the separate HBO Max app, but a lot of those HBO cable TV customers aren't even using that app (just as many of them didn't use the old HBO Go app before it). If the HBO Max app is available right on their cable box (as with Comcast X1 boxes), then they'd be much more likely to actually launch the app and watch something there with ads, which would give Warner some additional revenue. But my guess is that, as a group, those customers still wouldn't generate sufficient ad revenue in the app to offset the $5/mo less they would be paying for HBO.

    So my guess is that if broadband/TV operators like Comcast, Charter and Verizon are given the option to sell the $9.99 version of HBO Max, it will be for just the app. Those customers won't also get the HBO linear channels or the HBO OnDemand library integrated into their cable box UI. That would force those customers to open the HBO Max app to use any aspect of the service, where they'll be presented with lots of non-HBO content that includes ads, thereby increasing the amount of ad revenue they generate for Warner.

    On a side-note, I think they should include the HBO linear channels inside the HBO Max app for those who pay for the $14.99 premium tier, while leaving them out of the cheaper $9.99 tier. It's not a huge deal but having the live channels is nice and it makes no sense why HBO Max's customers paying through an MVPD distributor should get them while those paying the same amount to HBO Max directly, for the standalone app, do not. Showtime and Epix, in contrast, have always included at least their main linear channel inside their streaming apps.
     
  8. Jun 6, 2021 #108 of 143
    b4pjoe

    b4pjoe New Member

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    Another problem I found with the updated HBO MAX app on the Apple TV is if I try to continue watching a show from Up Next that is on HBO MAX is that if the HBO MAX app is already open it will not launch the content you tried to watch from Up Next. It launches the app to the HBO MAX home screen and stays there. The only way I can launch HBO MAX content to watch is to kill the HBO MAX app first and have the app launched by Up Next.
     
  9. Jun 7, 2021 #109 of 143
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    It's amazing how badly they screwed up that app. Well, at least they've finally admitted on Twitter that they're aware of the problems and say they're working to fix it. We'll see.
     
  10. Jun 7, 2021 #110 of 143
    b4pjoe

    b4pjoe New Member

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    I got an update for it today and it now launches from Up Next correctly but they are still using their own player which still sucks.

    I suppose they are trying to make their app look the same across all different boxes as it now looks identical to their app on the Fire TV.
     
  11. Jun 7, 2021 #111 of 143
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    I'm not optimistic that they'll return to the native Apple TV player but if they at least do what Peacock did and make it so that their player responds the same way to the Apple remote for jump back/forward, rewind, FF, pause, and play, then I can live with it. Peacock was pretty awful when it first launched so I rarely used the app. But now that the controls are decent, I'm using it a little more.
     
  12. Jun 7, 2021 #112 of 143
    b4pjoe

    b4pjoe New Member

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    Well with their own UI they broke siri. You used to able to ask Siri "what did he/she say" and it would rewind a few seconds and turn on subtitles for you. Not sure they can fix that if they are using their own media player.
     
  13. Jun 7, 2021 #113 of 143
    harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    I think they may be more of an indictment of how Apple was messing with the state-of-the-art than a flaw somehow created by the service. Apple's way of doing things was unconventional to the point of being obtuse relative to the VCR style that most have been using for the better part of their lives. The onus was on Apple to prove that their interface was decidedly better and I'd say they failed miserably to convince all but the most devout.
     
  14. Jun 7, 2021 #114 of 143
    b4pjoe

    b4pjoe New Member

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    How is it Apple's fault that HBO MAX switched from the built in media player to one of their own and broke FF and RW and Siri for some things? You can't tap on the touchpad to move FF or RW 15 seconds like you could before. If you try to swipe to FF/RW it doesn't stop when you stop swiping. It just keeps going and going and going. They made turning on subtitles harder too. Before you just had to swipe up and and swipe to subtitles and turn them on. Now pause, down arrow, right arrow, select, and then navigate to the subtitle to turn it on.

    HBO MAX has admitted it was their fault and they are working on it. Not that I believe they will return it to the way it was but fixing FF and RW would be nice. The only one that failed here is AT&T/Warner/HBO MAX.
     
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  15. Jun 8, 2021 #115 of 143
    harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    I think this may have been a business decision to unify the UX rather than a simple booboo. This assumes that they forgot that the Apple TV has no way of doing FF and REW conventionally and that's a really stupid oversight to be sure. I suspect that AT&T was on a mission to "improve customer satisfaction" (make things easier for their CSRs) and there were some casualties.

    I'm not sure Apple should be granted a free pass in all of this and their very recent doubling of buttons on the Apple TV remote control certainly suggests that Apple went a bit too far with their "elegant design" over simplicity. I firmly believe that Apple uses hoop-jumping to make their customers beholden.
     
  16. Jun 8, 2021 #116 of 143
    b4pjoe

    b4pjoe New Member

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    It just so happened the new Apple TV and remote were released just before the update. The new remote was working great for people that had already received it before the HBO MAX update came out. But it didn't just break FF/RW on the new remotes. It broke it on both remotes. There were no new TVos updates during this time. Maybe read what people are posting on the Twitter help page.

    https://twitter.com/HBOMaxHelp
     
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  17. Jun 8, 2021 #117 of 143
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    You don't seem to know what you're talking about. Do you own an Apple TV? Did you use the HBO Max app on Apple TV either before or after this recent disaster of an update?
     
  18. Jun 8, 2021 #118 of 143
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I use that feature a lot, thanks to so much mumbled dialog and/or poor sound editing and/or I'm going deaf. Peacock still doesn't support Siri's "What did they say?" command, although it does respond to a Siri command like "Go back 30 seconds". So apparently apps that use their own playback control *can* work with Siri. But maybe they have to code in compatibility for each specific command and Peacock just didn't code in support for "What did they say?". IDK.
     
  19. Jun 8, 2021 #119 of 143
    b4pjoe

    b4pjoe New Member

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    The 'new' HBO MAX still works with Siri for FF/RW # of seconds or minutes. Last night I was watching Greenland on HBO and about 20 minutes in the FF just took off without me even having the remote in my hand. Got all the way to the end of the movie before I could grab the remote and stop it. Took me about 2-3 minutes to get back to where it was when it took off and the only way I could get to the exact location was using Siri and tell it to FF or RW _____ number of seconds until I got back to where it was. Nice feature ATT/Warner/HBO.

    I did see something on Twitter that the changes were made for the new ad supported version of HBO MAX. No idea if that is true or not.
     
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  20. Jun 8, 2021 #120 of 143
    billsharpe

    billsharpe Hall Of Fame

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    I am using the HBO Max app on my Roku TV set. It seems to load slower than other steaming apps - Netflix, Prime Video, Acorn, Disney+ and Paramount+. Once I start watching a program, though, there are no problems.
     

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