Last month, HBO and Roku straightened out whatever was preventing me from using the service on my Roku Stick, and I finally have access to all of HBO Max’s wonder and majesty. It’s also a bit of a shambles.
In terms of HBO’s general trajectory, it’s pretty clear what the plan is for HBO Max.
It’s a bit of a mess, as I indicated.
That isn’t to say it’s a terrible thing. When compared to other services, they have introduced several capabilities that they previously lacked. You can now create a user profile, which Netflix has had for at least a decade, so if your child binge-watches Sesame Street, your recommendations won’t be contaminated.
With the push of a button, you may now skip past commercials for other shows, the opening titles, and the series synopsis. And these are all positive things.
Also, Netflix and Hulu have been doing quite well with a variety of old but popular shows, so HBO Watch Party wants to get in on the act, which leads us to HBO Max, which seeks to combine everything together into a single user experience.
This is strange, given HBO Max was clearly attempting to emulate Netflix in its own unique way. However, even though many of the same categories appear at the top of the screen when you first visit the site… Items from your list have been added, are popular, and should be watched… Despite my displeasure at Netflix’s brash eagerness to start rolling footage the moment you pause on a title… Netflix simply excels at it.
Part of this is due to the fact that Netflix is easier to read from the couch across the room. They have titles in large bold letters, whereas HBO decided that if a show or movie’s title card has the name on it, that’s enough, forgetting how often that writing is tiny, in a flowery script, or otherwise unintelligible to older eyes.
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to be a service that allowed you see a few movies that had just come out in cinemas, as well as a haphazard selection of older films. Then they began to create original programming, such as comedy specials and dramas like The Wire and The Sopranos. With Game of Thrones, the service’s exclusive material was certainly the most appealing feature.
But there’s also the potential to simply find something to watch. Maybe they know what to show up to me as possibilities because my Netflix account is now around 20 years old, counting the old DVDs by mail era. Perhaps their algorithms are more advanced. Perhaps they simply have better stuff. On the other hand, if we sit down on a Friday night and I pull up Netflix, I can usually find something for us to watch that we both enjoy.
And, in the end, the most essential thing is to find something to watch. More movies will be released with their theatrical release dates, according to HBO Max, while Netflix has promised me that a new movie would be released every week this year. We’ll see how these two services fare in the future. Despite the fact that we are currently subscribed to both, I have to give Netflix the edge for the time being.