Like many movie viewers, I have a screen I enjoy watching movies on that isn’t a phone or tablet. Due to HBO electing to not make a smart TV app (big brain time) you’re forced to cast. I personally have a pretty solid modem/router at home, but due to forced AirPlay (I’ll get to that issue later) any interference and the viewing experience is hosed, despite having an Ethernet cable connected to my TV.
The biggest and most consistent issue I can see, is the transition between phone viewing and AirPlay. HBO Max wants to show a little advert for the app you’re currently using, which forces the play clock back to the beginning. I’ve found if a movie is already started on your phone, it’s pretty much problem free once you get 10-15 seconds in, casting is just fun. However, in being forced back to the very beginning, the “HBO Max” flash logo seems to cause the most issues and results in an awkward “we can’t play this right now, check your internet” message when the movie/show was just playing on my phone prior to trying to use AirPlay.
I’ve tried AirPlay to this same TV with YouTube, videos downloaded on my phone, the Apple TV app before it came out for my television, pretty much everything else that supports AirPlay without issue.
Other than being a pain with AirPlay, I don’t really have too many complaints. Sometimes it bugs out ad crashes randomly, but I had a period of time when Netflix would load and then close itself many years ago. Keep in mind I’m using an iPhone 11 so as far as connectivity is concerned, we’re pretty current and shouldn’t be having the problem when HBO Max and the like are being blamed for the assisted death of the theater industry. If I could pay $35 for my wife and I to watch new movies, uninterrupted by errors blaming my connection when it’s due to an entertainment giant’s refusal to make a Smart TV app and upgrade their interface…I would.
*Update* I was contacted by an HBO+ app developer to provide information regarding which streaming device I am using. However, the links I was given to provide a response direct me to inactive webpages…..so….I guess I will respond here. I’m using Roku and have confirmed that I am using the most current version. Despite current update, issues described below have not resolved.
The plus is that the content is pretty decent with new items being added weekly. The downside is that the app is so buggy you can’t stream anything! Slow to start, significant delays when navigating the Home Screen, slow to load lists…this app is beyond frustrating! Don’t even try to toggle between the different app features or fast forward/rewind a show or movie (if you’re lucky enough to get one to actually load). The app frequently crashes when trying to search or stream any content. I’ve been trying to stream content for several days now and the app crashes before the movie loads EVERY TIME!! I get so fed up that I end up moving on to a different streaming service. HBO announced an update 6 days ago that was supposed to resolve these issues but I have the most current version downloaded and still dealing with the same glitches. This app is an embarrassment to HBO and their app developers. There is no point in paying for a service I can’t use. Until I’m convinced the bugs are fixed, I’m cancelling my subscription.
I appreciate the movie and tv selection, despite how buggy the app is. No matter how many bugs are fixed, more bugs offset satisfaction from the content I stream:
1. I always have to re-select subtitles (after ads) to reflect them, no matter how many times I select subtitles.
2. The app selects the most awkward points for ads. I disputes the flow of movies and tv shows. It is frustrating.
3. In the regular subscription (ad-free) I can’t play my content in the background (with or without minimizes screen) when I simultaneously use others apps (I.e. safari, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, etc.). Sometimes it never works after restarting or reinstalling the app for the whole day. It is a huge pet peeve when I want to multitask.
4. When I slide between different points in episodes/movies the app becomes slow and laggy. For example, if I rewind manually 40 seconds forward from the current point in my content, it will rewind to the very end. Then, my screen freezes.
My issues aren’t limited to the ones I listed above. I can’t write about the HBO app bugs all day. However, I’ll admit the app is less inconvenient than the the TNT app. The persistent bugs are still inexcusable.
Anything I have to say has been said already but maybe a little nicer. The HBO Max app has the perfect variety of content on it and in that field might just be the best in terms of steaming. HOWEVER, it doesn’t matter how good the content is when the app doesn’t even work half the time. No matter what you’re streaming on. Good luck watching on a smart TV. It’ll crash halfway through whatever you’re watching and stop working for the rest of the day. Watching on your laptop? Prepare to refresh your browser at the end of every episode of your show because, surprise, it freezes after 40 minutes. Hope you remembered where you left off because it’s horrible at remembering, often skipping around episodes at a time whenever it crashes. This app is so horribly put together that it might not even be worth the content it comes with because you can hardly even watch it. No other streaming service is as buggy as this and frankly everyone involved should be embarrassed.
Tons of great content to watch on the app. No surprise there really. But the app crashes more than a blindfolded drunk. It’s very slow to load between different sections of the app. Annoying but can live with it. One of the biggest things I’ve noticed that’s missing; A FREAKING SCREEN SAVER feature. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken up in the night to find the app is sitting on a menu screen and who knows for how long. Is AT&T gonna pay for a new tv when it burns an image into it? Highly doubt it. My advice, make sure you pay full attention to what you’re watching to make sure this doesn’t happen. The missing screen saver feature actually makes me use other apps when I know I can’t devote my absolute full attention to it. Like I’m a freaking babysitter or something. Cmon, screen savers are pretty basic these days. Get it together already.
Oh, Have a great day
This app is trying to charge way to much when I have some of the same shows on regular HBO. Now I download the app because it was included with my prime account and then now they want me to pay it separately. Cool I would have been down to do that. However the plan options is what made me go head and give these guys a bad review. Ten bucks with AD’s!?? Come on I can understand Hulu or Netflix, crackle, peacock. But HBO with Ad’s? I’m a little insulted HBO. Never seen a movie on HBO and then get cut off with an ad. That’s why people pay more for a streaming service. To avoid that. Yes you can pay 15 for no ads. But it’s the option plan that bothered me here. You guys should let us already members keep going thru our prime/ hbo account and just gave us a slightly different charge of the app. Not make me pay another 15 or try to sell it to me with Ad’s. Pfft ok no.
I renewed my subscription after a few months of not having HBO only to find out after my purchase that it now requires you to put your provider info in. It then says they are gonna share your info with other sources. It won’t allow you to watch anything unless you share your provider info. I’m not comfortable sharing this information with them. Then I proceeded to try to contact them for a refund and it’s pretty much not a option unless you purchased it thru a second party source and they agree to it. So they ended up stealing my $14.99 because I wouldn’t agree to share my info with them. Don’t sign up for this subscription unless your gonna be okay sharing your info. Very disappointed with this company.
I’ve had so many issues with this app compared to any other streaming service app. Sometimes the app becomes unresponsive and I can’t pause/play videos, and I have to force close the app. Sometimes I’ll get stuck on the app loading screen and can’t get it to go past it, even if I restart the app or my iPad. Most recently I couldn’t finish a movie I downloaded for offline viewing for a plane ride because the app froze, and I couldn’t get the app to restart (get past the loading screen) for the entire 5 hour flight. Only once I got reconnected to WiFi was the problem resolved. I also have issues with their app loading on my Samsung Smart TV. Enjoy HBO content, but their apps need work.
OK so HBO Max has everything. It’s got South Park and just about every movie you could name. My only issue is that the half of the stuff they have you can’t play, I don’t know if it’s just me or my Doodoo phone (I phone 7) but sometimes it just doesn’t work, it’ll say something like “we’re having trouble playing this title quote or something along those lines. I try to VPN and stuff it just don’t work. But it’s not for all of the TV shows and movies, half of primal works and little things like that but then the other half of primal doesn’t work. I can’t even watch samurai Jack. I’ve tried everything in the troubleshoot but I just doesn’t seem to work. Please fix this!!!
First, HBO overall is great. The movie/show selection is great and they never fail to impress with their series.
However, this app is trash. As a van lifer, I try to download shows and movies to watch during down time. I’m often in pretty desolate areas and don’t have phone signal. To watch something, I rely on my downloads. This is the only major streaming app that gives me trouble due to its reliance on wifi. The app crashes all the time and prevents me from even accessing my download section without wifi (why even have downloads of it needs wifi?). Netflix, Amazon, appletv, and showtime work wonderfully. HBO needs to take notes.