So you have about $15 left in your streaming and/or TV budget, what are you spending it on? Netflix, which now has a standard plan for $15.49, or HBO MAX, which costs $14.99. Both streaming services have a lot to like and both have a lot of great content. Here we are going to help you decide which streaming service is the best to subscribe to.
Prices and features
The features of Netflix and HBO MAX are very similar. HBO MAX has two plans: an ad-supported plan and an ad-free plan. While Netflix has a Basic, Standard, and Premium plan, you really shouldn’t consider the Basic plan as it’s a bit…too simple.
Some of these features are plan dependent, such as the number of screens you can use at the same time, as you can see below. It’s also amazing that Netflix allows you to download up to 100 shows and movies to your mobile devices across all of its plans.
No Ads: $14.99
|Number of screens||3 (for both plans)||Base: 1
|Unlimited access to content||✓||✓|
|Support for mainstream devices||✓||✓|
|HD available||✓||Only for Standard and Premium|
|4K HDR available||Only without ads||Only premium|
|How to register||Register||Register|
Netflix is indeed the streamer that started the entire “original content” phase of the streaming wars. This was because Netflix didn’t want to get hung up on licensing content from different studios. How could they lose this content with the license agreement. As is the case with two big games like Friends and The Office. So Netflix has spent a ton of money on original content over the past decade or so. But that doesn’t mean they have better content than HBO MAX.
Some of the biggest Netflix games include Stranger Things, Squid Game, Ozark, Bridgerton, and Tiger King. But this is really just the tip of the iceberg for Netflix. However, with Netflix, many of its originals only have a season or two. Since they are knocked down pretty quickly. Many major shows canceled after a season or two. So a show is lucky if it gets more than a couple of seasons like Grace and Frankie or House of Cards.
On the other hand, HBO MAX has the entire library of Warner Brothers, which is the second largest studio in the US. So there’s tons of original content out there. Even if we’re not talking about The Sopranos or Game of Thrones, there are plenty of other big games out there. For example, Euphoria, Barry, Winning Time and The Guilded Age. HBO MAX also has House of the Dragon and The Time Traveler’s Wife coming out later this year.
The difference here is that HBO MAX will be getting content from Warner Bros. Discovery, its parent company, while Netflix must buy content from different studios and even license it in other countries to show in the US and vice versa. We put HBO MAX on an uneven playing field.
Netflix certainly has a large library of original content, but bigger doesn’t always mean better. Figuring out who has the best library will also depend on what kind of content you like to watch.
Is 4K HDR available?
Both services offer 4K HDR, however they are not available on all plans.
For Netflix, you’ll have to shell out $19.99 a month to get 4K HDR. Whereas HBO MAX will only ask $14.99 per month for 4K HDR. So it’s a little easier to swallow the pill.
However, we do not recommend purchasing these plans exclusively for 4K HDR. This is because the amount of their library available in 4K HDR is still quite small. Many movies and series are still shot in 720p or even 1080p. So you don’t have to pay for 4K.
How is the advertisement?
HBO MAX has an ad-supported tier that Netflix plans to add later this year. For HBO MAX, the ads aren’t that bad. Warner Bros. Discovery says you’ll see about four minutes of ads per hour on average. This is usually a 15-second commercial at the beginning and additional commercial breaks lasting 30-45 seconds. Which is way better than Network TV and even at the advertising level of Hulu.
It also does not place ads on its original content. So if you want to watch a lot of MAX Originals, you won’t see a lot of ads.
To be honest, the ads on HBO MAX aren’t bad at all. Especially if you already have Hulu ad support, which has a lot more ads.
What should I subscribe to?
Who has the best content? It depends on what kind of content you like. But HBO MAX has a pretty big library that you can get for as little as $10 a month if you’re happy with the ads. Which is quite impressive. Netflix plans to launch an ad-supported tier later this year, though we’re not sure what that price will be.
At this lower level, Netflix users are stuck with 480p quality and can only watch on one screen at a time. While HBO MAX will offer quality up to 1080p and up to three screens for the same price. But be warned, there will be ads.
Netflix has a much larger library, as well as a lot of content licensed from other studios, so for a family, Netflix might be the best choice. Many still believe that HBO MAX is not yet suitable for children. Even though it has Sesame Street in its name. You really can’t go wrong with any of the streaming services. And we would recommend subscribing to one of them to watch your favorite shows until they run out and then pause until they come back. What can be done for both services.