How to watch HBO Max on Roku

HBO Max on Roku
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HBO Max is on Roku. Finally. (Finally!) That's important for a number of reasons, first among them that Roku is the largest streaming video platform in the United States, and No. 2 worldwide. (Amazon Fire TV is No. 2 in the U.S., and No. 1 worldwide.)

But we'd been forced to wait for HBO Max on Roku since the premium service launched in the spring of 2020, until Dec. 17, when the two companies finally kissed and made up and made it so that you don't have to use a workaround to watch HBO Max on Roku.

In other words, an official HBO Max channel is now available on Roku and Roku TV.

Here's how to get started:

The best Roku

Roku Ultra is the best Roku for most people. It's the most powerful Roku player available, with specs that will last you for years. It also comes with a voice-capable remote control with private listening, and it even includes a pair of premium ear buds for that purpose. Not bad at all for less than $100.

How to watch HBO Max on Roku

  1. If you already have the HBO channel on Roku but don't yet see HBO Max, do Step 2. Otherwise skip to Step 3.
  2. From the Home menu, go to Settings, then System, then scroll down to System Update. This should update any channels that need to be updated, including HBO, which should now become HBO Max.
  3. If you don't already have the HBO channel installed on your Roku, head to the Channel Store and search for HBO. (Or possibly HBO Max.)
  4. Alternatively, you can hit up the HBO Max channel page here, and remote install. (This may take longer, though.
  5. Once the HBO Max channel has been installed or updated, you'll see the HBO Max user interface. You should be good to go from there.

It's worth noting that some HBO Max content is available as a free preview, so you might not be prompted to log in at first. But once you are, just follow the instructions. 

It's also possible to sign up for HBO Max directly through Roku, and then log in that way. (Which, by the way, is exactly what led to the hold-up in the first place. The two companies couldn't come to an agreement on the cut one would take from the other on those sign-ups.)

Either one is fine — just be aware of which method you're using for your HBO Max subscription and you'll be good to go.

HBO Max costs $14.99 a month — same as the legacy HBO service. In addition to all the HBO content you've come to know and love over the years, it also is home to new exclusive HBO shows, like The Flight Attendant and Love Life.

HBO Max also is home to the larger WarnerMedia family. It's where you'll find every 2021 Warner Bros. film at the same time as they're in theaters. It's where you'll find Studio Ghibli, the Turner family of networks including TBS, TCM, and TNT. It's where you'll find the D.C. Universe. And that's just for starters.

Phil Nickinson

Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for and Mobile Nations and is the Dad part of Modern Dad.