HBO is simplifying its confusing naming scheme, sort of

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Source: CordCutters (Image credit: CordCutters)

The naming convention of the various iterations of HBO has never made much sense to anyone who isn't a lawyer. There was HBO, and HBO Go, and HBO Now, and now HBO Max . But starting in August, things will be slightly less confusing.

HBO and WarnerMedia (which owns HBO) today announced that HBO Go is shutting down on July 31. And HBO Now will be rebranded to just HBO.

So to recap: There will be HBO, and there will be HBO Max. That's it.

That's not to say it'll end all of the confusion, of course. While HBO swears it's not getting rid of HBO anytime soon — because Max is the more premium version of the premium HBO, never mind that they both cost exactly the same amount, and HBO Max has all of the legacy HBO content, so there's absolutely no sane reason for anyone to stick with HBO, and chances are if you have the legacy HBO you've already been upgraded to HBO Max anyway .

If that sentence makes no sense to you, you're not alone. The name thing has been bad for years, and they're only slightly less worse now. HBO Go was the app you'd download if you already had an HBO subscription somewhere else — say, through your cable provider. HBO Now is what you'd download if you didn't already have HBO and needed a standalone subscription. (There were some exceptions to that rule, though, which only made things more confusing.)

Here's the full statement from WarnerMedia:

Now that HBO Max has launched and is widely distributed, we can implement some significant changes to our app offering in the U.S. As part of that plan, we will be sunsetting our HBO GO service in the U.S. We intend to remove the HBO GO app from primary platforms as of July 31, 2020. Most customers who have traditionally used HBO GO to stream HBO programming are now able to do so via HBO Max, which offers access to all of HBO together with so much more. Additionally, the HBO NOW app and desktop experience will be rebranded to HBO. Existing HBO NOW subscribers will have access to HBO through the rebranded HBO app on platforms where it remains available and through HBO Max provides not only the robust offering of HBO but also a vast WarnerMedia library and acquired content and originals through a modern product.

So going forward there will be just two HBOs: HBO, and HBO Max.

That still doesn't make complete sense, but it's less bad.

And none of it changes the fact that at the moment you still can't get HBO Max on Roku or Amazon Fire TV . Instead, you'll just have to be content with HBO Now. Erm, or HBO Plus. Or Go. Whatever.