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HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:10 pm
by rich126
I have a bunch of streaming "channels" and HBO Max is the only one that I run into constant buffering issues. At least once a night. I almost never have issues with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and YouTubeTV (almost being maybe once a week in total for the other channels).

I'm guessing it is growing pains for a new system like HBO Max but was wondering if others are having more than normal issues with HBO Max?

Usually I can exit and restart the show and things are ok. I got a 50% off discount for 3 months but I sure won't continue it, unless things improve substantially. I think Disney had some issues originally as well. Anytime we have an issue watching something my GF's response is "I guess this is on HBO isn't it?"

Thanks.

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:23 pm
by lazydavid
No issues here on FireTV. What planform are you on? Maybe there's an issue in the actual app.

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:00 pm
by rmdashrfsplat
Just an anecdote but everything on my chromecast w google tv is rock solid, except for HBO Max, which will stutter/buffer for 10-15 seconds maybe once every 6 hours of viewing. These hiccups are very minor but only experienced in HBO Max.

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:01 pm
by msi
It's working fine for us on a Fire Stick.

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:05 pm
by fizxman
I've had no issues streaming HBO Max via a web browser, Fire Stick, or casting from a phone to Chromecast.

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:06 pm
by Dude2
I've got two FireStick and two Roku. I have buffering problems on both FireSticks. It was worse during holiday timeframe. Essentially it will freeze and give you dots at the bottom that are bouncing. If you hit back (takes you out a level), then immediately play again, the show will continue where it left off. Just growing pains. It'll get better. No reason to give up. After all, Selena + Chef will have some new episodes. Be sure to checkout Raised By Wolves and Search Party.

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:06 pm
by bloom2708
I have a first Gen Fire TV Cube and a newer Apple TV 4k on the TV I watch.

HBO Max is a bit glitchier on the 1st Gen Fire TV Cube. Less horsepower. RAM, processor speed.

Usually it works fine on the Fire TV Cube (the other TV has a 2nd Gen Fire TV Cube), but more subject to issues. The 2nd Gen Cube is faster and I have not had issues on that TV with any buffering.

The sticks have less RAM/processor than the boxes/cubes in general.

Internet speed, cable modem, router, signal strength, others using the network. Many things can come into play beyond the player.

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:12 pm
by megabad
No issues here either. Lol at “new”. HBO has been streaming for 10 years. Adding “max” to the end of the name doesn’t change that. I think maybe the other posters might be on to something—maybe it’s the app and/or your device. I just use a computer/browser for reference.

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:15 pm
by rich126
Dude2 wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:06 pm I've got two FireStick and two Roku. I have buffering problems on both FireSticks. It was worse during holiday timeframe. Essentially it will freeze and give you dots at the bottom that are bouncing. If you hit back (takes you out a level), then immediately play again, the show will continue where it left off. Just growing pains. It'll get better. No reason to give up. After all, Selena + Chef will have some new episodes. Be sure to checkout Raised By Wolves and Search Party.
I'm currently using a fairly new Firestick. And that is similar to my issues. Sometimes I can watch an hour w/o a problem but other times multiple problems.

We made it through Undoing and I enjoy old reruns w/o ads (Friends, Big Bang) but with all of my services, if it is still having issues I will just cut it for a while and let it improve w/o me.

My understanding is that the subscriber numbers for HBO Max is way below what they were hoping for (thus their decision to release movies directly for streaming) so hopefully they recognize the streaming issues and fix them soon else their numbers aren't going to improve quickly.

Thanks.

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:06 pm
by lazydavid
rich126 wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:15 pm I'm currently using a fairly new Firestick. And that is similar to my issues. Sometimes I can watch an hour w/o a problem but other times multiple problems.
My understanding is that the Firestick 4k is preferable in all cases, even for 1080p use, because the hardware is significantly more robust than the standard Firestick. Don't know if that's at issue here.

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:07 pm
by greg24
I download rather than stream to avoid these issues.

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:10 pm
by Dude2
lazydavid wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:06 pm
rich126 wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:15 pm I'm currently using a fairly new Firestick. And that is similar to my issues. Sometimes I can watch an hour w/o a problem but other times multiple problems.
My understanding is that the Firestick 4k is preferable in all cases, even for 1080p use, because the hardware is significantly more robust than the standard Firestick. Don't know if that's at issue here.
I don't think so. All other apps work fine (Prime TV, Netflix, etc.). Pretty sure this is the development cycle for newer apps, and, as OP says, subscriber numbers are increasing for Max which means the rubber has to meet the road in terms of performance (or the performance of the backend stuff the app talks to to get the content). Like Mike Tyson says, everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:54 pm
by BrandonBogle
While I don’t run into quite the issue you do, I’ve noticed the same underlying behavior with my Apple TV 4K. Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Prime Video, Tubi, and others all work without issue. HBO Max meanwhile plays consistently, but does 30 seconds at high res and then 30 seconds at low res and then back.

On Reddit, folks have mentioned this same behavior and it’s felt the HBO Max stream is less tolerant of bandwidth changes and blips in the connection quality, particularly over wifi really hurt the HBO Max experience. Folks who switched to wired connectivity stopped having issues, but I wouldn’t be surprised if bufferbloat can also impact things regardless of wifi or wired.

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:07 pm
by Dude2
If I recall correctly (old-timer, refuses to use abbreviations), Disney+ experienced pretty much the same when it first came out. I would guess it is a matter of them getting enough servers set up as close to the ISPs as possible. I believe that was Netflix's secret weapon. It probably doesn't help that the user interface is too flashy and busy -- same as Disney+.

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:45 pm
by rockstar
Very buggy with lots of crashes on my PS4. On my ROKU it's a little more stable. I haven't experienced any buffering issues lately. Disney+ is the service that tends to buffer the longest for me.

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:56 pm
by benway
When HBO Max first launched on the Roku, I had a problem launching the app but not buffering during playback. This was resolved after about 2 weeks. I have a 2018 Roku Ultra.

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:01 pm
by MDfan
No issues at all on Firestick.

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:03 pm
by DSInvestor
I have Apple TV (not the 4K model) and HBO Max works really well on it.

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:32 pm
by rich126
lazydavid wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:06 pm
rich126 wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:15 pm I'm currently using a fairly new Firestick. And that is similar to my issues. Sometimes I can watch an hour w/o a problem but other times multiple problems.
My understanding is that the Firestick 4k is preferable in all cases, even for 1080p use, because the hardware is significantly more robust than the standard Firestick. Don't know if that's at issue here.
Although I don't have 4K TVs I believe my firestick is 4K. I figured it wasn't much more money when it was on sale so I got several of them and some were gifts.

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:35 pm
by BrandonBogle
FYI, other than WW 1984, HBO Max itself doesn’t offer 4k. Crazy to think with their catalog selection they only do 1080p at the moment.

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:51 pm
by stimulacra
With HBO Max I often notice the audio is slightly out of sync with the video, usually just a few frames off but distracting.

Quitting the app and relaunching it usually fixes the issue.

This is on an Apple TV.

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:36 am
by kbjeffrey
I have had similar issues too and have had to download shows sometimes to avoid the annoyance.

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:13 am
by Devil's Advocate
I don't have HBO max, but I do have a 4k firestick.

Most apps work flawlessly. I had a huge problem with ESPN app not streaming well for months. Finally after the last update it seems to be working well. Not sure why some apps buffer like that. Have you tried un installing and re installing app? Restarting firestick?

Good luck.

DA

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:29 pm
by mancich
No issues on our Roku, with FIOS internet

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:15 pm
by mhalley
It may depend on the device. I remember I tried to watch WW when it came out on my taco tv, and it jut wouldn’t do it. I switched to the fire stick and it worked fine.

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:56 pm
by lazydavid
What the heck is a taco tv? Sounds like something I need in my life. :mrgreen:

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 2:45 am
by Cruise
Don’t have any issues with my Apple TV4K. Was not having any issues screen sharing from iPhone to Apple TV 3, until just recently. Buffering made it unusable.

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 7:46 am
by Marylander1
Our Roku was cranky after we added HBO Max, but it soon notified us it would help if we add a micro SD card. It's been happy since.

Marylander1

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 7:31 am
by New Providence
Get an Apple TV. I never have buffering issues

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:15 pm
by Gadget
No issues for me on a Shield Pro.

Other than it not supporting Dolby Vision, 4k, or Atmos sound for anything other than Wonder Woman.

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:31 pm
by rockstar
Marylander1 wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 7:46 am Our Roku was cranky after we added HBO Max, but it soon notified us it would help if we add a micro SD card. It's been happy since.

Marylander1
The micro SD card really helps. I have a premiere+ that I have been able to hold off on upgrading thanks to the micro SD.

However, HBO Max is poorly coded. It's not as good as other streaming services right now. It does have good content assuming it doesn't crash on you.

Re: HBO Max Issues?

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 5:49 pm
by CardinalRule
No buffering issues on my Roku box or iPad.

The iOS app does crash more often than other video apps do, at least for me.