HBO Max with ads caps video at 1080p, turns off downloads

The new HBO Max ad-supported tier, priced at $9.99 per month, is officially available today but it comes with some technical limitations.

In exchange for the lower cost, HBO Max with ads subscribers won’t get access to 4K video since resolution will be capped at 1080p. Ad-supported subscribers also won’t be able to download content for offline viewing.

As previously disclosed, Warner Bros. same-day premiere films debuting in theaters and on HBO Max throughout 2021 are not included in the HBO Max ad-supported tier, but will become available on both tier options when the films debut via the HBO service in the months following their theatrical releases as part of HBO’s output deal with Warner Bros.

RELATED: HBO Max with ads launches in early June at $9.99/month

AT&T is promising a maximum of four minutes of commercial time per hour on HBO Max and confirmed that ads will not play during HBO programming. The company said subscribers can expect to see better personalization in the ads over time and claimed that ads on HBO Max are “designed to complement and enhance the overall viewing experience and will be thoughtfully surfaced across HBO Max’s content catalog in a way that maintains the integrity of the programming.”

More than 35 brands have signed on for advertising on HBO Max this June, including two Brand Block partners, which lets companies buy a block of content and offer consumers a limited commercial experience. The company said it has 72 creatives currently housed for campaigns and that it has set frequency caps to encourage greater variation of creative and formats.

“Advertising is a time-tested way to reduce the cost of great entertainment and reach a wider audience,” said Andy Forssell, executive vice president and general manager of HBO Max, in a statement. “We’ve worked hard to create an elegant, tasteful ad experience that is respectful of great storytelling for those users who choose it, and which we’re confident will deliver for our advertising partners as well.”

HBO Max is offering new and returning subscribers the option to pre-pay and save more than 15% by signing up for the ad-supported tier of HBO Max for $99.99/year or without ads for $149.99/year.