HBO Max app comes to Vizio connected TVs

HBO Max’s app is now on the menu on Vizio’s SmartCast connected-TV platform. WarnerMedia subscription video-on-demand service announced the latest expansion to its app distribution Wednesday.

Non-subscribers to HBO Max — $9.99 a month with ads in HD, $14.99 without ads in 4K UHD, with yearly discounts on both plans — also stand to benefit, thanks to the service’s Vizio app expanding its tactic of giving free sample episodes.

WarnerMedia’s press release notes that Vizio TVs “will feature a carousel on the SmartCast home screen” highlighting the free episodes available of such HBO Max series as "Game of Thrones," "Euphoria," and "Love Life."

After a slow start on streaming platforms — the service that launched in May of 2020 didn’t arrive on Amazon Fire TV devices until November and only reached Roku players and Comcast’s X1 boxes in December of that year — HBO Max has now been filling in those blanks.

But it’s also seen some retreats; an update to its Apple TV app was so broken that the company had to roll back that release in June, and WarnerMedia recently elected to exit Amazon’s Prime Video Channels storefront.

WarnerMedia’s parent firm (for now, pending the completion of a spinoff of the firm into a new company to be run by Discovery, Inc.) AT&T has touted HBO Max as the brightest spot in its media strategy. In its last quarterly earnings announcement, the Dallas telecommunications conglomerate said HBO and HBO Max gained another 12 million subscribers worldwide and raised its estimate for year-end subscribers from 70 million to 73 million.