HBO Max Details Upgraded User Experience Around 4K, Personalization, Player UI and Navigation

Since HBO Max launched last May, the tech team has been busy adding a lot of improvements and has rolled out enhancements around personalization, higher-quality video, navigation/design and video playback. Personalization has been a big focus and HBO Max is now using a mix of human-powered discovery and underlying data, along with bespoke tools including an enhanced video player, to also provide parental controls and a unique kids experience. As a user I can verify firsthand that the service has gotten some awesome improvements. It’s great that HBO Max is willing to share so many details on how they are improving the overall viewer experience, something other OTT services don’t talk about, but should. The following is a list of improvements made to the HBO Max service since launch.

Updates rolled out this week include:

  • New in-line video for tvOS users, providing content previews throughout the page and communicating emotional context of content
  • Re-introducing the restart button to connected TV, delivering an elegant restart experience
  • Homepage personalization with component selection and rerank allows each user to see the most relevant trays and titles within each tray, tailored to them through a combination of human curation and data intelligence
  • Chrome redesign that allows users to see cleaner, more modern video player controls on mobile and tablet
  • Technical enhancements and bug fixes including 50% faster page transitions and browse menu, allowing users to get to the content they want, faster

Updates added since launch include:


  • “For You” Tray | Each user sees a different selection of content in a tray personalized to them
  • Age-Targeted Kids Profiles | Kids profiles launch directly into a homepage curated for their age
  • Kids Character Navigation | Browsing via character row directs kids to curated character pages, featuring favorite franchises unique to HBO Max including Sesame Street and Looney Tunes
  • Multi-language Playback | Users can watch their favorite shows and movies with more audio and subtitle language options on select devices, with more coming soon

Enhanced Viewing Experience 

  • 4K Ultra HD, HDR 10, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos capabilities were introduced to the platform with select titles, beginning with Wonder Woman 1984, and will continue to expand across additional programming and devices; we plan to support these formats for all of the films released from the Warner Bros. 2021 film slate

Design and Experience

  • Skip Intro, Promos, and Recaps | Viewers now have the power to skip intros, promos, and recaps, getting them right into the content itself and enabling a seamless binge experience
  • Improved Content Details Pages | Captivating imagery to draw users in and a more intuitive layout for trailers, clips, extras, and more
  • New Hero Unit with In-Line Video | Larger artwork that amplifies our content on the homepage with full bleed imagery and engaging in-line video


  • Connected TV Navigation Redesign | A left-hand, always visible menu with movies, series, and hubs exposed at the top level of navigation
  • “More Like This” Tray | On all Movies & Series detail pages, viewers can see related titles while browsing through the content library
  • “Just Added” Tray | Highlights content recently made available on the platform
  • Search Suggestions | Search suggestions are now available to viewers on CTV and tvOS, enabling the elevation of popular searches for series/movies, brands and genres, easing the search experience for viewers