If you subscribe to HBO Max, there are quite a few epic titles available for streaming, and it would be a disappointment if your TV delivered a subpar viewing experience.
So, which smart TV works best with HBO Max?
Criteria for Selection:
HBO Max runs on smart TVs that use the Android TV, Samsung TV, and Apple TV platforms. It can also mirror from your smartphone or computer via Chromecast.
All smart TVs in this article use the platforms listed above or support screen mirroring via Chromecast.
Since HBO Max is a film-oriented platform, the smart TVs listed here are geared towards movie-watching.
Of course, you’ll also need an HBO subscription!
1. Our Top Pick: Sony BRAVIA A8H
The Sony A8H wins as the top pick for a premium television that pairs perfectly with HBO Max.
Featuring the Android TV platform, the A8H also comes with Chromecast, which gives you options for watching HBO Max.
So what else does this television offer?
- As an OLED TV, the A8H is capable of perfect blacks in dark rooms.
- It also has no backlight, which can be a distracting feature.
- The A8H also handles reflections and glare well.
- Viewing angles are superb, which makes it perfect for family night viewing.
- It can also upscale content from lower resolutions.
Should HBO Max finally include HDR content, the A8H shines in this aspect too. You get perfect blacks and an excellent color gamut that lets HDR content stand out.
It can handle the conversion of 24 fps content to 30 or 60 fps, but the A8H may stutter at low frame rates.
As with all OLED panels, the downside is that its OLED display is prone to burn-in. But as long as you watch a variety of content, that won’t be much of an issue.
The A8H comes in 55 and 65-inch variants.
2. The Budget Pick: Hisense H8G
If you are looking for a budget option, consider the Hisense H8G, which usually retails for around $600.
The H8G is an Android smart TV that comes with Chromecast and plenty of other features.
- The H8G is great for movie viewing, thanks to its deep blacks and full-array local dimming.
- Glare is not an issue with the H8G, as it can get bright enough to mitigate the effects.
- It can also upscale content without much issue.
- When it comes to HDR, the H8G has a wide color gamut, but it’s not bright enough to really emphasize the highlights.
- It works well in dark rooms with its contrast ratio and full-array local dimming.
While the H8G has a lot of strong points, it also has some weaknesses.
One of which is its uniformity issues, which can cause a dirty screen effect. Viewing angles on the H8G are mediocre.
The H8G comes in 50, 55, 65, and 75-inch models.
3. Samsung Q80T
The Samsung Q80T is another powerful smart TV worth considering for your HBO Max binging.
The Q80T won’t have problems running HBO Max, which is available in its Samsung App Store.
- The Q80T works great in dark rooms, thanks to the high contrast ratio, full-array local dimming, and black uniformity.
- It can also work well in bright rooms, which makes it perfect for viewing any time.
- Viewing angles are excellent, too.
- Should HBO Max include HDR content, the Q80T is ready for that. The contrast ratio for HDR is great, with a wide color gamut that emphasizes highlights.
The downside to the Q80T is that, while it has screen mirroring capabilities, it is limited to compatible devices, mostly made by Samsung.
You will need to plug in a Chromecast dongle for it to work with non-Samsung devices.
The Q80T also stutters a bit with content at low frame rates.
The Q80T comes in 49, 50, 55, 65, 75, and 85-inch models.
4. Sony X950H
The X950H is another offering from Sony that’s perfect for watching content from platforms such as HBO Max.
It’s an Android-powered TV that also comes with Chromecast built-in.
- Whether you prefer watching at night or day, the X950H can handle glares and show deep blacks, thanks to the contrast ratio, black uniformity, and light handling.
- The X950H also shines when it comes to HDR content, should HBO Max ever adopt it. The color gamut on this TV is remarkable, and the high peak brightness gives HDR content well-emphasized colors.
- While the X950H has a fast response time, contents with low frame rates tend to stutter.
- The X950H does not use an OLED panel, which is a plus, as it won’t be prone to burn-in.
However, viewing angles are not the greatest asset of the X950H. If you are moving around the room while watching or have guests over, the X950H won’t give everyone the best viewing experience.
The X950H comes in 49, 55, 65, 75, and 85-inch models.
5. Samsung Terrace
If you plan to host backyard barbecues while catching up on your bookmarked titles on HBO Max, then the Samsung Terrace is your friend.
The Terrace is a smart TV designed for the outdoors that delivers excellent picture quality via its high contrast ratio and full-array local dimming.
Because it was designed for outdoor viewing, the Terrace handles reflections impressively. And when watching at night, it still produces deep blacks with uniformity, thanks to its high contrast ratio.
When it comes to HDR content, the Terrace still performs well, thanks to the wide color gamut and full-array local dimming. Highlights are indeed highlighted; the colors pop and make the viewing experience more enjoyable.
Now, this smart TV does have its share of shortcomings.
- The viewing angles are a problem. If you have many people over, some of your guests may not get the best picture when watching from the side. The images might look washed out.
- Dirty screen effect and vignetting is a possibility.
- While the Terrace has screen mirroring, it is not powered by Chromecast and only works with compatible devices, most of which are from Samsung.
The Terrace comes in 55, 65, and 75-inch models.
How Much Should You Spend on a Smart TV that is Compatible with HBO Max?
If you are set to upgrade your current smart TV and want something for the best HBO Max experience, you should look at spending $2,500 for a 65-inch screen.
This price can be lower if you opt for a smaller screen or a TV with fewer bells and whistles.
The trick to having a good smart TV for services like HBO Max is to look into your viewing habits.
You want something that can adapt to daytime or nighttime viewing, depending on your preferences.
You also want the best quality available. If you can go for 8k resolution, do it!
And most importantly, make sure your Internet connection is stable. You need at least 5 Mbps to stream decently at 1080p.