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The Cheapest Ways to Stream HBO Max on Your TV

A family sits around a TV to watch HBO Max.
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

You’ve subscribed to HBO Max only to find out that it doesn’t work on your Roku or Amazon Fire streaming stick. No worries, you can still stream HBO Max on your TV without blowing your wallet. Here are the cheapest streaming products that work with HBO Max.

Wait, Which Products Work with HBO Max?

Before we go shopping, let’s take a look at all the products that work with HBO Max. I don’t suggest buying a new TV or game console just to stream Raised by Wolves, but I figure that you may already own one or two of these products.

  • Smartphones, Laptops, and Desktops
  • Chromecast (Some smart TVs have Chromecast built-in)
  • Android TV (Some Smart TVs have Android TV built-in)
  • Apple TV (4th Gen Only)
  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • Samsung TVs made after 2016

No luck? Then let’s move on! Here are the cheapest products you can use to stream HBO Max on your TV, along with some info on why they might be right for you.

Best Budget Option: A Chromecast Dongle

A photo of the Google Chromecast streaming dongle.

Save your money and buy a Chromecast streaming dongle. It’s small, affordable, and ready to stream HBO Max. Google Chromecast works with every streaming platform (including Prime Video), and can even cast videos and photos directly from your phone to your TV.

The Chromecast has just one quirk—it doesn’t come with a remote control. Instead, everything is controlled through your phone. You open a streaming app (such as HBO Max), press the cast button, and it pops up on your TV. Volume and video controls are then available on your phone, although you can use other apps without interruption.

Personally, I love that the Chromecast doesn’t come with a remote. It just makes everything easier (and cheaper). But some people may prefer a traditional setup with a dedicated remote control. For that crowd, I suggest spending extra on an Android TV or Apple TV box.

By the way, some smart TVs have Chromecast functionality built-in. If you own a Sony, Toshiba, Philips, or Vizio smart TV, then check if it comes with Chromecast functionality through Google’s website.

Android Apps and Games on TV: Xiaomi Mi Box S

A photo of the Xiaomi Mi Box S streaming unit.

Looking for a more traditional streaming experience? Android TV boxes are functionally similar to Amazon Fire and Roku systems, with a homescreen, apps, voice controls, and a simple remote control. But unlike other streaming solutions, Android TV can bring Android apps and games directly to your TV alongside Google Assistant and Chromecast functionality.

The Xiaomi Mi Box S is the best budget Android TV system on the market right now. It’s small, affordable, 4K-ready, and it can connect to your phone for a stand-in for speakerphone or a smart home controller. And of course, the Xiaomi Mi Box S works with HBO Max!

The Xiaomi Mi Box S should fulfill most people’s streaming needs. But if you want a premium Android TV experience, then the hotdog-shaped NVIDIA Shield TV is the way to go. It loads apps faster than the Xiaomi Mi Box and supports 4K HDR with advanced AI upscaling. A bit of extra cash could even net you the NVIDIA Shield TV PRO, which is better equipped for gaming or Plex streaming than the basic Shield TV.

Keep in mind that some Smart TVs run on Android TV software. If your smart TV starts on the Android TV homepage, then congratulations, you can download the HBO Max app from its Google Play Store without spending any additional cash!

An Affordable Android TV Box

Xiaomi Mi Box S Android TV with Google Assistant Remote Streaming Media Player - Chromecast Built-in - 4K HDR - Wi-Fi - 8 GB - Black

The Xiaomi Mi Box S is a remote streaming player with full access to Android TV apps and games. It also comes with Chromecast functionality built-in.

Premium Streaming for Apple Fans: Apple TV Box

A photo of the Apple TV streaming box.

Apple fans who are willing to pay a premium for HBO Max should buy the fantastic Apple TV box. It’s a bit expensive, but Apple TV integrates perfectly with iPhones, iPads, and Macs. It works with Siri and AirPlay (the Apple equivalent of Chromecast), and it comes with the ridiculously cool gesture-controlled Siri Remote.

The Apple TV ain’t cheap, and its high price tag may only appeal to serious Apple fans and tech nerds. And because iPhones and iPads work perfectly with Chromecast and Android TV systems, it’s not like you’re stuck buying an Apple TV. This is just a premium option for people to consider alongside the cheap Chromecast, the affordable Android TV, and the … hold up, we still haven’t looked at good old fashioned HDMI cables and laptops!

Old Faithful: An HDMI Cable and a Laptop

An AmazonBasics HDMI cable.

Sometimes, the simplest solution is the best solution. Hook your laptop up to your TV with an HDMI cable and forget about confusing or expensive streaming sticks. An extra-long HDMI cable allows you to control your laptop even while its plugged into the TV, although you could use a wireless keyboard with a built-in trackpad to control your laptop remotely.

Remember, HBO Max could eventually make its way to Roku and Amazon Fire streaming sticks. Using a laptop and HDMI cable to play HBO Max on your TV could save you money in the meantime, even if its a bit inconvenient.

An Affordable HDMI Cable

Amazon Basics HDMI Cable, 18Gbps High-Speed, 4K@60Hz, 2160p, Nylon-Braided Cord, Ethernet Ready, 6 Foot, Nylon

Buy AmazonBasics' HDMI cable, plug it into your laptop, and start watching HBO Max on the big screen!

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is the News Editor for Review Geek, where he covers breaking stories and manages the news team. He joined Life Savvy Media as a freelance writer in 2018 and has experience in a number of topics, including mobile hardware, audio, and IoT. Read Full Bio »