WarnerMedia Decision To Stream Major Movies Should Upgrade TVs, Subscriptions

Will home theaters expand to bigger more complex facilities -- now that big, in-theater intended movies are coming directly to premium streaming services?

Think bigger screens, better surround sound systems, perhaps a new gaming console.

WarnerMedia’s move in making an entire year's worth of theatrical movies available the same day and date as their in-theater release seems groundbreaking. Still, how will consumers react? Good high-profile deals, for any and all associated services and products, will drive behavior.

A few months ago, studios were dipping toes in these entertainment waters, charging $20 for in-theater intended movies, such as Universal’s “Trolls World Tour” back in April, and $30 for Walt Disney’s “Mulan” in September.

HBO Max is upping this game: There will be no extra charge for those theatrical movies showing up on the service in 2021. Just become a subscriber, now priced at $16 a month. And you can cancel that subscription after a month.



All that could dramatically rocket subs — now around 38 million U.S subscribers for HBO Max/HBO -- 12.6 million actually moving over to HBO Max from HBO recently, according to WarnerMedia.

But perhaps one of the biggest changes will be equipment in the home. Next-gen 8K HDTV sets could see rocketing sales gains in the coming months, as well as special audio bars, and other related equipment.

Before WarnerMedia’s announcement, and before the pandemic, expectation was 8K TV might could get to 1 million to 2 million sales in 2020 -- numbers that have been called “sluggish,” in large part due to the lack of 8K TV content.

Save that for gaming consoles with high-quality new-game software. That’s not sluggish. Added to this, new machines are coming this holiday season, from Sony Playstation and Microsoft Xbox, which might move things along faster for buying a new TV set.

Right now, 8K TV sets are coming down in price -- from $8,000 in 2017 to around $2,400 now, (A Samsung 65” is now at Amazon.)

What a deal! With those savings, I can now buy some new Apple AirPod Max headphones for a very modest $549 -- or set up a chicken wing/beer concessionaire in the living room.

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