Wonder Woman 1984 will drag HBO Max into the present day as the first film on the streaming service to offer 4K resolution and HDR color, director and co-writer Patty Jenkins announced Tuesday on Twitter.
In addition to 4K and basic HDR — the HDR10 format — HBO Max will offer Wonder Woman 1984 in the higher-fidelity Dolby Vision HDR format, along with the object-based surround audio format Dolby Atmos, which adds height channels to the typical 5.1 or 7.1 speaker setup, said Jenkins. This will bring HBO Max in line with Amazon Video, Apple TV Plus, Disney Plus, and Netflix as streaming library services that support 4K, HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos.
Excited to announce that #WW84 will be the first film on HBO Max available in 4K Ultra HD, HDR 10, Dolby Vision AND Dolby Atmos! Can’t wait. IN THEATERS on Dec. 25th and exclusively streaming in the US on @hbomax. PLEASE find the biggest and highest quality screen you can!! pic.twitter.com/wNREvcTUjB— Patty Jenkins (@PattyJenks) December 1, 2020
The sequel to 2017’s Wonder Woman will premiere in the U.S. on Dec. 25, following multiple delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, in theaters (where they are open) and on HBO Max. When WarnerMedia announced the straight-to-streaming release last month, videophiles and audiophiles despaired at the thought that they might not get the highest-fidelity viewing experience possible at home, since HBO Max is currently limited to 1080p resolution and 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus sound.
Asked about support for 4K, HDR, and Dolby Atmos shortly after HBO Max’s launch in late May, HBO Max executive Tony Goncalves told The Verge that the features were “not unimportant and definitely something on the roadmap,” but said that WarnerMedia had deprioritized them in order to launch the service on time.
With Tuesday’s announcement, HBO Max subscribers will be able to watch Wonder Woman 1984 in 4K, HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos when it debuts on Christmas Day — but not necessarily via all devices on which the streaming service is available. The high-fidelity formats “will be available on supported devices including Apple TV 4K, Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, Amazon Fire TV Cube and 4K Fire TV Edition smart TVs, Chromecast Ultra, AT&T TV and supported Android TV devices,” WarnerMedia said in a news release.
“HBO Max will expand these capabilities to further films and TV series, as well as adding support for additional devices, throughout 2021,” the company added.
You may have noticed that WarnerMedia did not mention any game consoles in the list of devices. HBO Max is currently available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X, and certain versions of those consoles — the PlayStation 4 Pro, Xbox One S, Xbox One X, Xbox Series S, and Xbox Series X — support 4K and HDR (and even Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, on the Xbox side) for streaming media.
Asked specifically about whether the HBO Max app on game consoles will support these video and audio formats, a WarnerMedia representative told Polygon that “the list of supported devices” — that is, the list in the news release, which does not include game consoles — is where the high-fidelity Wonder Woman 1984 viewing experience will be available, at least when the film premieres on Dec. 25. “We’ll be rolling out support to additional devices in 2021, but nothing else to share there today,” the spokesperson said. The rep also said that WarnerMedia has no updates at this time on when HBO Max will be available on PS5.