HBO’s streaming apps will soon stop working on older Apple TVs


The fourth-generation Apple TV (left) next to the third-gen model.

The fourth-generation Apple TV (left) next to the third-gen model.

Second- and third-generation Apple TV streaming boxes will no longer be able to stream content from HBO Go and HBO Now after the end of April, according to a pair of HBO support documents. The documents were uncovered today by MacRumors.

The two streaming apps affected are HBO Go, the additive over-the-top (OTT) streaming service HBO provides to traditional cable subscribers, and HBO Now, the cable-free streaming platform for cordcutters. The support websites for both were each updated with identical support pages titled “Apple TV (2nd and 3rd gen): Changes to device support,” saying:

In order to provide the best streaming experience, we need to make some changes to our supported devices list. Starting on April 30, 2020, HBO GO will no longer be available on the Apple TV (2nd and 3rd generation).

The post goes on to provide instructions that readers can follow to identify which Apple TV model they have, then offers a series of bullet points listing ways to access HBO’s content on those devices even though the apps will stop working.

Those methods include using AirPlay to stream content to the Apple TV from a Mac or iOS device that is still supported, connecting your TV set to another supported device via an HDMI cable, using Chromecast, or simply streaming HBO Now on another supported device like a modern Apple TV, Roku box, smart TV, or game console.

The second- and third-generation Apple TV boxes were released in 2010 and 2012, respectively. Users had already seen some services shut down on those machines, the last of which was sold in Apple Stores in 2016. Apple has since launched two more iterations of the Apple TV: an HD model in 2015 and a 4K one in 2017.

The 2015 and 2017 models run tvOS and have an app store, while the second- and third-generation models that HBO is addressing today do not. The company continues to offer apps for the tvOS Apple TV models.



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