The initial launch of the HBO Max streaming service may have been confusing at first, given the existence of both HBO Go and HBO Now. Things have smoothed themselves out since then and HBO Max has been establishing itself as one of the premiere streaming offerings around. That said, there is still a large group of people who can't even use the service on their TVs, because WarnerMedia has yet to strike a deal to make HBO Max available on Roku or Amazon Fire devices. Fortunately, the tide is changing for some Roku users.
This week, Roku announced an update for its devices, giving a few of them a really solid work-around for HBO Max. Four of the Roku 4K devices — the Roku TV, Roku Streambar, Roku Premiere, and Roku Streaming Stick+ — can now support AirPlay from any Apple device. This allows you to use HBO Max on your phone or computer and stream it directly to the TV through your Roku device.
Sadly, this isn't quite as simple as just watching HBO Max through an app on Roku, but it's certainly a step up not having it at all. The only major drawback is that you can't use your phone if you're streaming from it.
In order to utilize the Apple AirPlay feature, you'll need to make sure your device is running Roku OS 9.4. If the new OS doesn't download directly to your device, you can install the update manually.
There is hope that HBO Max will wind up on Roku devices at some point in the near future, especially since NBCUniversal was able to reach a deal to add Peacock to the company's streaming lineup. Like HBO Max, Peacock wasn't able to be downloaded on Roku devices when it launched, but a deal was reached between the two sides back in September.
“Audience demand for compelling content is fueling a surging shift to streaming for a majority of American households today,” said Tedd Cittadine, Vice President of Content Acquisition, Roku. “We’re focused on delivering the kind of high-quality news and entertainment content Roku users want and love and we’re excited to welcome Peacock’s world-class programming to America’s #1 TV streaming platform and help NBCUniversal build a bigger fan base through our industry-leading, audience development tools."
Are you hoping to see HBO Max on Roku sometime in the near future? Let us know in the comments!