Plenty of people are stuck at home without much to do. In other words, it’s the perfect time to catch up on TV shows and movies. HBO might be throwing a wrench into some people’s binging plans, though, as the company is pulling its HBO Go and HBO Now apps from 2nd and 3rd gen Apple TV units. MacRumors spotted support pages which state that the apps will no longer work as of April 30th. The devices are ten and eight years old, respectively, so this isn’t a shocking move, but it does feel poorly timed. People need distractions while they shelter in place, but now some may need to pay $150 for a current Apple TV. Additionally, HBO recently made several of its shows temporarily free to non-subscribers, which makes this feel like a bit of a mixed message.
HBO suggests that customers affected by the change access its apps via a different streaming device, using AirPlay or Chromecast from a phone or tablet or connecting a laptop to a TV with an HDMI cable. Some of people stuck at home aren’t tech-savvy, so hopefully this isn’t too disruptive. We’ve reached out to HBO for clarification on why the company chose this particularly sensitive time to end support for older Apple TV units.
Update, April 10th, 10:30AM ET: An HBO spokesperson responded to Engadget’s questions, saying that the decision was “business-as-usual device deprecation that was planned several months ago.” However, the company decided to extend the availability of its apps on the Apple TV units in question. HBO Now will be available until May 15th, and HBO Go will remain “for a few additional months.”