HBO Extends Support for 2nd and 3rd Generation Apple TVs

By Chand Bellur

April 12, 2020 at 7:36 p.m. PDT

  • HBO planned to phase out support for older Apple TV units by April 30, 2020.
  • Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, most of the world must stay at home.
  • HBO extended support for 2nd and 3rd Generation Apple TVs, providing entertainment for homebound viewers.

HBO Extends Support for Older Apple TVs

Older Apple TVs got a reprieve from obsolescence recently. Premium cable and streaming giant HBO extended support for older Apple TVs.

HBO NOW users can enjoy a native Apple TV experience until May 15, 2020. Viewers can enjoy HBO GO for a few months longer, however, with no specific end date.

HBO will continue support for newer Apple TV models, such as the fourth generation and 4K units. These streaming devices have been on the market for years and are widely adopted, compared to older units. Nonetheless, even unpopular products, such as older Apple TVs, still have many active users. Apple products last a long time, and the company supports them far longer than competitors.

Second and Third Generation Apple TVs Still Useful

The second-generation Apple TV debuted almost a decade ago. The third-generation device was a modest update. It featured a slightly faster processor, in addition to support for 1080p video. Both of these devices are ridiculously old by any standard. 

Second and third-generation Apple TVs are perfectly viable streaming devices. Most homes have multiple TVs. As households acquired newer Apple TV units, the older ones serviced other TVs. Although native support for streaming is thin, AirPlay serves as a content conduit.

Most Apple TV owners possess other Apple devices. The iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and all modern Macintoshes support AirPlay. Apple devices natively support AirPlay, which allows one device to beam content to another.

AirPlay has limited use cases. For example, you’re not going to beam a movie from your iPhone to your iPad using AirPlay. AirPlay target devices include Apple TV, HomePod, and many third-party video and audio receivers. Source devices, such as the iPhone or iPad, beam content onto Apple TV or the HomePod.

Older Apple TVs still support AirPlay. They also offer native support for Netflix, Hulu, and, for now, HBO NOW and HBO GO. When HBO drops support for older Apple TVs, AirPlay will be the only way to watch HBO programming on these devices.

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