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Roku Begins Rolling Out AirPlay, HBO Max Working For Some

Jason Gurwin

We have updated this post after confirming that AirPlay on Roku, will in fact work with HBO Max. In our initial post, we speculated that it may be “blocked”, but it is a technical hiccup facing those customers.

Last month, Roku announced that AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support would be coming to their line of 4K streaming players. Now, select customers have begun to receive the update. While it hasn’t been rolled out widely, the feature has been enabled on some customer’s devices as part of the Roku OS 9.4 update.

With the addition of AirPlay, there is now a workaround to access HBO Max, which isn’t available on Roku devices. While we have received multiple reports of customers, unable to AirPlay to stream HBO Max on their Roku device, this seems more a technical hiccup than a “business decision.” Additionally, when screen mirroring, HBO Max will just play audio on the Roku player.

After publishing, Roku in a statement said to us “we are still in the early process of rolling out AirPlay2 & HomeKit and all apps that are AirPlay-enabled work.” HBO Max confirmed to us that no blocking is occurring, but some technical requirements have yet to be met. So, HBO Max will work on Roku streaming players with AirPlay support.

Since launch HBO Max hasn’t been available of Roku or Fire TV devices. Peacock, which isn’t yet available on Fire TV, arrived on Roku devices in September.

Fortunately though, the addition of AirPlay, does open up access to apps that aren’t available on Roku. For instance, Twitch streamers can now watch their favorite gamers by using AirPlay on Roku devices.

While Roku hasn’t said specifically when everyone will receive the update, the company says it will be available to those with Roku OS 9.4 later this year.

The new version also comes with faster initial setups so users don’t have to wait too long for their favorite channels to load; as well as updated theme packs so users now have more themes to choose. Within themes, there will now be corresponding audio tones that match the rest of the theme.

The new update also adds brings the Live TV Channel Guide on Roku TVs, meaning users are now able to access it directly from their home screen. Users can turn off streaming channels if they don’t want them included within the guide. This feature originally rolled out to select Roku devices in July.

The company also recently launched their all-new 2020 Roku Ultra device and new Roku Streambar, which combines a 4K streamer and compact soundbar all-in-one.

2020 Roku Ultra

2020 Roku Streambar

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