HBO has decided to continue supporting second- and third-generation Apple TV set-top boxes after initially saying that HBO Go and HBO Now would no longer work on them as of April 30th. The news comes from AppleInsider, which confirmed the change with an HBO spokesperson.
The extension for HBO Now isn’t all that long; HBO will only keep that app working on older Apple TVs until May 15th. But the company has promised to keep HBO Go — the one you use if you receive HBO through a cable, satellite, or internet TV provider — functional for “a few additional months.”
Hopefully, that’ll be enough to last through the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine life. HBO has made some of its content free to everyone during the current health crisis as people seek entertainment to help them temporarily escape from the crush of news about the novel coronavirus.
These are old Apple TV devices we’re talking about. The third-gen Apple TV was launched in 2012, with the second-gen model preceding it in 2010. Since then, Apple has released the fourth-generation Apple TV (later rebranded as “Apple TV HD”) and the top-end Apple TV 4K. Here’s how to tell which model you’ve got, but it’s also easy to distinguish by software: only the Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K run the more modern tvOS, whereas prior Apple TV devices remain on the original, simpler software. If you’re still holding on to one of those, it might be time to upgrade to a current model or a newer Roku or Fire TV.
But that’s probably not your first priority at the moment, and this is pretty much the worst possible time for any streaming app to end support for any piece of hardware.