HBO GO and HBO NOW are losing older Apple TV support

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If you're watching HBO GO or HBO NOW on your Apple TV, it might be time to consider an upgrade, as the streaming services confirm that support for some hardware is being phased out. The news comes only days after HBO announced it would be releasing dozens of TV shows and movies for free streaming during the coronavirus pandemic.

At the same time, though, it's curtains for older Apple TV owners. If you've got an Apple TV 2nd or 3rd gen box, HBO GO and HBO NOW will eventually be losing support for the two set-top boxes.

Starting from April 30, 2020, neither version of the Apple streamer will support either the HBO GO or HBO NOW apps, according to support pages spotted by MacRumors. For context, Apple is now on its fifth generation of Apple TV, the most recent model released in 2017 with 4K video support being the headline feature. The Apple TV 4th gen was released four years ago, in 2015.

It means the affected Apple TV models – while not visible all that different – are very old indeed, in tech terms at least. The Apple TV 2nd gen was released in September 2010, making it almost a decade old. The first iteration of the Apple TV 3rd gen was released eight years ago, in March 2012.

That said, it's still going to be frustrating if you're an HBO GO or HBO NOW viewer and suddenly you find that, come May, you can't access either service on your streaming box. HBO does have some alternative options for those who find themselves in that situation, beyond just upgrading to the latest Apple TV 4K at $179.

You could, for example, use a different streaming player or a game console. If the Apple TV 4K is too rich for your blood, your cheapest option is likely to be an Amazon Fire TV Stick at just $39.99. Or, you could use your PS4 or Xbox One.

Alternatively, if you've got an iPhone, Mac, or iPad, you can use AirPlay to load HBO GO or HBO NOW on that, and then stream it wirelessly to your existing Apple TV. Those with another device, or a tablet or PC, could use an HDMI cable to connect that to their TV, HBO suggests. Finally, you could use a Chromecast to cast the HBO services wirelessly.