HBO Max been around since late May, for nearly half a year, and it’s honestly an incredible streamer. Not only does it have HBO stuff but also DC, Adult Swim, TCM, Studio Ghibli, tons and tons of Looney Tunes, plus a lot of other assorted miscellany buried on its vast coffers. There’s just one catch: It isn’t available to stream on Roku. Still. But now there’s a workaround for those sick of using their HDMI cables to connect their laptops with their giant television just to watch Citizen Kane, Sealab 2021, or the cartoon where Bugs Bunny repeatedly humiliates a snooty opera singer.
This life hack comes from Variety, which notes that a new Roku update allows select 4K streaming devices, soundbars, and TVs to connect with Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit. That means Roku users can now stream content directly from their Apple gizmos — their iPhones, iPads or Macs. And that means they have a way — a roundabout way, but still a way — to “cast” HBO Max content through Roku. (So, just as there’s a catch with HBO Max, there’s a catch with this update: it only works for those with 4K devices.)
No, it’s not the same as having a native HBO Max app on Roku, but it’s still less of a hassle than other HBO Max-to-Roku workarounds. For now, you’ll simply have to wait for WarnerMedia and Roku to cut a deal, although it’s a little more complicated than one side asking for too much money. According to Variety, “Roku wants to continue to sell HBO as a channel, while WarnerMedia wants HBO Max to be a discrete app in the same way Roku distributes Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus and other services.” So there!
The Roku devices that qualify for this update, FYI, include: Roku Ultra (4800x, 4670x, 4661x, 4662x, 4660x, 4640x); Roku Premiere (4630x, 4620x, 3920x); Roku Streaming Stick Plus (3811x, 3810x); Roku Streambar (9102x); and Roku Smart Soundbar (9101x, 9100x). The updates have reportedly already started rolling out, so a number of you may already have an easier way to watch old Mr. Show episodes or the 1976 version of King Kong starring Jeff Bridges without busting out your HDMI cable.