While there is more choice than ever when it comes to which streaming service to subscribe to and what device to watch on, there remain various issues of compatibility between platforms. One of the big problems with the launch of HBO Max in May was the fact that the millions of Roku users could not watch the platform on their devices. However, there is now a way to stream HBO Max on a range of new Roku players, provided you own a supported iOS device.
The breakthrough comes with the addition of Apple AirPlay support to four new 4K Roku devices. These are the Roku TV, Roku Streambar, Roku Premiere, and Roku Streaming Stick+, and require you to be running Roku OS 9.4. (You can manually trigger the update if you haven’t already received it.) AirPlay will allow iPhone or iPad owners running iOS 12.3 or later to stream HBO Max from their iOS devices to the Roku players.
Roku Devices With AirPlay Support
Axxxx, Cxxxx, CxxGB, 7xxxx
Roku Smart Soundbar
4800, 4670, 4661, 4662, 4660, 4640
4630, 4620, 3920
Roku Streaming Stick+
How To Use AirPlay With Roku
Once your Roku device is updated, you should automatically see it appear in your iOS device’s list of speakers and TVs. AirPlay support allows you to do a wide range of things, including sharing photos and videos to the Roku device from your phone or tablet. With HBO Max specifically, you can either connect to your AirPlay device before starting to watch something, or select what you want to watch and then tap the AirPlay icon located on the on-screen video controls–it’s just to the left of the volume control. Pick your Roku device and you’ll begin seamlessly streaming to your TV or display. You’ll need to use your iOS device to browse and play content, rather than being able to do so on the TV, but in our limited experience with the feature so far, it works quite well.
While AirPlay is already available on some 4K TVs, this is the first time the service has been added to a non-Apple streaming device or stick. For more details on how to connect AirPlay to your Roku player, go to TechHive. You can also check out GameSpot’s guide to the best streaming devices available now.
The dispute between HBO Max and Roku occurred because Roku wanted to continue to sell HBO as a channel as it has for years, while HBO wants it only be available as an app in the same way that Disney+, Netflix, and Hulu are.
NBCUniversal’s Peacock also launched in the summer without Roku support. However, an agreement was subsequently reached between the companies, with Peacock app now available on Roku-enabled devices.