How to Watch HBO Max on Roku or Amazon Fire TV: Streaming Workarounds for Now

HBO Max - Watch on Roku,
Courtesy of WarnerMedia

HBO Max still isn’t available directly on Roku or Amazon’s Fire TV streaming devices — more than two months after the service’s launch — as the companies remain deadlocked in disputes over business terms.

For now, Roku and Fire TV still support the newly renamed HBO app for legacy customers of HBO Now, and both continue to offer HBO through their channel stores. But you won’t get the expanded buffet of content on HBO Max, which has double the programming.

While WarnerMedia tries to hash out HBO Max deals with the platforms, there are several workarounds that will let you stream HBO Max on your HDTV right now — with no need to wait until the corporations make peace.

Note that HBO Max is available through other platform partners including Apple iOS, Apple TV and Apple TV Channels; Google’s Android, Android TV and Chromecast; Samsung TVs; Xbox One; and PlayStation 4. And, of course, you can stream it from the website.

Here are other ways to get HBO Max to stream on your big-screen TV set.

1. Wireless Screen Mirroring with Roku (Windows and Android)

Most current-generation Roku streaming players and Roku TVs support screen mirroring, which lets you replicate audio and video from any compatible Android or Windows device wirelessly to your TV screen, as long as everything is on the same Wi-Fi network. This feature (which is different from Roku’s app-specific “casting”) works with HBO Max. Unfortunately, however, screen mirroring with Roku devices is not supported natively for iOS or Apple devices.

To enable screen mirroring on Roku devices, select “Settings” and then “System.” Under the “Screen mirroring” option, select “Screen mirroring mode” and make sure either “Prompt” or “Always allow” is checked.

2. ‘Sideload’ the HBO Max App on Fire TV

As mentioned above, there’s an HBO Max app for Android TV. And guess what? Fire TV runs the Android TV operating system, so you can install (“sideload”) that version of the HBO Max app directly onto any Fire TV device, including Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Cube, and Toshiba and Insignia-branded Fire TV Smart TV Edition. The process involves multiple steps — and you have to dig around in the advanced settings — but it’s fairly straightforward. Former HBO engineer James Futhey has posted a helpful, step-by-step guide on Medium at this link.

3. HDMI Connection From Computer or Mobile Device to Your TV

Actually, this method doesn’t even require you to have a Roku or Fire TV, although it’s a bit kludgy.

All you need is an HDMI cable (male to male) to connect a compatible computer, smartphone or tablet to an HDTV. For mobile devices, you’ll also probably need an additional adapter (for example, an Apple Digital AV adapter is required to connect an iPad or iPhone to HDMI). Hook them together and — voilà! The downside? To launch a title and control playback, you’ll have to do that from the screen of the device connected to the TV, unless you have a PC with a wireless mouse.

4. AirPlay Wireless Streaming to TVs

Like the HDMI-connection option, this does not require Roku or Fire TV. Apple’s proprietary AirPlay 2 wireless AV protocol, though, works only with certain devices. From a recent-model iPhone, iPad or Mac, select the AirPlay icon in the video you want to play on TV, then pick a compatible device from the menu (which must be on the same Wi-Fi network). AirPlay 2 currently is supported on Apple TV set-tops and select models of LG, Samsung, Sony and Vizio smart TVs.