You can still play HBO Go or YouTube on an old Apple TV after it gets abandoned

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2020
As users report being unable to access DRM-protected YouTube content on their third generation Apple TV, HBO has officially announced that it is abandoning early Apple TV models too. But, you can still stream the content to the set-top with an iPhone and AirPlay.

If the Apple TV 3rd generation isn't a museum piece, that remote control certainly is.
If the Apple TV 3rd generation isn't a museum piece, that remote control certainly is.


Apple currently sells both its most recent 2018 Apple TV 4K, and the preceding 2015 Apple TV HD, plenty of users are still on the prior models. As of April 30, 2020, however, they will no longer be able to view HBO apps -- and some users are now reporting general issues with even YouTube.

"In order to provide the best streaming experience, we need to make some changes to our supported devices list," said HBO in a statement on its site. "Starting on April 30, 2020, HBO GO will no longer be available on the Apple TV (2nd and 3rd generation)."

Unrelated reports on Reddit and in Apple's own support forums are claiming that the YouTube app is broken on the 3rd generation, too. Some users are claiming that on attempting to play any video, they get only a message saying only that "An error occurred loading this content."

In AppleInsider testing, we saw this issue on only a few selected YouTube videos with digital rights management embedded. For now, the majority of YouTube content plays perfectly fine, including all randomly-selected AppleInsider videos.

However, HBO abandoning these models, and YouTube owner Google having issues with it, is not surprising. The Apple TV (3rd Generation) dates from 2012, and the 2nd Generation is now a decade old. Neither support the App Store, so they only have the apps and the versions of apps that Apple installs or updates.

Users will still be able to watch HBO, YouTube, or any future problematic channels, however, because both of these models of Apple TV support AirPlay streaming. With the HBO, YouTube, or any other app playing on an iPhone or iPad, users can stream the output to the Apple TV. Streaming, even on a strong Wi-Fi connection, is not going to be as good or responsive as having a native app on the Apple TV, though, so this is just a work-around, and not a great one.

The easiest way to tell if you have an impacted model is to measure the height of it. If it is less than an inch thick, it is a second or third generation model. If you need a more discrete determination of model number, navigate to Settings, General, and About. The 2nd generation is model number A1378, while the 3rd Generation is either A1427 or A1469. The latter was for a revised version released in 2013.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    mystigomystigo Posts: 140member
    "As of April 30, 2020, however, they will no longer be able to view HBO apps [on the third generation Apple TV]"

    Wait. What?
  • Reply 2 of 19
    davebarnesdavebarnes Posts: 320member
    So, just buy a new Apple TV.
    How many years did you get out of your soon to obsolete one?
    chasm
  • Reply 3 of 19
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    I have a third gen Apple TV in the bedroom and a 4k Apple TV hooked up in the living room.

    Not being able to watch HBO or Youtube on the third gen anymore is not a big deal to me personally.

    I can report that Apple TV+ and Amazon channels are still working fine on the third gen, because I was just using those a few days ago.

    Streaming video to it from another source is something that I just don't bother doing, because the quality is not the same.
  • Reply 4 of 19
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,740member
    apple ][ said:
    I have a third gen Apple TV in the bedroom and a 4k Apple TV hooked up in the living room.

    Not being able to watch HBO or Youtube on the third gen anymore is not a big deal to me personally.

    I can report that Apple TV+ and Amazon channels are still working fine on the third gen, because I was just using those a few days ago.

    Streaming video to it from another source is something that I just don't bother doing, because the quality is not the same.
    Same scenario for me. I guess I won't hold my breath for Disney+ to show up on my ATV3. ;)

    jceevans
  • Reply 5 of 19
    mystigomystigo Posts: 140member
    So, just buy a new Apple TV.
    How many years did you get out of your soon to obsolete one?
    You could buy one for me I suppose. Thanks.

    I have 2 AppleTV 3s and 2 AppleTV 4ks. I enjoy HBO on all of them.
    dysamoriaGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 6 of 19
    I'm still disappointed that my first-ten Apple TV doesn't support HBO Go.

    In all seriousness, I get the comment about "just buy a new one" and "the old one is, erm, old." It's just unfortunate because the 3rd-gen TV is minuscule and is a perfect backup device for when I travel.
  • Reply 7 of 19
    19831983 Posts: 1,224member
    So I’m not the only one having some trouble watching YouTube videos on my 3rd Gen Apple TV then. It’s slightly concerning me actually as after my iPhone, my Apple TV in my most used electronic device. The vast majority of TV that I watch (especially now in lock down) is via that Apple TV. 
  • Reply 8 of 19
    yoyo2222yoyo2222 Posts: 144member
    So far YouTube (no paid membership, just traditional) is working fine on my 3rd gen ATV. I'm getting HBO-now through the TV app, not the stand alone HBO app. I wonder how that will all shake out?
    chasmjceevans
  • Reply 9 of 19
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,391member
    I hate to be a "just buy the newer one" kind of guy, but that is literally the best advice for anyone who is really dependent on their Apple TV for certain services. I think the 4K model will be supported for years to come and the superior interface makes it a better experience.

    There has been some talk of an updated Apple TV model coming out in the not-too-distant future, so those of you who can may wish to hold out and see if that pans out to be true in a month or three. I'm really enjoying the services I use on my 4K ATV, and I'm sure you will to if and when you move up.
    edited April 2020 jceevans
  • Reply 10 of 19
    nicmartnicmart Posts: 12member
    So, just buy a new Apple TV.
    How many years did you get out of your soon to obsolete one?
    Why would I want a new Apple TV instead of Roku and a TV with Airplay 2?
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 11 of 19
    djames4242djames4242 Posts: 620member
    nicmart said:
    So, just buy a new Apple TV.
    How many years did you get out of your soon to obsolete one?
    Why would I want a new Apple TV instead of Roku and a TV with Airplay 2?
    Because the Roku experience is inferior. I used one back in the day when the first-gen Apple TV was little more than an iTunes extender and it was fine. Then a year ago when we moved from Comcast to DirectTV Now (and more recently from that to Hulu Live) I got a Roku for our seldom-used TV. I gave up after an hour. The interface was unbearably slow, and the DirecTV Now app completely unusable. Launching apps (Roku Channels) would take more than 10 seconds, and changing channels within DTV would take about three seconds at best. That might not sound like a lot, but it is when you’re surfing channels.

    We ended up returning the Roku and getting a Fire Stick. It’s not great either, but it’s far more usable than the Roku was.

    Maybe I’ve just become used to the smooth response from our Apple TVs 
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 12 of 19
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,429member
    <s>Yay, more intentionally obsoleted tech. It’s useless garbage and can’t be used for anything, right? Let’s keep buying the same thing over & over because of some minor software change, and throw the older ones away despite not being broken. We have infinite resources to dispose of casually... </s>
  • Reply 13 of 19
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,566member
    nicmart said:
    So, just buy a new Apple TV.
    How many years did you get out of your soon to obsolete one?
    Why would I want a new Apple TV instead of Roku and a TV with Airplay 2?
    Lots of reasons. Besides the already mention better UX, I like the iCloud integration with my photos, music, rentals, movies, etc. We also really enjoy Family Sharing on the Apple TV channels -- subscribe to HBO on the ATV, and we can each use it on our iPads and iPhones away from the TV. 
  • Reply 14 of 19
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,566member

    dysamoria said:
    <s>Yay, more intentionally obsoleted tech. It’s useless garbage and can’t be used for anything, right? Let’s keep buying the same thing over & over because of some minor software change, and throw the older ones away despite not being broken. We have infinite resources to dispose of casually... </s>
    The ATV third-get was released in 2012. That's 8 years of use. If you actually had this product (you don't), you'd have gotten 8 years of use from it (you didn't). There's little to complain about there. You have gone thru several pairs of shoes in that time, where are those? How many blades on your sawz-all have you gone thru and where are they now? Etc etc... 

    Just stop. We get it, you're bitter, you want a mini-tower, Apple kicked your dog, etc...
  • Reply 15 of 19
    This article says the HBO Go app will no longer be supported. Does this apply to the HBO NOW app too? I’m running the later 3rd gen model A1469, OS version 7.4 (8081) All the main apps are still running great, HBO now, Netflix, Amazon, PBS and Apple TV plus. That’s all I use it for. A few months ago Netflix wasn’t working but the last update fixed that. I always keep auto updates turned off but it says there’s a new update available. I wonder if this will render more apps useless or if Disney Plus will be in the next update??? Seems like the non supported apps are ABC, NBC, FOX, Natgeo and the news apps, they no longer work. I have the newer HD model in another room. I honestly like the old user interface better and I’ll never understand why Apple abandoned the optical audio out port on the newer models, there’s even more room for it I think form factor, the optical audio port is a must for home theater nerds like myself. I’ll update you all after April 30th and let you know about the HBO Now app versus HBO GO.  Trying to keep my older Apple TV’s running as long as possible.
  • Reply 16 of 19
    AfunkAfunk Posts: 1member
    With Covid19 going on with people locked down in there homes watching TV, with no income to force people to buy new Apple TV’s at this time is pretty insensitive and cruel. at least wait unit summer If you are so much wanting to not supporting older Apple TV’s at least do your research on what Apple is doing. A new Apple TV is coming out in the next few months or less, You are forcing folks into buying at best a 2 year old Apple TV. Not Smart HBO!!!
  • Reply 17 of 19
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,901member

    dysamoria said:
    <s>Yay, more intentionally obsoleted tech. It’s useless garbage and can’t be used for anything, right? Let’s keep buying the same thing over & over because of some minor software change, and throw the older ones away despite not being broken. We have infinite resources to dispose of casually... </s>
    The ATV third-get was released in 2012. That's 8 years of use. If you actually had this product (you don't), you'd have gotten 8 years of use from it (you didn't). There's little to complain about there. You have gone thru several pairs of shoes in that time, where are those? How many blades on your sawz-all have you gone thru and where are they now? Etc etc... 

    Just stop. We get it, you're bitter, you want a mini-tower, Apple kicked your dog, etc...
    Your analogies are somewhat skewed and the underlying issues at hand go deeper than being 'bitter' etc.

    If shoes didn't wear out physically, a user might use them perpetually. The same applies to saw blades. In either case the shoes and saws themselves can be repaired, giving them a far longer lifespan.

    In this case, a switch if sorts is being flicked and the device basically downgraded in usability.

    We may have come to just accept this as 'progress' but as consumer appliances become 'digitised' and reliant on software 'switches' (be they OS support, software platform support or otherwise), there is a lot more that needs to be considered.

    It is a complex subject and some day legislation will probably need to cover it. I'm talking about modern digital CE devices in general here, not just the ATV.
  • Reply 18 of 19
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,670member
    That’s fine as my Apple TV 2 is pretty much end of life anyway. It constantly freezes needs to be reset, restarted, etc. I’m even having some issues with my Apple TV 4.  They both have major problems dropping the iPhone remote connection. A new 4K TV is in my budget and I figure I’ll just replace it then anyway.  Until recently I had the Apple TV second-generation in my man cave, which doubles as a cigar room. My Apple TV fourth generation was in my living room but it is not connected to anything more than a standard high definition plasma set that is pushing a decade old itself.  The “2” is connected to a plasma... from 2006!  Stimulus funds, engage.  
  • Reply 19 of 19
    frantisekfrantisek Posts: 738member
    Does anyone see work around for streaming Apple TV+ content 2nd gen Apple TV? For anything else it works still well. Thanks
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