HBO, the cable and satellite TV giant, came out with a new premium streaming app called HBO MAX in the summer of 2020.
This new streaming software replaces the already established HBO NOW and HBO GO apps that the company had offered.
Made in collaboration with WarnerMedia, it has a vast library that houses both originals and WB content.
It has been the go-to app on my Shield TV Pro(2019) ever since its inception. The Shield TV, with its 4K streaming ability along with the AI upscaling feature, is an ideal device for streaming HBO MAX.
Even though my streaming sessions have not been marred by too many issues (like some angry users on Nvidia forums), I have had my fair share of problems with HBO MAX and Shield TV (such as freezing).
HBO MAX Issues with Shield TV can be generally resolved by updating Shield TV and HBO MAX App to their latest versions. Changing the resolution and checking for connectivity speeds can also prove helpful. If you are having a glitchy interface, try closing the background apps.
Here are some troubleshooting steps to perform if you have issues with HBO MAX on Shield TV.
Network Connectivity Issues
If you are facing any sort of buffering or stuttering issues, the absolute first thing to do is to check for problems with your internet connectivity.
A laggard internet connection can cause the video stream to buffer and make the user interface laggy. HBO recommends a speed of at least 5 Mbps for streaming in HD.
Try checking the speed of your internet through a speed testing software on your smartphone or PC. If the speeds are not up to the mark, try refreshing the connection.
Simply unplug the router/modem from the power socket and plug it back in after a few seconds. Check the speeds now.
If the speeds are stable, try reconnecting HBO MAX and check for any issues. If you are still not able to access the content, try the next tip below.
Try changing the Bandwidth
If you have high latency on your Shield TV, you should consider changing the network to a better bandwidth network.
High latency usually results from high network traffic. The traditional 2.4 GHz band cannot support a large number of people simultaneously. If the traffic exceeds the threshold, it will result in high latency.
The answer is to switch to higher bandwidth. Most modern routers have multi-band support, meaning it has a 5 GHz band that can host higher traffic without overshooting the latency.
Check whether your router supports a multiband connection. If it does so, try changing the connection to the 5GHz bandwidth.
Try accessing HBO MAX after changing the connection.
Turn OFF VPN
Make sure you have turned OFF VPNs on your Shield TV or the network. A VPN can cause the speeds to be unstable and cause latency fluctuation.
Jump into the VPN app and disable the service. Then try accessing HBO MAX on the Shield TV.
If it's necessary to use a VPN, try changing the server, or better yet, try changing the VPN for a more stable one.
Turn OFF IPv6
Another solution to forgo your connection problems is to turn OFF the IPv6 protocol on your Shield TV. IPv6 is the bigger brother of IPv4 protocol, which is the foremost IP protocol in use today.
Due to its latent nature, not all apps may have the support of IPv6.
To turn OFF the setting, follow these steps.
1. On the Home screen, click and open the Settings icon.
2. Click on Network & Internet option.
3. Select Disable IPv6 to turn OFF IPv6.
Restart your Shield TV and then try watching HBO MAX.
For troubleshooting other internet-related issues, read this, network issues on Shield TV.
Update Shield TV
Recently, many users had reported issues with Dolby Atmos on HBO MAX. The issue being even when the video was running with Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision turned ON, the output was recognized as DD 5.1.
This seemed to annoy the users since this is a paid subscription, and such illogical issues will infuriate the user. The answer came a couple of days back, in the form of an update.
After updating the app to the latest version, the unfortunate error was cleansed off the app.
Try checking for updates regularly, not only for the app but also for the Shield TV.
Check the Play Store for updates for HBO MAX if at all you experience issues with the app. Try turning ON the auto-update feature to not worry about updates in the future.
To check for updates on the Shield TV, follow these steps.
1. On the Settings tab, click and open Device Preferences.
2. Select About and click on System Upgrade to manually update the Shield TV.
Restart your device after updating, and then check HBO MAX for problems.
HBO MAX Issues with the standard (2019 tube model) Shield TV
If you have a Shield TV PRO(2019), you can skip this part of the article since you may not have issues with HBO MAX being laggy and inaccessible, like the standard model users.
For some users, HBO MAX seems to lag and cause all sorts of buffering issues on the base model of Shield TV.
This issue has been confirmed by HBO to be a memory leak issue with the app.
Sadly, the issue is still thriving in the shadows and causing usability issues.
Even with updates, the issue seems to persist and annoy the users.
The memory leak issue may also be present in the PRO models, but because of its superior hardware and better memory, the problem may not be as severe as that compared to the base model ones.
Luckily, there are some remedies you can try to alleviate this issue.
Try changing the Resolution
One of the best solutions to this issue is to turn down the resolution. If you are running the app on 4K, try turning it down to 1080p.
4K demands much more power to drive than that compared to 1080p. So switching the resolution reduces power, hence demands less memory.
You can also try changing the resolution on the Shield TV. Follow these steps to change the resolution of your Shield TV.
1. In the Settings tab, click and open Device Preferences.
2. Select Display & Sound.
3. Click on Resolution to change the resolution of the Shield TV.
Restart the device and check for problems.
If you are having issues with the display, you may want to look into the HDMI connection. More about this on HDMI issues on the Shield TV.
Disable background apps
Try turning OFF apps that run in the background. If you have a lot of apps in memory, it can make the system slow while using HBO MAX.
Sideloaded apps may also have permission to run in the background. Make sure to disable or remove such apps to improve performance.
Follow these steps to disable or remove any undesirable apps.
1. On the Settings menu, click and open Apps.
2. Click on See all apps.
3. Select the app and in the next window, you will have the options for disabling or uninstalling the app.
Restart your device and try accessing HBO MAX now.
Try moving the app from external storage to internal memory
Since the storage for the normal model is only 8 GB, you may be forced to install the HBO MAX app on an external storage option.
If you have done so, try transferring the app to the internal memory for faster-accessing speed and better operability.
To transfer the app from external to internal storage, follow these steps.
1. In the Settings tab, click and open Apps.
2. Select See all apps and then select HBO MAX.
3. Scroll down and select storage used.
4. Click on Shield TV/internal storage to transfer the app.
Additionally, you can uninstall the app and then reinstall it from the Play store to your Shield TV's internal storage.
Clear the App Cache
An overflowing cache memory may also make the app buggy and render it unusable. Try clearing the cache if you have difficulty opening and using the app properly.
To clear the cache memory of the HBO MAX app, follow these steps.
1. On the Settings tab, click and open Apps.
2. Click on See all apps and select HBO MAX app.
3. In the app window, click on Clear cache to refresh the cache memory.
Restart the device after clearing the cache and then try using the app.
Hard Reset Shield TV
It might be a good idea to factory reset the Shield TV if none of the above-mentioned tips seems to take effect.
Hard resetting will make the device revert to its nascent stage, with all the settings and preferences set back to factory ones.
It will also remove all the apps you have installed on the Shield TV.
To reset your Shield TV, follow these steps.
1. On the Settings tab, click and open Device Preferences.
2. Click on Reset and then select Factory Data Reset.
3. Select Erase Everything to start the process.
Set up the Shield TV again from scratch and install the HBO MAX app from the Play store. Check if you still have issues or not(touch wood).
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Hopefully, these troubleshooting steps helped you fix the HBO Max issue on your shield TV.
If not, try contacting the Customer Services of Nvidia for further assistance.
You may also want to check if the HBO servers are down for maintenance. Check their social media handles or use a downtime calculator app for such inconveniences.
Have issues with the remote? You may find Remote issues on Shield TV helpful.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Does SHIELD TV support HDR?
Yes, the Shield TV has support for HDR10 with 4K UHD resolution. Make sure you use an HDMI 2.0 cable that supports high-speed transfer for getting the most out of the Shield TV.
What is included in HBO Max?
For a starting price of $9.99, you access over 10,000 hours of content from HBO originals and WarnerMedia titles like WonderWomen, Joker, The COnjuring series, etc. to name a few. Shows like Rick and Morty, FRIENDS, the Big Bang Theory form the staples of HBO MAX shows.