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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

HBO is working on a fix for "can't play title" errors that some users have been encountering in the HBO Max app for Apple TV, according to The Verge.


The issue, which has been widely reported by users, appears to occur on all generations of Apple TV 4K running tvOS 16.1 and the latest HBO Max app version 52.50.1, released November 16.

While some users have found the problem to be intermittent, others are unable to stream content at all without encountering the playback errors, although some have found workarounds that include force quitting the app, logging out of the app, reinstalling it, or restarting their Apple TV.

HBO's SVP of communications Chris Willard told The Verge that they are aware of the issues and working on a fix that will be included in an upcoming update to the app.

Until then, two temporary troubleshooting tips suggested by HBO Max customer support include turning off HDR support (in Settings -> Video and Audio, change the Format to SDR, and disable Match Content, Match Dynamic Range, and Match Frame Rate options) and changing the resolution from 4K to 1080p or 720p.

Article Link: HBO Max Working on App Fix for Playback Errors on Apple TV 4K Devices
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macrumors 68000
Oct 13, 2021
I was wondering what was going on. I recently dropped HBO though, they were good when they were doing same day theatrical releases during COVID but with all their reported issues behind the scenes with their parent company WB, uninteresting (to me) new tv shows, and weak new releases scheduled I couldn't justify it. Additionally, I have a feeling once WB releases the new HBO+Discovery combined plans the price will undoubtedly increases because that's apparently the formula these days for subscription models.

No doubt, pirating will be coming back with the way things are going.


macrumors 6502
Nov 8, 2017
It does get annoying when it happens, glad they're finally getting around to fixing it. I have HBO as a freebie through AT&T, probably the only reason I still use it.

archi penko

macrumors regular
Nov 6, 2007
For me, even pausing a title for a few will cause the error “this title cannot be played” to pop up. I have to back out of the app, select the episode again to get it to play. Very annoying.
It happens to me too. Instead of backing out of the app, try to play another show entirely (not another episode of the same show). It should work again also.


macrumors newbie
Mar 13, 2022
Not been having any problems. Wonder if it is sensitive to network conditions since many the ‘workarounds’ would seem to be trying to reduce the bitrate. If I was having issues, I certainly would not disable HDR for one service!


macrumors regular
Jan 11, 2004
Shutting off HDR at main level is not a fix. The whole point why people bought this Apple TV version is because it has HDR/Dolby Vision, now you’re asking them to turn it off, which affects other platforms too?!
I’ve got a better workaround: Uninstall the app and cancel your subscription until HBO releases an app that a actually works.
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macrumors 65816
Nov 13, 2014
Not been having any problems. Wonder if it is sensitive to network conditions since many the ‘workarounds’ would seem to be trying to reduce the bitrate. If I was having issues, I certainly would not disable HDR for one service!

I don’t think so…I have the issue intermittently and get a consistent 300+ Mbps.


macrumors newbie
Nov 24, 2022
Since the last TV update, I've not only experienced that HBOMax issue at times, but anything on Hulu pauses at about two minutes into the stream and you have to hit "play" again. For no clear reason.
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macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2004
Well, at least HBO admits it. On the Apple Discussion Forums users immediately jump to the conclusion it’s a bug in tvOS and start trashing Apple mercilessly. And yes, I have experienced this but a second try usually succeeds.


macrumors 68040
Apr 18, 2018
Hbo has never been known for their quality software, not a surprise. Given that each platform has a set of tools to make it easy for developers, hey let’s write our own that doesn’t work, cause why not? And doesn’t everyone want a different interface on every streaming app?


macrumors 68000
Feb 24, 2007
Orange County, CA
The fix I found was to find something else to play for just a moment. So far, newly added titles will play the most. Then, stop watching and go back to play the title you wanted.

So glad they’re addressing it!


macrumors 6502
Aug 15, 2009
I’ve had this error multiple times but only when I’ve left a show paused for an extended period of time, typically long enough that the TV powers off from inactivity. When I turn the TV back on HBO is on that error screen whereas most apps like Netflix or Hulu would let you resume the show as soon as the TV is powered back on. However, I just select OK and start playback again and it’s fine.
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