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HBO Max On An Old TV? (Can You? How To?)

HBO Max is among the most popular streaming services, as the content that is provided on the service is exclusive and excellent. However, HBO Max is notorious for not functioning well on all TV brands and models, and older TV units almost always have trouble with the application, even if they have smart TV functionality. This leads many viewers to wonder if HBO Max will work on their old TV. 

You can watch HBO Max on an old TV. Old smart TV models may require a software update to run the app natively, but all other TVs can use HBO Max via an external streaming device plugged in via HDMI, such as Apple TV, a Roku stick, or even a laptop connected with an HDMI cable. 

Using HBO Max is seamless on most modern televisions, but older models and TVs that do not have smart functionality seem to have a lot of problems running HBO Max. the good news is that there are some ways to get HBO Max to work well on any TV, regardless of its age. Let’s learn how to use HBO Max on an old TV. 

Can You Use HBO Max On An Old TV?

HBO Max is a very modern streaming service. This service is younger than more established services such as Netflix and was created to compete with the other streaming services that have taken the world by storm, such as Disney+.

While HBO Max has become very popular, the application that is used to run the service on televisions is notorious for only working on certain TVs. Modern smart TVs should be able to run any app that is made for use on this type of device, but not HBO Max seems to have trouble functioning on any TV that is older than the platform itself, even if it is a fully functional smart TV. 

The truth is that there are certain TVs that will simply not function with HBO Max. the application used for the service is not as well-built and robust as it should be, and only the most modern versions of smart TVs can run the app natively without any hiccups. 

This is a source of frustration for HBO Max subscribers, and it is something that anyone with an older TV must find a way to work around. 

With that in mind, there are several innovative ways to get HBO Max working on an older model TV, and there are even some ways to get this app functioning on very old TVs, even old CRT TVs. 

You can use HBO Max on an old TV; you simply have to know how to do it. Let’s move on and explore some of the easiest ways to get this app to work on an older model TV. 

How To Use HBO Max On An Old TV

We have established that there are ways to get HBO Max working on older TV models, but it is crucial to realize that not every TV is designed for this functionality, and not every TV will produce good quality video with the streaming service. 

There is always a way to get the app to work on any TV, so let’s walk through all of the best options to help you get HBO Max working on your TV. 

Update The TV Software

If you have an older model smart TV and HBO Max will not work well on it, a simple solution is to ensure that the operating system on the TV is up to date. 

HBO Max is designed to function only with the latest version of TV software, so keeping your TV up to date is critical to the functionality of the app itself. 

To update your TV, navigate through the help or settings sections of your TV menu and find the software update tab. Search for any available updates for the TV and install them. 

Installing the updates may take some time, but once the TV is up to date, the HBO Max app is likely to work on the TV, regardless of what brand it is. Most smart TVs will work with HBO Max if they are running the latest software. 

Use An External Streaming Device

If your TV does not have smart functionality, or if your smart TV is too old to run the latest software required by the HBO Max application, the next best option to run the app natively is to run the app on an external streaming device. 

Using a device such as Apple TV, Roku, or the Amazon Fire TV Stick will enable any TV with an HDMI port to run the HBO Max app. The application works very well on all of these devices and will not have any functionality issues when running on them. 

Using an external streaming device bypasses the operating system of the TV and can even turn a regular TV into a smart device. Simply plug the external streaming device into the TV via an HDMI port, install the HBO Max application, and log in. 

This option will work well for any TV with a compatible port. 

Stream HBO Max From Your Computer

If you do not have access to an external streaming device such as a Roku stick, and if you are unable to buy such a device, the next best thing is to stream HBO Max on your computer or laptop and connect the computer to the TV via HDMI. 

This method will also work on any TV that has a compatible HDMI port, as the streaming is happening on the computer itself, and the TV is simply used as an external display to view the content. 

HBO Max will work on any computer, as it uses the built-in video player within the browser that you choose, allowing it to function well on this platform. 

Use An HDMI Adaptor

If your TV is too old even to work with HDMI, such as an old CRT TV, it is still possible to use external streaming devices or your computer to watch HBO Max on the TV, so long as you have an adaptor that can covert from HDMI to RCA. 

Simply connect the HDMI-RCA adaptor to your TV, plug the HDMI output from your device or computer into the adaptor, and the screen will function to stream the content. 

Beware of this method, however, as the modern resolution of the content on HBO Max may not display well on an old CRT TV, especially a CRT with a 4:3 aspect ratio. 


You can watch HBO Max on any TV if you know how to, regardless of how old the TV is. Most modern smart TVs will function well with the app, but any other TV will work best with an external streaming device. 

Take your time to find the best solution for you. Explore the various option and decide what you want to use based on what will work best for your setup and the TV that you have. Using the right method for your setup will result in the best possible HBO Max viewing experience.