At one point, some Roku remotes had a dedicated “Blockbuster” button. It seems quaint now, but a similar problem is happening with HBO’s dedicated buttons. HBO Now isn’t really a thing anymore, replaced with HBO Max, making the old HBO Now button on your Roku remote useless. But maybe not: the functionality seems to have been updated for some users.
Chris Pereira of Gamespot noticed that the HBO Now button on his Roku Ultra remote would open the brand new HBO Max app a few days after it became available on the Roku platform. At the time, he reported that the app then crashed, apparently due to some software error. He could still open the HBO Max app manually from the Roku home page. That indicates that someone at Roku spared a thought for millions of Roku remotes and the “HBO” buttons on them, even if they were technically for a service that’s now obsolete.
After reading Pereira’s article, I tried out the remote on my several-years-old TCL TV, which uses Roku as its smart TV operating system. I’m currently subscribed to HBO Max with the app installed, and my Roku remote features an outdated HBO Now button. When I pressed the HBO Now button, HBO Max launched, without the crashing issue that was apparently present late last year.
Give it a shot on your Roku set-top box or Roku-powered TV. It might just be the rare example of an outdated button getting new life.