If you’ve attempted to stream something on HBO Max from an Apple TV sometime during the last several days, you may have noticed that its player controls are unusable. It’s not just you.
Ongoing issues seem to be related to an app update that supposedly addressed “a few bugs lurking around” on June 5th. Since that update released, users have reported that basic playback functionality — such as fast-forwarding, rewinding, and pausing — is borked completely when you try to use the service on an Apple TV box.
How an update this riddled with bugs rolled out to consumers remains unclear. Unfortunately, it’s also unclear when exactly they’re going to be fixed.
There’s legitimately no way to pause, rewind or fast forward on the HBO Max app no matter if you use the apple remote or the remote mobile app. Idk how anyone is watching anything on there
— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) June 7, 2021
Asked for comment on Tuesday, a spokesperson told The Verge that the company was working to fix the issue “as quickly as possible.”
When The Verge’s editor in chief Nilay Patel tweeted about the issue, HBO Max’s EVP and general manager Andy Forssell replied that the company was undertaking “one whale of an effort to address this with app updates as soon as humanly possible.”
“You’ll hear no excuses from us,” Forssell added, “fixes coming.”
But when asked by Patel how it was possible that the update shipped to users with broken playback controls, the HBO Max head said that was “the zillion dollar question.”
@reckless That’s the zillion dollar question. First priority is to deliver for users in addressing the issues, but in parallel we will also dive deep into that question. More to come.
— Andy Forssell (@aforssell) June 7, 2021
On Twitter, the HBO Max help account is replying directly to frustrated users. “We’re aware that our recent #HBOMax app update for @AppleTV led to a number of issues for our viewers,” the account said in one tweet. “Our team is working quickly to restore the experience you’re used to. We appreciate your patience and will provide updates as they become available.”
Separately, on Friday, The Verge contacted the service about reported issues affecting the new Siri Remote’s scrubbing feature — though that issue was not limited to just HBO Max. At the time, a spokesperson said that it was aware of player control issues as well as “a few isolated reports” of HDR playback problems. But the spokesperson also added that the company did not believe the HDR issues were related to an update, as the most recent update at the time did not include changes to the video player itself.
Given the problems with the app right now, if you were hoping to stream the Mare of Easttown finale on your Apple TV box without issue, you may want to hold off.