HBO Max quietly restored service for Linux users | GeekComparison

Sometimes it seems like Widevine is the DNS of Digital Rights Management. "It can't be Widevine!" It was Widevine.  It's always Widevine...
Enlarge / Sometimes it seems like Widevine is the DNS of Digital Rights Management. “It can’t be Widevine!” It was Widevine. It’s always Widevine…

Jim Salter

In August, HBO cut its customers’ access to the HBO Max streaming service by increasing the settings of its Widevine DRM service, most likely by enabling a Verified Media Path requirement. When Ars contacted HBO Max at the time, service reps brushed us off with a stock response:

You may be able to stream HBO Max on Linux platforms, although it’s not officially supported for HBO Max at this time. For supported browsers and devices, see HBO Max Supported Devices or visit the HBO Max Help Center for additional support.

Representatives for HBO Max did not respond to a request for comment about whether the service enabled the VMP requirement under Widevine, which broke CBS All Access for Linux users in January of this year.

We never heard from HBO Max again, but as reader etarts pointed out to us this week, someone finally fixed the Widevine issue. The service is re-licensing to Linux subscribers whose browsers support Widevine encryption. The full, native Google Chrome browser supports Widevine (which is a Google protocol) by default; it can also be enabled relatively easily on Chromium and on Mozilla Firefox.

It’s worth noting that while access for Linux users has now been restored – and we’re thankful to whoever eventually did – Linux PCs are still not on HBO Max’s list of supported devices.

Frame image by Siggy Nowak

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