Hulu and HBO apps not working on rooted 2nd-gen Fire TVs

Several people are reporting that the newly updated Hulu and HBO apps are not working on rooted 2nd-generation Fire TVs. Whatever the issue is, it seems to only be affecting that Fire TV model, since rooted 1st-generation Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks seem to work fine with the new apps. Rbox is aware of the issue and is working on a fix, but needs people willing to test a potentially dangerous fix.

Rbox has a theory on why both Hulu and HBO are not working on Fire TV 2s running his pre-rooted ROM. He hasn’t tested the fix yet because it has a chance of bricking the device. Bricking his own Fire TV 2 would be pretty bad for everyone because he wouldn’t be able to work on the issue further, and worse, he wouldn’t be able to release future pre-rooted ROMs for the device until he somehow replaced the bricked device with another rooted Fire TV 2.

This is why Rbox is asking for volunteers who are willing to potentially brick their device in order to help the community. If you are willing to help, and preferably rooted your Fire TV 2 using the A-to-A cable method, you should reply to Rbox’s post or PM him directly.

For the rest of you dealing with this issue, you can disable automatic updates on your Fire TV 2 and sideload an older version of the Hulu or HBO app. Several people have confirmed that the older apps don’t seem to be affected by this issue.

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19 comments
  1. Kevin says:

    Is it the same issue causing DirectTV Now not to work on rooted boxes? I had to unroot one of mine because none of the fixes worked and the other is unplugged till a solution is found. Having to deal with using a stick on the other tv.

    • John C. says:

      I had a similar issue lately with the DirecTV Now app.

      At home, I have a non-rooted 2nd gen Fire TV box that had versions of the Google Play Store, Play Services and Google Play Music sideloaded and installed. And then I also have a non-rooted Fire TV stick 2nd gen. — both of which had been running the DirecTV Now app just fine.

      But lately, I updated the Play apps on my Fire TV box to newer versions. And as soon as I did that, the DirecTV Now app that was already working on my Fire TV box stopped working. And wouldn’t even open. I’d click it, the screen would flash for a second, and then it would close.

      I thought it might be some problem with the DTVN app at first, but then checked the DTVN app on my Fire TV stick (where I didn’t have any Google Play elements installed) and it still was working fine. So I ended up UN-installing the three sideloaded Google apps on my Fire TV box, and presto, the DTVN app on my Fire TV box is back to working fine again.

      There does seem to be an increasing level of activities lately where if you try to do anything different with your device (I don’t just mean Fire TVs but other Android devices as well) like rooting it or installing any other kind of modifications, seemingly unrelated things suddenly stop working.

  2. Adam says:

    Speculating that this may possibly be a consequence of DRM, I’ll point out that pirated HBO and HULU content will almost certainly still play on the Fire TV.

    Shutting down HBO and Hulu functionality on rooted Fire TVs might make securing content off a Fire TV a little more difficult (maybe, I’m not familiar with how common this is) but I have to think that systemically herding technically adept customers toward piracy for content that they were previously happily paying you for can’t be a good idea. You very well may not see them come back.

    But like I said, I’m not familiar with how big of a source of pirated content rooted FireTVs are, I wouldn’t have the first clue how to do it. Maybe some executive can show how it will have a measurable effect on pirated content online…

    All I know is, I have a rooted FireTV and Stick that you’d have to pry them from my cold, dead fingers before I’d give ’em up, and it is currently impossible for me to be a paying customer of HBO and Hulu.

  3. Ernesto says:

    Where can I get an older app from? Is the fire tv version the same as the one in Google’s play store?

    • Gerard Pinzone says:

      No, it’s different. The link to the older 3.2.a Hulu apk is in the thread linked in the article above.

    • Ernesto says:

      Well, older versions of Hbo now did not work for me on the firetv2, will use my old fire stick to watch Got, hbo now works there. :(

  4. robertw says:

    I have a rooted fire tv 1. I am having problems with HBO Now. It used to work well but after the latest app update it stopped working. I managed to downgrade it and use it for now. I have disabled the auto app updates but I don’t know how long I could keep it up. I also started seeing problems with VPN I use nordvpn app for accessing BBC iplayer. It stopped working too! The same VPN works fine on my mac.

    • david m says:

      Do you have nordvpn setup on your router, (I’m assuming you do, since setting it up on the fire is, well a pita), are you using openvpn or l2tp? Nord had been horrible lately

      • robertw says:

        I actually sideloaded the nordvpn app on the fire tv. It worked well for a while but then everything stopped working now. I can’t complain to nordvpn because it works on my browser but not via the app in the fire tv.

    • Robert says:

      What OS version are you running on your FTV1? It wasn’t working for me on 5.2.1.x either, but works fine on 5.2.4.1. App worked but was running into an error playing videos

  5. Richard says:

    HBO Now broke on my Rbox FTV1 about a month ago. Turned off app updates in settings and sideloaded an older version posted on XDA. Been fine since. Hulu still runs fine so I may have pre-empted issues with that.

    It may be time to move on. Tried a Shield Pro but received a defective one and did not find Android TV compelling. Still looking for am alternative that will support a TV tuner and a DVR solution either local or Cloud,

  6. J Jeans says:

    Has anyone tried magisk instead of SuperSU?

  7. James "Tekno4ever" says:

    I wiped everything 3x including internal storage and data then reinstalled 5.2.4.2 where I deleted out the SU directory as per rbox’s directions and still Hulu will not work on my AFTV 2 Box.

    • Ernesto says:

      i did the same. installed 5.2.4.2 deleting SU directory…….. and HBO Now did not work either. problem might be somewhere else

      • Ernesto says:

        oook, i tried with the specific apk in post #41 of the xda thread”[APP] HBO now, FOX sports go, Fubo tv, NBC sports, Willow tv” (not posting the link because i dont know if i am allowed to) and i have HBO Now working again…. what a relief

  8. James "Tekno4ever" says:

    Just wanted to share that with rbox’s permission and help I tested his potential Hulu & HBO GO fix and can confirm that it did not break my Amazon Fire TV 2 box. I don’t have HBO Go but I can confirm that the new version of Hulu 4.0.xxx with profiles works perfectly. He also conveyed to me that he will update his ROM thread with a new version including the fix later today.

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