HBO has been dropped from Amazon’s Fire TV Edition television remotes

Fire TV Edition televisions from Toshiba and Insignia now have a new remote that includes one small but noteworthy change. The HBO app button that used to take up the bottom left-most spot on the remote has been swapped out for an IMDb TV button. An HBO button has been on Amazon’s Fire TV Edition television remotes ever since the 2nd-generation models debuted in 2018. That 3 year run now ends, possibly due to the disagreement between Amazon and HBO that kept HBO Max out of the Amazon Appstore for 6 months.

Prime Video and Netflix app buttons have been on every Fire TV Edition television remote, ever since the first models launched in 2017. The other app buttons have changed a few times over the years. The partnership with Best Buy that ushered in Fire TV Edition televisions by Toshiba and Insignia launched with buttons for HBO and PS Vue. When PS Vue shutdown in 2020, the PS Vue button on Fire TV Edition remotes was replaced with a Hulu button.

With the arrival of new 2020 Fire TV Edition televisions came an all-new improved remote that retained the same combination of Prime Video, Netflix, HBO, and Hulu app buttons from the previous remote. That remote, which first became available in mid-2020 didn’t last long as it seems to have been discontinued sometime around the start of November last year, just a couple of weeks before Amazon and HBO announced that HBO Max would finally be available on Fire TV devices. That first 2020 Fire TV Edition remote was replaced by the new one that swapped out the HBO button for an IMDb TV button.

If you buy a new replacement Fire TV Edition remote for a Toshiba or Insignia TV, you can be fairly certain to get the new IMDb TV remote, but Amazon is still explicitly selling the HBO variant as a pre-owned “renewed” product. If you buy a 2020 Fire TV Edition television, there’s no telling which remote you’ll get, since the TV’s packaging actually has the two lower app buttons blacked out.

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