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Max relaunch has broken the sponsored button on remotes

27 May 2023 | Rasmus Larsen |

Sponsored buttons with a logo is a bad idea and owners of some Google TV devices are now finding out that even a rebrand of a streaming service can cause trouble.

After Netflix took the first step in 2011 when it partnered with makers of Blu-ray players, sponsored buttons have started to appear on TV remote controls in earnest over the last few years. Industry sources say that streaming services are paying TV makers around $1 per button per remote.

HBO Max and Discovery+ merged into Max in the US this week and besides a price increase to enjoy 4K streaming the rebranding exercise has downgraded the video player on Apple TV and broken the 'HBO Max' button on some Google TV remote controls.

Just a bad idea

It is an ironic twist – or karma – that a button paid for by HBO Max no longer works just because the streaming service has been renamed. It has to do with the fact that Max is actually a separate app from HBO Max.

HBO Max button

HBO is just one of the many sponsored logos on remote controls today

Sponsored buttons is also a bad idea because people tend to jump between streaming subscriptions, and you obviously cannot have one buttons for each streaming service on your remote – although some TV makers are trying their best with up to eight sponsored buttons now. Instead, shortcut buttons should be fully user configurable. There is a way to change the function on some remotes with the help of a remapper app that can be downloaded from the Android TV / Google TV app store. However, it does not work on all devices and you still have the old logo on the button. - Source: Reddit via 9to5Google

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