New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on January 19, 2021) follows:

Reports of 5.1 surround sound issues with the HBO Max app on the NVIDIA Shield TV have been going on for a while now. Complaints say that surround sound either fails to work or the option for it doesn’t show at all.

All this reportedly began following the app’s update version 50.8. Or at least that’s what the users seem to think.


No 5.1 audio on HBOMax but if you cast the app from your phone, you will get 5.1 audio!

5.1 works great for me in the Netflix app, but when I search in the HBO Max app, 5.1 isn’t listed in the description of any movie or show that I can find, and searching the internet tells me that it should be listed as supporting 5.1 in its description.

Moreover, users have already tried all available workarounds at hand like re-installing the app and toggling Dolby Processing, among others.

Furthermore, HBO Max is seemingly the sole streaming app affected by this bug as the issue is not reproducible on other apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

A couple of users also observed that surround works just fine upon casting movies from their phone to NVIDIA Shield. This only reiterates that the bug is indeed with the HBO Max app on Android TV.


Another perplexing thing noted by users is that certain movies like “Wonder Woman 1984” do support Dolby ATMOS with 7.1 channel audio.

But again, this only holds true for a select few films as the vast majority of others continue to play only on 2 channel stereo.

The good news here is that NVIDIA is aware of the issue and HBO Max is apparently working on a fix. This is as per a recent comment left by NVIDIA staff on the forums.

The HBO Max team is working on the general android issue with surround not working everywhere issue that was recently introduced.

Hence, if all goes well, one should see a fix roll out soon for the HBO Max 5.1 surround sound issue in the form of an app update.

nvidia shield

That said, it is worth mentioning here that the above isn’t the only issue plaguing NVIDIA Shield users as there have also been several reports about Dolby Vision showing wrong colors. We have covered this here.

Update (February 24)

Some HBO Max users on Reddit are reporting that the 5.1 surround sound issue in the Android app seems to have been fixed after the latest app update to version

(Source 1, 2)

However, not everyone is in agreement with this claim, others arguing that the issue still exists even after installing the latest HBO Max app on Android devices. Let us know your experience in the comments below.

PiunikaWeb started as purely an investigative tech journalism website with main focus on ‘breaking’ or ‘exclusive’ news. In no time, our stories got picked up by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, MacRumors, and many others. Want to know more about us? Head here.

Zohaib Ahmed
824 Posts

Simply love being surrounded by technology as it's a constant reminder of how far humans have advanced as a race. Every new development feels exciting, which I convey to others through writing. And after a day's work, gaming just feels therapeutic.

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