YouTube Found the Pettiest Loophole in Its Battle Against Roku

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Gizmodo 07 May, 2021 - 04:45pm 20 views

Is Youtube TV on Roku?

According to YouTube, existing YouTube TV members will be able to access the live-TV service by clicking on “Go to YouTube TV” in the main YouTube app. It will be available to all YouTube TV members on Roku “over the next few days,” YouTube said, adding that it plans to expand the feature to more devices over time. VarietyAfter Roku Pulls YouTube TV, YouTube Will Add Ability to Access Live-TV Service From Main App

A week after Roku removed the YouTube TV app for new users, Google is countering by bringing the cord-cutting service to the main YouTube client. 

Google has placed a “Go to YouTube TV” shortcut at the bottom of the main YouTube menu on Roku devices. This will load the YouTube TV experience that is no longer available as a standalone application. This strategy comes as the Play Movies & TV client is shutting down in favor of one YouTube app for everything.

This update will be available to all YouTube TV members on Roku over the next few days, and we will expand to as many devices as we can over time.

The company today says it is “still working to come to an agreement with Roku to ensure continued access to YouTube TV for our mutual customers.” That said, it is keeping an eye on existing subscribers. They currently still have access to the app, but Google is having “discussions with other partners to secure free streaming devices in case YouTube TV members face any access issues on Roku.”

Outside of the current YouTube TV dispute, Google says it’s “also in ongoing, long-term conversations with Roku to certify that new devices meet our technical requirements.” Roku is said to be unhappy with a requirement that future hardware supports the more efficient, but computationally-intensive AV1 codec. This requires more expensive chipsets and, therefore, raises the cost of streaming devices.

This certification process exists to ensure a consistent and high-quality YouTube experience across different devices, including Google’s own–so you know how to navigate the app and what to expect. We’ll continue our conversations with Roku on certification, in good faith, with the goal of advocating for our mutual customers. 

This workaround sees Google successfully circumvent the need for a dedicated YouTube TV app, but Roku could threaten the main YouTube app. However, that would come at the great expense of their streaming box being the only one without the popular video service. The current deal with Roku for the main YouTube client runs until December of 2021.

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YouTube crams YouTube TV into its main app on Roku

Engadget 07 May, 2021 - 06:20pm

The company plans to bring YouTube TV to the main app on "as many other devices as we can over time," but it's a Roku-only feature for now. It'll be available to all YouTube TV users on Roku within the next few days. If you already had the YouTube TV app on a Roku device before it vanished from the store, you'll still be able to access the service with it.

Roku accused Google of demanding special treatment for YouTube TV in search results and certain hardware specs that would make its devices more expensive, potentially giving Chromecast a boost as a more attractive option for consumers. Google said it wanted to renew the deal on the existing terms, and accused Roku of acting in bad faith. It claimed Roku has used similar tactics during talks with other streaming services.

Talks between Roku and YouTube are continuing in hopes of reaching an agreement. Still, the YouTube team wrote in a blog post that it's "in discussions with other partners to secure free streaming devices in case YouTube TV members face any access issues on Roku." The companies have a deal to keep the main YouTube app in the Roku store until December.

YouTube is also in separate negotiations with Roku about specifications for future devices to "ensure a consistent and high-quality YouTube experience across different devices." In a statement after Roku yanked the app, Google said that Roku asked for exceptions that would "break the YouTube experience," including a lack of support for open-source video codecs YouTube uses for 4K and 8K video.

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