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Roku gains YouTube

Dec 17, 2013 — by Eric Brown 2,485 views

Roku added YouTube to its Roku 3 media player, addressing a glaring omission, and enabled one-click sending of YouTube videos to Roku from a mobile device.

As we noted in our September report on the latest Roku devices, the otherwise cool, Linux-based Roku media players have been marred by the singular omission of YouTube video support. As of Dec. 17, that is no longer the case, provided you have the high-end Roku 3 player and live in the U.S., Canada, Ireland, or the U.K.

YouTube on Roku
(click images to enlarge)


Google’s YouTube channel is available immediately for the Roku 3 in resolutions up to 1080p, and is “expected to be available on additional player models next year.” Current Roku 3 owners need to download the YouTube app from the Roku Channel Store. Previously, the only way to run YouTube over a Roku box was to use the third-party, subscription-based PlayOn service, which requires a connected PC or Mac running the PlayOn app.


A new “Send to TV” feature lets customers pair a smartphone or tablet to YouTube on the Roku 3. As long as the mobile device uses the same WiFi network as the Roku, users can send videos to the Roku for display on the TV with a single click.

Roku’s YouTube pairing setup screen
(click image to enlarge)


At $110, the Roku 3 is the high-end model of the group, adding features not found on the other models, including a dual-core processor, a microSD slot, a Fast Ethernet port, and a USB port. It also has a different remote with an audio jack, motion control and gaming buttons. The only drawback, aside from a slightly larger power draw of less than 4 Watts, is the lack of a Composite A/V out jack.

Roku’s 2013 player lineup, remote headphones
(click images to enlarge)


The $50 Roku LT is the only 720p-only device of the lot. The $60 Roku 1 and $80 Roku 2 offer 1080p video. The Roku 2 adds some features found on the Roku 3, including dual-band WiFi, WiFi Direct, and a headphone jack on the remote. The Roku LT, 1, and 2 measure 3.7 x 3.7 x 1.2 inches, while the Roku 3 is a slimmer 3.5 x 3.5 x 1.0 inches.

The Roku players feature more than 1,000 channels, including Netflix, HuluPlus, HBO Go, Amazon Instant Video, Pandora, and most recently, M-Go. The TWC TV channel available for Roku was recently updated to include on demand programming, in addition to its 300 live TV channels, says the company.

Further information

The new YouTube channel for the Roku 3 is available for free download here. More information may be found in the Roku YouTube announcement.

(advertise here)

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One response to “Roku gains YouTube”

  1. Phil says:

    Actually, you could also use Plex Media Server before to view Youtube or any other video on the Roku player. This would be a free, not subscription-based option.

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