Christmas is off to an early start for Roku owners: Finally, a YouTube channel has been delivered.
Roku’s Vice President of Acquisition Ed Lee announced on his company’s blog today that the long-awaited YouTube channel is now available on the Roku 3 and would be available on additional models next year.
Although the Roku, a set-top device that allows viewers to stream internet video through their televisions, has over 1,000 channels, it has never before counted amongst those a true YouTube one. Its absence has always been considered conspicuous, as channels from other video-streaming companies like Netflix, Hulu, Vimeo and Amazon, among others, have been available on the set-top box. Third party channels have connected Roku owners to YouTube in the past, most noticeably Plex, VideoBuzz and Twonky.
The announcement of YouTube on Roku came as a complete surprise, as no press releases or leaks were out prior to the announcement. Roku’s relationship with Google has long been a curiosity, and Roku has in the past blamed the YouTube parent company for not developing a YouTube app specific enough for their device.
Google recently released the Chromecast, a competitor to the Roku. On both the Roku and the Chromecast, viewers can pair their mobile devices to YouTube and use the “Send to TV” feature to watch videos from their phones on TV.
Roku 3 users can find and install the YouTube channel in the Roku Channel Store.