After three years of wrangling, Roku and YouTube have finally come to terms on a pact that will add access to the No. 1 Internet video site to the latest generation of the Roku set-top boxes.
The YouTube channel launched Tuesday on the Roku 3 in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Republic of Ireland, and is expected to be available on older player models in 2014. The YouTube app on Roku 3s provides support for 1080p HD streaming, and a “send to TV” feature that lets users initiate video playback from a smartphone or tablet on the same Wi-Fi network.
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The issues in the standoff between YouTube and Roku aren’t clear. Google may have previously viewed Roku’s channel-aggregation strategy as competitive with YouTube.
Roku, which says it has sold more than 5 million boxes, previously provided a YouTube channel but was forced to remove it in 2010.
Roku offers more than 1,000 channels, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO Go and Amazon Instant Video. The company, whose set-top was spun off from a project initiated by Netflix, competes with other Internet streaming devices, including Apple TV and Google’s Chromecast.
Currently the YouTube app on Roku does not support live-streaming video. “We’re working on bringing all content across all platforms,” a YouTube rep said.