While Roku set-top boxes might have the most third-party apps from streaming media services, one thing that’s always been absent was an official YouTube channel until now. Pretty much every other major video service (Hulu, Netflix, Vevo, Vudu, Amazon Prime, etc.) has been available on the device for at least a year, including other, less popular user-generated video sites like Vimeo and Dailymotion.
The app itself offers Roku owners HD video streaming, access to all YouTube channel subscriptions after logging into a YouTube account, and probably most importantly, the “Send to TV” feature that lets you push whatever you’re watching on your smartphone or tablet to your television screen. This feature is pretty much the main selling point of Google’s ultra-cheap Chromecast device, too.
I can’t help but wonder if Google-owned YouTube intentionally held off on releasing a Roku app because of its parent company’s plan to launch Chromecast, which took the world pretty much by surprise when it was announced this past summer. Roku is ultra popular and probably the first streaming media set-top box I’d recommend for people who aren’t really tech savvy (like parents, for instance). Now Chromecast is easily in the same category.
Regardless, the world now has a Roku YouTube app, which you can download today by visiting the Roku channel store.