Roku, one of the leading names in digital TV, has now released the Roku 3, a new and improved addition to its line of set-top boxes. For just $99, the Roku 3 offers an impressive array of video streaming options, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, VEVO, and much more. One service, however, remains conspicuously absent, as YouTube is still unavailable on the popular device.
YouTube is available on other set-top boxes, including Roku’s prime competitor, Apple TV, and Google’s own Google TV product. The five million Roku users, on the other hand, must access the top video sharing site through a sketchy third-party application. Roku CEO Anthony Wood blames YouTube’s programming for this, noting how “Youtube insists on using HTML5 for its UI. When you put that on our [old] Rokus, the picture didn’t move.” Wood’s answer seems like a dodge; in addition to any technical difficulties, YouTube still has not provided an official Roku channel.
With the Roku 3, Wood claims any technical difficulties are cleared up, so YouTube could be on the way to the new devices soon. Google would love to keep YouTube scarce in order to hype the unique features it offers to Google and Apple TV users, but not a lot of people are buying Google TV and everyone and their mom is buying a Roku.
Roku’s new generation is undeniably powerful, and given it’s utility, it shouldn’t be long before YouTube caves in and allows cord-cutters to watch all their favorite cat videos.