Roku Ultra plugged into TV 2
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • The channel for YouTube TV on Roku devices is no longer available, unless you’ve already installed it.
  • However, Google snuck a link to YouTube TV within the regular YouTube channel, which is still available on Rokus.
  • This is a nice workaround for YTTV subscribers who aren’t happy about being caught in the middle of Google and Roku’s squabbling.

Last week, we heard word of an intense squabble between Google and Roku. The argument stems from Google’s hardware requirements for future high-definition content streamed through its various YouTube apps. The basic gist is that Google wants Roku to commit to increasing the quality of its hardware to support this content, and Roku doesn’t want to comply.

The argument took a turn when Roku declined to renew its contract with Google’s YouTube TV service. This resulted in the removal of the YouTube TV channel on Roku devices. To be clear, anyone who already has the channel installed won’t lose it, but those who don’t won’t be able to find it.

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Now, Google’s developed a cheeky workaround to this impasse. It updated the regular YouTube channel on Roku devices — which is still available to all — with a shortcut to the YouTube TV service. Clicking the shortcut takes you to the familiar YTTV interface.

In other words, people who don’t have the YouTube TV channel on their Roku today will still be able to watch YTTV content. They’ll just need to do it through the regular YouTube app for the time being. In a way, this is even more convenient, as it brings two of the biggest YouTube services under one roof.

The contract between Google and Roku for the regular YouTube app isn’t up until the end of this year. Hopefully, the two companies can figure out this issue before then. However, we’d be very surprised if Roku were to eliminate even the vanilla YouTube channel, as that would make it the only major streaming hardware OEM without it.