YouTube will soon require AirPlay for video playback on older Apple TV streaming boxes. This means that users have to start video playback on another device such as an iPhone or iPad to watch content on Apple TV.
The change does not affect the two Apple TV boxes currently on sale today. Apple TV HD (fourth generation) and Apple TV 4K (fifth generation), the two models that run tvOS and have a built-in App Store, will continue to support YouTube apps. Rather, the AirPlay requirement for playback comes to third-generation Apple TV streaming boxes, which were first introduced in 2012.
Reader Niels O’Man shared the message currently displayed before watching videos from YouTube on the third generation Apple TV today:
From the beginning of March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on Apple TV 4K, Apple TV HD, iPhone or iPad. With AirPlay, you can also stream YouTube from your iOS device directly to any Apple TV (3rd generation or later).
Apple has long added development support to the latest two Apple TV hardware versions running a full operating system based on iOS. Older Apple TVs rely on special agreements between Apple and video providers for app support.
Smart TVs sold in recent years offer other ways to watch YouTube on the big screen with built-in apps, built-in AirPlay and Chromecast, and less expensive streaming sticks such as Amazon Fire TV, which also works with Apple̵
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