Tuesday , June 5 2018

YouTube to discontinue support for older Google TV devices, Smart TVs and devices after April

Google TV Intro

Remember Google TV? Google’s first real foray into getting Google services and Play apps into the loungeroom didn’t really take off in quite the way it could have done, but nonetheless the platform made its way onto a number of consumer devices, including early smart TVs from HiSense.

Google TV has largely been superseded by Android TV (which as we’ve seen on the Nexus Player last year is implemented rather well), and one of the big features of Google TV — YouTube integration — appears to be on its last legs. You see, YouTube on Google TV makes use of somewhat dated YouTube APIs, which are about to be retired so Google can accommodate features for newer versions.

It isn’t just Google TV platforms that will feel the pinch; some older smart TVs and Blu-Ray players, and other devices with embedded YouTube support may quickly find themselves unable to access YouTube like they once did. I’m immediately suspecting my Sony TV will lose its ability to access YouTube videos, but in all honesty, I can’t remember the last time I watched one using the TV’s rather dated interface; Chromecast makes it a much easier proposition and has done for quite some time.

If you’ve got some older tech and you’re not sure whether YouTube will continue to work, it might be time to look at your options for an upgrade, whether it be via a Chromecast for under $50 from Dick Smith or JB HiFi, a set top box that includes the features, or looking to see whether a newer Android TV system is available to you.

Chris Rowland   Editor and Publisher

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag. He saw the transition from AMPS to GSM, loved the Motorola StarTac, and got into Palm technologies in a big way. The arrival some years later of the original iPhone, and then the early Androids, awoke a new interest in mobile technology, and Chris has been writing about it since.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

6 comments

  1. Hisense LED LCD 50H5G YouTube , Opera Apps, browser, and others not working, just Netflix still functional. This sucks because my dad use the TV to stream videos.

  2. I actually love the apps on my Sony TV and I’m quite sure the YouTube app is the latest one. This Google page should give you an idea of what app version you have. https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/3153576?hl=en-GB&ref_topic=1732965

  3. I just noticed on Sunday that the Youtube app in my Panasonic blu-ray/PVR is being discontinued. Tried it a couple of times, but gave up since it was so slow and use the chromecast for Youtube on the TV.

  4. owner of Sony TV which is getting the youtube app unsupported from today. Still fine as i use more chrome cast

  5. This is why Google should have made it a mandatory contractual obligation on manufacturers.
    Firmware updates made and promptly released when Android version OS updates are released, for at least 2 full OS versions.
    That Google didn’t, and hoped manufacturers would do the RightThing, is why users are going to be disconnected.

    • Hardly Google’s fault. They can’t even place this “contractual obligation” on phone manufacturers.

      TV manufacturers are more than welcome to write their apps to be compatible once again. As we all know though, since they’ve made their money from those models, they wont be doing that and only concentrate on the latest models.

      You’d think competition would make them get off their backside and differentiate themselves from other TV manufactures and offer updates to their TV apps.

      Just look at the competition when it comes to Android updates… A lot of them are scrambling to get OS updates outs to their phones and try to support older harder to stand out from the crowd.

      TV manufacturers that run Android, or third party apps need to do the same. They’re all lazy and simply want customers to upgrade to the next best thing. To be honest though, there’s not a lot of money to be made in TV’s these days…

      I’d take a dumb TV any day and simply connect the devices I require which tend to get updates far longer than any TV will.

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