Viacom relaxes as Apple TV gets YouTube

31 May 2007

Apple TV viewers will be able to watch YouTube videos on their television screens from mid-June, Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, announced yesterday at the All Things Digital Conference in California.

Thousands of YouTube videos will be available to Apple TV from mid-June; however, the full catalogue will not be viewable until Autumn.

YouTube users will be able to log into their YouTube accounts via Apple TV and save their favourites and subscribe to video streams.

Jobs said: “This is the first time users can easily browse, find and watch YouTube videos right from their living room couch.”

This move by Apple may help bring the Apple TV from a niche product to a competitor. Currently users are restricted in that they can only wirelessly stream iTunes content on to their Apple TV.

However, the appeal may be limited given the low quality of YouTube’s Flash videos and the fact that they cannot be saved onto the Apple TV or your PC.

YouTube content will be piped directly to Apple TV from a wireless router, bypassing your computer and iTunes.

YouTube is currently being sued for US$1.1bn by Viacom for violation of copyright, due to the vast amount of user-uploaded Viacom material freely distributed on the video sharing site.

However, a spokesperson for Viacom, commenting in relation to this new offering by Apple TV, said that the company welcomed an opportunity to license their content to Apple.

By Marie Boran