Roku and Google settle YouTube feud just a day before the app would have been pulled

Enlarge / Roku’s 4K Streaming Stick.


Roku and Google have arrived at a multi-year deal that may maintain the YouTube and YouTube TV apps obtainable on Roku’s units, Roku announced on Twitter this morning. The settlement comes months after the YouTube TV app was pulled from the Roku Channel Retailer and simply at some point earlier than the common YouTube app would have been removed from the shop.

Particular phrases of the deal have not been introduced, together with what number of years “multi-year” means and whether or not Roku will start including decoding help for the AV1 video codec to its {hardware}. We additionally do not know whether or not the $65-per-month YouTube TV service will return to the Roku retailer as its personal devoted app or if it would proceed to be rolled into the principle YouTube app, because it has been since Google added it there to sidestep Roku’s restrictions in May.

Assist for the AV1 codec has been one of many main sticking factors between the 2 firms. The YouTube and YouTube TV apps use AV1 (which is backed by Google, among other companies) to ship compressed 4K and 8K video streams. However as a result of streaming units have a tendency to make use of slower, cheaper processors, they depend on devoted video decoding {hardware} to have the ability to really decompress and show these video information, and whereas most of those units help the generally used H.265/HEVC codec for high-resolution video streams, fewer help the royalty-free AV1 codec.

Roku has mentioned that including AV1 help to its units would “improve shopper prices,” and requiring it for YouTube and YouTube TV help would successfully permit Google to dictate which chips Roku makes use of in its personal merchandise. Google has additionally accused Roku of utilizing its place within the streaming-device market to safe extra favorable phrases (Roku’s units account for a plurality of all streaming in North America, although its market share is decrease in different areas). The YouTube and YouTube TV apps could not be capable to stream high-resolution video on units with out AV1 help, although having these apps obtainable in Roku’s retailer in any capability might be higher for each firms than permitting them to be pulled solely.

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