Roku has added a YouTube channel to all Rokus released after July 2011.
The YouTube Channel had already been available to customers who owned a Roku 3, but now YouTube is officially available on most other Roku devices.
The channel supports HD playback, playlists and has a search function. However, if you have a smart device connected to the same Wifi network, then you can find videos on there and cast them to the Roku, just like you can with Google’s Chromecast. Like the Chromecast, this allows you to browse videos while you watch one on your television.
The Roku LT, Roku 1, Roku 2, Roku 2HD, Roku 2 XD, Roku 2 XS, Roku 3, both Roku streaming sticks and Roku HD model #2500 all support the new channel.
Confusing things a little bit is the original Roku and Roku 2, which came out prior to 2011. When Roku relaunched its product line it did so under the Roku 1 and Roku 2 name, even though products like named “Roku” and “Roku 2” existed. The original Roku and Roku 2 do not support the YouTube channel.
While users could previously get YouTube working through a variety of unofficial apps, the set up and user experience was less than ideal. With the competition getting heated in the television set top box market, it makes sense that Roku would want to get more major channels like the YouTube app working on the majority of its devices.