Starting in March, older Apple TV models – like the 3rd Gen. Apple TV that came before the Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K – will no longer natively support YouTube. (Not sure which you have? Older 3rd Gen. Apple TVs have the silver remotes as seen in the photo above, while the newer models have a black touch remote.)
Users were sent a message earlier this week notifying them that the service would no longer natively be supported, but explained that you could still start videos on your Apple devices and use AirPlay to share the screen to the Apple TV.
According to 9to5Mac, the reason YouTube is going away is because older Apple TVs relied on special arrangements between Apple and video providers for app support – which, presumably, Google is pulling the plug on.
That being said, because newer Apple TV devices have access to the App Store – Apple’s constantly updated app repository – their versions of the YouTube app will continue to function normally.
Time to upgrade?
Apple ending support for YouTube is another nail in the coffin for the 3rd Gen. Apple TV that has, admittedly, been dying a slow, painful death since the launch of the Apple TV HD in 2015.
HBO was one of the first apps to drop support of the older hardware a few years ago, and now one of the largest streaming platforms in the world is following suit.
At this point it’s pretty clear that Apple wants people to upgrade to the newer hardware, and considering that both the Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K have better processors and memory, it’s hard to say they’re wrong.
The problem, of course, is that Apple’s new hardware is pretty expensive at $149 / £149 / AU$209 for an Apple TV HD with 32GB of local storage. They’re fairly good streamers, but they are much more expensive than, say, a Roku Streaming Stick+.
If you’re looking to get a better, more robust streamer without breaking the back, however, you can always check out the Roku Ultra or Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, which have a lot of the same features at a fraction of the cost.