3rd gen Apple TV to lose YouTube channel, AirPlay required

Smart TVs and set-top boxes are almost a dime a dozen these days, from those provided by TV makers and cable operators to the myriad devices that run some form of Android, not Android TV. The current generation of devices and platforms boast of advanced functions, some of which take a page right out of smartphones, but that was not always the case. Older boxes used more bespoke software that needed to be maintained constantly, leaving users at a loss when apps and content providers pull out, like in the case of an older Apple TV.

It seems almost inconceivable but almost a decade ago, an app store for smart TV platforms wasn't even a thing back then. Even the Apple TV had to resort to using specialized apps, often called "channels", as content sources. This puts owners at the mercy of those sources who may, at any time, revoke access to their content.

That's exactly the sort of thing that's happening to the 3rd gen Apple TV that was launched back in 2012. 9to5Mac was informed by an owner of such a device that the YouTube channel now displays a warning before viewing videos. In a nutshell, it says that YouTube will no longer be available on the old Apple TV directly starting March.

That doesn't mean that YouTube is ditching the 2012 Apple TV entirely. Those who still want to view YouTube videos on the big screen connected to the box can do so by streaming from another device that is able to use AirPlay. In other words, it will be indirect access to YouTube instead of via the built-in YouTube channel.

The notice also reassures that YouTube will remain available on Apple's other devices and platforms, at least the newer ones. All of these have access to iOS or tvOS with their own app stores, removing the need for custom arrangements between Apple and content providers.