Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on June 21, 2007
As promised at the end of May, YouTube is now available on Apple TV. The new feature will eventually be downloaded automatically to all units, but if you want it now, you just have to force a software update from the Settings menu. The process takes about 10 minutes, depending on your connection speed.
It’s a welcome addition to Apple TV’s still somewhat limited menu of viewing choices. Not all YouTube content can be viewed, only that which has been converted to the h.264 format Apple TV wants. Apple says there are about 10,000 clips available with lots more on the way.
First, most YouTube content is of poor video quality. What looks good in a small window on a computer display looks pretty bad on a big screen TV. what looks bad on the computer looks really terrible. If we’re all going to be watching YouTube on big screens, those cell phone videos aren’t going to cut it.
Second, search is a pain. The idea is fine—you type in your search term and thumbnails of videos matching what you have typed so far. The problem is that typing using the remote and an on-screen keyboard is really a pain and it’s far too easy to select one of the thumbnails by mistake. A wireless Apple TV keyboard anyone?