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Zoff in the realm of Smart TVs: YouTube vs. Roku

Roku will be presented widely for the first time at IFA 2019
Roku presented itself widely for the first time at IFA 2019

A dispute has broken out between Google or YouTube and Roku. As is so often the case, the main victims are the users.

The game may bring back memories in some readers: Amazon and YouTube were also in a clinch for a long time, but fortunately settled their disputes. So now Roku and YouTube / Google are arguing. As a result, YouTube TV was removed from Roku devices, affecting both smart TVs and media players. What is behind this is presented very differently by the bartenders.

According to Roku, for example, Google has made unfair and anti-competitive requirements. For example, Google has demanded that the search results on its devices be manipulated in favor of YouTube and that a dedicated area should only be reserved for YouTube results if users use the voice search when the YouTube app is open. In addition, Google wants to force Roku to use certain components for its devices, which would increase prices.

Accordingly, Roku states that they refused to accept Google’s specifications in the interests of customers. They are called upon to turn to Google and criticize its business practices. Fortunately for German users, this is a little game that they can watch calmly, as Roku is not represented on the market here. However, Google has a very different view of things.

Google is also making allegations against Roku

Google, in turn, denies the allegations. Rather, they wanted to renew an existing agreement with Roku. However, Roku then wanted to renegotiate and demanded adjustments to the YouTube experience, which were technically not possible. However, one is used to such negotiation tactics from Roku.

Rumor has it that the implementation of AV1 also plays a significant role here: Google now stipulates that new devices from Android TV 10 must also support the AV1 codec. This more efficient codec will play an increasingly important role for streaming in the future – in addition to Google, Netflix also uses it. Perhaps the integration was simply too expensive for Roku for the time being, but Google pushed for support.

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