According to a notification from Apple, YouTube will end support for some Apple TVs in early March. Users can still watch videos from a secondary Apple device via AirPlay, but they will no longer be able to use the YouTube channel on third generation Apple TVs even as of 2012.
Newer Apple TV devices like Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K still support YouTube. These models run tvOS, a modified version of iOS. That means they can run many of the same media apps that an iPhone can. However, older Apple TVs used proprietary “channels” that had to be made specifically for these models. YouTube already got support for first and second generation Apple TVs, so it was only a matter of time before Gen 3 was also no longer available.
We’d like to offer a workaround for those affected, but we haven’t seen any yet. So owners of older Apple TVs have two options for watching YouTube on their TVs. The first is using AirPlay to watch YouTube. Monitoring AirPlay is a small extra step, but an extra step nonetheless. And you need a compatible iPad or iPhone for casting.
The other option is even less good: switch to another device when you want to watch YouTube. You may already have an alternative like a smart TV or a game console like the PlayStation 4 and 5 or the Xbox One, Series X or Series S.
Plus, it’s probably time to update the old Apple TV. And when you do, you have several options. The best upgrade for existing Apple TV users is the latest Apple TV HD or Apple TV 4K. The Apple TV 4K is the more powerful option, but the Apple TV HD is still a great choice for those without 4K TVs. Both of these will feel like a big upgrade when you switch from an older Apple TV box.
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If the new Apple TVs are too expensive, you can switch to the Amazon Fire TV Stick or a Roku. The good news is that you can download the Apple TV app on either device. This means that you can still view any content (or subscriptions) you’ve bought from Apple without having to pay for a more expensive Apple TV set-top box.