YouTube TV on Apple TV, a Cord-Cutter’s Dream

3 minute read
| Particle Debris

YouTube TV is widely available now, about 100 markets. What’s notable is that the app for Apple TV has recently been released which makes it especially appealing for those Apple customers. (No more need for AirPlay.) I’ve seen several reviews lately that go into good detail on this interesting TV subscription service.

YouTube TV app for Apple TV

YouTube TV app now on Apple TV

This service feels a lot like what Apple was trying to deliver in 2015, including the pricing, but Apple, it appears, failed to reach the necessary agreements for delivery rights. Whether the infrastructure just wasn’t ready for widely available local channels in major markets via the internet and, now, three years later, Apple has lost interest, I don’t know. Perhaps working with Google has been somehow easier than Apple. I haven’t seen the backstory told. It will be a good one.

For those into 4K/UHD, Google points out this limitation.

YouTube relies on VP9, the industry leading open-source codec, for distribution and playback of 4K videos. Using VP9 results in less buffering, faster startup, and higher video quality. The Apple TV 4K model (5th generation) does not support VP9 and therefore we can’t deliver 4K resolution on this device.

Look, the entire UHD TV industry is going with HEVC/H.265. Google is just being a doofus by insisting on its own 4K codec, VP9. IMHO.

In any case, in the supported local makets, you’ll get local TV stations and these supported channels. Read the reviews above for details and some minor gotchas. All in all, however, YouTube TV looks very cool.

Next Page: The News Debris For The Week of February 12th. SmartTV security specters.

6 Comments Add a comment

  1. wab95


    Completely off topic for anything related to Apple, I can affirm Melinda Gates’ assertion that her husband, Bill, is a good listener and can be persuaded by a compelling argument. I’ve had the fortune of hosting the couple at my field site overseas years ago, and had a repeat visit by Melinda a few years later. On the first visit, I had been instructed by the team’s visit coordinator to talk to them about our findings in diarrhoea surveillance, for which we had some data, but about which were not doing much since there were a number of diarrhoeal interventions already being implemented; however most of my work focussed on respiratory and febrile illnesses, with which we were re-writing the text books on disease burden. The team leader reiterated this instruction more than once; stick to diarrhoea, even if, as he suspected, I found it relatively uninteresting. On the day that the couple visited, we had a walk about the community, and then on showing them around our field clinic and lab, Bill spied our respiratory sample collection room and immediately asked what it was. I told him, ‘That’s where we collect respiratory illness samples for things like pneumococcus and influenza, but you wouldn’t be interested in that’. He said, to contrary, he’d be very interested in that. I shot a glance to the tour boss, who simply shrugged and gestured, ‘Go for it’. For the remainder of the visit, we focussed on childhood pneumonia and the role that pathogens, like influenza, play in child mortality. The Foundation had previously felt that influenza was too big a deal for them to tackle, but they liked our vector of attack, namely its role in childhood pneumonia, which they had not considered before, and subsequently put funding our way for a number of studies, including another that we are about to start on the role of respiratory viruses in child mortality. And as for Melinda, she’s wicked smart and clearly understands the science behind a number of the issues the Foundation supports. This couple and their foundation’s reach and impact on global health is enormous and will be felt into the far future. My wife, who is not a tech geek, opined that BG will be remembered for his philanthropic work and public health impact, rather than for his role in MS in the distant future (you know, when we’re signing the Khitomer Accords with the Klingons). I think she’s right, and that this will apply to the couple. The one Apple related topic I can offer from that initial meeting was, during the lead up to the visit, the team leader asked if I could show some slides when the couple visited, and could he see them. I had plenty. As I pulled my Mac laptop from my bag (a titanium Powerbook), he suggested, ‘Maybe we should skip the slides’, as he eyed the laptop. We showed no slides to Bill and Melinda.

    The Consumer Report’s finding that smart TVs are not only vulnerable to hacking, but equally unsettling, that they are presently invasive – collecting personal user information, should prompt a stronger public response than it currently does. I am less concerned about smart TVs, as these are blunt force tools, whose principal port of vulnerability can be readily disabled, than I am with the host of other smart devices that interface with AI in the home, and whose vulnerabilities are equally present to sophisticated attack. This is a principal reason why I remain slow to adopt smart technology in the home until I know more about how to sufficiently harden those systems to make my home less attractive to attackers than those of the average user. I won’t even get into the discussion about Amazon’s and Google’s home listening devices.

    The UK’s National Museum of Computing contest between the iPhone, a Windows 95 PC and a 1951 Harwell WITCH seems designed, not so much to test the raw computing power of each device’s CPU, but the limitations of digital human interface to input those data, itself affected by the ingenuity, creativity and capability of those engaged in the test. This latter can change by both personnel and time, whereas the real question, to my thinking, is the capability of the CPU. It will be hard to interpret the findings of this test, or its relevance to our gains in computational power over time. A missed opportunity.

    As for Mike Bombich’s piece on macOS losing data on APFS-formatted disk images, not only an interesting read, but it begs the question of whether or not this, and a few other problems that have been noted with APFS, are simply teething pains that are readily soluble, or inherent weaknesses of the new system.

    Nice reads.

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