The idea of bringing streaming video to homes is one that's been gaining a lot of traction in recent months, and at the forefront of that movement is Google. Google TV and YouTube (News - Alert) have made it a lot easier for users to find something to watch, and earlier today, made it even easier thanks to the launch of a new Google TV update.
The update is said to operate in a fashion very similar to that of AirPlay for Apple (News - Alert) TV, as well as iPhones and iPads. But the critical difference is that while the Google update will allow users of Android smartphones and tablets to send the video feed on their devices to their televisions for larger-scale viewing, they'll only be able to use it with YouTube content.
That's right; for the time being, those videos purchased via Google (News - Alert) Play will be out of the running.
Those looking to try the service will be able to do with just a quick update to their YouTube app. Once the app is updated, just click on the TV icon that shows up on the device, and the video will play on Google TV, which in turn plays on your larger television display.
Users will have access to the full range of YouTube features – specifically, pausing, scrolling or skipping from one video to the next – and users will even be able to incorporate multiple playlists for YouTube parties or the like.
While this is a great step for home theater viewing – an easy way to view YouTube's massive array of content without outright hooking a PC to a television is a welcome treat – it's hard not to notice that Google's primary media sales outlet, Google Play, is ignored in this update. Why wouldn't Google want to make it easy for Google Play video to play on a bigger screen? It could be, of course, that it’s still working on the engineering for this idea. It could be that the company wants to keep Google Play to a PC milieu.
Still, the absence is easily noticeable, and unsettling.
Hopefully Google will augment its newfound updates and open the functionality up to all its video sources, but in the short timer, this is still going to be a great step forward for home theater buffs of all descriptions, and will get a valuable new source of video into play to its fullest.
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Edited by Braden Becker