Where does Apple TV get its YouTube content from?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by pjac, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. pjac macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2007
    Right now anyone with Flash can stream from the main site, www.youtube.com (but getting Flash is harder than it should be for 64bit Linux users).

    You can also go to their mobile site, m.youtube.com where the video is available as 3gp streamed format (video is H263, audio is mono "samr" aka AMR). I can watch this in VLC but with no sound - but from googling I think that will be sovled eventually.

    I was wondering where (i.e. URLs) the AppleTV gets its H264 encoded high quality YouTube content from. I'm sure someone with an AppleTV could simply enable a firewall log or sniff the network traffic to work this out...

    Ideally I'd like to be able to access the H264 YouTube from my web browser. Alternatively, is there any sign that Front Row on the Mac will support YouTube too?

    P.S. Does the iPhone have access to yet another version of the YouTube content, or is it the same as m.youtube.com ?
  2. spencecb macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2003
    I would guess that the iPhone obtains its YouTube content from the same place that the AppleTV gets its content from. There would be no need for them to create yet another source specifically for the iPhone.
  3. pjac thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2007
    It does seem likely that YouTube makes its non-flash content available to Apple the same way for both AppleTV and the iPhone - with support for a few different size/quality settings.

    The question is where is this hosted... and can we use it directly?
  4. jdavtz macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2005
  5. pjac thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2007
    Here is a funny advert on the YouTube website in flash video (in Japanese with English subtitles):

    From the thread on awkwardtv.org, you can also get this from Google Video:
    or removing a few bits which appear to be optional (e.g. start and length in ms)

    Seems to be video codec avc1 342x240 at 25Hz, audio is mp4a stereo, file extension .mp4

    The file works for me in VLC on Windows XP - and in Totem on Linux.

    Automatically converting the YouTube ID to the Google Video URL looks hard... but this FireFox extension might help, Greased Google?
  6. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    One of the early iPhone reviews mentioned how content submitted to YouTube was available to view within hours.

    That would suggest to me YouTube are doing all conversions and hosting; most likely with the AppleTV as well.
  7. Gav macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2007
    Haha. That made me laugh :p
  8. pjac thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2007
    Given Google owns YouTube, and also runs Google Video, there is nothing stopping them hosting the Apple TV H264 versions of YouTube Flash movies on Google Video servers rather than YouTube servers.
  9. mr_matalino macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2005
    thought it was stupid.
  10. decksnap macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2003
    Once they get all the backlog encoded into H.264, what are the chances we'll be able to set a preference on Youtube.com to view everything in the better codec?

    The crappy flash encoding on Youtube has always made me feel like Youtube was a great concept with a poor implementation.
  11. pjac thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2007
    Fair enough - but that wasn't really the point of this thread.

    Its possible, certainly. If YouTube did offer H.264 it would probably make saving the videos to disc a lot easier... I had the impression that one reason they used Flash was to make this hard.

    Anyway - I was thinking that with a little reverse engineering, someone could work out where the Apple TV and/or iPhone get their H264 YouTube content from, and then do it ourselves (without having to wait for YouTube to offer this themselves).

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