Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option.


A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.
Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on Apple TV 4K, Apple TV HD, iPhone, or iPad. With AirPlay, you can also stream YouTube from your iOS device directly to any Apple TV (3rd generation or later).
Third-generation Apple TV owners will no longer be able to watch YouTube directly on the Apple TV after the app goes defunct, but YouTube content can be AirPlayed to the Apple TV from an iPhone or iPad, a method that is less convenient.

This discontinuation is applicable only to the third-generation Apple TVs, as YouTube stopped supporting the second-generation Apple TV models back in 2015. The fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models are not impacted as these models have access to the tvOS App Store, which is not available on the third-generation Apple TV.

Article Link: YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available


macrumors G3
May 31, 2007
Florida, USA
My suspicion is as follows.

Macs running Safari, iOS devices and the ATV4 were among the last holdouts still requiring h.264 video to play YouTube. Now that Apple is onboard with VP9, there's a good chance that YouTube wants to start phasing out h.264 on its platform since it has licensing fees, not to mention having to re-encode every single video into multiple formats.

They probably won't drop h.264 completely just yet as there are still plenty of Macs still running older operating systems and older versions of iOS, but being able to save licensing fees by serving fewer h.264 streams is a plus for them.


macrumors 68030
Sep 21, 2009
If only they would have a real AppleTV app like they used to. The web based app they have now is frustrating, especially since it doesn’t update your watch later reliably without force quitting the app.
  • Like
Reactions: Si Vis Pacem


macrumors 68020
Nov 3, 2004
At this point, nobody will miss it. The YouTube app on the 3rd gen AppleTV is practically useless compared to YouTube apps on other devices (like Roku, which also has a simple UI, but one that is far more usable).
I'll miss it. The current app works just fine. I have three ATV3's and see no reason whatsoever to bother with any of the later ones. If one of them breaks I wouldn't be replacing it with an Apple product.


macrumors G4
Nov 9, 2015
Silicon Valley, CA
3rd gen Apple TV uses much older iOS*, not compatible with recent tvOS releases so of course YouTube is becoming EOL/obsolete on them. I have a couple of those old pucks, also a 4th and 5th gen that I use with a HD and 4K TVs.

* OS: iOS. Minimum OS – Apple TV Software 5.0 (iOS 5.1.1). Maximum OS – Apple TV Software 7.2 (iOS 8.3).
Last edited:


macrumors member
May 12, 2007
This does not make sense... Doesn't Apple TV third gen run exactly the same OS as Apple TV 4th gen and later? I would understand if they are stuck at older AppleTV OS, but that is not the case.
Not the same is. Apple stops supporting 3rd gen Apple TV long ago.
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.