YouTube for Roku Renders Chromecast Obsolete

NEW YORK (TheStreet) --

I don't think Google (GOOG) even thinks twice about it, but the addition of a YouTube app to the Roku player means I can unhook my Chromecast. There's no need for the otherwise worthy device because the YouTube-Roku pairing actually works.

As much as I love my Roku, not all desktop and mobile experiences adequately transfer to it. For example, try adding a song to your collection when using Rdio on Roku. As far as I can tell, that's not possible. However, it appears you can pretty much do everything with the Roku YouTube app that you can do on the desktop or in a mobile environment.

You sign into your account and link up your devices. So I have my laptop, tablet and smartphone associated with YouTube on Roku. I can beam anything I play on YouTube from those devices to my Roku-connected television. Of course, you can also manipulate YouTube directly from your TV screen through Roku's YouTube platform just as you would on any other source.

As far as Google's concerned, my Chromecast can collect dust. It will serve the purpose of making YouTube more usable for people who do not have a streaming player such as Roku. Google wants you to be able access YouTube. It's really device and platform agnostic, as much as I despise that tech hipster buzzword.

And the more I think about it, the more I believe Google and Yahoo! (YHOO) via the emerging Yahoo! Screen will dominate streaming video. Not Netflix (NFLX). And, until it gets its act together and acts aggressively, not even Hulu.

They're both stockpiling the type of content we're used to watching via traditional television, the stuff television has ignored or neglected forever and the made-for-the-Internet variety YouTube deserves nearly all the credit for taking mainstream.

YouTube has the head start. But watch Yahoo! catch up by making itself just as accessible across devices. With that traction and mass consumer adoption comes what feels like the need for major media outlets such as NBC to share rights to premium content (appointment viewing) such as the Winter Olympics.

We're watching a shift that, uncritically, most of the media will assign to disruption by Netflix. But that's simply untrue. Watch Google extend its lead and Yahoo! establish itself as the clear new media video giants.

--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is a columnist for TheStreet. Pendola makes frequent appearances on national television networks such as CNN and CNBC as well as TheStreet TV. Whenever possible, Pendola uses hockey, Springsteen or Southern California references in his work. He lives in Santa Monica.

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