YouTube adds AirPlay-like functionality to additional devices

youtube play on feature

YouTube is making it easier to beam content from mobile phones and tablets to TVs: The Google-owned video service announced Thursday that it is bringing its AirPlay-like remote playback functionality, which it introduced for Google TVs in November, to additional devices from Bang & Olufsen, LG, Panasonic and Sony.

All of these devices are also getting the new YouTube for TV UI, which has so far only been available on Sony’s PS3, Nintendo’s Wii U and the Boxee TV player.

YouTube’s take on AirPlay allows users to browse videos with the YouTube Android app for phones and tablets, and then initiate playback on the TV screen with the click of a single button. Device discovery is facilitated automatically as long as the devices are in the same network. Previous iterations of YouTube second-screen control functionality required users to first manually pair their devices.

The announcement blog post didn’t spell it out, but it looks like this will initially just be available on new devices that are going to be announced at CES next week. YouTube also promised to add the functionality to devices from Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba, Vizio, Western Digital and other CE makers later this year.

The technology behind it is part of a bigger push towards an open AirPlay alternative, which Google eventually wants to make available to others to use in their own apps and on additional platforms as well. “We really want to move the whole industry forward,” I was told by Google product manager Timbo Drayson in November.

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