Channel Issues & Questions

Help & troubleshooting for channels on your Roku device, including adding/removing channels, logging in to, authenticating, or activating a channel, channel-specific playback issues, assistance contacting channel publishers to report issues, and adjusting channel-specific settings.
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Level 8

Re: YouTube Kids

@fluke, I see that you conveniently ignored where I discussed the other benefits of the YouTube Kids app, such as better monitoring through allowing Google Family Link "children" accounts and time limits. I would never suggest that any parent rely 100% on any technology, including the YouTube Kids content filter, but should only use technology to help improve traditional parenting techniques such as monitoring their children's activities, talking with them about what they have seen, and limiting their time in certain activities and entertainment. The YouTube Kids app and it's features (yes, including the content filter) are a tool to help parents achieve these.

Yes, the Fire OS is based on Android, so you are correct that it is easier for Google to port their Android apps to Fire devices. However, I still contend that is not the main reason that Google hasn't released YouTube Kids for Roku. I think it's a business decision, much like not allowing a proper YouTube app on Windows Phone was a business decision. As proof, I submit that Google not only didn't create a YouTube app themselves for Windows Phone, which would have taken time and money on their part, they also blocked the YouTube app which Microsoft developed themselves (https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/mic ... s-openness), which was developed with no investment from Google. This was a purely anti-competitive move by Google and I believe the same forces withing Google are probably preventing the YouTube Kids app from being released on competing platforms to Android TV. However, sometimes anti-competitive moves work, which is one of the reasons why Windows Phone failed. I would love to be able to stand on principle and refuse to cave to such tactics, but I ended up ditching Windows Phone and I very well could end up ditching Roku.

As far as which device I would buy if I do leave Roku, I will further evaluate the decision then. I agree Nvidia Shield is the best rated Android TV device on the market, but it is also currently cost prohibitive to have on all my TVs. I helped a friend setup a Mi Box S and I was actually pleasantly surprised with its features and functionality. I do agree that its delayed (and possibly missed) availability of updates is problematic. Timely updates is one of the reasons I currently use a Pixel for my Android phone. However, for a television streaming box, as long as it runs the handful of apps that we need, it doesn't bother me as much that it is using an older OS. The apps we want it to have are YouTube TV, Philo, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Plex, ESPN, HBO GO, PBS, Disney NOW, PBS Kids, and, yes, YouTube Kids.
Highlighted
Level 12

Re: YouTube Kids

"Yogi76" wrote:
@fluke, I see that you conveniently ignored where I discussed the other benefits of the YouTube Kids app, such as better monitoring through allowing Google Family Link "children" accounts and time limits. I would never suggest that any parent rely 100% on any technology, including the YouTube Kids content filter, but should only use technology to help improve traditional parenting techniques such as monitoring their children's activities, talking with them about what they have seen, and limiting their time in certain activities and entertainment. The YouTube Kids app and it's features (yes, including the content filter) are a tool to help parents achieve these.

Yes, I did.  For me YouTube poor response that they now expedite report handling after someone has already been exposed is a show stopper issue.  My position remains that other features of the platform do not justify them failing to provide hard numbers on the percentage of content that gets reported and requires manual action.

But I do see your point that monitoring and tracking are important tools.  I would prefer to see these at the platform level such as Roku OS instead of just an individual app.  Tracking usage seems to be gaining importance not just for children but also adults.  Apple introduced Screen Time to iOS and Google followed with Digital Wellbeing for Android.  I think it would give Roku an competitive edge to have such a feature in Roku OS 10.  Roku should also expand on the concept of "guest mode" to allow enabling multiple user profiles at the Roku OS layer.

Given this isn't a feature Roku provides today, the best I have found for getting these tools at a reasonable price has been Amazon FreeTime Unlimited.  A free year comes bundled with the kids edition version of the Fire tablet which tends to get heavily discounted on Prime day and black friday.  I also strong *NOT* recommend getting the Fire 7 as they cut way too many corners in the design to reach their target price point.  The Fire 8 is the cheapest tablet worth getting.  Also, Amazon FreeTime Unlimited content is manually curated.


"Yogi76" wrote:
Yes, the Fire OS is based on Android, so you are correct that it is easier for Google to port their Android apps to Fire devices. However, I still contend that is not the main reason that Google hasn't released YouTube Kids for Roku. I think it's a business decision, much like not allowing a proper YouTube app on Windows Phone was a business decision. As proof, I submit that Google not only didn't create a YouTube app themselves for Windows Phone, which would have taken time and money on their part, they also blocked the YouTube app which Microsoft developed themselves (https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/mic ... s-openness), which was developed with no investment from Google. This was a purely anti-competitive move by Google and I believe the same forces withing Google are probably preventing the YouTube Kids app from being released on competing platforms to Android TV. However, sometimes anti-competitive moves work, which is one of the reasons why Windows Phone failed. I would love to be able to stand on principle and refuse to cave to such tactics, but I ended up ditching Windows Phone and I very well could end up ditching Roku.

Microsoft initially created their own YouTube client which avoiding playing ads and allow downloading videos which was already stated to be a violation of the terms of service.  They had to see push back coming from 1.6 kilometers away!  While I agree with the majority of what Microsoft was saying at the time, I found it ironic to hear complaints of openness coming from Microsoft at the time.  Around the same time Gabe Newell was publicly pointing out that Microsoft Windows 8.0 locked access to games coded in UWP to only running if bought from the Microsoft Appstore thus locking out Valve's Steam from selling the same games.  I believe Microsoft partly addressed this a couple months later but at the time of "The limits of Google's openness" article it seemed the UWP API lock was still in place.

"Yogi76" wrote:
As far as which device I would buy if I do leave Roku, I will further evaluate the decision then. I agree Nvidia Shield is the best rated Android TV device on the market, but it is also currently cost prohibitive to have on all my TVs. I helped a friend setup a Mi Box S and I was actually pleasantly surprised with its features and functionality. I do agree that its delayed (and possibly missed) availability of updates is problematic. Timely updates is one of the reasons I currently use a Pixel for my Android phone. However, for a television streaming box, as long as it runs the handful of apps that we need, it doesn't bother me as much that it is using an older OS. The apps we want it to have are YouTube TV, Philo, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Plex, ESPN, HBO GO, PBS, Disney NOW, PBS Kids, and, yes, YouTube Kids.

My biggest problem with investing in any Android TV is Google seems to have made it clear they see Chromecast as a reasonable replacement.  There is even indications that Google Stadia will never work with Android TV.  At some point I envision a day that Google shutdown access to Google Play to Android TV devices because they no longer see it being in their interest to keep maintaining the separate section.  If that ever happens, I also think it will be just a matter of time that an out of date YouTube Kids app that can no longer be updated also stops working.  Google previously promoted cloud services for people to get expensive Google PowerMeter hardware installed and then just shut down those service reducing all the smart meters to being dumb again.  They repeated this methodology with the $300 Revolv hub.  At each Google I/O they keep talking about new services available to improve our daily lives.  Then for the niche group that buys into the spiel, they just take it back away.  
I believe Roku to be much much more committed to providing a channel store to update apps for their media players.
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Highlighted
Level 8

Re: YouTube Kids

"fluke" wrote:
Yes, I did.  For me YouTube poor response that they now expedite report handling after someone has already been exposed is a show stopper issue.  My position remains that other features of the platform do not justify them failing to provide hard numbers on the percentage of content that gets reported and requires manual action.

I just double checked and YouTube Kids does indeed offer an "Approved content only" setting which allows the parents to choose the content that they allow.prior to viewing. "In this setting, your child will only be able to watch videos, channels, and collections that you’ve handpicked." (https://support.google.com/youtubekids/ ... 2308?hl=en).

The long and the short of it is that YouTube Kids is an app that many parents want. Roku doesn't have it and other platforms do or will be getting it soon. Only Google knows the true reason it isn't available for Roku, so anything we say about that is just speculation. Hopefully, Roku can manage to negotiate to get YouTube Kids on their platform in the near future, although I'm not holding my breath.
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Level 7

Re: YouTube Kids

And it's still needed.

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Level 7

Re: YouTube Kids

....

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Level 7

Re: YouTube Kids


@Basil wrote:
Roku doesn't run on Android. 

Google owns Android. Android TV is a competitor of Roku that runs on Google's operating system. And YouTube is owned by Google.

So, no, none of what you said.

YouTube is on Roku. If YouTube is there, YouTube kids should be there.

 

So, no, none of what you said

Highlighted
Level 7

Re: YouTube Kids

I put a baby shark video on for my 6 month old granddaughter and the first thing was a beer ad. While I am absolutely certain my granddaughter doesn’t understand the alcoholic ads yet, I was still absolutely pissed.