The only way that I know of to get a clear pause using Roku to watch YouTube. first, Hit the pause button. Second, hit the back arrow. Works on the TLC Roku and with the Roku remote on the other TV's. GOOD LUCK
I agree with the frustration caused by this YouTube intentional obfuscation of the screens. A thought is that YouTube offers their channel on Roku, but intentionally reduces the usability so the user goes to direct YouTube connections.
In the mornings I liked surfing particular YouTube subjects via my Roku TV and this anti-user "feature" causes me aggravation because I make notes and have to pause to see graphs, etc. but Roku obliterates the brightness and lower third by not controlling the YouTube channels limiting user interface.
So, since Roku apparently has no ease of use standards for outside developed channels, they are losing my ad revenue and usage for YouTube. I will switch to a direct browser connection and bypass the Roku connection entirely. I just will switch to using my main PC for YouTube. I don't watch any of the channels except NTD and YouTube on Roku, so now it is only NTD news. I don't watch the others because I never know if there is a fee or "join" requirement to watch other channels, so just don't use them.
But, since Roku remotes generally have 3 buttons that could be considered a "back" button (2 different LEFT arrows, plus what I know as the "instant replay" button), I'm going to specify that the one I just used that finally worked was the TOP-MOST LEFT ARROW button that one might call a "back" button.
On MY remote, it sits at the top, in a row of only 2 buttons JUST below the POWER button at the very top. Of those 2 buttons, the LEFT button is of a standard ARROW WITH A SHAFT pointing LEFT (as opposed to just the "<" sign). THAT is the "BACK BUTTON" THAT WORKS in this scenario. (The only other button on that row is the HOME button, with an icon of a house.)
Last comment: I came here searching for a solution to this same issue in the Netflix app on a TCL Roku TV. So, this worked for me in Netflix, but I haven't tried it yet in YouTube. I'm crossing my fingers that it works there too, because this has become super frustrating in MOST apps since I bought this TV less than a year ago!
CLEARLY, this has been an ongoing issue that is DEFINITELY A ROKU ISSUE! I have multiple other ways to access all the same streaming content ON MY TCL ROKU TV (Apple TV, PS4, "Smart" BR player, FireTV Stick, Chrome Stick). Plus, I can of course watch things on my PC, my Mac, my iPhone, my iPad, etc. We all have soooo many ways to check CS's claims when they start playing the finger-pointing game. If we can access the same apps via different platforms, and we don't have the same issues as we do when accessing that content with our ROKU devices...guess what conclusion most logical people generally come to!
HEY ROKU...PAY ATTENTION: When the exact same issues that YOUR CUSTOMERS (the ones that pay your salaries) complain about happen on EVERY APP WE USE on THE ROKU PLATFORM, we KNOW you're lying when you try to tell us it's the app developer's fault!
ROKU, please TAKE RESPONSIBILITY, and then FIX THESE ISSUES!!!
If you don't take care of your customers, you won't be around much longer.
As has been mentioned a few times in this thread, the channel developer is responsible for "how" they want their channel to perform and what features they want available to the end-user within the limits of the coding available to them.
There is no universal method, since one method might not be desired by another channel developer who needs a different action performed by a button because their channel offers different features. There are limited buttons on a Roku remote available to a developer to perform functions they need or want available to the end user.
For Youtube, in order to get a clear/unobstructed view of the "Paused" Youtube video, simply press the Back button.
Click on image to enlarge.
Roku Community Streaming Expert Just another Roku user... I am not a Roku employee. Insignia RokuTV, Ultra 4660, Premiere+ 3921, Express 4k+ 3941, Streambar 9102
Yes! The upper back button is definitely the solution. It seems that this is one of those problems that is caused both by Roku and the app designers. The same problem occurs in different apps, thought the type of information that covers the screen is different in different apps.