Apple Inc. is bringing Google’s YouTube to big-screen TVs, nationwide.
Starting in mid-June, Apple TV will wirelessly stream YouTube videos directly from Internet connections and play them on users’ television sets.
“This is the first time users can easily browse, find and watch YouTube videos right from their living-room couch, and it’s really, really fun,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a prepared statement. “YouTube is a worldwide sensation, and Apple TV is bringing it directly from the Internet onto the wide-screen TV in your living room.”
Apple said thousands of the most current and popular YouTube videos will be available on Apple TV initially, with the full YouTube catalog to be available this fall. YouTube members will also be able to log in to their YouTube accounts on Apple TV to view and save their favorite videos.
The move by Apple comes even as Google and YouTube are locked in a standoff with Viacom, which filed a $1 billion copyright-infringement lawsuit against the video-sharing site.
Google has insisted that it “respects” copyrights and responded to Viacom’s copyright-infringement lawsuit by asserting that the media company’s legal action “threatens the way hundreds of millions of people” use the Internet.
Also last week, Apple announced that it is offering a new Apple TV option with a 160-gigabyte hard drive — four times the capacity of the standard unit. The 160-GB Apple TV will be priced at $399 compared with a suggested retail price of $299 for the 40-GB version that started shipping in March.