YouTube TV owner Google has been locked in a contract dispute with Roku since April. Both sides said they could not agree “reasonable” terms, and the YouTube TV app promptly disappeared from Roku streaming devices.
Now it’s emerged that Google is giving away free TiVo Stream 4K streaming devices to selected YouTube TV subscribers. The $40 dongles support Dolby Vision HDR, Dolby Atmos and, of course, YouTube TV. In an email to the lucky recipients, YouTube TV said:
“To ensure our loyal YouTube TV members have a great watch experience (including the ability to watch 4K content on our optional new add-on service coming soon!), we want to offer you a free TiVo Stream 4K device”.
There’s no proof that the giveaway is linked to the feud with Roku, but some tech watchers have floated the idea that the freebie TiVo boxes are a workaround for the Roku dispute.
The thought seems to have crossed Google’s mind, too. Back in May the company said it was “in discussions with other partners to secure free streaming devices in case YouTube TV members face any access issues on Roku”.
Since news of the free TiVo boxes broke, other YouTube TV users came forward to say they had been offered a free Google TV with Chromecast, reports 9to5Google.
Either way, today’s news re-confirms that Google is readying 4K streaming and offline downloads for YouTube TV. Subscribers currently pay $65 per month for 85+ live TV channels, plus a host of on-demand movies and TV shows, but it’s thought the upcoming 4K “add-on” will cost extra.
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