Top 4th of July Sales Best 4K Projectors 7 Early Prime Day Deals Wi-Fi Range Extenders My Favorite Summer Gadgets Cheap Car Insurance Target's 4th of July Sale Best Running Earbuds, Headphones

Tubemote: Turn a browser into a YouTube remote

Tubemote offers users a new way to watch YouTube videos on a big screen with an interface that can be controlled from mobile phones, Netbooks, or any other device that has a Web browser.

Tubemote logo

YouTube has done an extensive amount of work tweaking its "Leanback" experience for users who want to watch videos on their couch, or several feet away from their computer. This interface works well with a mouse, or just by letting videos auto-advance. But if you're interested in ditching the mouse or game controller, or would like a more social experience than what YouTube currently offers, Tubemote is worth checking out.

This simple service does one thing, and does it well. On one machine with a Web browser you log in to your Tubemote account, and on any other machines you head to the customized Tubemote URL it spits out. Back on the browser where you're signed in, you can then pick out a video you want it to play, using a simple search tool. Then, when you find something you like and hit play, the video begins instantly on all the browsers that are pointed at your customized domain.

The entire experience is very simple, and the angle here is that you can use something like your mobile phone or tablet device to control what's happening on the bigger screen--be it in your own living room, or to someone watching across the globe.

Tubemote lets you control what videos show up on the right screen, with any device with its own Web browser. In this case, it's a mobile phone, which you can see on the left. Screenshots by Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Tubemote reminds me quite a bit of Synchtube, a service that's been designed to let you watch one or more YouTube videos from a playlist at the same time. Tubemote can do that on individual videos, since there are built-in fast-forward and rewind controls, along with a play and pause button; any time you touch one of these, it affects the playback for everyone who is watching on your channel.

Along with the playback controls, there's also a volume toggle, and a quality selector to dial the resolution up or down anywhere between 240p and 720p. Missing here is the option for 1080p, or the more recently introduced 4k (which your computer likely isn't able to play or display yet).

The service is completely free and quite a bit of fun to use. If you're looking for a more elegant way to play videos on your big-screen TV, this is a great solution.