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Roku shutting down VideoBuzz channel for streaming YouTube on the sly

VideoBuzz will be closing its channel on April 17, after receiving a takedown notice from Roku.

Roku 3
Roku has over 750 official channels, but YouTube is still missing. Sarah Tew/CNET

One of the biggest shortcomings of the otherwise excellent Roku 3 is its lack of an official YouTube channel, although savvy users can get around that limitation with a variety of workarounds, including the "private" VideoBuzz channel. Or at least used to be able to.

VideoBuzz reported on its Facebook page yesterday that it "received a notice from Roku management asking us to close down the channel as we don't own the content which is being streamed by VideoBuzz channel." The channel is set to go offline April 17; VideoBuzz says it's looking into ways to "provide similar services" without violating Roku's developer agreement.

Roku's removal of the VideoBuzz channel should be unsurprising to anyone who has followed Roku's struggles with YouTube. VideoBuzz is an unsupported private channel and similar channels offering YouTube streaming have been shut down in the past. When I asked Roku about the removal, the company provided the following statement:

Private channels are neither supported by nor approved by Roku, and from time to time it comes to Roku's attention that developers have not obtained appropriate rights to the content distributed through their channels. Therefore the channels are removed.

In the meantime, if you're still looking to stream YouTube on your Roku box, check out CNET's How-To guide using Twonky's Beam software, which lets you stream a variety of online video content, including YouTube.

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