YouTube is coming to a living room near you—even if you don't own a Google TV.
In its latest leap outside traditional web video, YouTube announced a new feature for its Android app on Thursday that zaps content discovered on mobile devices to connected televisions.
Connected TVs from Bang & Olufsen, LG, Panasonic, and Sony will work with the new feature. YouTube expects Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba, Vizio, Western Digital and others to also offer the feature this year.
Users simply hit an icon in the YouTube Android app to send the video to a selected TV. The YouTube App launches on their bigger screens, and mobile devices can be used to compile a queue of videos, skip to the next video, search or pause.
Just as an extensive content development program has focused on professionally produced videos that expand on YouTube's bread-and-butter user-generated videos, so too does moving to non-traditional screens represent new opportunities for the service.
Google CEO Larry Page alluded to YouTube’s screen expansion strategy in an earnings call last year.
"In short, as we transition from one screen to multiscreens, Google has enormous opportunities to innovate and drive ever higher monetization, just like search in 2000," he said.
Two years ago YouTube released a separate "remote app" that, after a sign-in process, also turned mobile devices into a YouTube remote for Google TV. And last year, it released a similar feature in its Android app that worked only if users had a Google TV. A few startups such as Clik and Shelby.TV have also played with the idea of a YouTube remote. But Thursday’s update makes it easier than ever by automatically pairing mobile devices with connected TVs on the same Wi-Fi network.
[Image: Flickr user Daniel Horacio Agostini]