YouTube Live on Apple TV, iPhone

Apple said Wednesday that its update to Apple TV to allow viewing of YouTube videos was available, along with announcing similar functionality for iPhone. But the lack of 3G connectivity will limit the feature's usefulness.

iPhone users will likely not be able to stream their videos across the mobile network as EDGE is often too slow to support higher-quality full motion video. Thus, the functionality would only be usable via Wi-Fi.

YouTube will encode videos in H.264 format for Apple's handset, which requires about 50-60 KBps worth of bandwidth for mobile uses. Typical EDGE data rates fall below that range, therefore not offering the best performance in mobile applications.

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JupiterResearch analyst Michael Gartenberg, who could be considered one of the bigger proponents of the iPhone, also highlighted this problem.

"Key questions will be how well the experience transfers from the PC to these new screens and how well the video will perform, especially over the iPhone's 2G network," he remarked.

Apple left this important consideration out of their announcement of the new functionality, however CEO Steve Jobs still said it was "the best YouTube mobile experience by far."

10,000 videos would be available for the iPhone's launch, with the entire YouTube catalog being encoded in H.264 by fall, the companies said.

Users of Apple TV, meanwhile, are now able to download the new functionality and update their boxes by using the device's Software Update feature. YouTube members would be able to save their favorite videos to the Apple TV, Apple said.

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