CES 2013: Smartphone-as-remote for YouTube
Michelle Clancy | 04-01-2013

CES 2013 is right around the corner, and video promises to be a big story. YouTube is already on board, prepping the launch of a new functionality that pairs up mobile devices with TV sets, so that a smartphone or tablet can be used to control YouTube on the boob tube.

"We bet you a billion views you can find your way around YouTube faster on your mobile device than on your TV," said Francisco Varela, global director of platform partnerships at the video sharing site, in a blog post. "That's why we launched a feature making it easy to send videos from your mobile to your TV with just one button."

The mobile/TV pairing feature will be shown at CES in devices from a variety of vendors, including Bang & Olufsen, LG, Panasonic and Sony. Throughout 2013, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba, Vizio, Western Digital and others will also begin to embed it.

"These new devices will also have the latest look and feel for YouTube on TV, letting you watch HD videos and channels on the big screen with everyone at home," said Varela. "Catch the latest videos from your subscriptions, watch playlists full of 1080p videos and find the next great video faster with search suggestions."

The functionality is nothing new to adopters of TV Everywhere, thanks to cable companies and IPTV providers building in search and remote control for their apps for iOS and Android. YouTube, true to its open-source roots, is taking the idea further by building it in as an embedded hardware play. Its success with leveraging non-proprietary algorithms to deliver streams across platforms will stand it in good stead.

"Whether you're at CES or at home, you can now watch YouTube on 400 million devices: from tablets to TVs, smartphones to streaming boxes, and consoles to cable providers," said Varela. "When you sign in and subscribe on any of these devices, you'll always have something great to watch next."