DirecTV Launches Apple Watch app, loses YouTube on set-tops

DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) has included support for the new Apple Watch (NASDAQ: AAPL) in the latest update to its iPhone app.

The satellite carrier is the second big pay-TV company to extend an app for the much-anticipated new wearable, with Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) announcing an Xfinity app for the device two weeks ago. 

The app lets Apple Watch users play, pause, rewind and fast-forward recorded content, as well as view DirecTV's programming guide and set DVR recordings remotely. 

"We are excited to give our customers an even easier and seamless way to engage with their favorite TV shows and movies," said Tony Goncalves, DirecTV's senior VP of digital entertainment products.

As DirecTV hopped onto the leading edge in the mobile device world, it took a step back in the living room, with its set-tops no longer supporting YouTube playback. 

According to TV Predictions, which tracks the DBS business, DirecTV added YouTube and a number of other streaming apps to its HD DVRs four years ago. However, YouTube's recently upgraded technical specifications are no longer compatible with the older DirecTV set-tops. 

"YouTube content via the DirecTV set-top is no longer available," DirecTV's Robert Mercer told TV Predictions. "They (YouTube) changed their technical specifications to deliver the YouTube experience through DirecTV and other distributors' set-top boxes. We've had a long relationship with YouTube and will continue to work with them to find ways to restore delivering their content to our customers."

For more:
- read this Variety story
- read this TV Predictions story

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