Google restores access to TV optimized YouTube website through Amazon Fire TV browsers

Earlier today, Google began deliberately redirecting customers that tried to access the television optimized version of YouTube through a web browser on an Amazon Fire TV device to the desktop version of YouTube. This effectively blocked access to YouTube for Fire TV users because the desktop version of the YouTube is nearly unusable through the remote control based Fire TV. It appears now that Google has either backpedaled their decision or the redirect was a mistake because Fire TV customers can once again browser YouTube’s television optimized website.

If you load YouTube in the Silk Browser or Firefox app on an Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, or Fire TV Edition television it once again allows you to use the television optimized website. Whether customers use one of the two buttons in the main YouTube app for Fire TV devices or enter youtube.com/tv directly in one of the browsers, customers are no longer being redirected to the desktop version of YouTube’s website.

It’s unknown at this point if the redirect, which lasted about an hour or two, was a mistake or if Google has decided to restore access. Whatever the case is, for the moment it appears that Fire TV customers once again have the same access to YouTube as they have had since the begin of the year. Even using the old version of the main YouTube app is once again working.

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26 comments
  1. clocks says:

    I wonder if it broke other non-ftv devices? I still plan to check out Smart Youtube TV, since I want to ad block the hell out of youtube at this point. Google demonitizes half the videos/creators I like anyway.

    • Adam says:

      Well, that, and like I said before, if Google is comfortable putting thew screws to little me to apply leverage to Amazon, screw them, I’m not going out of my way to respect the ethics of ad-blocking.

      • AFTVnews says:

        I hear you. I have chosen not to write about the Smart YouTube TV app because I don’t think it’s right to take income from YouTube creators, even if you’re upset at Google.

        I’m not going to go out of my way to discourage the apps use by deleting comments about it or anything like that, but as long as there is still a good way to access YouTube on the Fire TV that doesn’t involve taking income away from YouTube channels, I’m not going to personally endorse the Smart YouTube TV app.

        If the Smart YouTube TV app becomes the only good way to watch YouTube on a Fire TV device, I’ll likely endorse it even though it blocks ads and, in turn, hurts creators.

        • Richard says:

          I’ve clearly missed something here; how is Smart YouTube app blocking ads? I tried using it today & I saw ads just like I normally do.

          • AFTVnews says:

            Hmm. I’ve actually never used the app. I’ve just read several people mention in the comments that it blocks ads so I just assumed it did. Perhaps it only blocks some ads but not others. I honestly don’t know.

            I’ll try to look into it soon.

          • Y314K says:

            Since the Smart YouTube app is a very active project. Maybe someone can ask for the Ad-Blocking to be optional. That way folks can choose to follow their believes in the matter.

          • TechyChris says:

            I have also been using the Smart YouTube app and yes it does have ads, but I don’t think they are as frequent as on the official YouTube page.

        • Adam says:

          And that’s because you’re a better man than I, Elias, and I say that without a hint of snark.

          Integrity is its own reward, it cannot be taken away, only surrendered, and I’ve given up some through various actions to redress violence I feel I and we as a culture have suffered. (Don’t get me started on constitutional public domain, copyright and Sonny Bono)

          I don’t pretend that I’m ethical, but I also feel that I’m being made cannon-fodder in one multi-billion dollar company’s fight against another, so I sleep well with this particular ethical compromise.

          I also consciously make sure that AFTVNews is one of the sites that I whitelist in my ad-blocker.

          Life is a series of choices. Be honest about which ones you make and why.

          • AR says:

            Google is screwing with ad blockers now too
            i have ABP on desktop chrome and it only blocks ads on small channels
            i noticed ABP no longer blocks ads on larger channels
            it still plays the ad and then shills for red to block the ads
            oh well time to set up a pihole i guess

            and there is no reason to feel guilty about
            ad blocking for fear of hurting content creators
            Googles latest move has screwed 95% of channel out of their ad revenu, the only ones that remain or that will remain will be the most malignant cancer of the internet ,MCN channels , and cable TV tier garbage , they have just effectively evicted 95% of their users not only from YouTube but from the internet itself
            since Google owns nearly the entire infrastructure , there is not a single platform left that can serve videos effecticiently

            watch?v=5XVn5DyPDIQ&t=709s

            the only way to help small decent creators is to screw the platform and the commercial cancer “creators” that will remain because they are sanctioned shills putting out “ad friendly” garbage content

          • Adam says:

            Actually, it sounds like your ad-blocker has sold out. Maybe to Google, but maybe instead to a particular ad-network. Probably the best course of action would be to move on from ABP.

          • Manabi says:

            @AR (Replying to the comment above since there’s no reply link on AR’s comment.) That problem is likely ABP itself, which has been making lots of questionable decisions for years. Try uBlock Origin instead, it uses less resources and works far, far better. You can subscribe to multiple ad filter lists easily in it. I don’t see any ads on Youtube at all using it.

  2. Wayne says:

    Regarding the Silk browser for the AFTV, “Launching the browser loads…a pop-up message that informs you to press the menu button on the remote” Obviously a problem between the chair and the keyboard/remote, but how do you get rid of this pop-up? it just sits there blocking my view of the screen, can’t X out, if I hit back button it asks me if I want to exit the browser. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Even my neighbor’s kid couldn’t figure it out….Thanks in advance

    • Ruben Garcia says:

      try instaling mouse toggle or a usb mouse to click on the x

      • Wayne says:

        Thanks Ruben, I do have a USB keyboard/mouse connected, but there is no “X” to click on. I’ve got 2 AFTVs, and it’s the same on both.

        • Ruben Garcia says:

          there are 2 options there is another app call mobile tube which is like the old youtube tv app straight from amazon store. The second option is the smart youtube app sideloaded and updated regularly with 4k support.

  3. Christopher Loughrey says:

    I got so tired of this Youtube nonsense that I decided to invest in the Nvidia Shield when it was on sale over Christmas, wouldn’t look back. Voice searching youtube makes it through Android TV makes it a worthwhile upgrade

  4. privateeromally says:

    @AR You should be using uBlock and not ABP (as they accept money from companies wot whitelist ads. Use ublock and pihole and you’ll be fine. Unless you use chrome, which just recently uses it own DNS which goes over any DNS use use (like VPNS and pihole)

    • AR says:

      ok thanks i will try that out

      • Adam says:

        Good. Will you also revisit your claim that Google is “screwing” as you say with ad blockers?

        It may be true. But it may also more likely be true that ABP sold out and that Google has nothing to do with what your’re experiencing.

        I have no love of Google, especially after this latest development, but I have less love of false claims on the web that are rashly made and then never retracted when proven to be false. I think we as a civilization are currently suffering greatly from this phenomenon.

        Please don’t be another part of the problem.

        • Adam says:

          Hmm, I see, how regrettable.

          We’re so quick to broadcast incorrect information and so silent when it comes to admitting we were wrong…
          Like I said, please don’t be part of the problem.

  5. Jake says:

    poop on google

  6. Tony Ramirez says:

    ABP sold out. It does a poor job of blocking ads even if you don’t allow some ads. You can tell when you ask about blocking ads on there own forum they have the nerve to close your post and link you a boilerplate post saying you can’t talk about blocking ads really.

    Just use UBlock Origin. It actually blocks the ads.

    • Juan says:

      I just installed Smart YouTube months ago and i don’t have to worry about these crazy decisions, even i sign-in to into my account.

  7. TechyChris says:

    Major update to SILK today (Amazon’s words, not mine)

  8. The_Dude says:

    Has anyone figured out a way to add/replace links to the Firefox menu on the firetv firefox browser? Thanks

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