YouTube has an integrated remote-control feature. Pair the YouTube app on your phone or the website on your computer with YouTube on any streaming box, smart TV, or game console for easy, Chromecast-style browsing and playback controls.
This even allows you to control YouTube playback in your computer’s web browser, which is very useful if you’re watching YouTube on a computer connected to your TV — or if you’re using your laptop as a makeshift television screen.
First, start the YouTube app on your game console, smart TV, streaming box, or whatever other device you want to watch it on. This can be anything from a Roku or the YouTube app built into your smart TV to the YouTube apps available on the various generations of PlayStation, Xbox, and Wii consoles.
Want to watch YouTube on your laptop, desktop, or any other device with a web browser? Load up the YouTube TV interface at https://www.youtube.com/tv#/ in your web browser. This will make your computer function a lot like a set-top box with a YouTube app. In fact, this is the exact same standard interface you’ll find on modern YouTube devices — except it can be run in a web browser on almost every platform. Press F11 to make this interface go full-screen in your web browser.
Scroll down in the menu at the left side of the YouTube interface until you see a “Settings” option. Select it. (If you’re using the YouTube TV interface on aa computer, use your arrow keys and the Enter key.) You can manage paired devices from this Settings screen later — you’ll see a number of paired devices to the right of the “Pair Device” icon if you have devices paired.
Select the “Pair Device” option to start pairing your device with the YouTube app on a modern smartphone, or the YouTube website on a laptop or other computer. You’ll get a pairing code you’ll need to pair another device with the YouTube TV interface.
You can use a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, or another type of device for this. On a smartphone or tablet, launch the YouTube app for Android, iPhone, or iPad. Open the sidebar, tap the Settings icon, and tap “Connected TVs.”
Enter the pairing code shown on the YouTube TV app here.
Enter the pairing code shown on your TV and the YouTube website will be paired with it.
Whether you’re using the YouTube mobile app or the full YouTube website on your computer, you can now remotely control the TV’s playback. Search for videos and tap or click them — when you do, you’ll be able either start playing them immediately on the TV or add them to the queue. They’ll be played back automatically after your currently queued videos finish.
While watching videos, the YouTube app or website will function as a remote control, allowing you to pause videos, resume playback, rewind, and fast forward. It’s a lot like Chromecasting — but it will work with the YouTube app on basically any device, from smart TV interfaces to the YouTube website on a computer plugged into your TV.
YouTube also allows you to use the DIAL protocol to “cast” videos to a Roku, smart TV, or other DIAL-enabled device. This allows you to effectively use your Roku or modern smart TV like a Chromecast, at least for YouTube.
This may not be the most convenient feature if you already have a Chromecast, but it works anywhere you have a YouTube TV app or access to the YouTube website.