The problem with YouTube and the new Netflix interface, both of which only work on Roku 3 for the moment (but will also work on the HDMI Streaming Stick when it ships next month) is that they're written in web authoring languages and run in little pared down "browsers". This allows them to make large changes to the UI and player functionality without requiring a firmware update by Roku or other OEMs. For instance, Netflix added Profiles support to the old common UI
on the five platforms that I own which had that UI at the time, all without any firmware updates, all on the same day (PS3, WD TV Live, TiVo Roamio, Panasonic DMP-BDT220 and Sony BDP-S390--PS3 and the TiVo now have the new common Netflix UI
). Platforms with these common web-tech based UIs share huge amounts of Netflix player code and graphics assets, making it lots easier to maintain players on hundreds of devices.
The negative side of this approach is that it's tons less efficient than other ways to write the applications that are "closer to the metal". These players run horribly on some embedded platforms with slow CPUs and limited memory resources. For instance, the old common UI is very laggy on my BDT220, just barely tolerable; the YouTube player on Roku 3 runs quite well on TiVo Roamio but is so horribly slow on TiVo Premiere as to be unusable, IMO. My guess is that the delay in getting these channels on non-Roku-3-Rokus has got to be optimizing them further to get them to run acceptably on the slower processors of those boxes. The upcoming HDMI Streaming Stick must have a processor nearly as fast or faster than Roku 3's.Edited by michaeltscott - 3/17/14 at 6:14pm