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Make the YouTube TV WebApp (leanback) Work Again!
January 14, 2020

For those running HTPC, a lot of you probably know about the youtube.com/tv Web UI (also known as Leanback). If you don’t know, Leanback is a fully featured YouTube experience designed for… well TVs and Remotes. It also bundles other nice TV features like the ability to “cast” to the TV. And all it needs is a browsers!

Sadly it appears Google is not longer letting normal browsers access YouTube TV… but there is a solution! As it turns out, some Smart TVs and Set Top Boxes use the web UI to provide YouTube, and Google didn’t want to break that. So all you need to do is set your user agent to make YouTube TV/Leanback think you’re a Smart TV:

Mozilla/5.0 (SMART-TV; Linux; Tizen 4.0.0.2) AppleWebkit/605.1.15 (KHTML, like Gecko) SamsungBrowser/9.2 TV Safari/605.1.15

This will make your browser look like a Samsung Smart TV running Tizen!

In order to set the user agent, you’ll need some browser extension, like this one for Firefox (just create a custom entry for Youtube TV).

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