The Interview got a surprise online release Wednesday just in time for the holidays — but watching it on the device of your choice can be a challenge. Case in point: Google is releasing it for rent and purchase on both YouTube and Play in the U.S., but Apple is sitting on the sidelines, leaving Apple TV and iPad owners wondering what to do. And Microsoft is streaming it on its Xbox console — but how can you watch it on Roku’s streaming boxes?
For answers, check our guide below:
(Note: Five days after Sony began allowing online sales of The Interview, Apple agreed to offer the movie over iTunes. It is now available for rent and purchase on Apple TV.)
There doesn’t seem to be any way of buying or renting the film directly on Apple TV (if you’ve found a way, please let us know in the comments), but you can purchase it on YouTube Movies on the web from a PC or Mac and then stream it to your Apple TV, though you may have to go through a few configuration steps.
- First, make sure that you have the right version of the YouTube app available to you. Only third-generation Apple TVs have the new YouTube app, which offers access to paid content. You won’t be able to access YouTube rentals if you have a first- or second-generation device. If you are unsure, check how the YouTube app looks like on your Apple TV, and compare it to the screenshots on this page.
- If your Apple TV YouTube app isn’t linked to your YouTube or Google accounts, you’ll have to manually connect them by going into the sign-in option in the settings tab. You’ll get an 8-digit code, which you then enter on YouTube’s activation page. Your YouTube preferences should now show up in Apple TV.
- You have to purchase or rent the movie from the YouTube or Google Play. If you’ve never bought anything from Google Play or YouTube before you’ll have to enter your credit card info, but if you already have a Google Wallet account, you’re set.
- Now go to the Apple TV app, go to the MyYouTube tab, and then scroll down to the purchases section. Your movie should be right there.
iPhone and iPad
The process is much easier on iOS devices as long as you have the YouTube app or Google Play Movies & TV app. As with Apple TV you can’t buy The Interview directly from either app, but if you purchase it on the web from either Google Play or YouTube, you’ll find it available on either iOS app once logged in with your Google ID (In YouTube, you’ll see it under the purchases tab).
Roku owners can access the movie through the YouTube app, provided they have one of the current-generation Roku models that actually carries that app (check here for a complete list). As with Apple TV, you’ll have to rent or buy the movie online first, then make sure to link your accounts to sign in to the YouTube app on Roku. After that, your purchases and rentals should show up in the purchases section. Alternatively, you can also use the new Google Play Movies app on Roku.
This post was updated at 4:05pm with more information on accessing paid YouTube rentals on Apple TV.
Janko Roettgers contributed to this post.