YouTube TV has just introduced an early access multiview feature that allows viewers to watch up to four sports streams at once. This is great news for sports fans who want to keep up with multiple games or matches simultaneously without having to switch channels constantly. The new feature is now available on all smart TVs and living room media players that can run YouTube TV.
To access the multiview feature, subscribers simply need to visit the “Top Picks For You” section and select a pre-chosen multiview group, such as NCAA March Madness games. From there, they can jump to a full-screen view for each match, and switch the audio and captioning to the stream that captures their attention.
What’s impressive about this technology is that it doesn’t require a high-powered device like some other services. According to YouTube’s German Cheung, the processing is moved to YouTube‘s servers, so the hardware only has to handle one feed regardless of how many streams are being watched. This technology is borrowed from YouTube’s co-streaming feature and promises a smooth and seamless viewing experience.
Currently, the multiview feature is in its early access phase, and subscribers who are part of this phase will receive an alert and an email. However, YouTube TV plans to deploy multiview streaming for all subscribers in the coming months. The company also plans to expand the functionality over time, including the option to customize the stream selection.
The timing of this feature release is convenient, as March Madness is just getting started, and the MLB season start is only weeks away. With multiview, YouTube TV is poised to become more compelling for viewers who are deciding on a TV provider, especially internet-only services. Additionally, the broad support may be alluring to those whose competing services don’t offer this level of multi-stream support on their preferred living room equipment. For example, the official March Madness Live app only supports four-way streaming on the web, limiting viewers to only two streams elsewhere.