YouTube is reportedly releasing a handful of new features, including split-screen viewing for YouTube TV and the ability to watch Shorts on the big screen.
According to Protocol(Opens in a new window), YouTube’s live TV streaming service is adding something called “Mosaic Mode,” which will let people stream up to four live feeds simultaneously by dividing the TV display into quadrants, which could come in handy for the news-obsessed or those who want to keep an eye on several sports games at once.
Protocol cites leaked plans from a recent internal partner event with hardware manufacturers; the updates are expected to roll out these updates in the coming months.
YouTube is also looking to bring some TikTok-like features to its smart TV app, namely YouTube Shorts. Unveiled in September 2020 and released in beta six months later, Shorts are brief vertical videos that let folks string multiple clips together, record with songs, control speed settings, and add text.
And while they benefit from integration with YouTube—identify tunes, watch music videos, learn more about the artist without leaving the site—there is no support for watching Shorts on the big screen. Until now.
A mockup, seen by Protocol, shows a vertical video at the center of the screen, with its title, song name, and thumbs-up-and-down reactions off to one side. The lack of full-screen scroll bar, Protocol said, suggests a different interface from the normal YouTube player. (YouTube’s app comes pre-installed on most modern smart TVs.)
Speaking of smart TVs, the update includes stability and performance improvements for Android TV and Google TV, as well as additional direct-from-the-television features for YouTube Music.
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YouTube TV, meanwhile, lets users watch cable channels and networks via an internet connection. The platform—available on the web, Android or iOS, media streaming devices, and select smart TVs—features 90 channels covering entertainment, lifestyle, local, news, and sports. A $64.99-per-month subscription also buys you access to YouTube Originals.
Neither Google nor YouTube immediately responded to PCMag’s requests for comment.
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