YouTube TV Adds ‘Multiview’ Feature On Eve Of March Madness, With Eye Toward NFL Sunday Ticket Debut

YouTube TV

YouTube TV is rolling out “multiview” streaming, enabling subscribers to view as many as four linear feeds simultaneously.

The viewing option will roll out gradually for a subset of the subscriber base, with all 5 million-plus subscribers gaining access “over the next several months,” the company said in a blog post.

Multiview allows audio and subtitling for pre-selected feeds to be switched by the viewer, and full-screen viewing can be selected at any time. The debut of the feature comes as the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments are tipping off this week. In the fall, YouTube will also take the wraps off an updated NFL Sunday Ticket premium package after the tech firm acquired the longtime DirecTV property, promising major product upgrades.

German Cheung, the engineering lead for the YouTube TV core experience team, said in a Q&A in the blog post that delivering multiple feeds within the screen typically requires the user to have high-powered equipment. But since YouTube TV delivers a pay-TV bundle via the internet and doesn’t have a box or connected device, engineers needed to shift processing requirements to YouTube’s servers. One building block of the “stream stitch” solution was recently developed technology enabling YouTube creators to go live together on the site. Having already brought that feature to market, Cheung said, “We had a lot of the tech required to build this great new feature for YouTube TV.”

Subscriber feedback about multiview in the coming months “will help inform the experience as we get closer to the NFL football season kicking off this fall,” Cheung said. More customization options are in the offing, as is a version for the main YouTube connected-TV app later this year.

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