Skip to main content

Move over, Netflix. Google wants YouTube to take over your living room

google io 2017 youtube living room 360
One of the main takeaways from Wednesday’s Google I/O 2017 press conference was that Google wants YouTube to take center stage on the biggest screen in your home. While YouTube’s one billion hours of video content streamed each day is done primarily on mobile devices at present, Google claims TV viewing is growing at a rate of 90 percent per year — and the company hopes to continue to increase that number. During Wednesday’s press conference Google’s head of Living Room Products, Sarah Ali, took to the stage to present several new YouTube features you’ll be able to enjoy on your TV.

First, Chromecast is joining the Internet of Things in a big thanks to integration with Google Home. Those with Google Home speakers, for instance, will be able to control a Chromecast or Chromecast Ultra using Google Assistant on your Google Home device just as you would any other Home-integrated device. That means calling up videos and TV content from YouTube’s live TV service, YouTube TV, without lifting a finger. As an example, Google showed Modern Family’s Phil Dunphe using a Google Home speaker to call up a video about pirates and badminton with nothing more than a random voice command.

Related Videos

One of the other cool announcements was that YouTube’s 360 video feature will be coming to YouTube apps for TVs, streaming devices, and gaming consoles, instead of having to use your phone or a VR headset to watch. The stage demo showed off a beautiful video of the Aurora Borealis in Alaska as an example, and Ali was able to move around her location with an Android TV remote. Live 360 videos from live-streamed events like Coachella, and other events will also be supported. Finding this content will work just like searching for other content in the YouTube app, and allows for voice assistance to make pinpoint searches — in theory, anyway. We haven’t seen the new feature in action just yet.

In addition, Google gave a live demo showing how the previously launched Super Chat feature can be used by YouTube streamers and content creators to connect better with one another. Super Chat gives viewers the ability to purchase special messages for a price of $1-$500, which will be highlighted in the live video chats. To show off the feature Google showed a way to use Super Chat to fundraise for a charity, in this case with each dollar equaling one water balloon being lobbed at popular YouTube content creators the SloMo Guys. It’s an interesting, albeit goofy, method for supporting creator and audience interactions, but many YouTubers will likely find more creative ways to use it.

We’ll find out more as Google I/O continues, and we’ll hopefully be adding some hands on experience with the new features from the floor of the event, so stay tuned.

Editors' Recommendations

How to watch TruTV from anywhere in the world for free
Mercedes-Benz Stadium Renders

College basketball fans are rejoicing because they can get their annual playoffs fix when they watch March Madness from now through the NCAA Championship game on April 3, 2023. The easiest way to watch NCAA basketball live is with TruTV live stream. TruTV isn't just for NCAA basketball; the streaming channel also features movies, shows, and original programming. If you subscribe to a conventional TV services provider such as AT&T, Optimum, Spectrum, Verizon, Xfinity, Dish, DirecTV, or Cox, you can watch TruTV to catch the action. If you cut the cord from cable or satellite TV services, you're still in luck because TruTV is included with several primary streaming services.
Watch TruTV on Sling TV

Sling TV includes TruTV with a Sling Blue $40 monthly subscription. In addition to a 30-channel TV line-up, Sling TV plans include 50 hours of digital video recording (DVR) with Cloud DVR. Sling Blue also allows three simultaneous device streams for channels available only on Sling Blue, which includes TruTV. So you can record a TruTV live stream NCAA game for later viewing if you can't watch it in real time. You can access Sling TV with most smart TVs, iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, Mac and Windows computers, and Xbox game consoles.
Watch TruTV on Hulu with Live TV

Read more
5 things we’d love to see at Google I/O 2023 (but probably won’t)
Google Pixel Watch on a wrist.

Google's annual developer conference, Google I/O, kicks off on May 10. Don't let the words "developer conference" put you off, though, as Google I/O is one of the biggest and most exciting shows of the year.

We've already covered what we expect to see at Google I/O 2023, and that list includes the Pixel 7a, Android 14, and even a Google Pixel Fold. But although those are all things we're really looking forward to and expecting to see, there are a number of reveals we'd also love to happen ... but are extremely unlikely to appear on the grand stage.

Read more
YouTube TV rolls out multiview: watch up to 4 NCAA games at once
An example of YouTube TV's multiview feature.

If you love college basketball and can process more than one game at a time, you're going to go bananas for YouTube TV's new multiview feature, which will be rolling out on a limited, early access basis starting March 14.  With multiview, you'll be able to pick up to four channels and see them all simultaneously, with the ability to easily flip the active audio from one to another. The new feature is compatible with any TV-based YouTube TV installations (streaming media players, smart TVs, and game consoles), but it doesn't yet work on mobile devices or computers.

Initially, multiview will only be available to select YouTube TV users, who will be chosen at random. But Google says the goal is to include every subscriber by the time NFL football season starts in the fall. Another limitation, at least for now, is that YouTube TV will preselect the multiview channels you can choose. At launch, only channels that carry NCAA tournament games will be included in that preselected list.
How to use YouTube TV multiview
If you're one of the lucky, randomly chosen users, you'll see an option to watch up to four preselected, different streams at once in your “Top Picks for You” section. After selecting multiview, you can switch audio and captions between streams, and jump in and out of a full-screen view of a game.
It's all about sports
At the moment, YouTube TV sees multiview as an enhancement of the sports viewing experience, so only sports content will be eligible. YouTube TV has had some big sports wins in 2022, including 4K coverage of the Soccer World Cup, and that trend will continue in 2023 thanks to its acquisition of the NFL Sunday Ticket games. However, YouTube TV recently lost access to MLB Network and the add-on, which reduces the amount of sports content available for multiview in 2023.

Read more