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YouTube TV now available in 5.1 surround sound on Amazon Fire TV devices

In 2021, Google’s YouTube let it be known that it had finally updated its YouTube TV subscription live TV streaming service with 5.1 surround sound, a move that had been eagerly anticipated by its subscribers since, well, forever. But it only covered select smart TV platforms like LG and Samsung. Then, in early June 2022, the service announced that more devices and platforms were joining the 5.1 party, with the addition of Roku, Android TV, and Google TV. But for some reason, Amazon’s Fire TV, the most popular streaming platform in the world, didn’t make the 5.1 cut. Until now.

As of June 23, 2022, Amazon says that, “Fire TV Stick 4k Max, Fire TV Stick, and Fire TV Stick Lite all now support YouTube TV’s 5.1 surround sound feature.” Curiously, Amazon has made no mention of its other Fire TV devices, like its own Fire TV Omni 4K TV, the original Fire TV Stick 4K, or the aging Fire TV Cube. Still, it appears that now pretty much everyone who wants YouTube TV in 5.1 surround sound can get it. Oh, well except for Apple TV owners and those who use game consoles to watch live TV streaming. These folks are still stuck in two-channel stereo, at least for the time being.

Not that you can actually watch all of YouTube TV’s content in 5.1, even if you own one of the devices that works with the new feature. Want to know if your chosen show or movie is available in 5.1?

  1. With a channel playing, click the three dots More option in player controls.
  2. Choose the bug icon that also says Stats for nerds.
  3. Look for the codecs section, which shows the type of audio being streamed. If you’re in 5.1 surround sound, you’ll see AC-3/EAC-3.

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Simon Cohen
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