March Madness kicks off this week and in a matter of days many of us will attempt to watch as many games as possible on as many screens as possible. It's a dance that I enjoy, but it would be nice if the TV streaming service I keep paying more for would offer a way to do it within itself. That's apparently about to happen on YouTube TV, with the announcement of the service's new multiview mode.
google and YouTube announced today that multiview is launching as an early access product that will arrive over the next few months to all subscribers. At this time, we have no idea how you'll get early access or if it is an account-by-account whitelisting. Let's hope there is a way to manually opt-in later this week.
YouTube TV's multiview will show you “an option to watch up to four pre-selected, different streams at once” within your “Top Picks for You” section. After reading that, I can't tell if you'll be able to select any of the streams or if YouTube TV will only give you what it thinks you want (or what it is capable of streaming together). Hopefully, we can customize, but that word “pre-selected” is throwing me.
Google says that when in multiview, you'll be able to switch audio and captions between streams and jump from fullscreen views back to multiview. And all of this is happening on YouTube TV's end, so you don't need a high-end TV or screen that can process 4 streams at once. Google is doing the heavy-lifting – you are just watching.
Again, Google says that early access is happening right away and rolling out over several months. While it would be lovely if we had access for the start of this week's March Madness tournament, there doesn't appear to be a guarantee. We'll start looking as we get closer to Thursday's opening rounds.
Please let us know if you see the option in your YouTube TV streams!