YouTube TV announced plans: Adding 5.1 Surround Sound Support for Streaming TV

YouTube TV will have Surround sound on your streams for more devices, including the Chromecast with Google TV. The company announced that in addition to previously existing surround sound support on traditional Chromecasts and TVs made by Vizio, LG, or Samsung, the immersive audio experience is rolling out to Google TV, Android TV, and Roku.

According to a support page for YouTube TV, if you have a compatible hardware setup and the program you’re watching is available with 5.1 audio, it should turn on automatically. If you’re watching something and you’re not sure if it’s coming through, one way to check is to open up the “Stats for nerds” window to see if you can find AC-3/EAC-3 under the codecs section, which indicates you’re on the correct feed.

If you’re hoping to get a few extra channels but stream your YouTube TV subscription package on another device, like Fire TV, Apple TV, PlayStation, or Xbox, the last update in March said YouTube is “still working internally and with partners” to enable the feature on those platforms.

Roku is a trademark of hardware digital media players fabricated by the American company Roku, Inc. They deliver access to streaming media content from online services. The first Roku model, conceived in collaboration with Netflix, was introduced in May 2008. Roku devices have popularized the idea of low-cost, small-form-factor set-top boxes for over-the-top media consumption. Roku has also authorized its platform as middleware for smart TVs.

In August 2021, Roku got more than 55 million active accounts, according to its quarterly earnings report. As of January 2022, Roku holds 60.1 million active users.

Anthony Wood launched Roku in 2002, who had previously established a DVR company, ReplayTV, that competed with TiVo. After ReplayTV’s failure, Wood functioned for a while at Netflix. In 2007, Wood’s company began serving Netflix on Project: Griffin, a set-top box to authorize Netflix users to stream Netflix range to their TVs. However, a few weeks before the project’s launch, Netflix’s founder Reed Hastings determined it would hamper license contracts with third parties, potentially keeping Netflix off parallel platforms and killing the project. Fast Company magazine mentioned the decision to kill the project as “one of Netflix’s most dangerous moves.”

Netflix decided instead to rotate off the company, and Roku released its first set-top box in 2008. In 2010 they began delivering models with various capabilities, which eventually became their standard business model. In 2014, Roku partnered with innovative TV manufacturers to produce TVs with built-in Roku functionality. In 2015, Roku succeeded in the inaugural Emmy for Television Enhancement Devices.

In 2019, Roku acquired dataxu, an advertising technology company, for $150 million. Android TV is an innovative operating system based on Android and formulated by Google for television sets, set-top boxes, digital media players, and soundbars. A successor to Google TV features a user interface designed close to content discovery and voice search, integration with other recent Google technologies such as Assistant, Cast, and Knowledge Graph, and content aggregation from various media apps and services.

The platform was first disclosed in June 2014 and was first constructed and available on the Nexus Player that November. The platform has been adopted as intelligent TV middleware by companies such as Sony and Sharp. At the same time, Android TV products have also been adopted as set-top boxes by several IPTV television providers.

A special edition named Android TV Operator Tier is provided to service operators that execute Android TV on the device they supply to their subscribers to access the media range. In this edition, the operator can customize the home screen and assistance on the device. Google TV is a discontinued innovative TV operating system from Google co-developed by Sony, Intel, and Logitech. It embarked in October 2010 with official devices initially completed by Sony and Logitech.] Google TV incorporated the Android 3.0/3.2 operating system and the Google Chrome web browser to complete an interactive television overlay on existing online video sites to add a 10-foot user interface for an innovative TV experience.

Google TV’s first generation gadgets were all based on x86 architecture processors and were created and commercialized by Sony and Logitech. The second generation of machines is based on ARM architecture processors and with additional partners including LG, Samsung, Vizio, and Hisense. In 2013, more second-generation Google TV-supported devices were revealed by new partners, including Netgear, TCL, Hisense, and Asus, some of which possess 3D video support.

Google TV was followed in June 2014 by Android TV, a newer platform that shares closer ties with the Android platform and contains a revamped user experience integrating with Knowledge Graph and furnishing casting support from mobile devices. Unfortunately, the Google TV SDK is unavailable, ending future software development for existing devices and effectively belittling the platform. Google TV leveraged multiple of Google’s existing products. Google TV’s operating system, a customized rendition of Android 3.0/3.2 designed for TV, furnished the underlying foundation, permitting developers to build applications that extended the system’s functionality.

Google’s Chrome browser furnished a gateway to the Internet, permitting consumers to browse websites and watch television in tandem. Consumers could access CNBC, HBO, and content from other providers through the Chrome browser. Android and Apple mobiles and tablet computers could be used as remote controls for Google TV.

Google TV products shipped with wireless remote controls with a full QWERTY keypad. An update in November 2011 allowed access to Google Play and enabled search to find content from live TV, Netflix, YouTube, HBO GO, Amazon, and more.

The Google TV platform was provided by Google to OEMs for incorporation into their consumer products. Logitech and Sony produced the first generation of consumer devices. Sony, LG, Vizio, Hisense, NetGear, and Asus made the second generation of consumer devices. The third generation of consumer devices was announced by LG at the 2013 International CES, announcing their TV models.