On Android TV, Google TV, and Roku devices, YouTube TV adds 5.1 audio capabilities

On Android TV, Google TV, and Roku devices, YouTube TV adds 5.1 audio capabilities

Tech Highlights:

  • To check the Cobalt version for your TV, you must open the YouTube TV app using your streaming device, head to your profile photo / About / App Version. There should be a version number in parenthesis after “Cobalt” which should tell you if your TV is compatible with 5.1 audio. Samsung, LG and Vizio TVs with Cobalt 20 or above are certainly going to support 5.1 surround sound. The same goes for traditional Chromecasts or any other Android TV, Google TV and Roku devices that are running Cobalt 20 or higher (yes, that includes NVIDIA SHIELD TV).

  • Support for 5.1 surround sound is finally coming to a number of devices this week, despite the fact that it’s one of the most desired YouTube TV features (not to mention the availability of shows on the streaming site). Google has been waiting a long time to provide 5.1 audio sound to YouTube TV viewers, but the good news is that it will soon be available on a number of Android TV, Google TV, and Roku devices. In fact, Google claims that the sole need for 5.1 surround sound to operate correctly is that your device’s YouTube TV app be running Cobalt version 20 or above.

Keep in mind that not all YouTube TV programs support 5.1 surround sound, but as long as your device meets the requirements, you should automatically get 5.1 audio whenever it’s available for the program you’re watching. If you’re watching a program that you know for sure should support 5.1 surround sound, yet you don’t get it, there’s a way to check whether the program carries surround sound. To do that, you’ll have to open the YouTube TV app on your device and play the video, head to the player controls and select More. Then, choose the bug icon to have “Stats for nerds” be displayed on top the video while the video is playing.

If the program truly supports 5.1 surround audio, then you should see AC-3/EAC-3 listed in the Codecs section. Otherwise, it means the program doesn’t support the new features. In related news, Google confirmed that it’s working with partners to enable 5.1 audio on Apple TV, Fire TV, and game consoles too, so expect this feature to expand to additional devices sooner rather than later.

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