The YouTube TV platform has built its popularity through easy access to live stream services, available at a very high level of picture quality and with a well-structured content catalogue.
Especially popular with consumers in the United States, the YouTube TV platform is about to offer something that no conventional cable TV service can deliver: the ability to watch up to four streams simultaneously in a user-friendly interface that features easy tools such as soundtrack selection and the display of real-time captions. Switching video streams is done from the remote control, selecting between simple soundtrack playback and display in maximised mode.
The new Multiview option could be of particular interest to sports fans, who will no longer have to switch between broadcasts scheduled at the same time. However, there is a limitation, as the broadcasts available in Multiview mode will be pre-selected by YouTube TV administrators. In other words, users of the platform will not be able to randomly combine the sports channel with the movie channel or the news channel. At least for now, Multiview functionality will only be provided for special occasions, such as during sports competitions.
Far from being a simple interface for multiple video streams, Multiview is also designed to save bandwidth by selecting low-quality versions of the main video stream (hence the requirement for YouTube TV to pre-select). In other words, YouTube’s servers will stream alternative video streams at the appropriate resolution and compression level for quarter-screen viewing.