YouTube TV Testing 5.1 Audio on Google TV, Android TV, Roku, but What About Apple TV & Fire TV?
In the summer of 2021, YouTube TV announced that 5.1 Dolby audio capabilities would be available to all subscribers at no additional cost. However, it only works on a limited amount of devices such as LG and Samsung Smart TVs. Now, the company is testing 5.1 audio on Google TV, Android TV, and Roku, and will soon roll out the feature on those devices. Unfortunately, Apple TV and Fire TV users will still have to wait a little longer.
YouTube TV tweeted:
We’re still working internally and with partners to enable 5.1 on Apple TV, Fire TV, and game consoles. We don’t like keeping you waiting, but we’re excited for you to hear 5.1 audio soon. Our current compatible devices can be found here: https://t.co/kfARTipLUG— YouTube TV (@YouTubeTV) March 28, 2022
Scrolling through the responses, you’ll see that YouTube TV users are less than impressed since it has been almost nine months since the announcement was made and yet the only compatible devices highlighted on their website are from Samsung, LG, and VIZIO, as well as Traditional Chromecasts (i.e. non-Google TV Chromecasts).
It’s unusual that YouTube TV 5.1 audio isn’t supported by its parent company’s devices, such as Chromecast with Google TV. Wouldn’t it make sense for Google to prioritize its own devices?
So it seems like everyone has to make do with boring old stereo sound in the meantime. Plus, Apple TV, Fire TV, and users with games consoles like PS5 and Xbox Series X will have to be a lot more patient because who knows how long the testing will take to bring 5.1 to those devices.
Lastly, while 5.1 audio sounds like an added bonus to YouTube TV, it will only come into effect on content that fully supports the immersive audio feature. So, while the feature should work as intended with most TV shows and movies, you’ll get the most immersive audio experience by watching content like sports that’s been made with 5.1 surround sound in mind.