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YouTube TV Expands 5.1 Audio to Apple TV & Fire TV [Updated]

YouTube TV now delivers 5.1 surround sound audio through Google TV, Android TV, Roku, Apple TV and Fire TV streaming platforms.

YouTubeTV Logo

We reported previously that YouTube TV was adding several features and options to its service, including 4K UHD resolution and 5.1 channel audio when available. However, as it turned out, there was a catch with regards to accessing 5.1 channel surround sound. 

The catch was that you had to have a compatible Samsung, LG, or Vizio TV running the correct YouTube TV app version (Cobalt 20 or higher), as well as a compatible audio system.

However, after a year YouTube issued a new announcement on June 7th, 2022 via Twitter, that 5.1 channel audio is now available for Google TV, Android TV, and Roku devices when available.  

UPDATE 9/6/2022: YouTube TV has also added 5.1 Surround Sound support for Apple TV and Fire TV Devices.

Unfortunately, it still looks like PlayStation and Xbox users will have to wait a little longer for 5.1 audio – hopefully, not for another year!

To see if you are running Colbat 20 or higher on your device:

  1. Open the YouTube TV app with your login info.
  1. Go to your profile photo > About > App Version.
  1. Check the version number after “Cobalt.”

According to YouTube TV Support, if your device(s) meet the requirements to access and play 5.1 channel surround sound, it should come on automatically, provided the program or movie is being provided in 5.1 by the content source.

Stats for Nerds

If you aren’t sure if the 5.1 audio automatic detection and launch is working, you can check the YouTube TV Stats for Nerds feature:

  1. Open the YouTube TV app on your TV, and play a video.
  2. Go to > Player Controls > More > Select Bug Icon.
  3. Stats for Nerds will be displayed on top of the video. 

If 5.1 is available for the program or movie you’re watching, you’ll see AC-3/EAC-3 (the generic terms Dolby Digital/Dolby Digital Plus) listed in the Codecs section.

Other things you can check with Stats For Nerds include:

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  • Video ID/sCPN: This is the video’s ID in YouTube’s database. The code for your specific content playback is also provided.
  • Viewport/Frames: The native resolution of your playback device (not the resolution of the streaming video). The current frame status is also displayed.
  • Current/Optimal Res: The current resolution of the video being viewed (may be different than the original stated resolution of the video).
  • Volume/Normalized: The volume of the video you’re watching and how much the audio is “normalized” (compressed so that the difference between loud and soft portions is evened out). 
  • Codecs: What video and audio compression codecs are being used with the content you are watching.
  • Color: The color range of the movie or show you are watching. 
  • Connection Speed: Your device’s network connection.
  • Network Activity: The data transmission from YouTube’s servers to your device. 
  • Buffer Health: How much time YouTube is able to buffer to avoid playback freezes and dropouts.


1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. ORT

    June 13, 2022 at 8:20 pm

    How nice of them! But, and here comes another toadish big BUTT…

    I rid my self of YouBoob TV when with out axing me, they brought on CMTV, BTV and one other channel (I think it was some sports channel and I despise brofessional pathletics no end!) I have zero interest in. Neither am I remotely intredasted in “Widdle Peepses, Humongous World” or any thing to do with caucasional trash the Alaska diggin’ fer gold or Mormon Threesomes in Heat (I think the real title was some thing like, “Sister Wives”..WTF?!)

    I loathe paying for what I do not desire and being forced to pay at that. This is why I eschew cable TV and not YouFlub TV. The standard answer is the same as cable’s. If they do not package crappy channels, large and small, then said purveyor’s of pablum-ized filt will not survive.

    I say, “GOOD!” I do not want to be farced into paying for crappola and in this digitlized age, there really is no reason that I can not pick and choose and PAY for what I want and have it sent to my device(s) via MAC and IP addresses. But nnnNNOooOOOOOOOooooo! They pack more poo that a certain presidente’s Depends and then (kinda sorta similar) farce you into paying for the crap.

    So YouPube can keep their codecs and eat boogers and die. Let me pay for that which I KNOW I will enjoy and I will return. But they will not. And so I will stay with what I like. Today’s nutwork television would just love to remake “Leave It To Beaver”…I am going to Hades, I know. 😉

    Like Brian Wilson said, I guess I just wasn’t made for these times.

    Be well, sir!


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