While flipping through countless college football games over a recent weekend, I was struck by a revelation: Multiview on YouTube TV — even in its imperfect, inflexible form — is my biggest misconception about the leading live streaming platform. Almost fixes one of the complaints.
The “problem” isn’t really a problem because anything is actually broken. This is exactly how YouTube TV works, and it’s almost certainly something by design. If you’re a habitual channel-flipper, you already know well that streaming services like YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, and other options aren’t exactly a way to quickly fly through channels one after another. Are known.
On the other hand, channel-flipping may be an outdated method, given that on-screen guides exist. And YouTube TV is excellent, giving you a clear view of what’s playing on nearby channels. (And on some platforms, it also shows a live preview of what’s playing on the channel at that time, which is nice.)
In any event, MultiView – a feature that allows you to have multiple shows on the screen at one time – scratches that itch quite nicely. This is not a new feature. Apple TV has its own implementation for Major League Soccer and Major League Baseball. ESPN+ has its own version. Fubo TV has Multiview. And YouTube TV allows it for some news channels too.
And when it comes to watching college football on Saturday, or the NFL on Sunday, if you have an NFL season pass, it’s a godsend. Because by the time you change from one game on one channel to another game on another channel, the series may be over. Or you might miss out on a big game.
You can probably speed this up by grouping all the sports channels together in a custom channel list, which YouTube TV lets you do and which is one of my favorite features of the service.
But multiview is king, especially if you have a large enough television. You can watch up to four games simultaneously on the screen, and then flip the audio from one game to the next when things get boring in Tallahassee but look better in Omaha. Or you can click to put Notre Dame full screen, then simply press the back button to return to the four-game spread.
It is not complete. We still need the option to choose which channels (and thus which games) are available for multiview. This is something that other multiview implementations can do. (YouTube TV has said this is “technically a very difficult thing to do”, which almost certainly means lawyers had something to do with it.)
But it’s better than watching one channel at a time.