After releasing YouTube TV surround sound capability for Google TV devices and Roku in June, Google is finally adding the feature for its cord-cutter audience. Using the Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV platforms. The company has promised to release improved audio stream capability for those platforms, which “Still working internally and with partners.”
Google initially announced plans to add 5.1 surround sound capability for YouTube TV last year, launching a 4K Plus package that includes high-quality video and the ability to play recordings offline. At the time, Google promised that Dolby 5.1 surround features would be available to all subscribers (Plus package or not) in the “coming weeks,” but it certainly took longer than expected. In February, YouTube Chief Product Officer Neil Mohan confirmed The Vergecast Feature coming soon.
5.1 Audio Update! We now support 5.1 audio for compatible YouTube TV content (Live, DVR, & Video On-Demand) on Apple TV & Fire TV devices.
If you are a game console user, we are working hard to get it to you as soon as possible and will share live updates here. pic.twitter.com/8Pmxrt1WqU
— YouTube TV (@YouTubeTV) September 6, 2022
Not all channels support surround sound, but you can check if you have it by going to the stream. Statistics for geeks Menu, under Player Controls, clicking Moreand then selecting Bug icon. There, if you see an audio codec listed as AC-3 / EAC-3, Stream supports 5.1 surround sound and it will be enabled automatically. The feature is now available on compatible Smart TVs, Android TV, Google TV, Chromecast, Roku, various Fire TV devices and Apple TV. (However, as of this writing, this has not yet been mentioned on the official support page.)
Now that the most popular hardware platforms support YouTube TV’s premium features, cord-cutters have access to everything they want: live TV, DVR, surround sound, 4K streaming and offline viewing. The 4K Plus package costs an additional $19.99 per month on top of the standard $64.99 per month subscription, meaning you’ll pay $85 per month (taxes and fees) to replicate that cable TV experience via streaming.