The YouTube TV app for Roku streaming sticks will get a major update soon, with 5.1 surround sound. As long as they have a compatible speaker setup, users watching YouTube TV on a Roku device will be able to enjoy immersive audio on videos that support surround sound.
5.1 immersive audio is currently being tested for Roku streaming sticks, as well as Google TV and Android TV devices, according to YouTube TV’s official Twitter account.
Although no firm date was given, YouTube TV stated that “if everything goes smoothly,” those platforms will be the next to get immersive audio.
Other popular devices, such as Apple TV, Fire TV, and games consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X, will also get the 5.1 surround sound update, according to the account, which added that it’s working with partners to get the feature ready for those devices.
When will YouTube TV have 5.1 audio?
A select few devices already support 5.1 surround sound for YouTube TV. Some of the best LG and Samsung TVs, as well as the original Chromecast model, are among them.
However, we’re still waiting for Roku devices and other streamers to support the feature.
It’s particularly odd that YouTube TV 5.1 audio isn’t currently supported by its parent company’s devices, such as Chromecast with Google TV
YouTube’s chief product officer, Neal Mohan, has seemed eager to address the delay, telling another news source last month that the:
…rollout of that feature has certainly been a lot slower than I would’ve liked…hopefully over the next six months, you start to see that in a lot more devices out there as they go through their various stages of software upgrade cycles. I think that if we’re chatting in six months, that situation should be dramatically better.
If Mohan’s words are to be believed, 5.1 immersive audio will be available on a wider range of platforms in the second half of 2022.
It’s unlikely to come to Roku anytime soon, as the upcoming Roku OS 11 update makes no mention of YouTube TV updates.
The additions, according to Gidon Katz, the company’s senior vice president of product and experience, are aimed at making the platform more personalized:
With Roku OS 11, we’re offering a platform with new personalized updates across search, audio, content discovery, along with a new feature that allows our customers to display and even share photo albums through Roku devices.
It’s possible that Roku’s new dialogue volume boost feature will work with YouTube TV in the future, but for now, Roku owners will have to wait alongside Google TV, Android TV, and Apple TV users.
Finally, while 5.1 audio sounds like a fantastic addition to YouTube TV, it will only be available for movies and shows that fully support the immersive audio feature.
While most content should work with the feature, you’ll get the most immersive audio experience by watching content that was created with 5.1 surround sound in mind.