YouTube TV with surround sound on Apple and Fire TV

A year after announcing the start of Dolby 5.1 support, YouTube TV expanded its surround sound on new devices. Last June, this functionality was introduced for those TV devices belonging to Google and Roku. Now came this feature for its cord-cutting audiences on Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV platforms. The firm had promised to launch this enhanced audio streaming capability for the aforementioned platforms.

From Google it was communicated that it is “still working internally and with partners” to deliver on the promise of surround audio changes. Especially since the announcement of plans for this feature in 5.1 sound for YouTube TV had been made last year. This was almost simultaneous with the launch of the 4K Plus package, which included higher quality video and improved offline playback capability.

At the time, Google had promised that all Dolby 5.1 surround sound features would be available in a few weeks for subscribers to both the Plus and Traditional packages. But this initiative has taken longer than the tech giant expected. Neal Mohan, YouTube’s product manager, had confirmed to The Vergecast in February that the feature would soon be available to users.

YouTube and a long-awaited update

Not all current channels support surround sound, but you can confirm if a stream does by going to the Statistics menu. It is located under the player controls, click on More and then select the error icon. There, if you see the audio codec listed as AC-3 / EAC-3, then the stream supports 5.1 surround sound and will be automatically enabled. It is pertinent to note that the feature is already available on compatible Smart TVs, Android TV, Google TV, Chromecast, Roku, various Fire TV devices and Apple TV.

Although this is the information that the specialized portals consider confirmed, the official support page was without any article about it at the time of writing this article. Now that the most popular hardware platforms support YouTube TV’s premium features, this would mean that one would have access to everything they could want: live TV, DVR, surround sound, 4K streaming and finally, offline viewing.

The 4K Plus package costs an additional $19.99 per month on top of the standard $64.99 per month subscription, which means you will pay $85, plus taxes and fees per month. This is to be able to replicate that cable television experience through broadcasting. Although it took longer than expected, surround sound is finally arriving to the different devices that play YouTube TV. Apple Tv and Fire TV are two of the platforms that most expected announcements given at the end of last year and during the first months of this 2022.