By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman
TV Answer Man, thank you for your story on YouTube’s Multiview for the NFL Sunday Ticket. I know you can’t pick the games in Multiview but my question is why can’t you? What’s the explanation here from YouTube and Google? — Bob, Lincoln, Nebraska.
Bob, YouTube’s Multiview, which displays up to four channels on one screen at the same time, is a popular but controversial feature. It’s controversial because the user can’t pick the four channels; they are pre-selected by YouTube. For instance, during the NFL Sunday Ticket, there are multiple Multiview options, but each one includes games chosen by the streamer. This is frustrating, particularly for fantasy football players who want to follow specific teams and players. They want the four games to include players on their fantasy teams.
Although YouTube’s first Sunday of providing the Ticket was widely regarded as a big success, the lack of customization for Multiview continues to be a sore spot with fans. So why doesn’t YouTube just add it? The company actually offers an explanation at its web site and it’s certainly a reasonable one:
“Our goal with Multiview is to make it available to everyone with a television. Since most devices don’t have the hardware to support Multiview, we have to do the processing of video feeds on our servers to make Multiview possible,” YouTube says. “This means that every unique combination watched in Multiview uses limited data center and computational resources. Because each region has unique, local content, we are especially constrained on the number of combinations we can create that include local feeds. We try to select the best combinations based on expected popularity and are always improving our processes.”
It sounds like Multiview customization is not coming soon. But at least we know why. YouTube is saying that most streaming devices and Smart TVs are simply not equipped to handle it.
Bob, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann