As teased last year, YouTube TV today announced “Multiview” to let you watch up to 4 games simultaneously.   

Multiview is being tested as part of March Madness, with “some members having early access to this feature for the first round.”

The functionality is pretty straightforward, with the ability to watch either two games side-by-side, three (two above and one below), or four in a 2×2 grid. After selecting, you can “switch audio and captions between streams, and jump in and out of a fullscreen view of a game.”

From the preview provided today, you’ll be able to select your desired viewing experience from the “Top Picks for You” carousel. During this early access period, YouTube TV is only offering “pre-selected” Multiview streams. 

In the future, you’ll be able to “customize your own multiview streams.” Google is also “looking to bring this multiview experience to the main YouTube app across TVs later this year.”

We’re introducing multiview gradually and collecting feedback from subscribers along the way. These insights will help inform the experience as we get closer to the NFL football season kicking off this fall.

Behind-the-scenes, the YouTube TV explains how Multiview can work on any device, regardless of whether you have “high-powered equipment.” This is because Google “moved the processing requirements to happen on our side, on YouTube’s servers,” instead of “relying on end user devices.”

This allows all subscribers to use the feature, regardless of their home equipment, because when it’s streamed to them, their device sees only one live feed, instead of two or four.

YouTube leveraged existing live-streaming tech to build Multiview:

… the Live team had already built a really powerful compositor to enable creators to go live together on YouTube and we had a lot of the tech required to build this great new feature for YouTube TV.

Split-screen functionality was first rumored in August as “Mosaic Mode.” When NFL Sunday Ticket was announced, Google officially confirmed it. Multiview will be launching to “all YouTube TV subscribers over the next several months.”

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