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YouTube TV may eventually allow you to watch four channels at the same time

According to Protocol, YouTube TV, Google’s take on cable TV, may soon allow customers to watch up to four live streams at the same time via a new feature called “Mosaic Mode.” According to a non-public presentation, Google presented to its smart TV hardware partners, the search giant also highlighted YouTube Shorts enhancements for the large screen, as well as new YouTube Music capability.

Mosaic Mode is similar to a function accessible with Sony’s now-defunct PlayStation Vue service. Although it was revealed during a conference for Google TV and Android TV hardware manufacturers, Protocol notes that the functionality is likely to eventually appear on non-Android smart TVs from Samsung and LG, as Google prefers to keep its services constant across different hardware.

Other new capabilities highlighted in the presentation include large-screen improvements for YouTube Shorts, the company’s TikTok-style short-form video service. According to the source, the YouTube Shorts interface for smart TVs may soon do away with the scroll bar used to cycle through standard YouTube videos, as well as provide easy access to thumbs up and thumbs down buttons. Although YouTube Shorts are presently viewable via YouTube’s app on some smart TVs (such as LG’s), they use a conventional YouTube UI that is unsuitable for their short-form nature.

Google’s development of the functionality coincides with TikTok’s ongoing forays into the smart TV industry. Although TikTok has usually been thought of as a smartphone service, it is now available on a variety of smart TV platforms from Samsung, LG, Google, and Amazon. However, Protocol points out that Google has the advantage of having YouTube pre-installed on many TVs, whereas buyers must search for TikTok’s apps.

Finally, YouTube Music is working on a few new features for smart TVs, including the ability for users to browse and add playlists and albums to their libraries.

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