YouTube on a TV

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

YouTube is redesigning its smart TV app to increase interactivity between people and their favorite channels.

In a recent blog post, YouTube described how the updated UI shrinks the main video a bit to make room for an information column housing a video’s view counts, amount of likes it has, description, and comments. Yes, despite the internet’s advice, people do read the YouTube comments section. The current layout has the same column, but it obscures the right side of the screen. YouTube states in its announcement the redesign allows users to enjoy content “without interrupting [or ruining] the viewing experience.” 

Don’t worry about this becoming the new normal. TheVerge in their coverage states the full screen view will remain. It won’t be supplanted by the refresh or removed as the default setting. You can switch to the revamped interface at any time from within the video player screen. It’s totally up to the viewer how they want to curate their experience. 

Varying content

What you see on the UI’s column can differ depending on the type of content being watched. In the announcement, YouTube demonstrates how the layout works by playing a video about beauty products. Below the comments, viewers can check out the specific products mentioned in the clip and buy them directly.

Shopping on YouTube TV may appear seamless, however, TheVerge claims it’ll be a little awkward. Instead of buying items directly from a channel, you’ll have to scan a QR code that shows up on the screen. From there, you will be taken to a web page where users will complete the transaction. We contacted YouTube to double-check, and a company representative confirmed that is how it’ll work.

Besides shopping, the far-right column will also display live scores and stats for sports games. It’ll be a part of the already existing “Views suite of features,” all of which can be found by triggering the correct on-screen filter.

The update will be released to all YouTube TV subscribers in the coming weeks. It won’t happen all at once so keep an eye out for the patch when it arrives.

Be sure to check out TechRadar’s recommendations for the best TVs for 2024 if you’re looking to upgrade.

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Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity. 

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