New YouTube Shorts player comes to your TV

YouTube Shorts on the TV
(Image credit: YouTube)

What you need to know

  • YouTube launched a new player for Shorts optimized for televisions.
  • The player uses ambient lighting to better fill the empty space.
  • The YouTube team researched different ways to display Shorts on TV screens.
  • More features will be added to the player in future releases.

While YouTube Shorts has been a primarily mobile experience, the team over at YouTube has now launched a version optimized for TV screens.

The new Shorts player was shown off in a blog post on Monday and is already rolling out to TVs. The experience differs from how YouTube videos are normally displayed, omitting much of the standard player UI for one that matches the Shorts experience on mobile devices.

(Image credit: YouTube)

Navigating the UI is fairly simple. When viewing a Short, you can skip to the next Short by pressing the down button on your remote or pressing up to view the previous one. The right button lets you view information about the Short, including the creator and the sound being used in the clip.

The YouTube team explains that it experimented with various ways to display Shorts on TVs. One version consisted of a jukebox-style UI with other Shorts displayed on either side of the current video. However, the team eventually landed on a customized look that displays one video at a time. It also takes cues from the recent Ambient Mode that bleeds some of the video colors beyond its borders; that way, it can better fill the empty space on the sides.

Simple (left) and maximal (right) prototypes (Image credit: YouTube)

The version of Shorts rolling out now is a simplified version of the "maximal" UI that proved popular in testing, which included an easy way to view comments, related tags, and more. However, the team says it plans to add additional features in future releases.

The YouTube team says users can expect the new Shorts experience to roll out "in the coming weeks" on 2019 TVs or newer, as well as the latest gaming consoles.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.