Android Devices

YouTube Leanback on Google TV review

November 1, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka

Google TV, Video Reviews


Gone are the days when I would have people over and have everyone huddled around my phone or laptop learning about the magic that is Auto Tune the News. Now, I’m sharing the Antoine Dobson opera with them on a 42″ inch wide-screen thanks to Google TV’s YouTube Leanback.

Google TV lets users can open Chrome and navigate to to get a scaled-up, familiar time. But they may want to choose YouTube Leanback, a TV-optimized browser of videos. Leanback is designed to keep you watching YouTube until you can’t stomach another second. Search for a topic or person and it will create an instant playlist of similar videos that is then played without interruption. Look up an episode of Auto Tune the News and several of the Gregory Brothers’ videos will start playing. A continuous stream of videos can then be given thumbs up or down, skipped forward or backward, or start a new thread.

The Leanback version of YouTube doesn’t support annotations, so some interactive videos and links provided by producers are sometimes missing. This can create awkward and incomplete browsing sessions, but every Leanback video includes a link to open that clip in Chrome where these features are supported. You’ll also have to open Chrome if you wish to read or write comments.

Videos can be organized in various categories, including: Your Feed (subscriptions, recommended videos), Best of YouTube, Comedy, Entertainment, Film & Animation, Gaming, How to & Style, Music, News & Politics, Science & Technology, and Sports. Long story short, there’s always something to watch.