YouTube’s update to its TV app makes it much easier to get to video highlights

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Apr 2, 2024

Love watching YouTube’s excellent content of free tutorials, unboxing videos, and old intros to cartoons you loved in the 90s on the big screen – i.e. your TV? You’re not alone, although watching YouTube videos on your TV does come with its own obstacles.

The most notable of these is that your TV almost certainly doesn’t have a touchscreen (and YouTube’s TV app wasn’t set up to take advantage of one), so you have to rely on your TV remote to find the part of a clip you really wanted to see, where navigating using a finger on your device is often a lot quicker. 

YouTube gets it. The video-sharing and social media platform (owned by Google) has been making several changes to its TV app, the latest of which is intended to make it simpler for viewers to cut through lengthy intros to get to the best parts of the video they’re watching.

Not to be confused with the AI-powered recommendation system being tested for YouTube Premium, the YouTube app for TVs will now auto-generate key moments in videos, which viewers can then access without having to guesstimate on that progress bar at the bottom. 

CEO at YouTube, Neal Mohan, announced the update in a Tweet on X (formerly Twitter) below. 

We know viewers love to watch YouTube in the living room, and we’re continuing to innovate to make the experience on TV even better. Now you can easily access auto generated key moments from any video. Check it out the next time you watch YouTube on your TV… pic.twitter.com/qRTHw695aXApril 2, 2024

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As noted by Android Authority, when watching videos on YouTube on your TV, pulling up the video progress bar should now reveal some white markers across it – I tried this with a few videos and couldn’t see them, but it could still be rolling out in the UK where I’m based. 

Said white markers are the new auto-generated key moments in your video! You also should be able to quickly cycle through them, using your remote. YouTube on TV will reportedly also give you a thumbnail of the key moment, along with a caption, so you’ll be clued up on whether it’s the segment you’re after. 

It’s worth noting that content creators have been able to manually create ‘chapters’ to help viewers cut to crucial parts of their videos since early 2020, but this feature helps bridge the gap if an uploader didn’t do that – or for older videos and clips that were uploaded before that particular content curation perk arrived. 

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