The new YouTube Shorts player is coming to your TV


What do you want to know

  • YouTube has launched a new player for Shorts optimized for TVs.
  • The player uses ambient lighting to better fill the empty space.
  • The YouTube team researched different ways to display the 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 YouTube team has now released a version optimized for TV screens.

The new Shorts player was featured 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 user interface is quite simple. When viewing a short film, you can skip to the next short film by pressing the down button on your remote or by pressing the up button to view the previous one. The right button lets you view information about the short, including the creator and the sound used in the clip.

The YouTube team explains that they experimented with different ways to display the shorts on TVs. One version consisted of a jukebox-style user interface with other shorts displayed on either side of the current video. However, the team eventually landed on a custom look that displays one video at a time. It is also inspired by the recent Ambient Mode which bleeds some of the video colors beyond the video borders, this 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 “maximum” UI that proved popular in testing, which included a simple way to display comments, related tags, and more. However, the team says they plan to add additional features in future releases.