Google Home’s voice command support is now expanding as from today Google Home supports voice commands for YouTube TV. Providing a Google Home device owner lives in an area that is currently supported by YouTube TV, then this feature will allow those users to control their YouTube TV experience, on their big screen, all while using voice commands aimed at Google Home.
To make use of this feature, in addition to having a YouTube TV account set up and running, users will also need to own a Google Home device as well as a Google Chromecast dongle. As the Chromecast effectively acts as the bridge between the other two elements. The Google announcement states that a user will first need to link the Google Home and the Chromecast together (which can be done by heading into the settings portion of the 'Home' app), after which voice command activation will be available. In addition to simple commands such as “Play Fox News” the announcement also explains that users will be able to control content while watching, such as starting playback, pausing and stopping content, as well as skipping forward or backwards by 15 seconds, and activating or disabling additional elements including captions.
While this will only be of use to those who use YouTube TV and own a Google Home, for those users it will prove to be beneficial as at present there is no direct way to engage with YouTube TV content on a TV. For example, Android TV streaming boxes (as well as Android TV-enabled TVs) do not currently have access to a dedicated YouTube TV app (although one is understood to be in the works). So before today’s announcement watching YouTube TV on a main screen solely relied on the content being cast from the mobile version of the Android app. Likewise, controlling any content cast from the app also had to be done through the app. While this latest method is still making use of Cast technology, it does so without the need for the smartphone to be involved. Speaking of Android TV, while Android TV devices also do make use of Cast technology, the announcement from Google does not mention this feature as working with Android TV devices at the moment. So although it may work, it could also be the case this is only currently available to Chromecast owners.