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youtube leanbackIt’s been always hard to imagine that a TV can be substituted by anything. I’ve never been a huge fan of lying in front of the TV screen staring at some movie or a show (and besides, I’ve never had time for that), but the TV used to be an integral part of my life.

The best thing about the TV is that it can serve as background: there’s always something playing there and it requires absolutely no work on your part. It never stops. With the computer you always need to find, click and download something to make it play. It used to be so. Now I see the Internet starting to offer a much better experience to allow you to kill your idle hours when you are too tired to do anything.


Here are three YouTube tools to create an easy lean-back TV experience:

1. YouTube LeanBack

YouTube Leanback plays each video in full-screen mode using the highest quality. The videos are said to be selected based on your previous YouTube preferences (likes and dislikes).

Leanback is controlled by the keyboard:

  • Use <- / -> arrow keys to navigate through videos.
  • Use the up arrow or start typing to initiate a video search.
  • Use the down key once to see Leanback’s playback controls, and hit it again to reveal a filmstrip of all the videos in your current Leanback queue.
  • Use space to pause the video.

youtube leanback

2. NowMov

NowMov offers a StumbleUpon-button-like experience for YouTube videos. It uses real-time data about what people are sharing to create a video playlist.

Nowmov is an addictive and endless channel of videos that people are watching on the Internet – right now.

Unlike YouTube Lean Back, it doesn’t select high-quality videos and doesn’t play them full screen but on the plus side, you are said to be able to “teach” the tool about your video preferences using the “Like” and “Dislike” buttons:

  • If you dislike anything, the video is immediately substituted with the next one.
  • If you like anything, you are admittedly going to see more of this kind. The tool also uses cookies to ensure you don’t see the same video twice.

You can also navigate the stream by clicking the arrows (I am not aware of the shortcuts).

lean back tv

The not-really-easy-to-notice (for me) controls are located below the video – these let you:

  • Pause the video;
  • Set the volume and the quality.

3. YouTube Instant

The successful Google Instant + YouTube start up, YouTube Instant is another way to take some rest while watching YouTube videos.

It will only play 5 videos for any search you perform but I found it great to help you relax before returning to work. The only keyboard shortcuts are the arrow keys that let you skip to the next clip.

The tool is very usable and clutter-free which I hope it will remain:

youtube leanback

More great YouTube tools we have listed before:

Any other similar video tools offering lean-back experience? Please share them in the comments!

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