YouTube TV is the Google version of a live TV streaming service. Although it is relatively new and technically still limited in terms of availability, it is fast becoming a major player and already competes directly with services such as Sling TV and DirecTV Now . Of course, unlike those services, it does not come from a company with a history on television, which is evident as soon as you use it. That’s why, below, we tell you everything we know about YouTube TV.
What does YouTube TV offer, and how does it differ from other streaming services? That is exactly what we are going to explain to you.
WHAT IS YOUTUBE TV?
YouTube TV was launched in 2017, and was initially available only in limited areas. After a big expansion in January 2019, Google has said that the service now covers more than 98 percent of households in the United States, so unless you live in the middle of nowhere, it’s very likely that be available to you Many of the features you’ll find in other streaming services are also here, but the service has a somewhat limited channel menu compared to some competitors.
Unlike Hulu with Live TV – which combines a live TV broadcast service with your standard Hulu experience – YouTube TV is a stand-alone product. You can not just go to the YouTube website and start watching it, since you will need to install YouTube and YouTube TV applications separately on mobile and streaming devices.
Compared to other streaming services – like Sling TV, which seems to be available in almost everything – YouTube TV is somewhat limited in terms of device compatibility.
You’ll find it on Android TV and Chromecast devices, of course, as well as on the fourth generation of Apple TV and Apple TV 4K. All Roku TVs and the vast majority of Roku’s streaming media players, including the new Roku Premiere +, are also compatible. Smart TVs from Samsung and LG are supported from 2016 onwards, as well as all Vizio SmartCast TVs and all Xbox One models. You can also watch it online through the YouTube TV website, using Chrome or Firefox.
And what common devices are not compatible with YouTube TV? Due to the ongoing dispute between Google and Amazon, you will not be able to watch YouTube TV on Amazon’s Fire TV devices, such as Fire TV Cube or Fire TV Stick 4K. Because Sony offers its own live TV with PlayStation Vue, you can not use YouTube TV (or any live TV service other than Sony) on the PlayStation 4 consoles. It does not look like this will change in a near future
One of the most interesting features of YouTube TV is its DVR in the cloud. Any live TV broadcast service worth its salt has one these days, but on YouTube, it is much less restrictive than the DVRs used by other services. While others limit the number of content hours you can store, or automatically delete recordings after a month, YouTube TV allows you to save them for up to nine months.
An initial problem with the YouTube TV DVR is that you used to prefer versions of on-demand programs instead of the ones you recorded. That would not be a big problem, except you can not skip the ads in those versions on demand. Fortunately, in October 2018, the service announced that it was opening full DVR control on many of the networks available on the service. Still, some will encounter this problem, but it is something that has been improving, clearly.
YouTube TV allows you to have up to six members of your family sharing the service, with three being able to see it at the same time. Unlike many other services, YouTube does not offer any updates, so this will be the maximum number of people who can see the service at once, although three individual transmissions should be more than enough for most families.
In large part, YouTube TV has an offer comparable to that of other streaming services. Where it differs is in its price, due to its simplicity. YouTube TV costs $ 40 per month. You can pay more for a few optional additional channels, but you will not find packages very different from those offered by Sling TV, DirecTV Now or PlayStation Vue.
Here is a list of the channels available on the service as of October 2018. As with any broadcast service, the local channels available will depend on the offers YouTube TV has secured in your area. Several regional sports networks are also available depending on your location. For more information, see the YouTube TV support page.
- BBC America
- BBC World News
- Big Ten Network
- Cheddar Big News
- cartoon Network
- CBS Sports Network
- Disney XD
- Disney Channel
- Disney Junior
- Fox Business
- Fox News
- Golf Channel
- MLB Network
- My Network TV
- NBA TV
- Nat Geo
- Nat Geo Wild
- Olympic Channel
- SEC Network
- Smithsonian Channel
- Start TV
- Sundance TV
- Tennis Channel
- TYT Network
- Universal Kids
- YouTube Originals
- Channels that you can add
- AMC Premiere, $ 5 per month
- CuriosityStream, $ 3 per month
- Fox Soccer Plus, $ 15 per month
- NBA League Pass, $ 40 per month
- Showtime, $ 11 per month
- Shudder, $ 5 per month
- Starz, $ 9 per month
- Sundance Now, $ 7 per month
- DISPLAY EXPERIENCE
When it comes to viewing and comparing it with other streaming services on a phone, the experience is so good that it almost seems to be designed specifically for smartphone screens .
As you move through the live channels, you will have a live preview of what that channel is currently broadcasting, which makes it very easy to find something to watch. This also happens when you browse the YouTube TV website, although it does not seem to be that fast. While browsing the channels on an Apple TV, it’s simple enough to see what was going on, but here the previews were still images, and not the live videos that appeared on the web and in the mobile versions.