Are you looking to cut the cords and start streaming on your television? YouTube TV might be the right option for you. Let’s find out if this new “kid on the block” is worth your while.
Instead, broadcasting companies are making their channels available over the internet so they can be viewed on a plethora of different devices and be available on the go.
They do this by making their channels available on platforms that support live television and broadcasting.
YouTube TV is essentially one of those platforms with much more. Below we will discuss what this newcomer is all about, what it has to offer its viewers and what it’s lacking.
If you’re thinking of signing up for this $64.99 a month subscription (at the time of this writing), keep reading to find out if it’s right for you:
Table of Contents
What is YouTube TV?
YouTube TV is an internet-based streaming media platform that offers its viewers access to live and on-demand TV (Sports, Shows, News etc) as well as DVR (Digital Video Recording) from several television networks.
YouTube falls under the giant umbrella of Google, and first started offering these services in 2017. Back then, it only offered the YouTube TV services to five major US cities: New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco.
In 2019, the platform extended these services to the rest of the US television market. By this time, the platform offered most major television networks, including ABC, BBC, NBC, PBS, Disney Channel, CBS, ViacomCBS Channels etc just to name a few of the 85+ total networks and channels.
YouTube TV goes a step further than your regular streaming service by offering their cloud-based DVR. This means that you can record and store unlimited television for up to nine months! The cloud-based model means you are not limited by space, but just an extremely reasonable time-frame.
As time passes, YouTube TV keeps extending its list of channels as well as the devices you can enjoy the services on.
So far it is compatible with smart TVs, streaming media players like Chromecast and Apple TV, Xbox gaming consoles, smartphones and tablets, Android devices etc.
YouTube TV lets you watch on three devices at one time, and allows for six different accounts on a single service.
Pros of YouTube TV
YouTube TV has many pros like the fact that you can sign up for this service and have everything in one place; there are no hidden charges, just one simple plan for a flat fee.
YouTube TV offers all of its channels on your choice of devices, which means you can start watching on your smart TV, carry on on your tablet and if you’re leaving the house, your Smartphone will pick up where you left off!
Google has gone to great lengths to make sure this platform stands out from the crowd. The streaming on YouTube TV is virtually flawless. Buffering time is next to none, especially if you have an internet speed of 13 Mbps or faster even for HD videos.
The lineup of channels that the platform offers is fantastic. They offer more than 85 different channels that include local broadcasting, most of the major networks and an array of sports channels.
Plus, your entire family can enjoy what YouTube has to offer. The platform lets you sign up for up to six accounts under one subscription, where three screens can be working at one time.
A fun and unique feature that YouTube TV offers if you have Google Home is that it functions with voice control. You can pick your channels, a specific show and control playback; all using just your voice!
A great feature that you don’t find in other streaming services is the free and unlimited DVR (Digital Video Recording) storage on the cloud.
This means that you can record and store your favorite shows, movies etc on the cloud with a retention period of up to 9 months. With DVR, you can fast forward, rewind, pause etc.
The user interface is similar to the well known youtube environment. Since most people on earth have already visited and used Youtube, then Youtube TV will be a very familiar interface to navigate.
And finally, just like YouTube videos, YouTube TV offers picture-in-picture mode for Android users. That means you can watch a mini version of your show as you continue to do whatever else you want on the phone.
Cons of YouTube TV
There aren’t many cons of YouTube TV. Google has really tried to ensure that they are offering the best platform possible for their customers.
However, every good thing has its shortcomings. YouTube TV is offered at $64.99/month, which is higher than many of its competitors; it’s not the most budget-friendly option out there! And with that price point, unfortunately, they don’t offer the plethora of movies and video series options like Netflix for example.
In June, 2020, Youtube increased their price from $50 to $64.99 per month. That was a 30% price increase but at the same time, they added 8 new channels including ViacomCBS.
Another drawback of YouTube TV is that it does not offer the option of offline viewing. Even their DVR is cloud-based, so if you want to watch your shows while travelling or without using mobile data on the go, YouTube TV is not for you.
Moreover, there are some shortcomings and limitations in their sports content. For example, there are viewing restrictions in some sports events which are enforced by license restrictions from their partners and sports leagues. These restrictions are based on your location etc.
Lastly, YouTube TV does not offer any upgrades that allow for more accounts to be added or more screens to view on simultaneously.
This means the six accounts and three screens are all you get. Though these number are sufficient for most families, it’s always good to have the option to get more if you need them.
All in all, YouTube TV is a very good platform offering a lot of features that its competitors do not. So, if the platform’s list of channels works for you, we highly recommend signing up for the service!
Summary of the most important Pros and Cons
|Unlimited cloud DVR storage for 9 months||More expensive than other streaming services|
|Simple and fair pricing||Some Viewing restrictions on sports events (depending on location etc)|
|Lots of TV networks||No full sports coverage|
|Great video experience and quality||No offline viewing|
|Up to 6 accounts with one subscription||No 4K content|
Youtube TV Channel List
Youtube TV continuously adds more and more channel options. Here are currently the most important and popular channels on Youtube TV:
|ABC||Discovery||MLB Network||SEC ESPN Network|
|FOX Network||Disney Junior||Motortrend||Smithsonian Channel|
|AMC||ESPN 2||NBC News Now||TBS|
|Adult Swim||ESPN U||NBC Sports||TCM|
|Animal Planet||ESPNEWS||NBC Universo||TLC|
|BBC World News||FOX News Channel||NBCLX||TYT|
|Bravo||FX||National Geographic||The CW|
|CBS Sports||FXM||Newsy||Travel Channel|
|CNBC World||Food Network||Nickelodeon||TV Land|
|Cartoon Network||Golf Channel||OWN||Universal Kids|
|CMT||HLN||Paramount Network||WE TV|
|Comedy Central||IFC||PBS||WGN America|
|Comet TV||Investigation Discovery||PBS Kids||YouTube Originals|
Supported Devices and Smart TVs
Basically you can watch Youtube TV on most modern media and streaming devices nowadays. Let’s see some examples:
- Samsung smart TVs (newer than 2016)
- LG smart TVs (newer than 2016)
- Android TV
- Select Vizio SmartCast models
- Select Sony Smart TV models
- Select Sharp Smart TV Models
- Select Hisense Smart TV Models
- Google Chromecast
- Roku Players & TVs
- Apple TV (4th generation & 4K)
- Fire TV Sticks
- Fire TV Cube
Youtube TV Resolution
Digital TV resolution is a metric which shows the quality of the picture and movies streamed from the media service. The maximum resolution of Youtube TV is 1080p which is Full HD quality.
Does Youtube TV offer 4K content
Unfortunately Youtube TV does not currently offer 4K content at the time of this writing. However, the supported 1080p offers adequate picture and movie quality. Since newer TVs nowadays are 4K capable, this is a drawback in my opinion.
What Internet Connection Speed Do you Need?
Each Youtube TV streaming session requires 13 Mbps bandwidth. However, keep in mind that the service allows up to 3 devices simultaneously, so if you have 3 people in your house streaming at the same time, the total connection needed will be 3×13 Mbps.
Youtube TV vs Cable TV
Here are some main differences between Youtube TV and Cable television:
- Price of Cable is much higher.
- With Youtube you can watch TV on your computer using your browser while you do other things on the computer at the same time.
- All channels on Youtube TV are High Definition. On Cable you will get also lower quality Standard Definition channels.
- With Cable TV you are fixed to watching only on the specific TV set connected to the cable TV box. With Youtube TV you can watch TV anywhere with Internet connection and on any device (smart TV, laptop, tablet etc).
- With Youtube TV you get also unlimited Cloud DVR (Digital Video Recording) for saving your favorite shows for watching later.
- Cable TV service usually has many more channels compared to YTTV.
- With Cable TV you have a more traditional and unified “channel-based’ menu with numbers on each channel etc. You won’t have channel numbers on YTTV.
- With YTTV you will need a fast and stable Internet connection.
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