Have you been thinking about cutting the cord? Tired of the constantly increasing prices of traditional cable and satellite services? YouTube TV may be your answer. This YouTube TV Review aims to answer the most FAQ.
For those of you that want the too long didn’t read:
The recent price hike to $50 sucks, but the services simplicity and channel availability still make it a contender. There is no contract, 100% coverage in the United States, has 70+ channels available (depending on your area), and it has local channels with so-so sports stations. Additionally, it has unlimited DVR storage, a smooth user interface, great device availability, and so-so on-demand availability.
Also, one of the perks I like is the ability to filter the TV guide (you can remove channels you don’t ever watch).
YouTube TV Review: Pros and Cons
- Best user interface
- Unlimited DVR Storage
- Local stations
- Device availability
- Family sharing
- Price is high
- Not all episodes available via on-demand
What is YouTube TV?
YouTube TV is a television show and movie streaming service, that looks and acts like traditional cable, except it’s internet only (no cable subscription fees). Instead of using a traditional cable / satellite box, you can watch and stream live TV from numerous devices (Roku, Chrome, Phones, etc…).
Cost and Contract
YouTube TV now costs $50 a month for new subscribers, and was previously $40 a month (existing subscribers get the price hike on May 13th). Also, if you use Apple to subscribe, you’ll pay $55 a month.
You can give the service a trial run for seven days before you’re charged. Since there is no contract for the service (yay), you can cancel at anytime.
Subscription Sharing & Simultaneous Streams
Currently, you can share your subscription with up to 5 family members (6 total, including you). While you can share your subscription with up to 5 family members, there can only be 3 active streams at a time. Check out the Shared YouTube TV memberships & family groups documentation.
What are the requirements for adding a YouTube TV family member?
- Be age 13 or older and have a Google account
- Live in the same household as the family manager
- Must live in the same country as the family manager
- Must not be part of another family group
Where is YouTube TV available?
At the end of 2018, YouTube TV was in beta and only available in a few larger markets. But as of 2019, YouTube TV is available in every television market in the United States. According to their tweet on March 27th, 2019, Glendive, Montana was the last market for YouTube TV to have 100% market coverage in the United States.
As of May 2019, YouTube TV has more than 70 channels based on your area, additionally, you get content from the YouTube Originals channel.
If you want to browse their full offering of channels, see their directory.
In addition to all of the networks that are typically available, YouTube TV partnered with the different areas local networks. For instance, in the North Louisiana area, you get KNOE 8, FOX 14, NBC 10, etc. In New York you would get CBS 2, FOX 5, ABC 7.
This is a huge deal for streaming live TV. No more fumbling with antennas or additional OTA DVR boxes – it comes built in.
YouTube TV allows UNLIMITED DVR storage. This is HUGE, and beats any competitor out there, hands down. The one caveat is that most recordings will be deleted after 9 months.
To add shows to your DVR, simply open the shows home screen, go up to the plus (+) button and click it. It’s added to your library and any episodes that come on (new or reruns) will be recorded.
This is one of my favorite features of YouTube TV: It’s simplicity.
One of the best features of YouTube TV is that you can record as much as you like: UNLIMITED DVR STORAGE. But, each recording is kept for only 9 months, afterwards it is deleted.
This YouTube TV Review gives it five out of five stars for simplicity and ease of use. Google has a good track record of keeping things simple, and they did it well with YouTube TV.
Since Google was a technology / development company first, and the fact that Google engineers are some of the top paid in the world, they had the money and development / design resources to get it right.
Compared to DIRECTV NOW, YouTube TV’s user interface is miles ahead.
YouTube TV has expanded its device availability to cover mostly any scenario. You can read the YouTube TV Supported Devices documentation to find out more. A quick recap:
- Web browsers
- Most mobile phones
- Rokus (All Roku TVs, Roku Ultra, Roku Streaming Stick, etc…)
- Apple TV (4th generation and above)
- Android TVs
- Vizio SmartCast TVs
- Samsung & LG Smart TVs 2016 and up
- and more!
YouTube TV offers a modest sports lineup, with additional packages available for purchase. You can view their directory of sports leagues to get a better idea of what kind of coverage they have.
Additional sports package available for purchase include:
- Fox Soccer Plus ($15 / mo)
- NBA League Pass ($40 / mo)
But unfortunately, YouTube TV is lacking NFL Red Zone currently.
On-demand content is available for most recently aired shows and movies. For instance, recent episodes of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit are available to watch. But sometimes I’ve found that not all episodes of a recent season are available (if it goes back too far). For example, Blue Bloods, for Season 9, only has episodes 18-22, and episode 4 (as of May 5th, 2019). So be mindful of this.
My guess is that this has to do with the type of partnership they have. Some networks / channels want users to have to buy episodes / seasons, whereas others might not care. But, this is just my opinion.
Live TV Filtering
One of the neat features of YouTube TV is the ability to filter what you want to show up on your “Live” tab. The Live tab is similar to a traditional TV guide. For example, it lets you scrolls through networks, and see what’s on now and what is coming on soon.
I don’t watch a lot of sports, for example, so I can log into tv.youtube.com, click my icon in the top right and corner, and then click settings. From there, I go to Live guide. Finally, I can deselect networks that I don’t want to show up on my live guide (like ESPN, ESPN2, SEC Network, ESPNU, etc…).
Wrapping up, YouTube TV is by far my favorite live TV streaming service. It’s easy to use, has unlimited DVR storage, allows me to share my account with family members, and has a decent offering of channels (including HGTV!). All around, it’s a service that feels good to use and doesn’t leave me feeling frustrated like DIRECTV NOW does.
The price hike to $50 is a bit much, in my opinion, but I’m sticking with it due to its simplicity.
Still have questions? View our YouTube TV FAQ.