If you count on YouTube to deliver all of your favorite cat videos in one place, you may be intrigued by YouTube TV. And even though streaming YouTube TV channels yields a multitude of live TV programming choices, there is no cat-video-only channel.
Our YouTube TV review shows that this streaming service has some significant strengths, including a large number of channels and an unlimited YouTube TV DVR cloud service. (Bingers, rejoice!)
We’ve spent quite a bit of time trying out multiple streaming services, and we’ve been anxious to see whether it’s worth your time to now learn how to watch YouTube TV, which has undergone multiple upgrades from its introduction a couple of years ago.
YouTube TV Prices and Packages
What is YouTube TV streaming? It operates through your high-speed Internet connection. Think of it as a slimmed down TV service versus cable or satellite TV. A full cable or satellite service like DirecTV or DISH Network will have far more channels … but for a far higher price
At $50 per month, the YouTube TV cost is a little higher than some other streaming options. However, you don’t have to worry about hidden fees with YouTube TV, as you often do with cable or satellite.
You’ll receive roughly 70 channels for your subscription, but your exact lineup will depend on where you live.
There are no tiers of service with the YouTube TV customer service; you have one subscription option. So if the multitude of tiers with cable TV, satellite TV, and some other streaming TV services makes your head spin, you’ll love how YouTube TV keeps things simple.
How Many Devices Can I Use?
As part of your YouTube TV subscription membership, you can have six accounts connected, and you can use stream up to three shows simultaneously.
This is perfect for sharing the account among family members who can never agree on what to watch. (I’m looking in the mirror as I type this.)
How Good Is the YouTube DVR?
If you’re wondering how to record on YouTube TV, you’ll love the unlimited cloud storage on the service’s DVR, all at no extra cost. And once a show is on your cloud DVR, you can fast forward through commercials (which, in my humble opinion, is mankind’s greatest invention).
Learning how to use the YouTube TV DVR is an easy process. This streaming service has one of the best user interfaces on the market.
How Does the Free Trial Work?
YouTube TV offers a standard one-week free trial period. However, it does run longer trials from time to time, including a special trial for those using Verizon Internet services.
You can cancel YouTube TV trial at any time during the period without racking up fees.
Those streaming YouTube TV on an Apple device will pay $55 per month instead of $50.
YouTube TV Channels
The YouTube TV channel lineup has undergone major changes in the past several months. It started out with about 35 channels, but it has roughly double that number now. It’s a good channel lineup for the price.
Some popular channels were added, such as YouTube TV HGTV, FX, and TBS, which delivers YouTube TV NBA programming. However, there’s no YouTube TV NFL Network or NHL Network.
YouTube TV does deliver the Disney family of networks, including multiple ESPN channels, Disney Channel, and Freeform. But it doesn’t have Nickelodeon.
Channel Lineup Extras
Our YouTube TV review shows that the service’s channel lineup varies, depending on where you live.
YouTube TV is able to stream local channels in most locations, but you may have some limits on how many local channels you receive. Those living in large cities will have the largest channel lineup, while rural customers may be missing some options.
Beyond the basic service, you can add some extra packages for an extra cost. Showtime, Starz, and NBA League Pass are some of the add-on packages available. But if you’re looking to add YouTube TV HBO, you’re out of luck, as it’s not offered.
As with most streaming TV services, YouTube TV deals and channel lineups change regularly, so check with the service’s web site for the latest information.
YouTube TV Apps and Features
If you want to watch traditional YouTube on your smart TV, you have always been able to use the YouTube TV app to do so.
You can watch regular YouTube videos with your YouTube TV subscription in the same interface, but you will have to sit through ads. If you are a YouTube Premium member, you then can watch YouTube videos ad-free through the YouTube TV interface.
Beyond live programming, YouTube TV offers some video on demand options, including older TV shows and movies.
YouTube TV Performance
YouTube TV resolution is full HD, which is standard for streaming services. The YouTube TV picture quality is strong, as long as you have a steady Internet connection. The service does not offer 4K programming yet.
The YouTube TV interface is among the best around for streaming services. The service also has a strong search function versus other streaming services. This is no surprise, considering Google owns YouTube.
Overall, our YouTube TV review gives the service’s interface high scores for quality. YouTube will deliver the picture quality and resolution you want; it then becomes a matter of whether your Internet connection can carry that quality through to your TV.
YouTube TV Supported Devices
In its early days, YouTube TV did not support many streaming media players. But that has changed as the service has evolved over the past several months.
Using YouTube TV Roku devices is one of the easiest options, as many Roku devices are supported. Watching through a YouTube TV Xbox One console is also relatively easy.
Here is a list of many of the service’s supported devices.
- Apple TV devices
- Chromecast devices
- Fire TV devices
- Roku devices
- Xbox One consoles
- Many Smart TVs, including some Hisense, LG, Samsung, and Vizio models
You also can watch YouTube TV on a computer screen, tablet, or smartphone.
To view YouTube TV at a high quality level, you need a reliable and fast Internet connection. We reviewed the best Internet service bundles, if you need some help choosing one.
YouTube TV Customer Service
If you’re wondering when will YouTube TV be available in my area, you may be in luck. Several months ago, YouTube TV was limited in where it was available. Now, though, all traditional TV markets in the United States can access YouTube TV.
The YouTube TV web site allows you to search for channel availability by your ZIP Code.
One complaint you may have with YouTube TV is you must sign up for the free trial with a credit card on file. If you don’t cancel the service within the free trial period, you will be charged. However, this is a standard practice among streaming service free trials.
If you checked out YouTube TV when it initially appeared — like we did — you were probably a bit disappointed. It lacked quite a few popular channels, its local channel lineup was almost non-existent, and it didn’t have much compatibility with streaming devices.
Trust us: It’s all grown up now and worth checking out again.
Our YouTube TV review shows a streaming service that has matured nicely, adding dozens of channels over the past several years. YouTube TV also has the best cloud DVR option around, and its interface is top notch.
Simply put: It has become one of the top streaming services available, even though its price is a little high.
YouTube TV is made for those who:
- Want a simple interface
- Want a large number of sports options
- Like to DVR shows (and skip commercials)
- Want the best cloud DVR service
- Need a simple subscription (with just one tier)