YouTube comes to mind when you think about streaming video. Google’s live TV streaming service, YouTube TV, therefore, pretty much just makes sense. YouTube TV competes in the same market as other streaming television services like DirecTV Stream (previously known as AT&T TV Now and DirecTV Now), Sling TV, FuboTV, and Hulu With Live TV. It is made for people who want to cut the cord and cancel their cable or satellite subscriptions and is referred to in the industry as a multichannel video programming distributor, or MPVD.
In addition, YouTube TV offers a special combination of features that make it very alluring. As a result, it has gained 5 million paid subscribers as of June 2022, an increase of about 2 million since the service’s last update in October 2020, making it the No. 1 service in the U.S. in terms of paid subscribers. The popularity is a result of various elements. Using YouTube TV is simple. It offers a competitive selection of channels compared to all of its competitors. Also, YouTube TV has a reasonable price.
Almost any current gadget may be used to view YouTube TV. Also, the fact that parent company Alphabet (also known as Google) has aggressively promoted it over the past few years hasn’t helped either.
Also, it’s one of your only choices if you want to stream 4K live TV of any kind. Soon, I’ll say more about that.
What is YouTube TV ?
Simply said, YouTube TV is a live TV streaming service that is accessible in the US. You may watch TV almost the same way you always have from anywhere you have an internet connection, whether at home or while traveling. It is a substitute for a cable or satellite service that is streamed through the Internet and accessible on phones, tablets, TVs, and computer browsers.
When it first debuted in 2017, YouTube TV was only available in a select few cities in the United States. In 2019, a significant expansion brought support for all 210 markets, which brought about a transformation. It has also considerably grown its array of channels throughout the years. The four major national broadcasters, ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox, are among the more than 110 channels available on YouTube TV at the moment. You’ll need to check your ZIP code because, like with any streaming services, what is actually available where you reside may differ slightly.
The distinction between YouTube TV and YouTube itself is still fairly clear. The branding will be somewhat similar, which makes sense. A subdomain of YouTube itself is YouTube TV. But, you still don’t see things like suggested YouTubers or YouTube Shorts coexisting with sources like ESPN and CNN.
But, YouTube itself may contain suggestions for movies and television series that you can watch or buy. The boundaries are still present, but they are becoming increasingly hazy.
Making a choice between YouTube TV and Hulu With Live TV is the most challenge.
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YouTube TV price and add-ons
The cost of YouTube TV is currently $65 per month (with tax, which brings the total to more like $72 per month).
Nevertheless, this does not mean that is all you will ever spend for YouTube TV. It has a number of add-ons that are optional but charge extra and provide you access to additional television programs, films, and sporting events. The possibility to view some programs and sports in 4K on YouTube TV is a brand-new major one.
Moreover, a second Spanish-only plan is now offered (conveniently dubbed the “Spanish Plan”) for $25 per month for the first six months and $35 per month thereafter. It consists of beIN, beIN Xtra en Espaol, Antena 3, NTN 24, Nuestra Tele, TyC Sports, Discovery en Espanol, Discovery Familia, Baby TV Espanol, ESPN Deportes, Nat Geo Mundo, Estrella TV, Fox Deportes, Cine Latino, Pasiones, WAPA América, Cine Mexicano, Sony Cine, Tastemade, CNN Espanol and Bandamax.
Here are the optional add-ons available with YouTube TV:
- 4K Plus ($20 a month after a one-month trial; $10 for the first year for early adopters): With the launch of 4K Plus in June 2021, you can access some YouTube TV programming in 4K resolution. This mainly refers to on-demand television programs and series, including What We Do In the Darkness, Struggle Meals, American Titans, Snowfall, and others. But when it comes to live sports, networks like ESPN, Fox Sports, and NBC Sports truly start to shine. Moreover, 4K Plus adds the ability to watch on as many devices as you’d like simultaneously via your home network, as well as offline watching of recorded shows.
- Spanish Plus ($10 for first six months; $15 after): Additional Spanish-language channels include Antena 3, Baby TV Espaol, Bandamax, beIN Sports Espaol, beIN XTRA en Espaol, Cine Latino, Cine Mexicano, CNNe, De Pelicula, De Pelicula Clásico, Discovery en Espaol, Discovery Familia, ESPN Deportes, EstrellaTV, FOROtv, Fox Deportes, Nat Geo Mundo, NTN 24, Nuestra Tele
- HBO Max ($13 a month): New HBO Max Originals and included networks, plus all the legacy HBO content you know and love.
- HBO ($16 a month): HBO, minus all the Max stuff.
- NBA League Pass ($15 a month, or $50 a year): Comes with a seven-day free trial.
- Sports Plus ($11 a month, or $80 annually): Includes NFL RedZone, BeIN Sports, Fox Soccer Plus, VSiN, Outside TV+, PokerGO+, MAVTV, FanDuel TV, Stadium, Billiard TV, SportsGrid, PlayersTV, Fight Network, IMPACT Wrestling. Comes with a seven-day free trial.
- Entertainment Plus ($30 a month): Includes HBO Max, Showtime, and STARZ.
- Showtime ($11 a month): Premium movies and series. Comes with a seven-day free trial.
- Starz ($9 a month): Premium movies and series.
- AMC+ ($8 a month): Additional streaming-only content from AMC.
- Hallmark Movies Now ($6 a month): All the movies and series you love from Hallmark. Comes with a seven-day free trial.
- Cinemax ($10 a month): Premium movies and series. Comes with a seven-day free trial.
- MGM+ ($6 a month): All the best from the legendary studio.
- STARZ + MGM+ ($12 a month): A bundle of the two services.
- ViX+ ($7 a month): Spanish-language content from TelevisaUnivision.
- CuriosityStream ($3 a month): Science-type shows. Comes with a 14-day free trial.
- Dove ($5 a month): Christian movies and shows.
- UP Faith & Family ($6 a month): TV shows and movies that are safe for your family and affirm your faith.
- Pantaya ($6 a month): Spanish-language movies and series.
- Fox Nation ($6 a month): The streaming service from Fox News.
- ScreenPix ($3 a month): Classic movies from EPIX.
- Shudder ($6 a month): New and classic horror.
- Sundance Now ($7 a month): The streaming arm of Sundance Channel.
- IFC Films Unlimited ($6 a month): The best of indie films.
- ALLBLK ($6 a month): Inclusively but unapologetically Black content.
- CONtv ($5 a month): Movies, shows, and Comic-Con panels.
- Here TV ($8 a month): LGBTQ movies and series.
- Law & Crime ($2 a month): Live trials and other courtroom news.
- Magellan TV ($6 a month): Documentaries worth watching.
- Acorn TV ($7 a month): British hits.
- The Great Courses ($8 a month): Learn all the things about all the things.
- Fandor ($4 a month): The home for cinephiles.
- Screambox ($5 a month): Pure horror.
- Comedy Dynamics ($5 a month): Independent comedy from the Nacelle company.
- VSiN ($4 a month): Sports betting network.
- Outside TV Features ($5 a month): Full-length adventure sports films.
- RCN Total ($5 a month): Premiere movies and more.
- Docurama ($5 a month): All the documentaries you could want.
- Magnolia Selects ($5 a month): Films and series from Magnolia Pictures.
- MyOutDoorTV ($10 a month): Exclusive series, live events, and more on all things hunting and fishing.
- PokerGO ($15 a month): Exclusive live poker tournaments.
- Dekkoo ($10 a month): Gay movies and series.
- MHz Choice ($8 a month): The best new international mysteries, dramas, and comedies.
- MovieSphere ($5 a month): Lionsgate hits, cult classics and everything in-between.
- ATRESplayer ($5 a month): Spanish-language on-demand video from Atresmedia.
- Gaia ($12 a month): Conscious media, streaming yoga videos, and more.
- Topic ($6 a month): Criminally good TV and film from all over the world.
- Tastemade+ ($3 a month): Even more award-winning food, travel, home design, and more.
YouTube TV channels
In general, YouTube TV provides a competitive selection of linear and nonlinear (i.e., channels that are not seen on regular cable TV) channels as any of the other comparable offerings. That primarily refers to Hulu With Live TV, the only other streaming platform with a comparable number of users to YouTube TV.
As always, the devil is in the details. If the desired channel is available on YouTube TV, excellent! You’ll have to search elsewhere if it doesn’t. That’s okay since that’s how competition operates.
As of February 2023, the following channels are available as a part of the primary YouTube TV package:
ABC, ABC News Live, ACC Network, AMC, Animal Planet, BBC America, BBC World News, BET, BET Her, Bounce, Bravo, BTN, Cartoon Network, CBS, CBS Sports, Cheddar News, CMT, CNBC, CNN, Comedy Central, Comedy.TV, Comet TV, Court TV, Cozi, Dabl, Discovery Channel, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, E!, ESPN, ESPN in 4K, ESPN2, ESPNews, ESPNU, Food Network, Fox, Fox Business, Fox News, Fox Soul, Fox Sports 4K, Fox Sports Plus 4K, Fox Weather, Freeform, FS1, FS2, FX, FXM, FXX, Galavision, Game Show Network, GetTV, Golf Channel, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Drama, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, HGTV, HLN, HSN, ID, IFC, ION, JusticeCentral.TV, LiveNOW, Local Now, MotorTrend, MSNBC, MTV, MTV Classic, MTV2, Nat Ceo, Nat Geo Wild, NBA TV, NBA TV in 4K, NBC, NBC News Now, NBC Sports 4K, NBCLX, NewsNation, NFL Network ,Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, OWN, Oxygen True Crime, Paramount, PBS, PBS Kids, Pop, QVC, Recipe.TV, Scripps News, SEC Network, Smithsonian Channel, Start TV, Sundance TV, SYFY, Tastemade, TBS, TeenNick, Telemundo, The Weather Channel, TLC, TNT, Travel Channel, truTV, TUDN, Turner Classic Movies, TV Land, TYT Network, UniMas, Universal Kids, Univision, USA, VH1, WE tv.
And one of the most interesting aspects is that you may choose to conceal a channel on YouTube TV. That will assist in removing channels from your guide that you never watch.
YouTube TV and 4K
Being among the simplest streaming services to use is one of YouTube TV’s best features. Given that it comes from the people who also control the biggest streaming video service on the planet, it should be. YouTube would be that.
Everything is under your control, including the streaming resolution. While you’ll want to leave everything on Auto 9 out of 10 times, you can also lower the streaming resolution if you like. This also makes it simple to see what is 1080p or 720p streaming. Especially if it’s live sports at 60 frames per second, it will frequently be the former. But, 1080p video is becoming more and more common, which is wonderful.
One of the first live streaming services in the US to offer some live material in 4K resolution is YouTube TV. (FuboTV is the other.) There are live events from ESPN, Fox Sports, and NBC Sports available. Also, certain on-demand content is offered in 4K quality. You may watch 4K streams from Tastemade, FX, Nat Geo, and Discovery.
The video on YouTube TV is often on par with that of other live providers. Before the buffer fills up and reaches its maximum capacity, you can experience a brief period of decreased resolution. And it all depends on how well your home network is built, how fast your ISP is, and how YouTube TV and its content providers first made the show, movie, or sport available. There are many moving components in this situation. It’s also crucial to remember that not every piece of hardware supports 4K streaming.
The Apple TV 4K in 2021 (the 2017 model will have increased resolution but not full 4K), the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, NVIDIA Shield, and 4K Android TV smart TVs are the only devices that will currently support it.