YouTube TV review: Cut the cord

Verdict

YouTube TV is by far the greatest dwell TV streaming service to interchange cable. With 85+ channels (plus add-ons), the lineup is complete and is way extra reasonably priced and handy. Google’s service learns what you’re keen on and places it entrance and centre, the cloud DVR is dependable, and the latest addition of 4K content material is welcome – albeit far too costly. However, in case you ditch broadcast TV for YouTube TV, you’ll by no means return.

Pros

The greatest service to interchange cableCloud DVR works brilliantlyIntelligent featured content material based mostly on viewing habitsCatch up through “key performs” is nice for sportsExcellent consumer interfaceNo dedication, month-to-month

Cons

Limited 4K content material that’s an costly add-onNo HDR or Dolby Atmos soundSome gadgets nonetheless ready for five.1 audioNot out there outdoors UK

Live TV streamingA reputable alternative for cable or satellite tv for pc with entry to all the main US channels and networks

Cloud DVRAll of your saved programming is offered in the cloud, accessible from all suitable gadgets, and doesn’t require bodily storage

4K sportsA rising, however restricted library of 4K sports activities can be found from NBC, Fox, ESPN and MLB. No HDR, although

Introduction

It’s YouTube, however not as we all know it. Google’s streaming service is designed to fully substitute your current satellite tv for pc or cable tv subscription, whereas liberating you from watching content material solely on the TV set. 

Live programming is streamed, moderately than broadcast, whereas your (limitless) DVR recordings are saved in the cloud. Powerful good TV, cellular apps and an online presence imply your TV subscription and native channels go the place you go. All the main leisure, sports activities, information and film networks are current, with the possibility of add-ons for premium networks and packages. 

Since that is Google, YouTube TV does a improbable job of studying about reveals you commonly watch, putting new episodes – dwell and on demand – entrance and centre. Premium subscriptions introduce some 4K programming, together with dwell sports activities, whereas there’s entry to offline downloads, too. 

The US-only streaming service has loads of rivals, comparable to Hulu with Live TV, fuboTV, Sling TV and DirecTV Now. It isn’t the most cost-effective service on the market, however it’s far cheaper than cable. Let’s take a deeper have a look at whether or not YouTube TV is the streaming liberation that conventional linear TV viewers have been ready for. 

Availability

UKunavailable
USARRP: $64.99
Europeunavailable
Canadaunavailable
Australiaunavailable

US only4K Plus is an additional $20No dedication

YouTube TV is offered solely in the United States. It’s unlikely we’ll see it increase to the UK and past, on account of how tv subscriptions are bundled elsewhere. 

It prices $64.99 (plus tax) a month, with the 4K Plus add-on – which incorporates entry to 4K content material, extra concurrent streams and offline downloads on cellular – an extra $19.99. You can add as much as six Google accounts per subscription, that means your loved ones can have their very own profiles too.

Billing is simplified: the month-to-month subscription mannequin means no dedication, not like legacy suppliers that lock you in for a yr or two whereas charging all method of annoying charges and taxes.

Platforms

Wide array of good TV appsAlso out there on-line

YouTube TV is offered on main good TV working programs, media gamers, video games consoles and cellular gadgets. One neat quirk for these deep in Google’s ecosystem is YouTube TV’s presence on the Nest Hubs. So, in case you’re doing a little bit cooking and wish to watch an episode of Beat Bobby Flay whilst you chop your veg, you’re all set. YouTube TV can also be out there on main net browsers for Mac and PC.

Smart TV suppliers embrace the likes of Android TV (naturally), Hisense, LG, Samsung, Sharp Sony and Vizio fashions. Streaming gamers embrace Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast with Google TV and Roku gamers. Where recreation consoles are involved, all the main gadgets are included from Xbox One (S and X), Xbox Series S/X, PS4, PS4 Pro, PS5.

On cellular there’s Android and iOS, and solely good shows comparable to the Google Nest Hub/Max are lined.

Interface

Powerful Home tab“Key performs” catch-up is nice for dwell sportsTV information solely reveals now/subsequent

This is an space the place YouTube TV actually excels. The interface is split into three sections: Library, Home and Live. 

In Home, featured content material is known as “Top Picks for You”, with dwell and on-demand content material based mostly in your viewing habits. If you all the time watch the information in the morning, you may even see CNN in the prime spot. Or, in case you spend your Saturday morning’s with NBC Universal’s Premier League protection, that shall be solely a few clicks away. If you’re an avid Jeopardy viewer however don’t watch dwell, the subsequent episode shall be right here. If the content material is dwell, you’ll see a mini participant inside the thumbnail.  

Below that’s Resume Watching out of your saved viewing level and commonly rotating content material rows. In June 2022, there was “Stream With Pride”, alongside devoted rows for information, sports activities (together with upcoming fixtures out there as a part of your subscription) and out there films. More sections on comedies, recreation reveals, speak reveals, documentaries, dramas and sit inside the Home part with shortcuts for diving deeper. 

Library presents entry to latest recordings from reveals, films and sports activities occasions that you just’ve added to this part. For me, it’s considered one of the lesser used areas, since most of the issues I watch are neatly positioned inside Home. However, it’s nice to see a film inside the listings and add it to Library; that manner, the subsequent time it airs on TV, will probably be recorded for you. Any content material you’ve bought by means of Play Movies and TV sits right here, too. 

The Live part is your TV information, however it’s fairly restricted. It solely reveals what’s at present on and what’s coming; however the YouTube TV web site lets you kind it by your most-watched, or channel A-Z. If you’re on the lookout for particular reveals, there’s a robust search operate that tells you when the content material is aired or whether or not it’s out there on demand or in your DVR.

Depending on the machine you’re utilizing, you’ll additionally get a mini participant displaying your present present whilst you browse the remainder of the interface. There are darkish modes and lightweight modes as properly. 

Adding a programme/film/sports activities crew in your library is absolutely useful, too, as you may select between beginning it at the starting or becoming a member of dwell. This manner, you can begin a present a bit later after which simply leap by means of the commercials. If you’re becoming a member of some sports activities video games late, there’s an choice to make amends for “key performs”, comparable to objectives or touchdowns.

Live sports activities usually profit from an inflow of dwell stats on a wealthy playback display that allows you to choose video high quality (Auto is the greatest out there), audio choices, a number of customized closed caption settings, entry to a carousel of dwell networks and even the YouTube stats for nerds that reveals the present decision, body charge and bit-rate amongst others.

Features

Some 4K content material, however expensiveNo Dolby Atmos and 5.1 not commonCloud DVROffline downloads (solely with 4K Plus)

One of YouTube TV’s greatest options is the limitless Cloud DVR, that means the reveals you file shall be out there to you for 9 months to stream on whichever machine you’re viewing on. There’s no central location and no bodily onerous drive to handle. The function is offered to all content material that airs on YouTube TV. Any present, film, sports activities crew or occasion added to your library will mechanically be recorded and, helpfully, sports activities video games file for an additional half an hour. 

If you might have YouTube TV 4K Plus (see under), you may obtain gadgets out of your DVR to observe offline. 

YouTube TV does present some 4K content material, however just for subscribers to the 4K Plus add-on ($19.95 a month). This additionally presents offline downloads of reveals saved to your DVR and extra concurrent streams. That brings the month-to-month price as much as $85 a month, nevertheless, undermining that “cheaper than cable” edict. 

I don’t assume there’s sufficient 4K content material to justify that price, particularly contemplating many different streaming providers (Disney, Hulu, Apple TV Plus) provide 4K on the home, in case your setup can deal with it. 

Here are the supported gadgets at present listed by YouTube TV:

4K Android TV fashions comparable to Sony Bravia and others Samsung, LG and Hisense 4K Smart TVs (2016 or later)Chromecast with Google TV4K Roku Streaming gadgetsApple TV 4K (2021)PS4 Pro Amazon Fire 4K Stick (1st Gen – 2018)Nvidia Shield

The overwhelming majority of the 4K content material is dwell sports activities. The NBC Universal networks provide occasions comparable to the Olympics, the US Open Golf and Premier League video games (shot in 4K by BT and Sky in the UK). There’s one 4K baseball Game of the Week by means of a cope with MLB, and occasional basketball video games on NBA TV. 

ESPN, Fox Sports, and NBA TV have dwell 4K video games, too, though none are listed at the time of writing. Some restricted sequence from FX, National Geographic and Disney can be found as properly. YouTube TV is totally reliant on the host broadcaster taking pictures these occasions in 4K to supply them; sadly, conventional linear US networks proceed to be sluggish in adopting the normal. 

Helpfully, from an interface perspective at the least, you may search out 4K content material with straightforward to entry filter buttons on the Home tab. When you’re watching you’ll see “4K” indicated in blue throughout playback.

While there could also be some restricted 4K content material, there’s no HDR and no possibility for Dolby Atmos audio. Dolby 5.1 encompass sound is offered on suitable gadgets, together with Samsung, LG and Vizio gadgets with Cobalt 20 or above, Chromecast, Android TV, Google TV and Roku. YouTube is testing extra gadgets. 

Library

85-channel robust line-upLacks regional sports activities networksAccess to on-demand choices

So, with YouTube TV you received’t get the lots of upon lots of of channels provided by the cable and satellite tv for pc suppliers; however the query is, do you really want them? I really feel like the 85-channel YouTube TV line-up presents virtually all the pieces I want, whereas most different stuff is offered through add-ons comparable to HBO, Showtime, NFL Red Zone, MLB.television and so forth. Anything you add nestles properly inside your library and TV information, making it a helpful one-stop store in your viewing. 

One factor I do miss is the absence of the regional sports activities networks, which suggests I don’t have entry to Miami Heat and Miami Marlins baseball video games now. That’s as a result of the supplier isn’t making offers with the dwell TV streaming providers anymore, as a result of it’s wagered that taking a piece of the cable subscriptions is best. Disappointing, however not 100% Google’s fault both.

As properly as dwell content material from all of those channels, most present first rate entry to their on-demand choices, too, enabling you to observe the films in rotation on TNT, for instance, or earlier seasons of The Bachelorette on ABC. Here’s the crux of what you get with the primary bundle, you may seek for native variances right here.

Where leisure is anxious, stables comparable to your native broadcast affiliate networks from ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC can be found, but in addition AMC, Adult Swim, Animal Planet, BBC America, Bravo, CMT, Comedy Central, Discover, E!, FX (FXM and FXX), Food Network, Hallmark, HGTV, IFC, MTV (2 and Classic), Nat Geo Wild, National Geographic, Oxygen, Paramount Network PBS, Pop, Smithsonian, SyFy, TBS, TCM, TNT, truTV, Univision, USA and VH1.

For sports activities there’s CBS Sports, ESPN (2, U, News, SEC), FS1(2), Golf Channel, MLB Network (and Game of the Week), NBA TV,  NFL Network and the Olympics Channel.

News covers ABC News, BBC World News, CNBC, SNN, Fox News and Business, MSNBC, NBC News Now, Newsnation, The Weather Channel. And for teenagers there’s Disney (Junior and XD), Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon (Nick Jr., Nick Toons), PBS Kids and Universal Kids.

Performance

No HDR supportGood 4K image high quality

The 4K efficiency, on what content material there’s, was extraordinarily detailed on my LG C1 OLED TV (2021) – which is what you’d anticipate, in fact. When watching the US Open golf, the particular person blades of grass in the tough appeared crisp and clear, whereas it feels such as you’re seeing particular person specs of mud fly from the divots. 

However, the absence of HDR is obvious. The first couple of days at the US Open have been fairly uninteresting and overcast, and this was mirrored precisely inside the dwell stream. The footage lacked a little bit of vitality when the solar wasn’t out. However, there shall be these individuals who want this pure replica of the circumstances.

To profit from 4K video you’ll want an web connection of at the least 25Mbps, which my broadband manages fairly comfortably.

The app has been my go-to dwell TV streaming service on an Apple TV 4K (2021) for fairly a while now. Thus far, I haven’t skilled a crash and the solely annoyance has to date been on these events if you assume a present is DVR, however its truly On-Demand, that means you may’t skip the advertisements! The dwell thumbnail view on the Home web page will also be a little bit annoying in case you’re trying to be part of a sports activities recreation that’s already dwell.

The iPad app and web site have additionally served me properly, particularly with the mini participant that allows viewing to proceed whilst you browse different features of the app.

Latest offers

Should you purchase it?

If you’re trying to ditch cable and satellite tv for pc for one thing new YouTube TV is cheaper; you may watch on a number of gadgets, at your comfort, plus it can save you reveals in the cloud for later, and obtain clever content material strategies based mostly in your viewing habits. With the most important information, leisure and dwell sports activities suppliers on board, you’ll profit from most of the content material you’d get out of your legacy supplier.

If your web connection isn’t quick and dependable In these circumstances, you might not wish to stream your most important TV content material. Access to 4K is proscribed (which isn’t actually YouTube’s fault) and costly; on this regard, different streaming providers do a greater job. Inherently, dwell streamed TV can also be barely behind broadcast, so beware in case you’re following together with the recreation on Twitter.

Final Thoughts

YouTube TV is the greatest dwell TV streaming service there’s. Every time I get grumpy with a value hike or a channel quickly going away, I strive the others; however all the time come crawling again to Google’s providing. The vary of content material covers most bases, I really like the flexibility of watching on-line on a number of gadgets, and the app’s interface is good and dependable. Once you chop the cable, there shall be no going again – however we want the restricted 4K content material wasn’t so costly.

How we check

We check each video streaming service we overview completely over an prolonged time frame. We use business normal exams to match options correctly. We’ll all the time let you know what we discover. We by no means, ever, settle for cash to overview a product.

Tested on a 2021 4K Ultra HD TV

Tested with cellular apps and Smart TV programs

FAQs

Is YouTube TV out there in the UK? No, YouTube 4K is simply out there in the United States. Is there a YouTube TV free trial? New prospects can strive YouTube TV without spending a dime. Trial lengths differ, however will cowl at the least seven days.

UK RRP

USA RRP

EU RRP

CA RRP

AUD RRP

Manufacturer

Release Date

First Reviewed Date

YouTube TV

Unavailable

$64.99

Unavailable

Unavailable

Unavailable

Google

2017

17/06/2022

https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/youtube-tv

Recommended For You