YouTube TV is officially live now, streaming in five major US locations today: New York, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, and Philadelphia. The cord-cutting subscription service costs $35 per month, and offers a free one-month trial. You can cancel the free trial at any time, and if you decide to subscribe, the company will send you a free Chromecast after your first month’s subscription.
YouTube TV is Google/Alphabet’s alternative to live-streaming services, such as Sling TV, Playstation Vue, and DirecTV Now, offering live broadcasts of cable content from networks including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN, and more. YouTube TV includes 40 networks as well as local programming from your city and neighborhood. The network has channels covering content ranging from live sports, with networks like NBCSN, FS1, and FS2, all the way to pre-recorded shows, such as The Housewives Series, with Bravo. YouTube will be adding AMC, BBC America, FC, Sundance TV, WE TV, and BBC World News at no additional cost. There are two “add-on” networks, including Showtime ($11/month) and FOX Soccer Plus ($15/month).
The service includes unlimited cloud DVR, meaning you can record and save all of your favorite shows for nine months before the oldest content is deleted. YouTube TV allows up to six individual logins, which can be used to record shows and receive personalized recommendations. Up to three devices can be streamed simultaneously, at any time.
One of the biggest drawbacks for YouTube TV is that the service is currently only available on Chromecast. The YouTube TV app has yet to be created for streaming devices, such as Roku, Amazon Fire and Apple TV. However, as mentioned above, YouTube will send you a free Chromecast if you decide to pay for the service after the free month-long trial.
And The Verdict Is In…
The early reviews for the new streaming service are in, and the verdict is: Decent, but has room for improvement. Few users seem to be blown away by the service, but many agree that YouTube TV is promising competitor.
Some of the comments and reviews indicate that the content recommendations seem spot-on, using Google’s (or Alphabet’s) search and data-mining capabilities. The streaming quality is great, but can vary depending on the time of day. Of course, many are complaining that the service needs more channels. The service currently lacks popular major channels, like CNN, Nickelodeon, MTV, and Comedy Central…which are television staples (I mean, come on YouTube, how can you do this?!) However, quite a few people are pleased with the DVR capabilities. Users also seem to like that there are a lot of shows available on demand. The new interface also seems to be a refreshing feature of this cord-cutting service.