YouTube TV DVR: How to record movies & shows on YouTube TV

YouTube TV is a live streaming service that gives subscribers a choice of around 85 live channels. The service, which has more than two million customers across the US, provides one package to customers, which costs $64.99/mo. 

YouTube TV comes with a cloud digital video recorder (DVR) that enables users to record and store unlimited amounts of content for up to nine months. Customers can watch the service on three devices at the same time and create up to six individual accounts, each of which gets its own login, DVR space and library. Accounts must be within the same household, such as family members and roommates and can’t be shared with friends who don’t live with the account holder.

YouTube TV is accessed via live TV guides that allow subscribers to choose from local networks as well as entertainment, lifestyle, movies, news and sports channels. For more information on the service, read our YouTube TV review.

YouTube TV DVR cost

The YouTube TV DVR feature is included within the subscription fee that customers pay. This means customers don’t have to pay extra to get a DVR feature or to add extra storage space.

PackageCostWhat’s Included
YouTube TV$64.99/mo.Unlimited cloud DVR storage space for 9 months
  Record live movies and TV shows
Fast-forward through recorded content and ads

How YouTube TV DVR works

YouTube TV’s DVR feature enables users to record live TV programming and store unlimited amounts of content for up to nine months.

When shows are added to the YouTube TV DVR feature, all future airings, including upcoming episodes and reruns, will be automatically recorded. YouTube TV users can also add their preferred sports leagues and teams to their library. This records any games that broadcast live on local networks in the area the user lives in.

In addition to live programming and its DVR feature, YouTube TV also has an on-demand library of episodes that recently aired. However, this on-demand content includes the original ads that aired alongside or during the original stream of the episode and can’t be fast-forwarded. Content on the YouTube DVR feature, however, can be fast-forwarded, and ads can be skipped.

Find out more about how the service works in our guide to YouTube TV packages, pricing and free trial information.

How to record your favorite movies & shows

Recording movies and shows on YouTube TV is a simple process. To discover how to record on YouTube, TV follow this step-by-step guide:

  1. Open up the YouTube TV app on a phone, tablet, streaming media player or other compatible devices.
  2. To find a show or movie either:
    1. Select the search icon on the YouTube TV app’s homepage and type in the name of the movie or show to be recorded.
    2. Use the YouTube TV guide to find a movie or show that’s coming up on the service.
  3. Select the movie or show to open up its menu.
  4. Select the plus icon (+) to add the movie or show to the YouTube TV account’s library.
  5. YouTube TV will now record the movie or every episode of the show whenever it airs on the service.

How to find your recordings

YouTube TV recordings are stored in the Library section of YouTube TV. To find recordings, follow this process:

  1. Open the YouTube TV app on a compatible device.
  2. Navigate to the Library tab.
  3. Select any show listed in the Library to view previously recorded episodes, scheduled recordings and upcoming episode airing details.

YouTube TV DVR limitations

YouTube TV’s DVR feature stores content for up to nine months. That means if a movie or show isn’t watched within nine months of it being, recorded then it will be deleted.

Another limitation of YouTube TV is that it doesn’t enable users to simply record a single episode of a TV show. Instead, it adds the show to the user’s YouTube TV Library and records all future episodes that air on the service.

Some content on YouTube TV will be subject to viewing restrictions. This could include live sports events, which are subject to restrictions imposed by YouTube TV’s content partners. Depending on the user’s location, the content they want to watch, or the platform or device they watch the service on, the content may be unavailable to watch or record on the service’s DVR feature.

People who travel frequently and watch YouTube TV on the go need to use the service at least once every three months in their local area. This ensures YouTube TV continues to provide them with the correct local networks, such as local news and sports stations.

Some broadcast events, such as major sports events, won’t be available in some geographic regions. These events, which include local blackouts on local sports games, are a result of restrictions set by content owners.

Our hot take

YouTube TV provides one of the best cloud DVR features available in the online streaming market. YouTube TV customers can record unlimited amounts of content, which will remain in their library for up to nine months. That means they’ll never miss the latest episode of their favorite TV show or any of their favorite sports team’s live games. 

Other similar streaming services only offer users 10 hours of DVR storage space per account, so YouTube TV is an ideal option for people that want to record lots of content to watch at a later date. 

YouTube TV is available to watch through web browsers as well as apps for mobile phones, streaming devices and smart TVs, meaning customers can watch the service at home and on the go. Helpfully, the service supports picture-in-picture mode, which enables users to continue watching content while navigating to other apps on their device.

However, YouTube TV is towards the more expensive end of services in the online streaming market. So people that aren’t willing to pay $64.99/mo. for a live streaming service may want to consider another option.

The service also comes with a seven-day free trial, which is great for people who want to try it out and test it against other similar streaming services without paying a cent. Discover how the service’s DVR feature works by signing up for YouTube TV.

Rob Latham

Rob Latham is a writer focused on technology, music, entertainment and sports. He is particularly passionate about the role that technology plays in improving peoples’ lives and helping businesses to work more effectively. He’s written marketing content for global B2B technology brands and start-ups, founded his own music blog and is a regular contributor to soccer publications. His professional background is in content marketing, public relations and journalism, and he has a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism.