YouTube TV review

YouTube TV highlights

YouTube TV review

When YouTube launched its live streaming service called YouTube TV in 2017, it was only available to limited locations in the US. Today, the service is now available to viewers nationwide and has grown to become one of the leading live TV streaming services on the market.

Just this year, YouTube TV crossed the one million subscriber mark. The service offers a channel selection with a variety of cable staples and coverage of major networks like ABC, NBC and CBS. Viewers can also watch sports, movies and YouTube Originals on their schedule thanks to a DVR feature that lets you record shows and live sports to watch at a later date.

Although the YouTube TV price point is on the higher end at $49.99/mo. compared to other streaming services, you’ll get your money’s worth considering the number of channels, unlimited DVR space and many more competitive features.

Understand the YouTube TV plan

YouTube TV
Monthly price$49.99/mo.
Free trial length7 days
Number of channels70+
Number of simultaneous streams3
Cloud DVR storageUnlimited
Premium channel add-ons availableYes

YouTube TV features

In a rapidly growing, competitive online streaming industry, Google knew that they had to offer something unique with YouTube TV in order to remain competitive. Well, the service certainly offers some impressive features, and it continues to roll out new ones. Some key YouTube TV features include:

No contract

You’ll never have to commit, as you pay month-to-month and can cancel at any time.

Cloud DVR feature

The YouTube TV DVR feature really goes above and beyond, offering unlimited storage for recorded content. You can record shows and other programs to watch on your own schedule, without worrying about storage limits.

On-demand streaming

While the live TV is certainly the main offering of this service, YouTube TV also has an on-demand library. Many networks provide recent episodes to watch on-demand, similar to how cable’s on-demand offerings work. This, combined with live TVĀ and a DVR feature, means that there’s ALWAYS something to watch!

At home or on-the-go

Whether you’re at home on the couch or on the bus ride home, you can watch YouTube TV! The service works on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Do keep in mind that the programming available to you will vary while you’re traveling, and YouTube TV doesn’t work internationally.

Accounts for the whole family

With a single YouTube TV subscription, you can get up to 6 individual accounts and logins, each with their own DVR feature and library. This is limited to in-household, so you can’t share with people who don’t live with you – but for family members and roommates, this feature offers a lot of value. If you read YouTube TV reviews from everyday folks, this feature often comes up as a main selling point.

Three consecutive streams

If you do share your subscription, you shouldn’t get cut off from your favorite shows, as three consecutive streams are allowed at once.

Why YouTube TV may be the right TV and movie streaming service for you

Of all the different perks offered by YouTube TV, its cloud DVR might be the best. While most live TV streaming service providers have the same features, they don’t provide the same storage capacity. With YouTube TV, you can record unlimited content and store it for up to nine months. You can essentially line up your content for the next few months and never have to worry about storage. This outcompetes any competitor by a long shot.

YouTube TV also lets viewers watch on multiple screens at once. Out of the six family accounts, three can use the service at the same time on different devices. 

Simple interface settings

YouTube TV’s interface has the same clean look and feel as the regular YouTube website, with most elements clad in white or grey. The characteristic YouTube logo sits in the top left. 

In settings, you can manage your subscription, add-ons and billing. The settings tab also gives you access to your account preferences and viewing history. 

You mainly stay on three tabs: Home, Library and Live.

Library organizes your content sections based on all your past recordings.  Home lets you discover new content and gives recommendations based on what you’ve watched or searched for in the past. Hit the Live tab to browse channels and see what’s playing currently.

On the screen that says Now Playing you get the standard YouTube set of playback tools, including 15-second fast forward and reverse buttons, closed captions, and tools for screen quality and playback speed.

Like the YouTube website, more information about the content you’re viewing appears below.

Mobile app convenience

The YouTube TV mobile application operates much like the desktop interface. It has the same clean edges, colors and tabs for clear content organization. It features all the same search and suggestion tools you have access to on the desktop interface. On mobile devices and desktops, the YouTube app supports picture-in-picture mode, which lets you keep watching content without staying in the app. 

Viewing style personalization

You can personalize your Live tab to fit your preferred viewing style. For instance, you have the option to reorder or hide networks so that you only see your favorite ones. Add any type of live content (sports, movies, shows, etc.) to your library by clicking the “+” button. There’s also a “Hide all scores for this team/league” feature that keeps the spoiler alerts away. By clicking the magnifying glass in the top right corner, you can specify your search to see content you like. Watch local news, sports or primetime shows over offered networks.

Compatible YouTube TV devices

What to watch on YouTube TV

YouTube TV has more than 60 networks, and that count keeps growing. That means you have access to every channel that falls under these networks: ESPN, FOX Sports, Disney, FX, Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC and CNS, just to name a few.

In addition to popular channel networks, you can watch every show in YouTube’s network through YouTube Red and Originals. Examples include PewDiePie and films most people have never seen or heard of. That just means there’s even more entertainment content to explore at your fingertips.

Like Amazon video, you can pay an extra monthly price to add premium channels to your subscription, such as FOX Soccer Plus, Starz and Showtime.

The takeaway

If you consider yourself a part of the “cord-cutting” movement and want to make the transition from cable to digital, then YouTube TV could be the right streaming service for you.

Bottom line, if you prefer a large channel selection and record a ton of content, no other service can do it like YouTube TV.  It dominates the cloud DVR competition and does an excellent job of letting you stream and record your favorite picks. 

Brooks Lockett

Brooks Lockett is a writer specializing in business and technology. He's spent the last two years writing content and news stories on consumer tech, internet of things (IoT), startup scenes and book reviews among other topics. After receiving his degree in English from Florida State University, he began his career as a freelance writer. Born and raised in Florida, he loves traveling around the world and working from his laptop five steps away from the beach.