TV—dying breed: Not many people in the US watch regular television anymore. Even in India, the streaming trend is on the rise. So when YouTube TV came into the screen, we were skeptical at first. But like most things YouTube, the company came out of nowhere and blew us away. You can subscribe to YouTube TV for $35 per month and view over 40 cable channels. Here’s our take on the video sharing site’s latest venture.
YouTube TV’s attractive DVR
And when you compare it to competitors, none of them offer as much as Youtube does. With YouTube DVR, you get an unlimited cloud storage for unto nine months. Here’s what other providers offer:
- Sling TV: $5 per month for 50 hours hours worth of recordings.
- Sony Vue: Unlimited storage but only for 28 days.
- DirecTV Now: No cloud storage but promises to bring it in future.
- Hulu: A streaming service, it promises cloud DVR in future.
Well, now you see why YouTube is far better than the herd.
Image courtesy: The Verge
The first screen on the app, the home tab, displays a carousel of live shows. You just have to swipe through a list of programs and tap to watch. And here’s the coolest pat: if you have any favourite shows, YouTube TV records the show automatically onto the cloud DVR so that you can watch it whenever you want to. If you’re a sports fanatic, you’re in even more luck. To sustain the popularity that sports channels enjoy in television, YouTube TV as fine the extra mile to bundle teams and leagues into folders. That way, you can watch your favourite shows even if you couldn’t catch them live.
If you swipe over from the “live” tab, you’ll land on a list of channels that you can pick from. Once you pick a channel, the app shows related shows and recently watched programs right below. The stream would adapt to both horizontal and vertical screens and you can even project your mobile stream to your television. And when you’re projecting your shows onto the television, your phone becomes the remote and you can search by voice.
Search far and wide
We all know that Google has focused a lot on improving search. This obsession has spilled over to Google’s other products as well as YouTube TV lets you search for TV programs not just by their titles, but also by file, actors, genre, and more phrase-based searches like “time travel.” Whatever you’re looking for, YouTube TV will find it for you.
YouTube TV is all about you, your favourite shows, and your searches. That’s why YouTube Tv offers six individual accounts and three concurrent streams with the monthly subscription. And to compare,
- Sony Vue lets you have five concurrent streams.
- DirecTV Now lets you have two.
- Sling lets you have anything between one and four streams depending on the pricing plan you purchase.
What you get on YouTube TV
Here’s a list of channels that YouTube TV will offer at the time of its launch. Channels marked with an asterisk sign (*) are set to come soon.
- Broadcast: ABC
- National Cable: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3*, ESPNU, ESPNews, SEC Network, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Freeform
- Broadcast: NBC, Telemundo*
- National Cable: Bravo, Chiller, CNBC, E!, Golf Channel, MSNBC, Universo*, NBCSN, Oxygen, Sprout, SyFy, Universal HD, USA
- Regional Cable: Comcast Regional Sports Networks, NECN (New England Cable News)
- Broadcast: CBS, The CW
- National Cable: CBS Sports Network
- Broadcast: FOX
- National Cable: FS1 (Fox Sports 1), FS2 (Fox Sports 2), BTN (Big Ten Network), FX, FXX, FXM, Nat Geo, Nat Geo Wild, Fox News, Fox Business
- Regional Cable: Fox Regional Sports Networks
- AMC, BBC America, BBC World News, WE TV, IFC, Sundance TV
The Weather Channel:
Not the best of starts
Sure, the idea is fancy and the offering is promising. But even YouTube Tv has a few holes it needs to fix. While you can access channels like ESPN and Fox Sports 1, YouTube TV doesn’t carry MTV, Comedy Central, and HBO. You can pay extra for Showtime but that’s all there is to it. And to make things a little more annoying, You Tube TV isn’t available everywhere—currently, it’s only available in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
There are more restrictions, though. For instance, when you sign up for YouTube TV, you’d set up your home address as well. And since YouTube TV doesn’t work without GPS, you can’t access your favourite shows live when you’re away from home. However, if your shows are already recorded on the cloud DVR, you can watch your shows from anywhere. And like we said, the mobile app is cool. But it works better with a Chromecast or another television that supports Cast. After all, they’re both Google products and that’s what matters to them most.
Why YouTube TV?
It’s hard to say why YouTube is setting up a television market. But it’s no surprise that TV studious partnered with YouTube to make this a reality. The channels get more money when they license their content on YouTube TV, and YouTube itself will get more publicity for its original content. To me, that sounds like a win-win.