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YouTube TV 4K Plus Add-On, Offline Watching & Streams Explained

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YouTube TV has now launched a new 4K Plus tier that allows subscribers to upgrade their package and benefit from a number of additional features that the service says are some of the most requested. Essentially, upgrading to the higher tier opens up the door to 4K playback, the ability to watch downloaded videos offline and the option to stream on many more devices when at home.

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YouTube TV has been around since 2017 although it was only in 2019 when the service became available nationwide. Ever since the beginning, YouTube TV has only ever offered one plan. However, the service had previously confirmed it was working on a more premium tier for those that want to upgrade the experience even further. Not to mention, YouTube TV has also launched Entertainment and Sports bundles, for those willing to pay more.

The YouTube TV 4K Plus tier is technically an add-on, so subscribers will need to add it to their existing package at an additional $20 per month on top of the cost of the standard subscription. However, the service is currently running a promotion that allows account holders to add 4K Plus for just $9.99 per month for the first twelve months. After which, the cost of the 4K Plus add-on will automatically revert to the standard $19.99 per month price.

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As suggested by the add-on’s name, the main selling point here is the option to watch 4K content on YouTube TV. This doesn’t necessarily mean all content will be available to stream in 4K, but it will be for any applicable streams. Subscribers will also need a compatible 4K-enabled TV (and streaming player if using) to take advantage of the higher resolution playback.

Watching offline and more simultaneous streams

The 4K Plus add-on includes more than just 4K streaming, with the two other main features likely to prove just as useful to subscribers. Firstly, there is now the option to download videos so that they can be watched offline. YouTube TV already offers a more than capable cloud DVR experience, but this new upgrade will allow users to save some of their recorded videos to their device, making them accessible even without an internet connection.

Exactly how many videos can be downloaded at any given time will be determined by the device’s internal storage limits. These recordings are not stored online, but actually on the device, consuming the same storage space that is used for apps, photos, and so on. In addition, the option to download and watch without an internet connection only applies to mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

Another benefit, or limitation depending on perspective, is the number of simultaneous streams. Currently, YouTube TV offers subscribers the option to stream on up to three devices at the same time. That’s still the case when away from home, but with the upgraded 4K Plus add-on, subscribers will be able to stream on an unlimited number of devices, so long as all of these devices are connecting to the designated home area’s Wi-Fi network.

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Separately, but announced at the same time, YouTube TV has also added 5.1 Dolby audio support. Different to the other features, this is not dependent on the new 4K Plus add-on. Therefore, all existing and new YouTube TV subscribers can expect to gain access to the benefits associated with 5.1 Dolby audio.

Overall, the new tier provides existing and new YouTube TV subscribers with a good option to improve their current experience. However, it does not make the cost of a live TV subscription any cheaper, nor does it improve the channel lineup at all. Instead, it is simply a way to upgrade the general experience and especially for households where multiple people are likely to access the live TV service, and on a variety of different devices.

Source: YouTube TV

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John Finn

By John Finn

John started Streaming Better to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been writing about technology and TV-related services and devices since 2014 and believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingbetter.com or on Twitter

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