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YouTube TV Checklist: Is It The Right Live TV Service For You?

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If you’re considering signing up to YouTube TV but unsure whether it is the right service for you, this checklist might be able to help. There are many reasons to sign up to one service over another, but generally speaking, many homes want access for many of the same reasons. This makes it possible to decide on some core features that are literally easy to check off a list.

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First off, it is important to get the price out of the way, as this is something that can immediately rule out YouTube TV for a number of homes. At $65 per month, YouTube TV is far from cheap, and if the goal is to save as much money as possible each month, then YouTube TV is unlikely to be the best option. That said, you do get what you pay for with live TV, and for those that are okay with paying the asking price, YouTube TV has a lot to offer.

Below is a checklist of many of the core features and benefits that our experience suggests many homes are looking for. While this won’t be the perfect checklist for every home, the more checks that match your needs, the more YouTube TV is likely to be a good choice for your home.

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YouTube TV Checklist
Locals
Sports
News
Premium channels
4K✔ (add-on required)
On-demand
DVR
Multiple streams
TV Everywhere

Compared to other live TV streaming services, YouTube TV stacks up pretty well overall. With access to plenty of additional features and benefits, it is likely to be a good option for many homes.

YouTube TV
YouTube TV live TV guide with clock$65 per month
100+ channels
3 streams
Unlimited DVR

Sign up

YouTube TV checklist in detail

Below is some more detailed information on each of the checklist points to further help you decide whether this is the right live TV service. For example, while 4K is listed as a checked off feature it does require an additional monthly payment, which might be an issue for some homes.

Locals on YouTube TV

If access to local channels matters, YouTube TV is a pretty good solution overall. At no additional cost, YouTube TV subscribers get access to ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS, and The CW. Compared to some other services, YouTube TV is one of the better options for streaming locals over the internet.

Sports on YouTube TV

YouTube TV is also pretty good when it comes to live sports. Subscribers get access to BTN, CBS Sports, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN U, ESPN News, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, Golf Channel, LAFC, MLB Game of the week, MLB Network, NBA TV, SEC Network, and SNY. There is also the option to expand sports with the Sports Plus add-on. For an additional $10.99 per month, Sports Plus unlocks more than 10 additional sports-related channels, including beIN SPORTS and NFL RedZone.

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News on YouTube TV

YouTube TV subscribers get access to a variety of news channels including ABC News, BBC World News, CNBC, CNN, Fox Business, Fox News, LiveNOW from Fox, MSNBC, NBC News Now, and NewsNation. For those interested in live weather reporting, a YouTube TV subscription also includes access to Fox Weather and The Weather Channel.

Premium channels on YouTube TV

Another major benefit of YouTube TV is the support for additional services. Base plan subscribers are able to choose from a number of popular subscription services and add them to their package at an additional cost each month. Some of the popular streaming services available to bundle with YouTube TV include HBO Max, Hallmark Movies Now, MLB TV, NBA League Pass, Showtime, and Starz.

4K support

YouTube TV does offer the option to watch in 4K, but only if signed up to the $19.99 per month ($14.99 for the first 12 months) 4K Plus add-on. This means the minimum cost of YouTube TV with 4K is $79.99 per month. It should also be noted that not all channels and programs are available to stream in 4K after upgrading to 4K Plus.

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On-demand library

All YouTube TV subscribers get access to an extensive on-demand library that includes movies, shows, replays of live sports events, and even recent episodes of popular network shows. The on-demand library is determined and populated by the networks a subscriber has access to, based on their current package. For example, adding any premium networks increases the amount of on-demand access available.

Cloud DVR

YouTube TV provides access to an unlimited cloud DVR making it possible for subscribers to record as much content as they want. A single YouTube TV subscription can be shared with up to five other people and each person gets access to their own unlimited DVR. While it is unlimited in terms of the number of hours, it is limited in some other respects. For example, recordings cannot be manually deleted by the subscriber. In addition, all recordings are only kept for a maximum of 9 months before being automatically deleted.

Multiple streams

YouTube TV subscribers are able to watch live TV on multiple devices at the same time. Whether at home or away from home, the maximum number of devices is three. It is also possible to upgrade a subscription to an unlimited number of devices (when connected to the home network) by signing up to the 4K Plus add-on.

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TV Everywhere support

YouTube TV does provide TV Everywhere support for many networks and channels. While not every network available through YouTube TV comes with TV Everywhere support, many do, including ABC, Big Ten Network, CBS, Discovery, ESPN, Fox, NBC, NFL Network, TBS, TNT, and USA Network.

YouTube TV checklist summary

All in all, YouTube TV checks off many important boxes, making it a good solution for live TV. Whether it’s access to local channels, live sports, news, or premium networks, or whether it is streaming on multiple devices, recording as many videos as you want, or logging in to network apps with TV Everywhere, YouTube TV has you covered.

Of course, having this many live TV streaming boxes checked off does come at a price, and that’s a minimum of $65 per month ($80 if you want to watch in 4K). Providing the asking price is not too high, YouTube TV offers a premium live TV experience that will likely be right for a number of homes.

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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 editing and writing about technology and streaming for online publications since 2014, and believes the best streaming approach is to rotate between services as needed.

John's preferred live TV streaming service right now is YouTube TV although he does tend to switch live TV services multiple times each year to keep up to date with their changes. Outside of live TV, John also actively streams HBO Max (for the shows), Peacock (for Premier League), and Paramount Plus (for Champion's League). However, John is also currently subscribed to Apple TV+, Discovery+, Hulu, Starz, Showtime, and Shudder.

Contact John via email at john@streamingbetter.com or say hi on Twitter

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