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No, You Cannot Record A Single Episode On YouTube TV

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YouTube TV does not allow subscribers to record a single episode of a series although subscribers will find they can record one-off live sports events. YouTube TV comes with one of the better cloud DVR recording experiences, but it does still have its limitations, and recording single episodes of a show is one of them.

A standard YouTube TV subscription currently costs $64.99 per month, making it one of the more expensive live TV streaming services. In spite of the higher price, YouTube TV does come with some additional features that can make the higher cost worthwhile. Arguably, the cloud DVR experience is one of the most useful and the most popular, thanks to the ability to record an unlimited number of shows and movies.

While it does come with a number of benefits, YouTube TV’s recording experience does have its restrictions. For example, recordings cannot be manually deleted. In addition, recordings are not indefinite considering stored videos do expire after nine months. Another major limitation is the inability to record a single episode with no option to set single episodes to record in any of the apps or through the website.

Why no recording of single episodes

Why YouTube TV doesn’t allow subscribers to record a single episode isn’t entirely clear, but there are no current indications that’s likely to change in the near future. Although the reason remains unknown, one very strong possibility is likely to be the unlimited nature of the cloud DVR as this impacts on every aspect of the recording experience.

YouTube TV positions its DVR as one of the major selling points of a subscription. With the exception of how long videos reman recorded for, it really is unlimited. Furthermore, it is personal as well. For example, YouTube TV allows a single subscription to be shared with up to five additional family members and without each member having to worry about the recordings merging together in the one library. Essentially, what one person records isn’t visible to any of the other family or household members, so long as they are using their own subaccount.

Considering users don’t need to worry about managing their library, deleting videos, or recordings made by other family members, there’s not much incentive from YouTube TV’s perspective to offer the option to record a single episode. Instead, subscribers can simply record the entire series and just watch the single episode while ignoring the rest. Although this might seem like overkill from the subscriber’s perspective, it is currently the way YouTube TV’s cloud DVR works. The one exception here is live sports. As sports fan can simply record a single game or match for a team, season or league.

It is possible that YouTube TV will change its approach in the future and offer the option to record single episodes. However, the feature is unlikely to be high up on the service’s to-do list. In the meantime, subscribers will simply be expected to record all of the episodes and just watch the ones they are interested in while ignoring the rest and letting YouTube TV manage those recordings over time.

YouTube TV single episode summary

YouTube TV subscribers are provided with one of the better recording experiences around, but that’s not to say there aren’t limitations. One of these is the inability to record single episodes of a show. While single sports matches and games can be recorded, a single episode can’t, and this is by design.

As YouTube TV offers an unlimited cloud DVR to all subscribers at no additional cost, the service emphasizes how users don’t need to manage their subscription and this includes the need to manage how many recordings are made. While some subscribers may prefer the option to record a single episode, YouTube TV prefers subscribers to record an entire show and wait for the recordings to naturally expire and be automatically deleted.

John Finn
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John Finn

By John Finn

John Finn is the Founder and Editor of Streaming Better, a platform created in 2019 to help consumers navigate the complicated live TV streaming and subscription service market.

John has been covering technology for various online publications since 2014. After originally covering the wider tech industry as a writer and editor, John now spends his time focusing on the emerging video-streaming market, including live TV streaming, SVOD, AVOD, FAST, and TVOD services.

In a bid to keep up to date on the industry, John actively subscribes to multiple streaming services at the same time. However, John continues to advocate that the best approach for consumers is to rotate between streaming services as needed.

A Psychology graduate from England, who now lives in the US, John previously worked in the aviation industry as an airline reviewer. While reviewing airlines isn't quite the same as reviewing devices and streaming services, John brings the same analytical eye to all of his reviews and industry analysis, along with a special emphasis on what's best for the consumer.

Connect with John
X: @J_Finns

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