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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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