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Is YouTube TV A Good Deal? Pros And Cons

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More than 5 million people now use YouTube TV so the live TV streaming service must be doing something right. However, that doesn’t mean it is automatically going to be the best live TV service for everyone. Like any other service, YouTube TV has its pros and cons and households will want to weigh these up before signing up and paying for a subscription.

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A standard YouTube TV subscription costs $64.99 per month and provides access to a good selection of live TV channels. Subscribers also get access to a variety of on-demand content, the ability to record videos, and TV Everywhere support for many of the networks included with a subscription. It also offers additional add-ons that can improve the channel lineup or features at an additional monthly cost.

Overall, YouTube TV is going to be a good deal for busier households where a single subscription is likely to be shared with multiple people. YouTube TV is also likely to be a good option for sports fans due to the additional sports-focused features on offer. However, it is not going to be a good option for any homes that are looking to save on the cost of streaming live TV over the internet. Below is a quick overview of some of the more prominent benefits of YouTube TV as well as some of the downsides that are worth knowing about before signing up.

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YouTube TV ProsYouTube TV Cons
Family sharingExpensive
Unlimited DVR4K costs more
Sports featuresDVR management
Device supportHome area limits
Multiple streamsOccasional blackouts

The pros of YouTube TV

Family support is one of the big selling points with YouTube TV. Whether sharing with family members or people living in the same home, YouTube TV makes sharing a subscription extremely easy. So long as each member already has a Google account set up, inviting them to use YouTube TV is as quick as adding the account through the settings. What’s more, YouTube TV takes the family sharing experience to the next level.

A shared YouTube TV subscription offers each subaccount a tailored experience. This not only means they’ll see recommendations just for them, but each member gets access to their own cloud DVR. In other words, their individual library will only ever be stocked with recordings they have made. Essentially, YouTube TV treats each subaccount as if it is its own separate subscription making sharing with others a painless experience.

Another benefit to YouTube TV is its approach to sports. YouTube TV was not the best option for sports in the past, but the live TV service has made a fair amount of changes over the years that have greatly improved the sports experience. These features include the ability to follow (and record) individual teams, hide spoilers, see key plays for select sports, and more. YouTube TV appears to be continually banking on live sports, and that likely means it is only going to get better for sports fans in the future.

Some of the other pros that are worth mentioning include an unlimited cloud DVR, a varied level of device support, and the ability to stream on multiple devices at the same time.

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The cons of YouTube TV

The price is an unavoidable con with YouTube TV. While the service originally started out at just $35 per month it has almost doubled in price since then. At the current $65 per month price, YouTube TV is not exactly a cheap live TV service. While it’s not the most expensive either, that doesn’t change the fact that the price might be out of comfortable reach of many homes. What’s more, the price is only likely to go up in the future.

Another con of YouTube TV is it can sometimes take things a little too far and its DVR is a prime example of this. While YouTube TV allows subscribers to record as much as they want, it doesn’t offer an option to delete recordings. Instead, subscribers are just expected to wait until the 9-month recording limit is reached and the system automatically deletes recordings. This might seem like a minor issue, and it might be for some homes, but it is a regular complaint we hear about from subscribers.

Another downside to be aware of is 4K. Technically, YouTube TV does support 4K feeds but subscribers are expected to pay extra each month for the higher resolution. The 4K Plus add-on costs $19.99 per month (currently on sale at $9.99/month) on top of the cost of the base subscription. With YouTube TV not the cheapest service to begin with, those wanting 4K support will end up paying a significant amount each month for live TV.

Some of the other cons that are worth mentioning include a home network which can affect access on certain devices, occasional restrictions on local sports, and the inability to keep recordings indefinitely.

Weighing up YouTube TV’s pros and cons

Overall, YouTube TV offers more positives than negatives and this is exactly why it is one of the most popular live TV streaming services around. With an unlimited cloud DVR, easy management of multiple accounts, and a rich selection of live TV channels, YouTube TV is going to be a good deal for many homes. At the price, it is likely to be the best option.

However, best for some is not best for everyone. While YouTube TV has many selling points, it is also far from being the perfect service. YouTube TV is at the higher end of the price spectrum and the price only increases the more channels or features a household needs access to. For some households, YouTube TV is simply going to be too expensive and those homes will likely find other services provide enough live TV at a much cheaper price.

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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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