YouTube TV - Live TV Streaming Service Review

YouTube TV

YouTube TV is a live TV streaming service with more than 45 channels for $35/month. This plan includes local channels, 13 of the top 35 cable channels, and regional sports networks (RSNs).

If you sign up from the App Store it’s $40/month, so we suggest signing up on the YouTube TV.

YouTube TV is currently available in most major markets, including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.

$35 YouTube TV

  • 45 Channels
  • Local Channels
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • 13 of Top 35 Cable Channels
  • Sports Channels
    • Major Channels: 5
    • Includes RSNs
    • College Networks: 5

Features

⚫︎ Cloud DVR

Unlimited

8 months

⚫︎ 3 Device Streams

Watch on up to 3 devices at the same time.

⚫︎ On Demand

Most channels have on demand content.

⚫︎ TV Everywhere Apps

App logins provided for up to 23 apps.

⚪︎ No Parental Controls

Does not have any parental controls.

Tech Specs

HD Video

720p
30 fps
Stereo

Streaming Reliability

Great

On Demand Reliability

-

Live Delay

25 seconds

Channel Switching

1.5 seconds

Optional Add-Ons

Showtime

$11

Fox Soccer Plus

$15

14-Day Free Trial

YouTube TV offers a 14-day free trial. Your subscription is month-to-month and you can cancel at any time.

Free Chromecast

Get a free Google Chromecast after your first paid month of YouTube TV.

Review

We tested YouTube TV and five other live TV streaming services for more than 100 hours. YouTube TV is compatible with Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch mobile devices, and computer browsers; you can also AirPlay to an Apple TV or Cast to a Chromecast.

User Experience

  • Video player will feel very familiar to YouTube users.
  • There is a standard channel guide with live previews, so you can see what’s playing before selecting a channel.
  • Search is excellent and includes related YouTube clips.

Home Screen

The smartphones and tablets, the YouTube TV app’s home screen has a live preview of shows currently on live TV. The home screen also has a list of recently viewed shows and recorded DVR content.

As you scroll, the app suggests popular movies and TV shows, YouTube Red Originals, and trending YouTube clips.

TV Guide

The YouTube TV channel guide lists available channels in a vertically scrolling list, with a live preview of what’s currently airing. When your device is in a landscape orientation, the guide will also show what is scheduled to air next.

Search

As you would likely expect, YouTube TV has excellent search capabilities. The search tab suggests genres, channels, and trending shows before you begin searching.

As you type to search, the results area will suggest shows, channels, people, and sports teams. When you tap on a result, the app shows episodes and related and related clips.

Show Details

The show listing page is very clean, making it easy to find live, recorded, and on demand episodes; the page also shows related YouTube clips.

Playback

On most channels, YouTube TV allows you to pause, skip forward and backwards, and jump to what’s currently live.

When you exit a live broadcast, a floating PIP displays while you browse through app.


Features

Unlimited Cloud DVR

YouTube TV has unlimited DVR storage, allowing you to keep shows for up to 8 months. You cannot record individual episodes, only entire series, sports teams, or major events.

If you start recording after you tune into a channel, the recording will start from when you first started watching. You can watch the recording from the beginning while it is still recording.

Unfortunately, you cannot skip commercials on shows that are also available on demand.

streams Simultaneous Viewing

This service allows for three simultaneous streams (among smartphones, tablets, and computers).

Good Selection On Demand

A majority of channels offer on demand content, but you cannot skip or fast-forward through the content.

YouTube TV subscribers also have access to original content from YouTube Red, like Buddy System, The Lazer Team, and Mind Field.

23 apps TV Everywhere

Similar to traditional cable and satellite subscriptions, YouTube TV includes “TV Everywhere” logins for various channels’ apps (including ABC, AMC, Bravo, Disney, and ESPN).

All TV Everywhere Apps

Mind the Kids No Parental Controls

There are no parental controls for YouTube TV. Only Hulu and Sling have parental controls.


YouTube TV offers 2 unique features: “Family Sharing” and “YouTube Red.”

Family Sharing

Family Sharing allows you to create profiles for up to 5 additional people at no cost, allowing family members to log in with their own Google account to access live TV.

YouTube Red

Your YouTube TV subscription also gives you access to YouTube Red Originals, but—unlike an actual YouTube Red subscription—you will still get commercials while watching YouTube.


Tech Specs

  • High definition video is similar to other streaming services, but does offer 60 fps on most channels.
  • Live streaming is very stable, except when streaming to older Chomecast or Apple TV devices.
  • Very fast channel switching, so you can actually channel surf.

720p / 30 FPS HD Video

Video stream resolution is 720p at 30 fps. This lower frame rate may cause fast-moving sports to appear slightly blurry.

To reduce playback interruptions, YouTube TV will adapt the stream quality to match your network connection.

Great Connection Reliability

We rarely had issues with YouTube TV video playback freezing, pausing, or hiccups changing channels.

However, when using older Chromcast or Apple TV devices, we had issues with video buffering.

Stereo Audio

All live TV content has standard stereo audio.

25 SECS Live Delay

Live content is about 25 seconds behind cable TV, which is slightly better than average.

1.5 SECS Channel Switching

It takes about 1.5 seconds to switch between channels, which is the fast of any streaming service.


Devices and Apps

TV App

YouTube TV is the only streaming service that does not have dedicated TV apps. Instead, you must use your mobile device to AirPlay or Chromecast to a TV device.

Phone & Tablet Apps

YouTube TV has the best smartphone and tablet apps of any of the live TV streaming providers.

The mobile apps have various tabs:

  • Home: a live preview of shows currently on live TV. The home screen also has a list of recently viewed shows and recorded DVR content.
  • Library: your recorded DVR content and a list of scheduled recordings.
  • Live: a channel guide, showing what is currently airing on channels.

While you browse through the YouTube TV app, a live thumbnail of your most recently watched channel appears so you won’t miss anything.

Computer

You can watch YouTube TV on Mac and Windows computers with Chrome.

Device Compatibility

YouTube TV is compatible with many smartphones, tablets, and computers; you can AirPlay or Cast from their mobile apps to an Apple TV or Chromecast. There is no support for Xbox or PlayStation video game consoles.
All Compatible Devices

TV Devices

  • Android TV
  • Apple TV (via AirPlay)
  • Chromecast (via Cast)

Phones & Tablets

  • Android 5.0 or newer
  • iOS 9.1 or newer
    • iPad 2 or newer
    • iPhone 4s or newer
    • iPod Touch (5th gen) or newer

Computers

  • Chrome

Channels

Local Channels

YouTube TV offers local channels, including ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox, NBC, and Telemundo.

In most cases, you will have access to live (in major markets) and on demand content every. However, some channels only have on demand content in certain locations (e.g.: ABC in Dallas; The CW in New York and Los Angeles).

“YouTube TV”
$35
ABC ⚫︎
CBS ⚫︎
The CW ⚫︎
Fox ⚫︎
NBC ⚫︎
Telemundo ⚫︎
Univision ⚪︎

To see the live local channels available in your area, check the YouTube TV Channel Lookup tool.

Local Channel Restrictions

You can only access live local channels while you are in a market that YouTube TV is available.

If you are traveling, you will see the local channels of the market you are currently in (not your home market). If you are outside of a coverage area, you will only have access to national on demand content and your recordings.

Popular Local Markets

These popular markets have live local channels on YouTube TV.

  • Atlanta, GA
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Baltimore, MD
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Boston-Manchester, MA
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Charlotte, NC
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Chicago, IL
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Cincinnati, OH
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • NBC
  • Columbus, OH
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
  • Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Detroit, MI
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Houston, TX
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Jacksonville, FL
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Las Vegas, NV
    • ABC
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Los Angeles, CA
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Louisville, KY
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Memphis, TN
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Nashville, TN
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • New York City, NY
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, FL
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Philadelphia, PA
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Phoenix-Prescott, AZ
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Pittsburgh, PA
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • San Antonio, TX
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • Seattle-Tacoma, WA
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • NBC
  • Tampa-St Petersburg-Sarasota, FL
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
  • Washington DC
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • Fox
    • NBC
  • West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, FL
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • NBC

For complete local availability, check the YouTube TV Channel Lookup tool.

Top Cable Channels

YouTube TV offers 13 of the top 35 cable channels, which is the fewest of any of the live TV streaming services.

The top 35 cable channels are listed below. For a list of all channels, look at YouTube TV’s full channel lineup.

“YouTube TV”
$35
A&E ⚪︎
AMC ⚫︎
Animal Planet ⚪︎
BET ⚪︎
Bravo ⚫︎
Cartoon Network ⚪︎
CNN ⚪︎
Comedy Central ⚪︎
Discovery ⚪︎
Disney Channel ⚫︎
E! ⚫︎
ESPN ⚫︎
Food Network ⚪︎
Fox News ⚫︎
Fox Sports 1 ⚫︎
Freeform ⚫︎
FX ⚫︎
FXX ⚫︎
Hallmark ⚪︎
HGTV ⚪︎
History ⚪︎
Investigation Discovery ⚪︎
Lifetime ⚪︎
MSNBC ⚫︎
MTV ⚪︎
Nickelodeon ⚪︎
OWN ⚪︎
Spike ⚪︎
Syfy ⚫︎
TBS ⚪︎
TLC ⚪︎
TNT ⚪︎
truTV ⚪︎
USA Network ⚫︎
VH1 ⚪︎

View the YouTube TV full channel lineup for a list of all channels.

Sports Channels

National Sports Channels

YouTube TV includes national sports channels, such as ESPN, FS1, FS2 and NBCSN.

“YouTube TV”
$35
ESPN ⚫︎
ESPN2 ⚫︎
Fox Sports 1 ⚫︎
Fox Sports 2 ⚫︎
NBC Sports Network ⚫︎
TBS ⚪︎
TNT ⚪︎

Regional Sports Networks (RSNs)

YouTube TV gives access to regional sports networks (RSNs), which are generally from Fox and NBC/Comcast.

“YouTube TV”
$35
Altitude ⚪︎
AT&T SportsNet Northwest ⚪︎
AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh ⚪︎
AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain ⚪︎
AT&T SportsNet Southwest ⚪︎
AT&T SportsNet Utah ⚪︎
Fox Sports Arizona ⚫︎
Fox Sports Carolinas ⚫︎
Fox Sports Detroit ⚫︎
Fox Sports Florida ⚫︎
Fox Sports Indiana ⚫︎
Fox Sports Kansas City ⚫︎
Fox Sports Midwest ⚫︎
Fox Sports New Orleans ⚪︎
Fox Sports North ⚫︎
Fox Sports Ohio ⚫︎
Fox Sports Oklahoma ⚪︎
Fox Sports Prime Ticket ⚫︎
Fox Sports San Diego ⚫︎
Fox Sports South ⚫︎
Fox Sports Southeast ⚫︎
Fox Sports Southwest ⚫︎
Fox Sports Sun ⚫︎
Fox Sports Tennessee ⚫︎
Fox Sports West ⚫︎
Fox Sports Wisconsin ⚫︎
MASN ⚪︎
MSG ⚪︎
MSG+ ⚪︎
NBC Sports Bay Area ⚫︎
NBC Sports Boston ⚫︎
NBC Sports California ⚫︎
NBC Sports Chicago ⚫︎
NBC Sports Northwest ⚫︎
NBC Sports Philadelphia ⚫︎
NBC Sports Philadelphia+ ⚪︎
NBC Sports Washington ⚫︎
NBC Sports Washington+ ⚪︎
NESN ⚫︎
Spectrum SportsNet LA ⚪︎
SportsNet NY ⚪︎
SportsTime Ohio ⚫︎
YES Network ⚫︎

You should check the YouTube TV RSN channel list before subscribing, to make sure it has the regional networks you need.

Pro Sports

Professional sports league channels (MLB Network, NBA TV, NFL Network, and NHL Network) are not available on YouTube TV.

“YouTube TV”
$35
MLB Network ⚪︎
NBA TV ⚪︎
NFL Network ⚪︎
NFL RedZone ⚪︎
NHL Network ⚪︎

College Sports

YouTube TV has one of the best services for college sports fans; it includes Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, ESPNU, and SEC Network.

“YouTube TV”
$35
ACC Network Extra ⚫︎
Big Ten Network ⚫︎
CBS Sports Network ⚫︎
ESPNU ⚫︎
Fox College Sports ⚪︎
Longhorn Network ⚪︎
Pac-12 Network ⚪︎
SEC Network ⚫︎

Other Sports Channels

ESPNEWS, Golf Channel, and Olympic Channel are available on YouTube TV.

Fox Soccer Plus can be added for $15/month.

“YouTube TV”
$35
beIN Sports ⚪︎
Eleven Sports ⚪︎
ESPNEWS ⚫︎
Fox Soccer Plus $15
Golf Channel ⚫︎
Olympic Channel ⚫︎
Tennis Channel ⚪︎

Premium Channels

You can add Showtime $11 or Fox Soccer Plus $15 to your YouTube TV account.

“YouTube TV”
$35
Cinemax ⚪︎
EPIX ⚪︎
HBO ⚪︎
Showtime $11
Starz ⚪︎