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Attention Cord-Cutters: YouTube TV is Coming Soon

There will soon be a new way to watch live TV, but is it enough to beat the cable giants?

YouTube has announced plans to get in on the live TV game at some point this year. But will it give competitors like Sling TV, DirecTV, or PlayStation Vue a real run for their money? The jury is still out.

What is YouTube TV?

YouTube TV, which is slated to launch soon (we're waiting on the details), will offer live TV streaming from more than 40 networks for just $35 a month — and that's with no contract; you can cancel whenever you want. Major networks like NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox, along with regional sports networks, E!, Bravo, USA, FX, Disney Junior and more will be included. YouTube says the service is ideal for "those who want to watch what they want, when they want, how they want, without commitments."

But there are some drawbacks. Membership comes with six accounts for a competitive price, but the only way to watch it directly on your TV is if you have Chromecast. (YouTube is owned by Google.) That means folks with Roku, Apple TV or Fire TV are on their own. YouTube TV will, however, stream on mobile devices, tablets and computers.

This, for me, is a deal breaker. I'd consider cutting the cord entirely and giving YouTube TV a shot if I could stream live TV on my television, but that means I'd have to ditch my Apple TV and buy a Chromecast. There are also a few other pitfalls worth mentioning.

YouTube TV's Channel Listing and Cloud-based DVR

YouTube TV's programming leaves a bit to be desired. As USA Today reports, all Time Warner and Viacom channels are out. That means no Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, CNN, TNT or TBS. Food Network and HGTV are also off the table. Wired adds that football fans might also be limited; the NFL-Verizon deal makes it impossible to stream games on your mobile device.

That said, if the networks you care about are included and you already have Chromecast capability, YouTube TV could be a really cost-effective way for cord cutters to enjoy live TV. There's one other big benefit here — YouTube TV offers up unlimited cloud-based DVR. You can record live TV to your heart's content without ever running out of storage and the platform will store each recording for nine months. This gives YouTube TV a real leg up over its competitors, though Sling TV and DirecTV Now are both rumored to be upping their DVR offerings this year.

Is YouTube TV Worth It?

Our initial reaction is that it might be a great service for the pocket of viewers who don't need every single network on their plan and are cool with Chromecast. But cord-cutters who prefer a more comprehensive live TV package may want to look a little closer at competitors like Sling TV and DirecTV Now. (You can actually snag a free Apple TV if you sign up for DirecTV Now and prepay for three months, or get a free Fire Stick with one month of prepay.) In the meantime, here's our take on the best streaming video services.

Do you plan on giving YouTube TV a whirl? Or will you hold out for Hulu, which insiders say is also planning a live TV launch of its own?



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About the Author
Marianne Hayes Contributor

Marianne Hayes is a freelance writer, wife and mother in Tampa Bay. After earning a degree in journalism and creative writing from the University of Central Florida, she spent nearly a decade getting lost in New York City and Los Angeles before making her way back home again in 2014. Marianne's writing has appeared in a variety of publications including The Huffington Post, Forbes.com, LearnVest, The Daily Beast and more. When she's not writing, Marianne is usually cruising her local bookstore with her two daughters.

12 Comments

1
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#2
this was informative. thank you.
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#3
They just don't have the channels I want. AMC Discovery History primarily.

I'm with the ever poor quality but now functional DTVnow.

We know so little about Hulu it's hard to make any judgments. I'm really looking forward to Hulus options. I'm more excited about what I've heard from them than anyone.
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#4
They better allow Android TV Boxes to watch it. You can watch youtube on them with the play store YouTube App and those things run android for phones on them so hopefully they will. I just got a couple of them to use for my Recorded TV that I DVR off my cable company but they add the ability to use the internet too.. good deals $50 for the box. Better than a Roku or FireTV any day.
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#5
Pay for tv? Never
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#6
Quote from blueaurora View Post :
They just don't have the channels I want. AMC Discovery History primarily.

I'm with the ever poor quality but now functional DTVnow.

We know so little about Hulu it's hard to make any judgments. I'm really looking forward to Hulus options. I'm more excited about what I've heard from them than anyone.
My directv now has been incredibly high quality. I wonder what the difference is? I have comcast internet at 75M down and 12M up. I've actually been quite impressed with the quality of the video. I was about to be done with directv until I tried directv now. I've tried Hulu, vue and sling. Hulu seems to be the most consistent in quality and ease of use, followed by directv now and sling was horrible. These are just my opinions. Have a good one.
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#7
Isn't Apple TV allowing itself to become somewhat obsolete since Apple is failing to develop it's platform? I hope to see new Chromecast hardware that allows "passthrough" from other​ devices.
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#8
Quote from bevege View Post :
My directv now has been incredibly high quality. I wonder what the difference is? I have comcast internet at 75M down and 12M up. I've actually been quite impressed with the quality of the video. I was about to be done with directv until I tried directv now. I've tried Hulu, vue and sling. Hulu seems to be the most consistent in quality and ease of use, followed by directv now and sling was horrible. These are just my opinions. Have a good one.
It must be regional, the Direct TV I'm watching right now (internet is 25Mbit for reference)is overencoded even compared to HD rentals in YouTube via GooglePlay
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#9
The channel lineup is great for me. I only care about 5 channels: nbcsports, Foxsports1, ESPN, & ESPN 2, MSNBC. Those are the only channels i really watch. I'd like to have CNN and TNT but I can live without both. There aren't many services that i can get those 5 channels for the cheapest rate. Now i still think $35 is crazy since i only care about 5-7 channels. I dumped cable because i was paying $55 more for 7 channels with 150 i never watch. But the price is tolerable for now.

BUT: DEALBREAKER DEALBREAKER
No dedicated Fire tv app, Android tv app, Roku tv app etc. I use a fire tv. No app and i won't use it. I have an iphone. I'm not buying a chromecast. So only a desktop or phone app is utterly stupid. I'm going to get a PS4. They need PS$ and xbox one app. And it seems absurd that Google makes Android tv, licenses android tv to companies like xiamo and for the shield, for Amazon's firetv platform but does not make an app. It already has youtube apps.
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#10
Quote from hrdina View Post :
It must be regional, the Direct TV I'm watching right now (internet is 25Mbit for reference)is overencoded even compared to HD rentals in YouTube via GooglePlay
Yeah i had directv for a month during the free trial. It was god awfully bad. Often low pixelated quality and over and over the app crashed and logged me out entirely. There's no way i was going to keep paying for it. Not to mention in order to get my most important channel, nbcsports 1, needed to watch epl soccer, it was minimum $50. Full disclosure. My cable was just $55 bucks extra. Plus my cable picture was never pixelated.
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#11
Isnt sling cheaper and has chromecast support?
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#12
Quote from bevege View Post :
My directv now has been incredibly high quality. I wonder what the difference is? I have comcast internet at 75M down and 12M up. I've actually been quite impressed with the quality of the video. I was about to be done with directv until I tried directv now. I've tried Hulu, vue and sling. Hulu seems to be the most consistent in quality and ease of use, followed by directv now and sling was horrible. These are just my opinions. Have a good one.
Directv Now streaming has been near perfect for me as well. Picture quality is just as good as most other streaming services I have used. I have streamed it on a Fire TV 2 (Hardwired), Apple TV 4 (Hardwired), Nvidia Shield Android TV (Hardwired) (Fire TV modified app. Live streaming works but since it is not an official Android TV app On-demand doesn't work), Android phone, Android tablet, Windows 10 PC, & Windows 7 laptop. DirecTV Now service streamed perfectly fine on all devices.

I have Comcast internet service too. Blast level which is 200Mbps/10Mbps.

My biggest issues with DirecTV now are the lack of DVR, still a very limited On-demand library, lack of support for many 3rd party/TV Everywhere apps & no official Android TV app.

As far as Youtube TV goes their channel lineup just doesn't interest me at all. They are missing most of the channels that we watch.
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Last edited by UberStCrew March 28, 2017 at 01:56 PM.
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#13
You don't need to ditch your Apple TV. You need to hit the Input/Source button on your remote. YouTube TV, according to many other sources, also supports AirPlay, so it already works if you have a thing for Apple TV.
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