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When Google Enters the Playground, it’s Time to Stop, Watch, and Listen
It’s no secret that online streaming services have been slowly chipping away at cable television subscriptions; and with the rise of live TV streaming services, that gap is only going to widen. We’ve seen a ton of services crop up to meet the new demand, and now even the tech behemoth Google is starting wading into the waters.
Building off of its existing brand YouTube, Google has recently announced a brand new live television streaming service called YouTube TV.
What is YouTube TV you ask? Similar to services like DirecTV Now, Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and Hulu Live – YouTube TV offers dozens of live streaming cable channels for a relatively low monthly price.
One month of YouTube TV is going to cost you $40 and will give you streaming access to approximately 40 channels.
Currently (July 2017) YouTube TV is only available to subscribers living Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia & San Francisco Bay Area (see all available locations.). So most of us are going to have to wait before we get the chance to try it out. But judging from the early reviews, it sounds like a promising new cord-cutting option. Sign up for a free 1-month trial here.
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Get a complimentary Google Chromecast – after your free trial ends and you make your first payment. They will send you an email with instructions when this occurs. Got questions?
According to The Verge, here’s what the channel lineup will look like based on content providers:
- Broadcast: ABC
- National Cable: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3*, ESPNU, ESPNews, SEC Network, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Freeform
- Broadcast: NBC, Telemundo*
- National Cable: Bravo, Chiller, CNBC, E!, Golf Channel, MSNBC, Universo*, NBCSN, Oxygen, Sprout, SyFy, Universal HD, USA
- Regional Cable: Comcast Regional Sports Networks, NECN (New England Cable News)
- Broadcast: FOX
- National Cable: FS1 (Fox Sports 1), FS2 (Fox Sports 2), BTN (Big Ten Network), FX, FXX, FXM, Nat Geo, Nat Geo Wild, Fox News, Fox Business
- Regional Cable: Fox Regional Sports Networks
- AMC, BBC America, BBC World News, WE TV, IFC, Sundance TV
The Weather Channel:
- Local Now*
*Channels are not available at launch but will be in the new future
Conspicuously absent are channels owned by Viacom, like Comedy Central. Viacom has thus far been reluctant to fully embrace live streaming services, so its absent it pretty much par for the course. If you want to watch Viacom-owned shows, Hulu’s usually pretty good about airing them the day after they air.
As far as YouTube TV’s interface goes, you should have no trouble navigating to whatever you want to watch. If you’ve ever been on YouTube, via web or mobile, then you’ll feel right at home. The YouTube layout has pretty much been completed adapted for the platform and most agree that it works great.
Not only do you have a very familiar layout, but the search option builds off of all the hard work that both YouTube and Google have done towards refining search results. You can search by show, actor, genre, channel, and even sports team; making searching for content a lot easier to do.
By far, this is YouTube TV’s most interesting and promising feature. With YouTube TV, you can also record live television with its cloud-based DVR. While some services will limit the amount of recording you can do or charge you extra to use the DVR feature, YouTube TV does neither of those things.
Instead, unlimited DVR storage comes with the base subscription plan. The only caveat to this is that you can only keep your content for up to nine months; but even still, that’s a pretty generous amount of time.
A huge drawback to YouTube TV, however, is its limited device support. So far, the service only supports s iOS phones, Android phones, and Chromecast. Limiting your streaming service’s device support to only types of devices is a pretty bad business idea, so it’s not unreasonable to assume that things will change once it goes nationwide. Only time will tell.
YouTube TV Overview
It’s also going to pretty hard to convince people to switch from competing for streaming services, given its channel lineup. While it’s far from terrible, there are plenty of streaming services, like DirecTV Now (free trial) that offer more channels for less money.
But that is the beauty of how this is all unfolding. Contracts are a thing of the past. So if sign up for a service and a new one comes out that offers more value, just cancel and switch over. Forget loyalty. Let’s let these companies battle it out in the streets, while we rake in value all day long.
Back to the point of this article; either way, there’s a lot about YouTube TV that’s worth getting excited about. The great search feature, unlimited DVR storage, and familiar format are enough to get anyone’s attention; and when paired with a brand like Google, it’s no wonder that people are buzzing about YouTube TV.
Have you’ve gotten the chance to try YouTube TV? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below or sound off on social media!