How fast are cable subscriptions falling

What is YouTube TV and can it replace your cable subscription?

Apparently everyone is jumping to the streaming, there's a live TV train these days. Since Google has YouTube on board, it's worth taking a closer look. While there are a few things you should like about YouTube TV, I feel that Google still has a lot of work to do to make this a legitimate option for everyone.

What is YouTube TV?

In short, YouTube TV is Google's job of streaming television - much like Sling, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now, and the like. It's a $ 35 all-inclusive package that includes a handful of channels you may or may not want to watch. But that doesn't matter, as you don't have to make a selection (at least for the most part). It offers both live TV and DVR service.

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Note: At the time of writing, YouTube TV is only available in parts of the U.S. head for a full list of areas of coverage.

Where most of the competitors have certain packages that you can choose based on your needs. YouTube TV is an all-or-nothing business. I think it's fine if you really don't want more or less than what it offers. It has 48 channels out of the box, and add-ons for ShowTime ($ 11 / month) and Fox Soccer Plus ($ 15 / month) if you so choose.

If you are interested in the channels in the primary package, here is a brief overview of the content:

As you can see there are some decent channels on the line up, like AMC (Walking Dead!) and FX, along with multiple versions of ESPN, NBC Sports, and the like for those who like to keep up with the sport. It even includes Sprout, Disney Junior, and Disney XD for the kids. So yes, there are some good channels here, but of course that also depends on your viewing preferences.

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And this is exactly where YouTube TV starts to decline short: that's what you get. Like I said, you can add ShowTime and Fox Soccer Plus if you want. There is no option for HBO, no sports-specific packages (with NBA TV, MLB TV, etc.) or anything else. In addition, not all channels are available in all regions yet. For example, ABC in Dallas is not available for live streaming. You can only view content when you need it.

But hey, you get YouTube Red Originals so that's something ... right?

This is how YouTube TV works

There are several ways to access YouTube TV: via the web and mobile apps. It's available for both iOS and Android, and they both share a common interface. You can add up to six Google Accounts to your YouTube TV service when you sign up so that everyone in your family can have their own YouTube TV.

The only thing that amazes me about YouTube TV is that it isn't available on any set-top boxes like Roku or Apple TV. It's not even available for Google's own TV platform, Android TV. Instead, you can only watch it on a TV from your phone via Chromecast or AirPlay. What kind of mess is this, Google? I can only hope that they may release some set-top box apps as soon as YouTube TV becomes available in more locations. However, it's very strange that it doesn't exist right now, even on Google's own TV platform.

While the mobile and web interfaces are different: if I had to pick one feature that only brought YouTube TV to a standstill for me, it would be the web interface. It's just bad. As soon as you start it, you will be bombarded several Live preview. It's a bit overwhelming, honestly.

The app does the same thing, but it's not that bad on a smaller screen. Fortunately, you can only see one or two previews at a time.

Otherwise the interfaces are really similar. Navigating in the individual sections is basically the same. You can choose from three main sections:

  • Library: Your "recorded" shows are listed here.
  • At home: The main interface with suggestions and popular shows. It's a mess.
  • Life: This is basically the guide, and it is honestly should Be the first thing you see.

Speaking of DVR service, it's actually pretty solid. Every live show or suggestion has a small plus sign next to the title. If you click this icon, all future episodes will be recorded. It's almost how DVR works, isn't it?

To remove it, just tap the button again and select "Remove ".

On the start screen you will find suggestions and so on: The top list contains popular TV shows, movie suggestions, news, current shows and the like - but also YouTube content. On the one hand, it makes sense because of this is After all, YouTube TV; On the other hand, however, I find a great separation between YouTube content and TV content. Maybe I'm just old and don't get it, but YouTube doesn't do it for me feeling like television. It feels like a mishmash.

While I find a tangled mess on the home screen, I let the ease of use convince you at this point. The selection of three sections simplifies the operation. And if you ignore everything that is actually happening on the home screen and look at the sections, it isn't terrible.

Where YouTube TV falls short

Honest? The biggest downside to YouTube TV right now is the lack of choice of content, packages and methods available to watch the works. It may be fine for the most basic of television viewers, but for anyone with more "advanced" needs from their television service, YouTube TV just won't cut it. I know it wasn't for me

I also don't like the suggestions section on the home screen. Actually, it's the placement of these suggestions. I don't want this to be the first thing I see when I open the app. This doesn't work for me, and neither do I think for most of the users. Show off my footage or the live channel guide - no animated suggestions that don't even seem tailored for me.

Don't get me wrong, I see the value in suggestions. Netflix does it, and it does a good job. YouTube as a service is actually right for me most of the time. Google Play Music even does a good job of showing me new content. And on a sufficiently long timeline, I might appreciate YouTube TV's suggestions more (when it comes to using data for what I've seen). But right now the organization and presentation of YouTube TV leaves a lot to be desired.

Can YouTube TV replace your cable service?

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I'm sure you already know the answer here, but I'll go with you No. I mean, I'm sure some people can do this, but not most. And for $ 35 a month, something like sling is better off - it's much more robust, has apps for virtually all platforms, and has a cleaner, more intuitive user interface.