YouTube Launches Live TV Streaming & DVR Service

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Evgeny Glazunov)

Hey, cord cutters, YouTube wants to be your (un)cable company. Today, the video platform announced the launch of YouTube TV, a monthly subscription service that lets you stream live television.

Whether you’re a recent deserter of traditional cable or have been without the service for years, you’re probably well aware of what’s already out there; the past few years have seen a growing number of options for streaming TV, including niche services for almost any genre. But it wasn’t until Sling TV, a service owned by satellite company DirecTV, launched in 2015 that you could watch live TV somewhere that a) wasn’t a network’s own site or app, or b) without an existing cable package.

YouTube TV gives you live TV access to networks like ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, and CW, as well as cable channels like ESPN, Bravo, USA, FX, E!, Disney, and YouTube Red original content. The base service is $35 per month, and includes unlimited cloud DVR space that can be watched anywhere in the US and can record multiple shows at once, as well as accounts for up to six people with separate logins and libraries (only three people can stream at the same time, though). Right now, premium add ons, like Showtime and FOX Soccer Plus, are available for an extra monthly fee ($11 and $15, respectively).

In comparison, Sling currently offers two base packages, Orange with 30+ channels including sports for $20, and Blue with 40+ channels not including sports for $25 (or all the channels for $40). Cloud DVR costs an additional $5 per month with 50 hours of storage. Premium channels like HBO, as well as additional channel packages can be added on starting at $5.

YouTube TV is not yet available everywhere, however. The service is currently offered in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia & the San Francisco Bay Area. If you’re in one of the lucky metros, YouTube is offering one month free, and a free Chromecast after your first paid month.

Would you try YouTube TV, or are you happy with what’s already out there? Share your TV preferences in the comments!