YouTube TV Review: 4 things to know before you sign up

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YouTube TV Review: 4 things to know before you sign up
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  • YouTube TV increased the price of its only streaming TV plan to $50 a month (up from $40) in April 2019. The service provides access to 70+ channels, including local sports and news in most cities.

  • The price hike goes into effect immediately for new subscribers and after May 13 for existing subscribers.

  • The cable TV alternative features top sports networks: ESPN, Fox Sports 1 & 2, MLB Network, SEC Network and more.

  • Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, Travel Channel and MotorTrend were added to the channel lineup in April 2019.

  • Unlimited DVR is included at no additional charge and recordings can be kept for up to nine months.


  • YouTube TV offers a 5-day free trial to new subscribers, with no promo code necessary. At times, a 14-day free trial is offered. 

YouTube TV is money expert Clark Howard’s favorite live TV streaming service for sports fans who want to save money by cutting the cord without giving up their favorite channels.

The streaming TV service is one of a handful of options, including Sling TV, Hulu with Live TV and DirecTV Now.

What is YouTube TV? Team Clark reviews the live TV streaming service

For $50 per month, a YouTube TV membership provides access to more than 70 broadcast and cable networks, plus regional sports networks — no cable box required.

Clark has tried several streaming TV services and says YouTube TV is the best:

“My favorite of all the streaming products is YouTube TV. It has a pretty wide array of television programming, but what’s really neat is that multiple people could be watching different things at the same time and everybody has an unlimited DVR.”

YouTube TV went nationwide in early 2019 and expanded to cover nearly 98% of U.S. households. I recently signed up to experience it for myself!

Here are some of the things I learned about the YouTube TV streaming service…

YouTube TV review: Table of contents 

1. What channels do you get with YouTube TV? 

When you’re trying to choose a cable or satellite TV alternative, the list of channels is probably the most important factor.

The strength in YouTube TV’s channel lineup is with sports channels like ESPN, Fox Sports 1 & 2, Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, MLB Network, NBCSN, SEC Network, NBA TV and regional sports networks.

Discovery-owned networks like HGTV, Food Network, TLC and others were added in April 2019.

RELATED: Streaming TV channel comparison chart 

YouTube TV channel list 

  • ABC
  • CBS
  • FOX
  • NBC
  • AMC
  • Animal Planet (Added in April 2019)
  • BBC America
  • BBC World News
  • Bravo
  • Big Ten Network (BTN)
  • Cartoon Network
  • CBS Sports Network
  • Cheddar
  • Cheddar Big News
  • CNBC
  • CNN
  • Comet
  • CW
  • Discovery Channel (Added in April 2019)
  • Disney Channel
  • Disney Junior
  • Disney XD
  • E!
  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • ESPNU
  • ESPNews
  • Food Network (Added in April 2019)
  • Fox Business Network
  • Fox News Channel
  • Fox Sports
  • Freeform
  • FS1 (Fox Sports 1)
  • FS2 (Fox Sports 2)
  • FX
  • FXM
  • FXX
  • Golf Channel
  • HGTV (Added in April 2019)
  • HLN
  • Investigation Discovery (Added in April 2019)
  • IFC
  • MLB Network
  • MotorTrend (Added in April 2019)
  • MSNBC
  • National Geographic
  • Nat Geo Wild
  • NBA TV
  • NBCSN
  • Newsy
  • Olympic Channel
  • OWN (Coming later in 2019) 
  • Oxygen
  • Pop
  • SEC Network
  • Smithsonian Channel
  • Start TV
  • Sundance TV
  • Syfy
  • Tastemade
  • TBS
  • Telemundo
  • Tennis Channel
  • TLC (Added in April 2019)
  • TNT
  • Travel Channel (Added in April 2019)
  • TruTV
  • Turner Classic Movies
  • Universal Kids
  • Universo
  • USA
  • We TV
YouTube TV channels (Updated April 2019)
YouTube TV channels (Updated April 2019)

2. Does YouTube TV include unlimited DVR?

YouTube TV’s navigation makes it easy to find live TV shows, but it’s equally as simple to record content to watch at a later time with its cloud DVR function.

Subscribers can record as many shows as they want to — no storage limit — and recordings are kept for up to nine months.

In the video below, we demonstrate how to navigate YouTube TV’s cloud DVR and some of the other features like its live TV guide, which looks a lot like what you get with cable.

3. How do you stream YouTube TV on your TV? 

You can always watch YouTube TV on your phone, tablet or computer, but what if you just want to stream your favorite shows on the big screen?

YouTube TV’s list of supported devices includes Google Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Xbox One, and some Samsung and LG TVs. Support for Amazon Fire TV devices is coming later in 2019.

YouTube TV supported devices 

  • Smart TVs
    • Select Sony TVs, NVIDIA Shield, & more with Android TV built-in
    • Samsung smart TVs (2016+ models only)
    • LG smart TVs (2016+ models only)
    • Select Vizio SmartCast models
    • Select Hisense Smart TV models
    • Select Sharp Smart TV models
  • Streaming media players
    • Chromecast & Chromecast Ultra
    • Roku Players & TVs
    • Apple TV (4th generation & 4K)
  • Game consoles
    • Xbox One, Xbox One S, & Xbox One X
  • Smartphones and tablets
    • Phones & tablets running Android 5.0 Lollipop and above
    • iPhones & iPads running iOS 9.1 or later

If you don’t already have a streaming device, Clark recommends the $30 Roku Express because it’s cheap and easy to use. Click here to read our Quick Tips for First-Time Streamers.

Roku Express streaming media player
Roku Express streaming media player

4. Can a family share YouTube TV?

There are six accounts included with a YouTube TV membership for family members and roommates to receive their own unique recommendations and cloud DVR. Each household can watch up to three streams at a time.

If you want to use YouTube TV while traveling, you can access certain programs based on your location. Learn more here.

Pros and cons of YouTube TV 

Just like Clark, I’ve been impressed with YouTube TV. I didn’t experience error messages or buffering while streaming over an internet connection with roughly 60 Mbps download speed.

The service recommends a download speed of at least 13 Mbps to reliably stream HD video. (Learn how to check your speed.)

YouTube TV has a great lineup of sports networks for $50 a month, but other services like Hulu with Live TV, PlayStation Vue and Sling TV offer a variety of sports, news and entertainment networks for a cheaper price.

Unlimited DVR is a bright spot for YouTube TV because some of its competitors place limits on storage or charge extra for it. The ability for family members to have their own personalized DVR is also nice.

Most major streaming devices are compatible with YouTube TV, though Amazon Fire TV is a big exception.

YouTube TV: Pros and cons 

Pros Cons
One simple plan for $50/month Price increased from $40 to $50 per month in April 2019
Lots of sports: ESPN, FS1, FS2, MLB Network, NBA TV and more Amazon Fire TV not a supported device (Coming soon)
Discovery-owned networks like HGTV, Food Network and TLC added in April 2019
Unlimited DVR

If you’re thinking about switching from cable to YouTube TV, take advantage of the free trial first. If you don’t like it, just keep trying other services until you find one that’s a good fit. They all have free trials, typically for five or seven days.

Learn more and compare your options in Clark’s guide to the best live TV streaming plans and deals!

More Clark.com stories you may like: 

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