• Category: Latest News
  • Written by Rick Ellis

First Look Review: YouTube TV Launches In Limited Markets

The "streaming television kinda like a traditional cable outlet" market has another entry, as YouTube's streaming TV package launches this week.

The $35 a month package differs from some of its competitors in several important ways. It includes live broadcast TV streams for most of the markets in serves (The CW is an on-demand offering is some markets) and the monthly package also includes an unlimited DVR function.

Along with the broadcast TV channels, the core package includes a number of sports channels, including ESPN networks, CBS Sports Network, SEC Network and multiple sports channels from Fox and NBC.

The entertainment and lifestyle channel lineup is the least robust part of the package. It includes NBCU-owned networks such as Bravo, E!, Oxygen & Syfy; Fox-owned networks such as FX, along with Disney's Freeform and a couple of National Geographic channels. The monthly package also a subscription to YouTube Red, which would normally cost $10 a month.

As for news, Fox, MSNBC and the two major business channels are included, along with three Disney Channels and NBCU-owned Sprout. Showtime and Fox Soccer Plus are available for an additional price.

One of the biggest challenges for YouTube TV in the short term is the lack of support of Roku, Amazon Fire or Apple TV devices. YouTube TV currently only supports devices using Android L or above, a computer, or Apple phones and devices using iOS 9.01 or later.

You can also watch YouTube TV on your television using Google Chromecast. Although some networks will be blacked out and they can either be blocked entirely, blocked due to location or blocked from mobile use.

The other initial issue I noticed is there is a lack of any sort of guide or programming grid (at least on the web version). An unlimited DVR is nice, but if the only way you can record a show is by searching for it ahead of time, the DVR function becomes a lot less useful.

There will be a full review available on AllYourScreens.com Thursday morning.