Skip to main content

YouTube TV finally gets the 4K Plus plan’s price right

The price of the 4K Plus add-on for YouTube TV always has been a bit weird. Technically the add-on has been $20 a month since its launch in mid-2021, but subscribers have always gotten the first year of service for half that. And that will remain true come April 2023, when the YouTube TV base plan goes up to $73 a month and the add-on changes price to $10 a month, with the first year of service at $5 a month.

That’s a much more palatable price for an add-on that’s absolutely an extravagance.

Related Videos
YouTube TV 4K Plus channel.

You have to think of the 4K Plus add-on in a couple ways. First is that it gets you some live video in the higher resolution. That’s almost exclusively meant sports — big events like the Super Bowl and the FIFA World Cup, but also more regular events like the English Premier League and NFL games on Fox. Not every live game is available in 4K resolution, as some broadcasters (looking at you, CBS) don’t yet do anything in 4K. Right now, only ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sports, and MLB Network are listed as serving up anything live in 4K on YouTube TV.

But the simple fact is that once you watch a game of any kind in 4K — be it football or soccer or baseball — you’ll want it all in 4K, even if it’s compressed. (An exception to that has been MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, which has mostly been excellent in 1080p.)

Then there’s the on-demand content. Again, the options are pretty slim. But Discovery, FX, Nat Geo, and Tastemade all have on-demand content available in 4K on YouTube TV. That’s not what spurred me to splurge on 4K Plus in the first place, but it’s there if I want it.

There are a couple more sweeteners, too. If you have the 4K Plus add-on, you also have the ability to watch simultaneously on as many devices as you want at home. Without it, you’re limited to three devices at once (I’ve only run into that limitation once or twice). You’re also able to download some content locally to your device for offline viewing.

YouTube TV also isn’t the only 4K game in town — FuboTV basically has the same live options for 4K as YouTube TV, and it doesn’t charge you anything extra. And with the recent price increase for YouTube TV’s base plan, there’s now only a $3-a-month difference between it and FuboTV’s cheapest option. That’s going to make Fubo a lot more appealing as a YouTube TV alternative.

The question always has been whether 4K Plus was “worth it,” and $20 a month has always been a pretty big pill to swallow. By comparison, HBO Max is $16 a month (and also has some movies in 4K). Those are apples and oranges in comparison, to be sure. It’s just that 4K Plus on YouTube TV won’t leave as bitter a taste in your mouth every month anymore.

Editors' Recommendations

Leica launches the Hisense-powered $8,300 Cine 1, its first 4K Laser TV, at CES 2023
Leica Cine 1 Laser TV (angle view, dust cover open).

Legendary German photography company Leica Camera has debuted its first Laser TV at CES 2023. The Leica Cine 1 is a 4K, triple-laser ultra short throw (UST) projector made in partnership with Hisense.  It will be available in both 100-inch and 120-inch versions with prices starting at $8,295 when it hits the U.S. market in the third quarter of 2023. Leica plans to sell the Cine 1 in Europe in the spring.

Though the laser guts of the Cine 1 will be built by Hisense, Leica says it's adding its own distinct touches to the Laser TV to ensure it delivers on people's expectations of the Leica brand. This includes a Leica-engineered Summicron lens that has been matched to the projector's image size, as well as Leica's own image processing (Leica Image Optimization, or LIO) to optimize picture quality with special algorithms.

Read more
Samsung shows off the first two 77-inch QD-OLED 4K TVs at CES 2023
Samsung S95C QD-OLED 4K TV.

Samsung was the first company to show off a 4K TV based on QD-OLED technology at CES 2022, and now, at CES 2023 it has unveiled two new QD-OLED models -- the S95C Samsung OLED and S90C Samsung OLED -- and each will be available as 77-inch models. Both will also be offered in 55- and 65-inch sizes.  The news came one day after Samsung Display confirmed it would show its next-gen "QD-OLED 2023" panel at the show in a 77-inch size.

When QD-OLED-based TVs debuted in 2022, Samsung and Sony revealed the first two 4K TVs models within hours of each other: the Samsung S95B and the Sony A95K. Both TVs proved to be absolutely stunning in terms of picture quality, leaving our reviewer no choice but to award them a rare 10/10 rating. But the TVs themselves weren't especially large; only 55- and 65-inch sizes were introduced.

Read more
Samsung’s CES 2023 TVs get thinner, brighter, healthier, and better for gaming
Samsung 2022 QN900B 8K Neo QLED TV.

On display at CES 2023, Samsung's 2023 TV lineup is getting a wide variety of upgrades, including thinner designs, better sound systems, 4K cloud-based gaming, and some interesting health applications that the company is borrowing from its mobile division. Here's everything you need to know.
MicroLED gets smaller, more affordable
Samsung was an early promoter of microLED display tech, which uses tiny LED lights as individual pixels instead of using them as the backlight on an LCD-based TV (LED TV, mini-LED TV). Unfortunately, microLED TVs have tended to be huge (starting at 110 inches), expensive, and somewhat limited in resolution at smaller sizes.

The company's new Micro LED CX, at 76 inches, is its smallest yet, and Samsung promises it will also be the most affordable microLED TV ever released.

Read more