YouTube clearly has its sights set on nothing short of total TV domination. Its recently launched YouTube TV live-streaming service started small in a select number of cities and with a limited number of channels. As of Monday, October 30, it’s available in the top 50 metro areas, covering over two-thirds of the U.S. and increased its live TV channel offering considerably, adding both local stations as well as the ability to view premium channels like Showtime, for an additional monthly fee. Now, YouTube TV is making it a whole lot easier and enjoyable to access its streaming TV service, by introducing native app experiences for some of the most popular big-screen platforms.
First up, is support for Xbox One devices, including Xbox One, Xbox One S, and soon-to-be-released Xbox One X. Android TV devices including Nvidia Shield and TVs with Android TV built-in, such as those made by Sony, will also be part of the first wave of app launches, happening “in the next few days,” according to a YouTube spokesperson.
Beyond the ability to control the new YouTube TV app with your game controller, or remote control, YouTube tells Digital Trends that the experience will be “more cinematic” thanks to a dark background created specifically for big-screen TV viewing. The app also features a new version of the Live guide, optimized for the larger screen, so you can see what is airing soon, plus a background playback option for those of you who can do two or more things at once.
Wondering if your TV device of choice will ever get the native app treatment? The answer is likely, yes — YouTube also announced that smart TVs, such as those made by LG, Samsung, and Sony will also get their own app, and perhaps most importantly, Apple TV is included, too. We’re told this second wave of support will happen in the “coming weeks,” which probably means it’s coming before the holiday season.
Native app support for YouTube TV is a critical step for the service’s adoption, since not all members of a household will want to mess around with mobile apps and casting or AirPlaying to their big screens. Watching TV is an inherently passive activity, so the easier YouTube can make it, the more likely it will be to sign up new subscribers. Now, the only question is, is YouTube TV the right TV streaming service for you? Check out Digital Trends’ comparison to see what the competition is offering, but you should also consider trying out YouTube TV: The service offers a seven-day free trial, providing you live in a location it serves.
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