The live TV streaming space just continues to get more crowded. First there was Sling TV, then PlayStation Vue, and more recently DirecTV Now. Hulu also has a similar service on the way, and on Tuesday, YouTube finally announced its long-awaited entry into live TV streaming, dubbed YouTube TV.
In many ways, YouTube TV is very similar to its competition, offering programming from channels like ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN, and regional sports networks. YouTube has partnered with local TV stations as well, aiming to provide users with local news and sports no matter where they live, though it’s currently unknown whether local channels will be available everywhere the service is offered.
There are differences. Unlike its competition, YouTube TV won’t carry channels from Viacom or other companies that work exclusively with cable operators. Still, you’ll find channels like FX, USA, Syfy, and Bravo. This means less available channels, but still more than 40 networks available for a subscription fee of $35 per month.
Like PlayStation Vue and soon Sling TV, YouTube TV offers a Cloud TV service for catching up on your favorite shows. Nobody likes sorting through someone else’s DVR recordings looking for the show they want to watch, so YouTube TV comes with a total of six accounts, all with their own recommendations and DVR storage limits.
If you’re already a heavy user of YouTube, this new service will have even more to offer you. In the blog post announcing the new service, Christian Oestlien,YouTube product management director, writes that the company is “thrilled to build an experience that lets you enjoy it as easily as you watch YouTube.” To that end, there is some integration with existing services, like the ability to watch YouTube Red original series and movies via YouTube TV.
The company says viewers will be able to watch on their phone, tablet or computer, as well as TVs via either a Chromecast device or a TV with Chromecast built in. Stand-alone apps for streaming boxes like Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or Apple TV haven’t been mentioned so far.
YouTube TV is launching soon in “the largest U.S. markets,” and will expand to cover more cities across the country. For more information on YouTube TV, visit the new service’s website.
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