For the past 7 days, I have been receiving Live TV services through YouTube TV, utilizing their 7-day Free Trial. The reason I did this was to evaluate the service, as since I’m an adult, I am going to eventually need to move out of my parent’s house. I will still want Live TV, and thus I’ll need to subscribe to some sort of service.
At least, that’s my rationale. In reality, I’m not going to move out until I have financial stability… which will be a while (In my case, it’s once I complete my College degree for Special Education and get a job in my local school district).
I grabbed the Free Trial simply because I was curious… and I can.
But honestly… I was surprised. I actually liked the service. I kinda wish I still had it. I don’t have a job at the moment, though, so I’m not committing $40 every month that I probably won’t have.
So… what is YouTube TV?
YouTube TV is an internet-based Live TV service. These services tend to be cheaper than standard cable or satellite services, with a cloud-based DVR service, and come with no contract, however they also can have less available channels.
In YouTube TV’s case, that’s all the Viacom channels, which include Nickelodeon.
So what is it like?
YouTube TV has four main screens: Library, Home, Live, and Search. The “Home” tab gives you recommendations for shows and movies to add to your DVR, as well as shows that are currently playing that you may like. It’s actually a really nice place to go when you don’t know what you want to see. When you click the “+” button on a show or movie, it simply adds a timer to record said show or movie when it’s currently on, and adds the recording to your Library.
The Library, as it suggests, contains your library of content that you have recorded to your Live DVR. The cool thing about this system is that you get unlimited recording time, however each recording only lasts for 9 months…
Which is a pretty long time, let’s be real here.
The “Live” tab is where your guide is. From here, you get a list of available channels with what’s playing now, and next. If you wish to see further than that, you’d have to go to that channel’s individual page. You can actually rearrange this listing however you wish, and even hide channels you don’t intend to ever watch (In my case, I hid Fox News and brought Disney XD, TYT, and BBC America to the Top).
You can actually get a preview of what’s playing by hovering over the channel, which is, in my opinion, one of the coolest features this service provides, after the Cloud DVR system.
Once you select a channel, you can sit back and watch. If you’re interrupted, you can pause a channel, which will actually keep up a temporary recording of what’s playing live for you to return to once you’re done with whatever you needed… such as using the restroom, or whatever.
From the search page, it does pretty much exactly as you’d expect… it allows you to search for shows, movies, channels, or even sports teams if you’re into that (I actually went ahead and followed the Arizona Diamondbacks for a little bit). It also gives some ideas from here when you scroll down.
All in all, YouTube TV has a clean interface a great channel selection, a really neat Cloud DVR system, and even an exclusive TYT channel if you wish to follow the Home of Progressives. There are some tradeoffs you get compared to standard cable or satellite services.
Are the trade-offs worth it? In my opinion, Yes. You’d think for a service designed by YouTube, notorious for terrible website redesigns and breaking features left and right (check out my Open Letter to YouTube), would be fundamentally broken and annoying to use… and while there are some annoyances, it’s actually a joy to use. I found myself watching quite a bit of Live TV, more than I expected… even though I couldn’t install this on my Fire TV and had to connect my Chromebook to the TV in order to use it.
Would I recommend YouTube TV? If all the channels you enjoy are listed as available (Viacom channels, GSN, and Boomerang are notable exclusions to me), then yes. It is an almost perfect replacement to standard TV services. In fact, I’d argue it’s better than the Dish Network service we currently receive in every possible way.
If there are exclusions that are notable to you, then check out other Internet-Based TV Services, such as Sling TV, PlayStation VUE, DirecTV Now, or Hulu with Live TV. I haven’t tested these services, but they all come with free trials of some sort, so feel free, there’s no commitment to any of these!
I’m personally looking to test out Sling TV, as that’s what my family is looking to switch to at the moment once our contract with Dish Network expires.
P.S. This is the first of a new series of posts I am starting called “My Free Trial”. If you liked this, let me know via the comments section below this post! I’d love to hear what you think. If you have some constructive criticisms to share, please share them! I am always looking to produce quality content!