My DirecTV contract ends in July. The years of going back and forth with cable companies to lower my monthly bill with threats to cancel is getting old. I have a couple of buddies that share a love of good television shows. Not having cable is not an option. I’ve been researching all the streaming options available in town for a while in anticipation of my contract ending. For the longest time, I’ve had my eye on YouTube TV. From everything I’ve read it included what I was looking for in a streaming service. News recently came out that YouTube TV arrived to Wichita so my buddies hopped on the bandwagon, split the cost and gave it a try.
Here’s the lowdown on what we’ve experienced thus far.
YouTube TV cost $40 a month plus tax. In it you get over 50 channels and have the option to add some premium channels. Right now it’s basically Showtime for $11 which is higher than some competitors. There’s no option to add HBO, Starz or Cinemax at the moment which is one of the services biggest drawbacks but you can always order those services separately via their own apps. Hulu with Live TV and DirecTV Now are the only other competitors with 50 or more channels and cost $40 and $35 a month respectively. YouTube TV is the only live streaming service with the major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and The CW).
Sports is huge for me and my main reason for needing cable. For sports, they carry the ESPN channels, NBC Sports, Big Ten Network, SEC Network, Fox Sports, Golf Channel, and CBS Sports. I believe Hulu TV and YouTube TV are the only services to carry CBS Sports.
For $40, you can share your account with up to six people but you only get three active simultaneous streams at once. Currently only PlayStation Vue and Sling TV offer three or more streams at once. PlayStatation Vue cost $40 for three streams while Sling TV cost $25 for three streams.
Here’s what set YouTube TV apart from us from the other services and what pushed us over the edge in choosing them. Their DVR service looks to be superior when compared to everybody else. Currently only Hulu TV and PlayStation Vue offer DVR service in their package with Sling TV costing an extra $5 for DVR. PlayStation Vue has restrictions and limitations on what you can record with their DVR service. Then Hulu offers a Cloud DVR that limits you to 50 hours of content or 200 hours for an extra $15. With YouTube TV, you get an unlimited amount of storage for each of the members of your account. So I have my own DVR, my buddy has his own DVR and so on. Items in your DVR stay there for up to nine months where as the competition is around 28 days of storage.
As for accessibility, my friends and I have had zero problems watching YouTube TV. I loaded it on my iPhone, iPad, Roku, and Apple TV. Currently the device support includes: Android, Apple TV, Chromecast & Chromecast-enabled TVs, Computers, iOS, Roku and Xbox One and smart TVs from LG and Samsung. Apps for Sony Smart TVs coming soon. It appears that the main device it isn’t supporting is Amazon Fire TV and Stick likely due to the ongoing feud between Google and Amazon.
For YouTube TV along with the $11 Showtime addition, my friends and I are splitting roughly $54 three ways. So far the streaming has been stellar. Neither of us haven’t had any major issues with watching or lag. For the $18 and change we’re each spending a month, we could see this as a major game changer. With a huge name like Google behind them, it’s hard to see them getting into this business with plans to fail.
The future looks bright for those wanting to cut the cord but knowing cable companies, my bet is they will begin to increase internet prices to make up for the lost revenue. We will see though. In the meantime, YouTube TV is definitely worth a try. We’re going to test this out until July when our DirecTV contracts end and see if it’s worth officially cutting the cord.
For more information on YouTube TV, check out their website: https://tv.youtube.com/
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