YouTube TV in 2023: Is the Original Online TV Still Worth it?
By TOI Staff August 25, 2023 Update on : August 25, 2023
YouTube TV has become one of the most popular live TV streaming services since its launch in 2017. With over 6 million subscribers as of 2023, YouTube TV offers a robust channel lineup and cloud DVR for a competitive price. However, increased competition from services like Hulu Live TV and DirecTV has called into question whether YouTube TV still holds its value in 2023.
In this article, we’ll examine the pros and cons of YouTube TV today to help you decide if it’s still worth the money.
What is YouTube TV exactly?
YouTube TV is a live TV streaming service that offers an alternative to traditional cable TV packages without the need for contracts or proprietary boxes. At its core, YouTube TV provides live and on-demand access to over 100 popular channels like ABC, ESPN, FX, and MSNBC. This channel lineup includes major broadcast networks, local sports channels, top cable networks, and more.
What makes YouTube TV stand out is its use of YouTube’s streaming technology to make channel flipping and on-demand viewing seamless across all supported devices. It brings the flexibility and intuitiveness of YouTube to live television through mobile apps, web browsers, and TV-connected devices. DVR capabilities also allow subscribers to record an unlimited number of shows to their cloud storage and watch ad-free later.
YouTube TV also incorporates Google’s AI for curating a personalized TV experience. The service makes recommendations based on viewing history and what’s trending. Other key features include a family plan with 6 accounts, 4K streaming capability, and integration with Google Assistant for voice controls. Unfortunately, the service is only available in the US, but you can bypass YouTube TV restrictions pretty effortlessly and watch it worldwide.
YouTube TV VS other live TV streaming services
|Service||YouTube TV||Hulu + Live TV||Fubo||DirecTV||Sling TV|
|Cloud DVR||Unlimited, 9 months storage||Unlimited, 9 months storage||1000 hours storage||Unlimited, 9 months storage||50 hours storage (costs extra)|
|Simultaneous streams||3 streams||2 streams||2 streams||3 streams||3 streams|
|Offline viewing||Yes (only with 4K Plus add-on)||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|4K HDR||Yes, with add-on||No||Yes, some channels||Yes, some channels||No|
The main differences between the services are channel lineup, cloud DVR features, number of simultaneous streams allowed, 4K capability, and offline viewing options. While YouTube TV is on the higher end for pricing, and limits some specific local channel availability due to geo-blocking, it still delivers great value. offers robust DVR storage, wide channel availability, and an overall competitive package.
YouTube TV Add-Ons
In addition to over 100 channels, YouTube TV offers add-ons to enhance your streaming experience. The 4K Plus add-on enables 4K ultra HD resolution for crisper visuals on select programming and films. It also removes the 3-stream limit so you can have unlimited simultaneous streams at home.
For sports fans, Sports Plus provides extra networks like NFL RedZone and more niche sports channels. There are also Spanish language add-ons available, ranging from $7-$20 per month. Additionally, you can include the likes of Max, SHOWTIME, and Cinemax both standalone or through the Entertainment Plus bundle. While not necessary, these affordable add-ons allow power users to customize their plan with more channels and features.
How to start watching YouTube TV
Just like with most online TV services, setting up YouTube TV is fairly quick and intuitive. In just a few steps you can start streaming live TV through YouTube TV on all your devices. Here’s what you’ll have to do:
- Go to tv.youtube.com or download the YouTube TV app on your device.
- Select “Try it Free”.
- Sign in using your Google account.
- Enter your zip code.
- Start a free trial and choose the monthly plan you want.
- Customize your package with channel add-ons.
- Finish signing up with your payment information.
- Configure streaming quality preferences under Settings.
- That’s it! Enjoy countless hours of unlimited entertainment.
Despite some drawbacks, YouTube TV remains a top option for cord-cutters in 2023. With an unlimited DVR, smooth interface, and broad channel lineup, it still beats traditional cable by a mile. The service continues advancing too with new surround sound and offline viewing capabilities.
However, increasing costs and channel disputes do warrant some consideration of competitors like Hulu and DirecTV Stream. While YouTube TV can’t be everything for everyone, it still provides superb value focused on most of the major networks. For American households seeking to cut cable without losing live TV access, YouTube TV remains a smart choice thanks to its core strengths and excellent value.Read more: YouTube TV in 2023: Is the Original Online TV Still Worth it?