Enlarge (credit: YouTube)
YouTube TV was announced at the end of February, and now the service is officially live. YouTube’s live TV-streaming service can be accessed by users in five US locations today: New York, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, and Philadelphia.
The service will come to more cities, but YouTube hasn’t given a definitive timeline for the nationwide rollout.
The subscription cable-replacement service costs $35 per month, but YouTube is offering a free one-month trial. You can cancel the free trial at any time, and if you decide to stick with YouTube TV, the company will send you a free Chromecast after your first month’s payment.
YouTube TV directly competes with services like Sling TV, Playstation Vue, and DirecTV Now, offering live-streamed broadcasts of cable content from networks including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN, and more. When announced, YouTube TV boasted 40 networks as well as local programming from area news channels and weather services.
It’s a decent list of networks covering all types of content, including live sports games and events with networks like NBCSN, FS1, and FS2. Now, YouTube has announced it will be adding AMC, BBC America, FC, Sundance TV, WE tv, and BBC World News to the service at no additional cost.
Currently, YouTube TV only has four “add-on” channels that come with an extra fee, including Showtime and Fox Soccer Plus (sorry, no HBO yet). No official date for the inclusion of these new networks has been announced, but they will arrive “soon after launch.”
YouTube TV also offers unlimited cloud DVR so you can record as many shows as you want simultaneously and watch them later. Your account will save all those shows for nine months before the oldest content is deleted, but that still gives you much more time than any other live TV-streaming service to catch up.
Each YouTube TV membership allows six individual logins, meaning six different users can log in to the same account, record shows, receive personalized content recommendations, and more. However, each membership only allows three simultaneous livestreams, so only three people can watch live TV at once using one account.
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