This week, Google expanded the reach of its YouTube TV service to 14 new markets. The service is now available to half of U.S. households, according to reports.
This is where I’d insert a quote and a link to the YouTube blog post announcing this expansion. But it doesn’t exist.
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So let’s move on. As you may recall, Google announced its YouTube TV “skinny bundle” service—I’d call it a cord-cutting service, but whatever—in late February and then rolled it out to the first 5 U.S. cities in April. It then added 10 more cities in July, bringing the total to 15 cities (really regions or markets, since you can be outside a supported city and still obtain the service.)
With this week’s expansion, the availability of YouTube TV almost doubles to 29 markets. You can find a complete list of supported markets here, but that’s going to change soon too: Google will bring another 17 markets into the fold in the coming weeks, so this is really happening.
From my perspective, the big addition is Boston. Had that city been available from the start, I would have tested this service months ago.
As it is, I’m moving to Pennsylvania next week, so I’ll need to hold off. (Ironically, Philadelphia was among the first five cities available, but you need to physically be there to sign-up.) And the reason I’m excited to do this is that it appears that YouTube TV is among the best, if not the best, of the currently-available cord-cutting services. As you may recall, I have not signed up for cable TV in Pennsylvania and will see if we can survive on online services instead.
A number of things put YouTube TV over the top compared to other services, including PlayStation Vue, which I am currently testing. It’s inexpensive at $35 per month, and that price includes unlimited cloud-based DVR capabilities, local TV access including sports, broad compatibility with devices, and multiscreen access with 6 different accounts, so everyone in the family is covered. Including the cats.
Anyway, this is a big push, and it looks like Google is serious about making this work, in part because of its focus on local live TV, which is a smart move.
<p>I am a Youtube TV subscriber and I LOVE IT. </p><p><br></p><p>Prior to using this service I used DirecTV Now, taking advantage of the $35/month unlimited plan. The potential was there, but it wasn't perfect because the service lacked CBS and The CW (which I need). For that price no cloud DVR functionality which isn't such a big deal.</p><p><br></p><p>However, I switched to Youtube TV when they announced that CBS and The CW was included along with unlimited cloud DVR (stored for a 9 months), as well sports channels. For me, being able to watch the YES Network is a deal breaker/maker. The service was almost perfect for me and it became so, when Google added BBC America and AMC because I am a Doctor Who and Walking Dead fan. I don't really care about the loss of CNN. I've hated that (fake news) network along with their other channels. So I forfeited my DirecTV Now promotional plan and switched to Youtube TV and I don't regret it.</p><p><br></p><p>Prior to the cord cutting switch, I was paying a lot for basic DirecTV service + International channels (for 4 televisions) in addition to Optimum Internet. With DirecTV out and YouTube TV in, I basically saved about $100 a month. LOL…that's a lot. I also have to subscribe to certain International channels. Luckily, the international channel we care about charges $9/month vs the $20 DirecTV was charging. All in all, I am really happy.</p><p><br></p><p>Not only has Youtube TV been great, but it fits perfectly with my Google ecosystem. Access to (regular) Youtube is easy from Youtube TV and it's kinda excitng what other things or features Google will have for the service. Google will probably find a way to tie in Youtube TV with Google Calendar, Google Assistant,…perhaps Google Play,….lol….is any doubt that Google won't do this? </p><p><br></p><p>About Cloud DVR…like I said, the YES Network was a deal breaker/maker for me, and luckily Youtube TV offered it. Since the start of the 2017 MLB season, I recorded every single Yankee game this season. I love being able to do that, because as a baseball fan and Yankee fan, I can go back to the game via the computer, screenshot and annotate clips and share them with my baseball community. LOL…this stuff is awesome.</p><p><br></p><p>AND….</p><p><br></p><p>This service can be included in Google Family Library Sharing. How awesome is that!!!</p><p><br></p><p>There is ONE NEGATIVE I found with Youtube TV. You can't really take it with you internationally, if you were to go out of the country. You can't even use a VPN service, because Chrome will detect it and cut you off. I've tried. I know DirecTV Now works. In that case, I have no problem cancelling Youtube TV for the duration of my vacation and go back to Youtube TV for a month and then go back. Cutting the cord is so awesome.</p><p><br></p><p>I wish, Youtube TV can be part of Amazon Fire/Fire Stick. My Chromecast and Fire Stick occupy two HDMI ports. It would be great if I can just use the Fire Stick as my entertainment portal, but…lol….maybe in the future. It's not a big deal.</p><p><br></p><p>Youtube TV on my 46 inch tv, 27 inch desktop pc, 12.5 inch laptop/tablet, Nexus 6P, and Pixel XL…..I'll never have a boring minute anywhere!</p>