Google’s YouTube TV is a great option for cord-cutters, but it’s suffered from one major and obvious flaw: There’s never been an elegant way to get that content on your—wait for it—TV. But that’s about to change.
“Since the launch of YouTube TV in April, you’ve streamed live sports, local and national news, and can’t-miss shows on your phone, tablet, and computer,” the Official YouTube Blog notes. “Now, we’re psyched to announce our new YouTube TV app, made for the big screen.”
I know. You’re thinking, this doesn’t make any sense. How could Google launch a service called YouTube and not make it available on TVs? But that’s what they did: To date, you’ve been able to use a YouTube TV mobile app on Android or iOS, or the YouTube TV website on your Mac or PC. But if you wanted to get it up on the big screen—that HDTV or 4K/UHD set in the living room—you were on your own. You could use a technology like Chromecast (Android, Chrome on Mac/PC), Miracast (PC), or AirPlay (via Apple TV) to stream the content from the device to the screen.
Well, that nightmare is finally coming to a close. “In the next few days,” Google will issue YouTube TV apps for a variety of living room set-top boxes, including Android TV (including NVIDIA SHIELD), and Xbox One (all models). And “in the coming weeks,” Google will deliver YouTube TV apps for LG, Samsung, and Sony smart TVs, plus Apple TV. Frankly, Google should have led the way with these apps.
If you’ve been following along with my “tech makeover” series for Premium readers, you know that I’ve had a terrible time with cord-cutting apps like PlayStation Vue, Hulu with Live TV, and YouTube TV. And that the issue with YouTube TV, in particular, was the inelegant way it works with the TV: There’s no way to browse the guide with a remote or do any of the normal stuff one might expect from a TV-like solution.
So that’s about to change, which is great. But to give Google a bit of credit, it did rescue us on Sunday night when we wanted to watch The Walking Dead and discovered that PlayStation Vue, which I thought was good through the end of October, had been shut off. So we did use it, off my Android phone and a Chromecast to watch the show. And it was OK.
But here’s an irony alert: The cable guy is arriving today to install a TiVo-powered RCN cable box. My cord-cutting experiment, for now at least, is over. And these YouTube TV apps are arriving too late.
Tagged with YouTube TV