YouTube TV is widely available now, about 100 markets. What’s notable is that the app for Apple TV has recently been released which makes it especially appealing for those Apple customers. (No more need for AirPlay.) I’ve seen several reviews lately that go into good detail on this interesting TV subscription service.
- YouTube TV: Everything you need to know about the TV streaming service by Nick Pino.
- YouTube TV Is a Fresh and Clean Alternative to Cable by Josh Centers.
This service feels a lot like what Apple was trying to deliver in 2015, including the pricing, but Apple, it appears, failed to reach the necessary agreements for delivery rights. Whether the infrastructure just wasn’t ready for widely available local channels in major markets via the internet and, now, three years later, Apple has lost interest, I don’t know. Perhaps working with Google has been somehow easier than Apple. I haven’t seen the backstory told. It will be a good one.
For those into 4K/UHD, Google points out this limitation.
YouTube relies on VP9, the industry leading open-source codec, for distribution and playback of 4K videos. Using VP9 results in less buffering, faster startup, and higher video quality. The Apple TV 4K model (5th generation) does not support VP9 and therefore we can’t deliver 4K resolution on this device.
Look, the entire UHD TV industry is going with HEVC/H.265. Google is just being a doofus by insisting on its own 4K codec, VP9. IMHO.
In any case, in the supported local makets, you’ll get local TV stations and these supported channels. Read the reviews above for details and some minor gotchas. All in all, however, YouTube TV looks very cool.
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