YouTube Launches Cable TV Replacement for $35/month


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At a special event held Wednesday afternoon in Los Angeles, California, YouTube officially took the wraps off its own TV streaming service — dubbed ‘YouTube TV’ — in what appears to be the latest attempt from an internet-based multimedia service to woo the increasing number of customers who’re opting to ‘cut the cord’ and ditch their traditional cable TV service.

YouTube TV, which will offer a generous mix of live-broadcast cable television streaming, coupled with the wealth of content already available on YouTube, will reportedly exist as a standalone app, according to a post published to YouTube’s official blog.

For the contract-less, month-to-month fee of just $35, YouTube TV subscribers will receive access to major networks — ABC, CBS, ESPN, FOX, NBC, and their affiliates — as well as 35 additional cable channels, including regional sports networks. Unfortunately, as with all streaming services, YouTube’s is not without its limitations. Notably absent among the live TV offerings, for instance, include major channels from Viacom and Turner Broadcasting, meaning that you won’t be able to stream shows from MTV, Comedy Central, CNN, TBS, or TNT. Also absent from the launch announcement were channels from AMC Networks, A&E Networks, Discovery Communications, and Time Warner.

Furthermore, while HBO is currently not on the roster, Showtime will be available to customers as a premium add-on. You’ll also gain access to a slew of original music and video content only available to YouTube Red subscribers at no additional cost.

Your standard subscription to YouTube TV will nevertheless enable the creation of as many as six individual ‘accounts’ — meaning each member of your household, for example, will be able to create individualized programming profiles curated to their specific tastes. The only harbinger is that each subscription will only allow up to three concurrent live-streams at any given time, according to The Verge. Nevertheless, the service will reportedly integrate with Google Chromecast and Cast-enabled devices, as well as Google Home, while you’ll also be able to stream from a variety of iOS- and Android-powered smartphones and tablets.

While the service is said to be launching in “major markets” — such as larger, metropolitan areas — within the coming months, no other specifics about a wide scale launch have been provided — but only that smaller cities and, to that end, international markets, are likely to follow sometime thereafter, if all goes according to plan.

At YouTube TV’s unveiling event, the company offered spectators a brief demonstration of the app, which appears to offer some rather nifty search features, as well as unlimited DVR recording and Google Cloud storage of your favorite shows — with the ability to skip over ads, might we add — included with a standard subscription. You’ll also be able to browse a comprehensive live programming guide, and search for content based on type and genre.

With this announcement, Google (who owns YouTube) appears to be the latest company to make a major effort to establish itself in the live-streaming space. Apple has in recent years sought to launch a similar service like YouTube TV for the Apple TV — however, even the most recent efforts to get a deal off the ground with major broadcasting networks ended up falling flat for Cupertino, whose Apple TV set-top box is already capable of streaming from a myriad of third-party content providers such as Hulu, Netflix, and individual cable TV networks (with an existing cable TV subscription).

Aside from all that, we’ll just have to wait and see how YouTube TV fares in the general market, which, perhaps to Google’s benefit, has in recent years been increasingly more willing to nix their standard cable subscriptions in favor of more affordable internet-based services.

Will you be signing up for YouTube TV? Let us know in the comments!

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