YouTube is launching a streaming TV service Wednesday. It's one of many — Sling, PlayStation Vue and local cable companies among them. But Google-owned YouTube TV offers several features the others don't.
They include a cloud-based DVR with no storage limits, allowing users to record as many shows as they want for later playback. Membership also gives access to original series and movies featured on its other subscription streaming service, YouTube Red. And customers can create up to six accounts on one membership, with up to three streams running at once.
A subscription costs $35 a month, with a free 30-day trial to start. The app can stream on phones, tablets or computers. After the first month's payment, YouTube offers a free Google Chromecast for users to stream the service to their TVs — as long as supplies last. Many of these details were revealed in late February when the company first announced the service, but no launch date was provided then.
Every TV watcher knows there's still no perfect way to watch. Every service suffers from either high cost, limited offerings or restricted access. YouTube TV is no different: Initially, it offers about 40 channels to subscribers in five of the largest U.S. markets.
Today, customers in New York, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago and Philadelphia can access the YouTube TV app, which will offer live streaming of networks such as ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, along with cable channels like USA, Fox News, MSNBC and ESPN. Users can pay extra for add-on channels like Showtime and Fox Soccer Plus.