YouTube TV is including 4K assist and offline playback, however it may value you. Google detailed YouTube TV’s “4K Plus” subscription add-on, which prices an additional $20 on high of the usual $65-per-month plan, for a complete of $85 per 30 days. 4K Plus would possibly sound like it is going to merely present a decision bump, however subscribing to the upper tier may even unlock a brand new offline playback characteristic and limitless simultaneous streaming over dwelling Wi-Fi. The latter characteristic is in any other case restricted to a few streams per account. The one no-extra-cost characteristic of at this time’s announcement is 5.1 audio assist, which is rolling out to all YouTube TV members.
YouTube TV is Google’s US-only pay-per-month service meant to switch a cable TV subscription. For the bottom value of $65 a month, you get entry to a bundle of main cable TV channels, like ESPN, CNN, MTV, Cartoon Community, Discovery, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, TBS, TNT, USA, NFL Community, and extra. The most important US TV networks—CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox—are all included. Along with paying further for 4K, you may as well tack on different premium add-ons like cable TV film channels resembling HBO, Stars, Showtime, and Cinemax. Sports activities packages, together with NFL Purple Zone, can be found as nicely. Identical to cable, YouTube TV is kind of costly and retains getting costlier. Google simply raised the price to $65 final yr.
Even in the event you pay the additional $20, it appears like 4K content material will probably be onerous to return by. Google says that “4K playback is out there on choose stay and on-demand content material from these networks: Discovery, ESPN, FOX Sports activities, FX, Nat Geo, NBC Sports activities, and Tastemade.” The shortage of 4K content material is not YouTube TV’s fault, although. Whereas Web streaming providers like Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube have all been on the 4K content material practice for a while, cable TV networks are nonetheless primarily producing content material in 720p or 1080p. YouTube TV is actually cable, and there is simply not that a lot 4K content material out there.
These AV1 disputes really do matter
Google’s assist web page says that 4K playback would require an Web connection that is a minimum of 15Mbps. Most 4K-capable good gadgets appear appropriate, however Google calls out the 4K Apple TV and PlayStation 4 Professional as having iffy 4K assist, saying these two gadgets are solely appropriate with “choose content material” and that “some applications could have decrease decision.” It appears like that is an AV1 video codec drawback. AV1 is the subsequent huge video codec that gadgets might want to assist, and it provides higher picture high quality at decrease bitrates, with no royalty charges. Google is an enormous booster of the codec, a stance that has led to disputes over support on Roku gadgets. The Apple TV and the PS4 Professional each do not assist AV1, so it appears like this assist word is simply indicating that these gadgets will not have the ability to play unique AV1 4K content material.
Offline playback could be essentially the most attention-grabbing of YouTube TV’s two new options. The offline characteristic will allow you to obtain DVR recordings in the event you’re forking over $85 a month for YouTube TV with the 4K Plus bundle. The one huge draw back is that offline playback requires the YouTube TV app, so which means it really works on telephones and Chromebooks however not on something that may sometimes use a browser, like Home windows, Mac, or Linux.
To attempt to get customers hooked on the $20 further add-on, YouTube is providing an introductory value of $10 per 30 days further for the bundle for the primary yr. After 12 months, the value will soar up.