YouTube TV just rolled out to users and it’s a very promising start.
The live TV app just went live in five major cities including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco and the initial feedback is relatively positive. YouTube TV offers users a skinny bundle of about 50 channels from the major networks CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox along with their cable spinoffs like Fox News, MSNBC, ESPN, Bravo and FX making the lineup pretty solid. They also have about 10 more channels coming soon including AMC, Sundance, BBC and others. There are some notable omissions like Time Warner/Turner networks (CNN, Cartoon Network, TBS), Viacom Networks (Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon) and Scripps Network (HGTV, Travel Channel) so that is a disappointment. However, it is meant to be a skinny bundle with limited channels and the channels included do a good job of incorporating a wide variety of programming. For live TV, it’s key to include sports, local news and national news which YouTube TV does a great job of.
The app itself is probably the most forward thinking application of internet TV to date. It’s super clean, fast, reliable and innovative in the way it handles the channel lineup and cloud DVR. The app is split into three tabs, Library, Home and Live. The Live tab is an interactive TV channel guide that lets you scrolls through each channel while a video thumbnail plays what’s currently on each channel. The Home tab is where Google gives it’s users suggestions on what to watch and the best part is that the video thumbnails play what’s live just like the Live tab. The Library is where all of your recorded shows reside and can be kept for up to nine months with no limitations of the number of shows recorded. The app just feels like the future of TV and it’s light years ahead of the clunky interface traditional cable companies provide. Although the channel lineup is a bit limited to start, YouTube TV is well worth the $35 a month if you’re considering dropping your existing bloated cable TV package.