I posted about this in February. At the time, no release date had been given for YouTube TV, but I suspected that Philly would be one of the launch markets seeing as though that was the case with Playstation Vue. And indeed it is. YouTube TV is live today in Philly, LA, New York, Chicago and San Francisco. It is available in a browser (Chrome only) and available for download in the iOS and Android app stores. The first month is FREE and you can cancel anytime. After that, YouTube TV is advertised as $35 per month, but for some reason my basic Philly area package came up as $39.99.
The big thing about YouTube TV, besides it being an immediate player in the cord-cutting space by the nature of it being YouTube (the interface, at first blush, is fast and clean), is that it will include the local broadcast affiliates (6 ABC, NBC 10, CBS 3, FOX 29) and CSN Philly, which means you can watch Phillies, Flyers and Sixers games while you’re in the market (there’s no TCN). It looks like you have to contact Google directly to change your preferred home market (but I suppose it might be possible for out-of-towners to do so using a relative’s address and get access to Philly programming).
I signed up and will have a full review next week, but here are some initial screenshots, which include the full channel lineup:
That just about covers it for me– the important sports networks, local affiliates, cable news, and Disney for the kid (and E! for my wife). Within seconds, I was in and watching Live From The Masters of the Golf Channel, though interestingly, the screenshot I took came up black (some sort of rights block?).
You can favorite your favorite sports teams and YouTube TV will save ALL of their games in their FREE, unlimited DVR, which stores programs for up to nine months:
A few initial observations:
- The local sports blackout if you’re out-of-market is no surprise, though CSN currently allows you the ability to stream Flyers and Sixers games while you’re out-of-market through CSNPhilly.com and the NBC Sports app, if you have Philly cable credentials. In some cases, services like Playstation Vue are included in the list of providers you can use to log in. I can’t test it yet, but I’m assuming that YouTube TV is not yet, and may not be for some time, listed as one of the providers you can use to access local games while you’re out-of-market through CSNPhilly.com and the NBC Sports app. CSN says Phillies games will be available to watch out-of-market, with credentials to a cable account that includes CSN, by midseason (though some people reported they had success on Opening Day). Again, I’m not sure if and when YouTube TV will be available in that list of providers, but I am going to ask. The upshot is that you’ll have no problem streaming in-market, but if you’re out-of-market and using a streaming service, like Playstation Vue or YouTube TV, you may have trouble using those credentials to log in to CSN.
- Right now, YouTube TV is available as an app and can only be beamed to your TV through a Chromecast (which is like $35). Presumably, the app will come to Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku eventually.
- I’m surprised this is a separate app. I suppose Amazon Prime Video and Music are separate apps from Amazon proper, so there’s precedent here, but those are different verticals. YouTube already has an app, for video– to me it would’ve made sense to include the TV offering as part of the same app that was already on millions of people’s phones. But, I can also see where a separate app, platform and infrastructure makese sense.
- There is supposed to be an option to add Showtime as an add-on, but I don’t see it.
- The search function looks very impressive.
I’ll have a full review and get more details on things like sports streaming next week. Leave any questions you may have in the comments.