YouTube TV Review 2022: Plans, Cost, and More

According to CableTV.com's experts, YouTube TV the best overall live TV streaming service out there. Read our review for all the reasons why.

Best overall (live TV streaming)

Price: $64.99/mo.

Channels: 100+

Cloud DVR storage: Unlimited

Is YouTube TV good?

We think YouTube TV is an excellent live TV streaming service—in fact, we’ve named it Cable TV.com’s Best Overall service for 2022. For $64.99 per month, you get 100+ cable and local channels plus an unlimited cloud DVR.

YouTube TV’s biggest advantage over other streaming TV services is familiarity. It’s close to the same YouTube interface you’ve been using for years but with a few new twists and more popular channels than other live TV streaming services. (It’s still the undisputed leader in cat videos, of course.)

YouTube TV has one of the fattest channel lineups in live TV streaming, as well as the easiest user interface. It’s not the cheapest live TV streaming service, but we think YouTube TV is worth it for its features and performance.

YouTube TV pros and cons

Pros

  • 100+ channels
  • Unlimited cloud DVR storage

Cons

  • Missing some regional sports networks
  • No A&E, Lifetime, or VICE

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YouTube TV deals and promotions

You can get YouTube TV free for a month when you sign up for a Verizon Mobile or 5G Home Internet plan. YouTube TV no longer offers a seven-day free trial.

YouTube TV plans and pricing

Plan
YouTube TV
Price Live channels Streams Cloud DVR Details
$64.99/mo. 100+ 3 Unlimited (for 9 mos.) View plan

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

YouTube TV, depending on your area, offers up to 104 live TV streaming channels, including cable favorites, local channels, and sports networks.

YouTube TV vs. Hulu + Live TV

Price Live channels Streams Cloud DVR Details
$64.99/mo. 100+ 3 Unlimited (for 9 mos.) View plan
$69.99–$75.99/mo. 70+ 2 50 hrs. View plans

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Hulu + Live TV is one of our favorite live TV streaming services at CableTV.com—we’ve named it our Best Value streamer because of its large catalog of Hulu on-demand content and originals. But, it now costs more than YouTube TV, and you get fewer live channels, less DVR space, and only two simultaneous streams.

In the YouTube TV vs. Hulu + Live TV streaming faceoff, we still think YTTV has the edge.

YouTube TV vs. the rest of competition

Price Editorial rating Live channels Streams Cloud DVR Details
64.99/mo. 4.5/5 3 3 Unlimited (for 9 mos.) View plans
$25.00/mo. 3.7/5 60+ 3 Unlimited (for 1 yr.) View plans
$64.99–$79.99/mo. 4.0/5 112–160+ 3–10 250–1,000 hrs. View plans
$35.00–$50.00/mo. 3.9/5 30–50+ 1–4 50 hrs. View plans
$69.99–$139.99/mo. 3.5/5 65–140+ 3 20 hrs. View plans
$55.00–$79.95/mo. 3.8/5 95–112+ 3 N/A View plans

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

YouTube TV channels

YouTube TV’s mix of live TV streaming entertainment, sports, and news channels doesn’t look much different than a basic cable package—until you notice the lack of filler.

There’s no cable-package bloat like audio-only music or shopping networks (except for QVC), just a tight lineup of popular channels like Comedy Central, Paramount Network, MTV, AMC, Cartoon Network, ESPN, Disney, FS1, FX, Syfy, TNT, USA, etc. YouTube TV trims the cable fat nicely.

YouTube TV also features local channels carrying ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC. Along with DIRECTV STREAM, it’s the only live TV streaming service that carries PBS and PBS Kids.

But watch out, cord-cutters: YouTube TV’s channel lineup is impressive, but it’s missing a few favorites. Networks like Lifetime, A&E, HISTORY, and VICE aren’t on YouTube TV (but you can get them on Philo, another service we like here at CableTV.com).

YouTube TV channel  lineup

Channel
A&E
ABC*
AAC Network
AMC
Animal Planet
BBC America
BBC World News
BET
BET Her
Big Ten Network
Bloomberg TV
Boomerang
Bravo
C-SPAN
Cartoon Network / Adult Swim
CBS*
CBS Sports Network
Cheddar News
CMT
CNBC
CNN
Comedy Central
COMET
Cooking Channel
COZI TV
The CW*
Destination America
Discovery Channel
Disney Chanel
Disney Junior
Disney XD
DIY Network
E!
EPIX®
ESPN
ESPN2
ESPNews
ESPNU
Food Network
FOX*
Fox Business Network
Fox News
FS1
FS2
Freeform
Fuse
Fusion
FX
FXM
FXX
FYI
Galavisión
Golf Channel
Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Drama
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
HGTV
HISTORY
HLN
IFC
Investigation Discovery (ID)
ION
Lifetime
Lifetime Movie Network
MLB Network
MOTOR TREND
MSNBC
MTV
MTV2
MTV Classic
Nat Geo WILD
National Geographic
NBA TV
NBC*
NBC Sports Network
NBC Universo
NFL Network
NFL RedZone
Nick Jr.
Nickelodeon / Nick at Nite
Nicktoons
Olympic Channel
OWN
Oxygen
Pac-12 Network
Paramount Network
PBS*
Pop
Science
SEC Network
Smithsonian Channel
Sportsman Channel
SundanceTV
Syfy
TBS
TCM
TeenNick
Telemundo*
Tennis Channel
TLC
TNT
Travel Channel
truTV
TV Land
Universal Kids
Univision
USA Network
VH1
VICE
WE tv
Weather Channel
YouTube TV

*Availability varies by area. Data effective as of post date.

Sports channels on YouTube TV

With YouTube TV, you get plenty of football (including NFL Network), basketball (including NBA TV), baseball (including MLB Network), soccer, and college b-ball games. Overall, YouTube TV’s live sports experience is as full as most cable providers’ upper-tier packages—but, sorry hockey fans, no NHL Network.

Also, YouTube TV recently dropped all FOX regional sports networks, as well as YES and NESN. If RSNs are a must-have, we’d suggest checking out AT&T TV.

YouTube TV sports channel lineup

Channel
ACC Network
Big Ten Network
CBS Sports Network
ESPN
ESPN2
ESPNews
ESPNU
FS1
FS2
Golf Channel
MLB Network
MLB Bases Loaded
MOTOR TREND
NBA TV
NBC Sports Network
NFL Network
NFL RedZone
NHL Network
Olympic Channel
Outdoor TV
Pac-12 Network
SEC Network
Sportsman Channel
Stadium
Tennis Channel
YouTube TV

Data effective as of post date.

Local channels on YouTube TV

YouTube TV features as many local channels per region as Hulu + Live TV and far more than other services like Sling TV or fuboTV.

Depending on where you are, you’ll either receive local stations carrying ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS, The CW, and Telemundo, or a combination of at least four of them.

The CW is the least available broadcast channel on YouTube TV (and all live TV streaming services), but all’s not lost in Riverdale. Any CW series can be called up on-demand in most cases, and The CW also offers its programming for free through its own streaming app. Both work similarly; it just depends on how much app-jumping you want to do.

YouTube TV local channel lineup

Channel*
ABC
CBS
The CW
FOX
NBC
PBS
Telemundo
YouTube TV

*Availability varies by area. Data effective as of post date.

YouTube TV channel add-ons

YouTube TV’s $64.99 a month plan can be fortified with over 25 add-on packages from premium networks, like HBO Max, SHOWTIME, STARZ, EPIX, AMC+, NBA League Pass, and more. Most YouTube TV add-ons come with a seven-day free trial.

Channel add-ons
HBO Max
HBO
CINEMAX
SHOWTIME
STARZ
EPIX
STARZ + EPIX
Entertainment Plus (HBO Max, SHOWTIME, and STARZ)
Sports Plus (FOX Soccer Plus, beIN Sports, NFL RedZone, and more)
NBA League Pass
Hallmark Movies Now
AMC+
Shudder
IFC Films Unlimited
Sundance Now
WE tv+
Acorn TV
ALLBLK
ScreenPix
CuriosityStream
Docurama
CONtv
DOVE
Law & Crime
UP Faith & Family
Fandor
Screambox
Comedy Dynamics
Pantaya
Fox Nation
YouTube TV
$14.99/mo.
$14.99/mo.
$9.99/mo.
$11.00/mo.
$9.00/mo.
$6.00/mo.
$11.99/mo.
$29.99/mo.
$10.99/mo.
$28.99/mo. or $199.00/yr.
$5.99/mo.
$6.99/mo.
$6.00/mo.
$5.99/mo.
$7.00/mo.
$5.99/mo.
$6.00/mo.
$5.00/mo.
$2.99/mo.
$3.00/mo.
$4.99/mo.
$4.99/mo.
$4.99/mo.
$1.99/mo.
$5.99/mo.
$3.99/mo.
$4.99/mo.
$4.99/mo.
$5.99/mo.
$5.99/mo.

Data effective as of post date.

YouTube TV specs and features

Cloud DVR

Service
YouTube TV
Cloud DVR Offline downloads
Unlimited (for 9 mos.) Yes (w/ 4K Plus add-on, $19.99/mo.)

YouTube TV gives you unlimited—yes, unlimited—cloud DVR space. But not forever; YouTube will dump your saved recordings after nine months. Still, that’s a generous amount of space, and you’ll be able to stream your recorded programming from anywhere on your mobile device.

Fast-forwarding through commercials in recorded shows is quick and intuitive, but there’s no skipping ads with some of YouTube TV’s on-demand programming. Even in the brave new world of streaming TV, you still can’t escape Swiffer spots.

Offline downloads are only available with YouTube TV’s 4K Plus add-on, which costs an extra $19.99 a month. It also gives you access to 4K content (if your TV device supports it) and unlimited in-network streams.

Fast-forwarding through commercials in recorded shows is quick and intuitive, but there’s no skipping ads with some of YouTube TV’s on-demand programming. Even in the brave new world of streaming TV, you still can’t escape Swiffer spots.

Multiple streams

Service
YouTube TV
Simultaneous streams Upgrades
3 Unlimited (4K Plus, $19.99/mo.)

YouTube TV gives you three simultaneous streams across streaming TV devices, computers, tablets, and phones. Conveniently, this counts within the same home network and outside of it, even while traveling throughout the US.

Unfortunately, YouTube TV can’t be accessed internationally—you’ll just have to go enjoy the beach or the museum, instead. Sorry.

A useful feature of YouTube TV is the ability to set up individual Family Sharing profiles. In addition to the original profile (which is set up through a Google account), Family Sharing lets five more people establish their own customizable profiles through their own Google accounts. Viewing preferences, DVR, and watch history are unique, and visible only to each account.

Those five accounts will still have to share just three streams, though. Bummer.

Compatible devices

Device
Amazon Fire Cube, Stick, TV
Android phones, tablets
Android TV
Apple TV (4th gen.)
Apple TV 4K
Chromecast, Chromecast with Google TV
Echo Show
iPhone, iPad
LG TVs (select models)
Nintendo Switch
NVIDIA SHIELD Pro TV
PC, Mac web browsers
PlayStation 3, 4, 5
Roku Ultra, Express, Premiere, Stick, TV
Samsung TVs (select models)
TiVo Stream
Wii
Xbox One
YouTube TV

Data effective as of post date.

Despite the universality of YouTube, YouTube TV isn’t available on some devices—namely, Nintendo. Most other streaming devices are good to go with YouTube TV.

Video and audio quality

YouTube TV live streams in 720p at 60 fps (frames per second), the same HD quality as cable/satellite providers and most of the other streaming TV services you’re accustomed to.

Unlike other services, YouTube TV doesn’t currently stream any content in 4K HD or HDR (high dynamic range) quality (unless you buy the 4k Plus add-on). Don’t worry; the cat videos we talked about earlier still look as cute as ever.

YouTube TV’s content streams with standard 2.0 stereo audio, but Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound (the audio quality you get with Blu-ray discs) isn’t yet available with the service.

YouTube TV home screen (dark mode)

Here’s a cool YouTube TV customization feature: You can arrange channels however you like. What? Brace yourselves, television traditionalists: YouTube TV, like other live TV streaming services, doesn’t assign numbers to its channels. You can, however, bring order to this anarchy by stacking your preferred channels to the top of the grid for quick access.

YouTube TV also comes with killer search capabilities, thanks to its association with a plucky little startup called Google. You’ve probably heard of it.

YouTube TV channel guide in dark mode
YouTube TV channel guide (dark mode)

Check your Mbps: With a solid internet connection, YouTube TV streams with little buffering or dropping out. We recommend DSL, cable, or fiber internet rated at 25 Mbps (megabytes per second) or faster.

Final take: Is YouTube TV worth it?

With only a few shortcomings, we say YouTube TV is the service to beat in the live TV streaming wars. It doesn’t carry a handful of popular live entertainment or sports channels, but the unlimited DVR, customizable features, and smooth performance will do right by first-time cord-cutters.

Plus, you already know how to use it—it may be live TV, but it’s also still YouTube.

Get YouTube TV

Methodology

Our experts employed hours of hands-on testing with YouTube TV, rating the streaming service on bang for your buck, reliability, features, and customer satisfaction. Then we matched up YouTube TV with other live TV streaming services head to head to give a clearer picture of its strengths and weaknesses. For more information on our methodology, check out our How We Rank page.

YouTube TV FAQ

How much does YouTube TV cost?

YouTube TV costs $64.99 per month. When you consider that you get 100+ cable and local channels with no contract and unlimited cloud DVR storage, it’s still a decent deal compared to cable or satellite TV.

How does YouTube TV work?

YouTube TV works by streaming live TV through your web browser, mobile device apps, or streaming devices.

Even though it has a similar interface, it’s different from YouTube because it doesn’t limit your viewing to uploaded videos, and it’s a paid service (100+ live channels for $64.99 per month).

Does YouTube TV have PBS?

Yes, YouTube TV has PBS, as well as PBS Kids. It’s a big perk since PBS isn’t currently available on any other live TV streaming service. Go ahead and get the Antiques Roadshow on the road to Austin City Limits.