YouTube TY displayed on a smart tv

What Is YouTube TV and How Does It Work?

Once you’ve made the decision to stream, you’ll have a lot of new entertainment options to choose from, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. For those looking to enjoy all the benefits of cable TV without the hassle of the installation or being locked into a contract agreement, a great choice is YouTube TV.

You’ll be able to watch television shows, sports games and other TV options as they’re being broadcast live. You can also record them via DVR to watch later at your leisure.

What is YouTube TV?

YouTube TV is a television streaming service, not the popular video platform. Whereas the YouTube you’re probably familiar with offers billions of videos—that’s right, with a B—that can be played on demand, the streaming service offers TV to watch, much like the cable TV you were used to. On YouTube TV, you’ll have access to more than 85 networks (including popular cable and national broadcast networks, depending on your ZIP code), along with options for live TV stations, on-demand videos and recorded shows.

Other streaming subscription services only have certain shows and movies on their platform available. YouTube TV, on the other hand, gives you access to an extraordinary range of content on dozens of TV channels, so you can watch or record big games, movies, award shows and everything in between.

This U.S.-only service offers a free trial, with no binding contracts and no set-top box requirement, all coming to you through your existing internet service.

How do I sign up for YouTube TV?

Make sure your TV is ready to stream. You’ll need to have a smart TV, or connect a streaming device like Google Chromecast, Roku or Amazon Firestick. When you have that, choose the YouTube TV app on your TV’s home screen. Follow the directions to sign in from your  computer. You can either start using the service via a 14-day free trial instantly with your existing Gmail account, or you can browse around first to check out the platform’s layout and offerings. 

After the free trial, new users can create a subscription to YouTube TV with the ability to pause or cancel anytime.

Your YouTube TV subscription includes up to six accounts per household, three simultaneous streams and unlimited DVR with recordings kept for up to nine months.  

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How do I use YouTube TV?

Whenever you want to watch, just click on the YouTube TV app on your TV or any other devices where you have it, including Apple TV, iOS and Android smartphones and PlayStation and other gaming devices, among others. Your account can be accessed at home or on the go. If you don’t have any of these devices, you can also watch on a desktop or laptop computer at tv.youtube.com

Each YouTube TV user gets their own login and personal library for DVR content. As a bonus, those with Google TV devices such as Chromecast get additional benefits, such as personal content recommendations and a remote with a dedicated YouTube TV button. Otherwise, you should be able to use the same remote that came with your existing television.

What content does YouTube TV offer?

Unlike some other live TV streaming services, YouTube TV includes MLB, NBA and NFL networks, along with BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and more. 

Viewers who want premium services such as Showtime, HBO Max and niche sports channels can easily customize their account by paying to add these additional channels, just as they would with a cable subscription. 

How is YouTube TV different from YouTube online?

YouTube and YouTube Premium are separate entities from YouTube TV. With YouTube Premium, you can enjoy your favorite YouTube videos on- or offline, ad-free. YouTube TV is a separate streaming service.

If you’re already a YouTube Premium member, you can now watch YouTube videos ad-free via your YouTube TV account.

YouTube TV’s no-obligation, easy installation and setup make the transition to streaming the latest television content a breeze, and without sacrificing access to your favorite shows and channels. One more tip: If fiber internet is available in your neighborhood, optimal streaming is a great reason to sign up.

Product features may have changed and are subject to change.

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