Google launched YouTube TV earlier this year in April as another tempting offer for cord-cutters. With it, they were able to livestream sports, watch local and national news, and check out the hottest TV series. But these were merely small-screen experiences, except when content was pushed to a Chromecast.
Already available on phones, tablets, and computers, Google is bringing YouTube TV on a much larger screen — right inside people's living rooms. That's right, YouTube TV is being rolled out for the platform it's destined to be on.
YouTube TV Arrives On Streaming Devices, Smart TVs
Soon, YouTube TV will work natively on TVs, streaming boxes, and even gaming consoles. What took it so long, though? Well, according to Christian Oestlien, YouTube TV's product management director, the company envisioned the service as a "mobile-first product." That was partly inspired by cutting ties with DVRs and set-top boxes, or as he puts it, "this hardware in the living room you have to rent that gets outdated really quickly."
But after seeing that the majority of YouTube TV subscribers were watching in the living room via Chromecast the most, in addition to many requests for more native options to access YouTube TV in their TVs, the company finally relented.
In the next few days, YouTube TV will be available on Android TV and Xbox One. In the coming weeks, it'll come to Apple TV, Roku, and smart TVs by Samsung, LG, and Sony. One notable exception are Amazon Fire TV sticks, where YouTube has no rollout plans to share. This is probably because the two are still fighting over exclusive services, the most recent example of which saw Google pull YouTube from the Echo Show.
The YouTube TV app for TVs contains all features of the mobile version plus more: an in-depth programming guide, channel pages, and a "zapper" that lets users scroll through a transparent sidebar of channels without completely obstructing the currently playing program.
Voice commands are also included — sort of. Google says the team behind the app built structured search queries optimized for TVs. For instance, if users ask for "games from this weekend," it understands immediately that they might be referring to major sporting events such as the World Series.
YouTube TV Availability
Google says YouTube is now available in 50 metro areas, covering two-thirds of the entire country — and it says coverage is expanding quickly. Customers can sign up for a free trial before diving into the full $35-per-month fee. They can cancel anytime, like on Netflix. YouTube TV is every cord-cutter's dream service, and hopefully, Google finds a way to expand it to more areas.