YouTube is the default, go-to site for more video than you could possibly watch in your entire lifetime. Whether you’re looking for cute cats and dogs, documentaries, pop culture, music, or anything in between, there are likely many YouTube channels and personalities catering to your interests. In recent years, YouTube has sought to parlay that dominance in the online video space into new ventures, including original web series videos, premium/add-free versions of their site, and, their latest entry, YouTubeTV.
What is YouTubeTV?
YouTubeTV offers live TV streaming along with DVR services for over 60 top US-based networks. This includes live metro news from local network affiliates, sports, as well as traditional “cable” networks. There are also premium add-on services for pay channels like Starz, Showtime, and more.
At present, YouTubeTV is available in the US only, in most major US metro areas and cities. According to their documentation, they intend to expand over time, though there are country and regional restrictions on content, networks, and so forth that they have to overcome. These are also the main reasons why content, through other video streaming services, is often only available to certain countries – licensing agreements with distributors can be complex and highly specific, and show no signs of radically changing, despite the evolving digital times.
Still, with all of that said, YouTubeTV offers a competitive service, unlimited DVR cloud storage, 6 individual logins per account, and up to 3 simultaneous streams per account, at a very low price compared to traditional terrestrial cable or satellite providers. For those looking to cut the cord from their cable provider, YouTubeTV might be just the right solution to keep local, live TV without the exorbitant fees.
Accessing YouTubeTV from Outside the US
Naturally, people who live in the US who are traveling outside the US, or those outside the US who want to enjoy the service, might feel like they are out of luck. But fear not! Accessing YouTubeTV from outside the US is entirely possible, using a VPN service. There are some restrictions with the service – for example, you have to login at least once every 3 months from your “home” account address in the US to keep your account active, and more frequently for some sports packages. But seeing as there are generous account limits, it’s entirely possible to have a friend in the US setup an account, and piggyback on that internationally with a VPN service. You can learn more about the best VPN services for YouTubeTV at https://bestvpn24.com/vpn-for-youtube/.
Using a VPN to access YouTubeTV from outside of the US is fairly easy. You simply need to connect to a US server from your VPN provider, that supports video streaming, and you should be good to go. The process of using the VPN, and connecting to the US server, means the destination server (YouTubeTV) only sees the IP address of the VPN server, and not your true IP address. This means they cannot tell your true location, and are perfectly happy to serve up the content as if you were in the US.
What Networks or Channels are on YouTubeTV?
There are over 60 US channels currently available on YouTubeTV.
- Major networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CW) are available, with local affiliates based on your metro area for news.
- Cable news networks (CNN, MSNBC, Fox, CNBC, Fox Business, Telemundo, HLN, and others) are also included.
- A wide range of sports channels are available, including MLB Network, NBA TV, NBCSN, Fox Sports, NBC Sports, CBS Sports Network, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN SEC Network, FS1, FS2, ESPNEWS, Olympic Channel, Tennis Channel, YES, and others.
- Movie and general entertainment channels are included, such as AMC, BBC America, BBC World News, Bravo, Cartoon Network, Disney, Disney XD, Disney Junior, E, FX, FXM, FXX, IFC, NatGeo, Smithsonian Channel, TBS, TNT, TruTV, USA, WE, and more.
- YouTube Originals are also included.
- Additional pay channels can be added, including AMC Premiere, Fox Soccer Plus, NBA League Pass,CuriosityStream, Showtime, Shudder, Starz, and Sundance Now.
What Does YouTubeTV Cost?
YouTubeTV currently costs $40/month for the basic package, which is well below the price that most cable and satellite TV providers charge for a similar offering. The pay channel features range in price from an additional $3/month to $40/month, with most being single digits. Of course, if you are using a VPN to access YouTubeTV content from outside the US, you will also have to factor in the cost of your VPN subscription, which typically costs a few dollars a month for top offerings.
A Few Important Notes
There are several other important things to keep in mind when using YouTubeTV, especially from outside the US.
- YouTubeTV is available on more recent Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, on computers via an Internet browser, and via streaming devices including Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Xbox One, and various Samsung and LG TVs. With Chromecast, you can cast the stream from your phone or computer to your TV screen (the phone or computer merely asks as your remote to choose your content, pause, and so forth).
- YouTube doesn’t explicitly endorse using VPNs to bypass geo-restrictions on content, but nor do they explicitly prohibit it in their FAQs and other information. Just be aware that, as we mentioned above, at least the originator of the account needs to be based in the US, and access the service periodically in order to keep the account active. In the future, they may get tougher on using VPNs or account sharing, so there is always some risk and uncertainty involved.
- The local news and other content you access is based on the metro area where you are located. When you are accessing via a VPN, this will of course be based on the metro area location of the VPN server you connect through. This means even within the US, you can change your location using a VPN, and access local news, sports, and so forth from other areas of the country.
- YouTubeTV is a TV service, meaning that the majority of channels on the service have ads, like conventional cable or satellite TV for those same networks.
- The DVR service allows you to schedule recordings, keep an unlimited number in the cloud, and watch them at any time (similar to a traditional DVR, with unlimited capacity).
- There are also on-demand content options, just as with traditional cable or satellite TV, based on the offerings from the individual networks themselves.