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YouTube TV Adds 4K and Other Upgrade Options

YouTube TV 4K Plus offers some upgrades, but will that entice you to pay for them at $85/month?

YouTubeTV 4K Plus

YouTube TV has made an announcement that it is providing some key upgrade options to its streaming service. Here is an overview and what the new upgrades offer. 

What YouTube TV Is

The package includes over 85 channels that people would normally receive on cable or satellite but is delivered via streaming for $65 a month. Premium channels (such as HBO MAX, Showtime, Starz, Epix, Cinemax, AMC Premiere, Curiosity Stream, and Acorn TV) can also be added individually for an extra charge. 

The ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC broadcast networks are included, along with cable news channels CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. Several sports channels are also provided.

Check out the entire list of included and premium add-on channels offered by YouTube TV.

A Cloud DVR allows you to record content for later viewing that be organized in a library. The recorded content is stored online for up to 9 months.

NOTE: YouTube TV is a different streaming app than the standard YouTube or YouTube Premium streaming apps.

The 2021 YouTube TV Upgrade Options

To attract more subscribers, YouTube TV has decided to add both Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound and 4K resolution support. 

However, there is a catch. Although Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound support appears to be included at no extra charge (keep in mind that the program you are watching must be offered in Dolby Digital 5.1 in order to access it), you will have to pay extra to access the 4K viewing option. 

The new option is called “4K Plus” and will cost you an additional $19.99 per month. That means your total monthly bill for the upgraded service will be a whopping $85 a month! 

If you subscribe to add-on premium channels offered by YouTube TV, such as HBO Max, Showtime, Starz, and/or other subscription streaming services outside of YouTube TV, such as Netflix, that monthly streaming bill is going to add up. 

Wasn’t streaming supposed to be a lot less than cable or satellite? It looks like the days of saving money by cutting-the-cord may be fading. 

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However, as a bonus for current YouTube TV subscribers, 4K Plus will be available for only $9.99 per month for a year – but the offer is only temporary.

YouTube TV claims that the 4K Plus package will include major live concerts and sports events, including the Olympics. 4K Plus will also offer enhanced online DVR capabilities and allows for unlimited streams via Wi-Fi (the basic YouTube TV package only allows for streaming on 3 devices).

However, although the folks at YouTube TV state you can access “unlimited streams,” your home Wi-Fi network might not be able to handle more than a few devices at the same time. 

Standard YouTube TV streaming access requires speeds of 3 Mbps (SD), 7 Mbps (HD with single device), 13 Mbps, or more (HD when using up to 3 devices at the same time). However, it is expected that to stream 4K video, faster speeds will be required – Most streaming services suggest 25 Mbps per second.

The truth is that the average home running 4K through 3 streaming devices at the same time will require substantially more than 25 Mbps; and that doesn’t include people streaming lossless or hi-res music at the same time.

Devices compatible with standard YouTube TV include:

  • Select TVs and the NVIDIA Shield Media Streamer running Android/Google TV
  • Apple TV (4th Generation and 4K Edition)
  • Samsung Smart TVs (2016 and newer) 
  • LG Smart TVs (2016 and newer) 
  • Vizio SmartCast TVs
  • Fire TV Devices
  • Xbox
  • PlayStation

NOTE: It’s possible that not all of the above devices may be compatible with the 4K Plus upgrade option. Check periodically with YouTube TV Support.  

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