Tuesday, October 24, 2017

My Initial Experience with YouTube TV and Google Chromecast

YouTube TV

A few weeks ago, I shared on social media that I began my subscription to YouTube TV. For those that don't know what that means, let me quickly explain. Essentially, Google has expanded YouTube to include local live television with the power to DVR an unlimited amount of shows, sports, news, movies, and anything else that strikes your fancy.

Is It Worth $35?

Your Chromecast is waitingAlone, it is a neat idea, but I wasn't sure it would be worth $35. Thankfully, Google allowed me to give YouTube TV a free trial run, which I used to enjoy catching up on the latest episodes of American Horror Story. When my trial period was over, I decided to bite the bullet and pick up the subscription for another month. It was then that I learned I would also receive a "free" Chromecast device in the mail. Wooohooo!

In my mind, I'm calculating the price of a Chromecast, which is $35. The subscription rate of YouTube TV is $35 per month. If nothing else, I can try out the new service along with my Chromecast and if I don't like it, I can cancel before I'm billed a second month. All in all, I lost nothing because I was already in the market for something that would replace my Playstation as the primary source of entertainment. As of now, there are just too many steps I have to take in order to reach Netflix, HBO Now, YouTube, and Amazon Video.

So, Do You Like It?

For the short time that I've had access to YouTube TV and the Chromecast device, I find that I like it very much. YouTube TV gives me access to both live and on-demand television through about 40 channels. Chromecast allows me to quickly navigate to my streaming services with a simple click on my mobile phone or laptop computer. If I want to leave the house or change rooms where there isn't a television, I can disconnect and take my handheld device with me. It's ultra convenient.

DVR Surprise

As of late, I found another neat value add from YouTube TV. While having the DVR available to record upcoming shows is handy, I found that when available, the service will also add past episodes automatically to my library. Quick example: I keep hearing about a new show called, The Good Doctor. Well, I wanted to see what all the hype was about, so I went to YouTube TV, searched for the show, and asked that it record all upcoming episodes. To my surprise there were already 5 episodes available for me to watch in addition to any upcoming shows that are later added. Neat, right?


While I don't watch a lot of television during the week, I find that I'll catch a piece of a movie or television show before going off to bed. With unlimited DVR storage capability, I can record as many shows and movies as I want and then watch them when and where it's convenient for me.

Netflix vs. HBO Now vs. Amazon Video vs. YouTube TV

How does it stack up to Netflix, HBO Now, or Amazon Video? Well, outside of YouTube Red Original programming, it stays fresh thanks to live television. While I find that I've been watching more content on YouTube TV, I still keep the other services in order to catch the original programs. How long and which services I keep will be determined over the next few months. With only a few hours a week that I allow myself to get lost in television, I am looking for the solution that gives me the best options for my money. Now that I own a Chromecast, I can decide which services to keep and which ones to get rid of while still being able to stream to my television and hand-held devices.

NOTE: Amazon Video doesn't currently stream through Google Chromecast.

If you're interested, I'll keep you up-to-date on any other observations and enhancements surrounding my new toys. If you have any questions, let me know and I'll do my best to answer them here or in another article.

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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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