Switchful Logo

YouTube TV television reviews

YouTube TV
Staff rating
Customer rating
Price: $64.99/moChannels: 85+
staff review
We're committed to rigorous research, first-hand experience, and transparency in our rating methodology. We don't accept sponsored placements or allow partner compensation to impact our ratings. Learn more about how we rate providers.

Rebecca Palmer smiles for the camera
Researched by
Rebecca PalmerSenior Staff Writer
Headshot of Bri Field
Reviewed by
Bri FieldAssigning Editor
Updated 2/7/23

We’re committed to transparency. We may earn money when you follow our recommendations, but compensation doesn’t affect our ratings. Learn more.

YouTube TV is a refreshing option for cable or satellite TV cord cutters. It feels just like a traditional TV service, but without the hidden fees or equipment rental. Shows and games are easy to find and record, simultaneous streams are a breeze, and the interface felt familiar and intuitive on every device we tested.

What we like

  • No hidden fees
  • Exclusive access to NFL Sunday Ticket
  • Six Google accounts per subscription
What we dislike

  • Unskippable commercials on some shows
  • Lackluster regional sports network (RSN) coverage
  • YouTube Premium and YouTube music not included

Our expert assessment

A familiar channel-surfing experience and fee-free pricing

YouTube TV is an excellent choice for streaming live TV, and it comes with everything you expect: easy channel surfing via the Live option, video on-demand (VOD) and DVR in the Library, and access to live sports, events, and shows from the Home tab. Its English-language monthly subscription offers more than 85 channels. If you want content in Spanish only, your monthly price is less than half of the English-language price.

It all costs about what you’d pay for a mid-range subscription package from a cable or satellite TV provider (but without the hidden fees), and the price is about average among the premium live TV services we tested. The only extra charge on your bill is local sales tax, but you’re going to find that with virtually every TV provider out there.

If you want add-ons like NFL Sunday Ticket, sports in 4K, or entertainment channels such as HBO, add-on pricing applies. But buying and canceling add-ons was pretty seamless in our tests, and many of the upgrades (like YouTube TV itself) come with free trials.

Starting in October of 2022, YouTube made it possible to get most of its add-ons without paying the full monthly price, either through YouTube TV or the separate Premium Channels feature on regular YouTube. The prices were a bit higher or the same as purchasing the services separately, but it's nice to watch them with a familiar app and just one bill.

We were a little bummed to discover that you still have to watch ads with a lot of the content, and you don’t get to skip ads on regular YouTube or YouTube Music, since YouTube Premium is a separate service.

All your local channels, dozens of networks, and a respectable streaming library

YouTube TV offers a well-rounded channel selection, ranging from sports and entertainment to news and network TV. YouTube TV also carries your local networks, unlike competitor Philo, and even offers PBS, unlike Hulu + Live TV. The sports add-on comes with NFL RedZone, live poker and billiards, OutsideTV+, and FOX Soccer. You can watch and DVR games in 4K if you get the unlimited add-on for about $20 a month.

Starting in the 2023 season, Youtube TV will also offer NFL Sunday Ticket as an add-on, and it may be offered as a standalone service. (1) Pricing has yet to be announced.

We think YouTube TV is a good option if you want a classic live TV experience with a solid on-demand library, but we have a couple minor complaints. You’ll miss out on some regional major league games, even with the sports add-on. You’ll also miss out on MLB Network, unless YouTube TV and the MLB sign a new deal in time for the 2023 season, which begins at the end of March. (2)

YouTube TV a solid option for cord-cutters, but it’s not perfect. Some popular entertainment channels are absent, including Lifetime, INSP, VICE, A&E, and GAC (Great American Country). There’s also not much original programming to be found, but you can catch a couple nice options by jumping over to YouTube Premium (confoundingly, a separate subscription on a separate app).

Unlimited DVR and up to six Google profiles per subscription

YouTube TV doesn’t come with an option for a dedicated remote, but you can buy a Chromecast with Google TV for about a third of the price of the DIRECTV STREAM box if you want a voice remote. One subscription comes with six seats, so you and up to five members of your family can have their own private Google profile. With the basic subscription, you can watch up to three simultaneous streams at once. If you spring for the 4K Plus add-on, you get unlimited streams at home and three away from home. If you have a device compatible with Dolby 5.1 surround sound, it will work nicely with YouTube TV.

YouTube TV comes with unlimited cloud DVR, and your recordings are saved for nine months. You can pause, rewind, and fast forward on most (but not all) DVR recordings, and it’s pretty simple to add them to your library. Curiously, adding any episode means you’ll record every future episode of that program, even reruns. It’s not a huge deal, but it does mean your library can feel bloated in a hurry. January 2023 updates to the interface make navigating the library a little easier, and we look forward to more promised improvements.

If we had a magic wand and could improve any feature of YouTube TV, it would be parental controls. If you’re an adult sharing the subscription with other adults, it’s nice that profiles are 100% private—that means other accounts can’t see your DVR, your watch history, or your search history. But if you’re a parent, it’s a little problematic. There is a setting that prevents particular devices from viewing anything beyond TV-G or PG, but it doesn’t apply to accounts, and it’s not password-protected. Using the Family Link controls may give you more options, but most of those seem to be for regular YouTube and YouTube Kids, not YouTube TV.

A delightful interface on virtually any device, but you’ll still see some ads

YouTube TV is owned by search giant Google, and it shows. Finding specific programs, channels, and even recommendations from a browser was a delight. In fact, logging in on a browser is the best way to rearrange your Live guide for channel surfing, and it’s the best way to manage your account. The desktop app and mobile app felt familiar and easy to use, but we were annoyed that we couldn’t turn the volume up very high.

The experience on the Samsung smart TV we tested wasn’t quite as seamless. To get to YouTube TV, you have to open the regular Youtube app and find the YouTube TV button at the bottom left. Once we were in, there was a nice option to verify the account on a smartphone rather than typing your secure password with the remote. We didn’t love the pause and rewind functionality on the smart TV, and we once had to turn everything off and restart because the screen went black.

We also tested YouTube TV on an Apple TV, and it worked pretty well. It wasn’t hidden within the regular YouTube app, which was nice, and controls worked better. The app experience was even better when we tested on the Chromecast with Google TV. The remote was small but easy to use, and the voice functionality was fantastic. Unfortunately, the button labeled YouTube on the remote goes to the regular YouTube app, not YouTube TV.

We were less satisfied with the ads—you’ll see a lot of them on YouTube TV, and they’re quite noticeable if you’re switching from on-demand streaming apps like Netflix, HBO Max, or Amazon's Prime Video. You can fast forward through ads on your DVR content, and some shows don’t have any ads on the DVR version.

When you watch live, you get the same ads the channels show over the air. A few times, we even saw ad visuals on the screen hyper-imposed on top of what we were trying to watch. On-demand content we tested had no issues with rewind and fast forward through ads, but the repetitive targeted ads got annoying in a hurry.

You will need broadband internet to enjoy YouTube TV, but streaming a show or game in 4K requires only about 20 Mbps of bandwidth at any given time, so you don’t need to worry about paying for the fastest possible internet speeds.

We stand by the validity of our reviews and are committed to transparency: Our team uses consumer sentiment software to source customer reviews, which are entirely unique to this website. Reviewers attest to being current customers of the providers they review and are not incentivized to speak positively or negatively about their experience. We do not alter the reviews in any way. Learn more about how we source reviews.

YouTube TV customer ratings overview

YouTube TV
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Our reviews come from real customers who weren't incentivized to leave a review. The rating distribution typically shows a range of experiences and opinions that helps you get a sense for the average customer experience, not just extremes.

Top reviews from YouTube TV customers

Christine from Halfmoon, NY
YouTube TV Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 9/15/2022
I really don't have any complaints. I think they do a very good job
Special from Bridgeport , CT
YouTube TV Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 9/14/2022
I am not sure what you mean by that. I do understand the point that I was. The The Last Man is the only.
Robin from Clayton , WI
YouTube TV Customer for Less than a year
Reviewed on: 9/12/2022
It's my favorite streaming service
Todd from Magnolia , AR
YouTube TV Customer for Less than a year
Reviewed on: 9/11/2022
I can't find anything they could improve everything good
Patrick from Honolulu , HI
YouTube TV Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 9/9/2022
It's all good to me so just know that I'm getting paid overall
David from Mifflinbirg , PA
YouTube TV Customer for 4+ years
Reviewed on: 9/6/2022
Overall I would have to say that I'm mostly satisfied with the service, but I would like to see if they can possibly lower the price a little bit.
Ronda from Crawfordville, FL
YouTube TV Customer for Less than a year
Reviewed on: 9/5/2022
There is nothing I dislike about using utube ,but I watch Netflix more. It has good instructional things for learning.
Azslynfrom Kingman, AZ
YouTube TV Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 8/30/2022
Share a lot of entertainment with the world
Dodefrom Boca Raton, FL
YouTube TV Customer for 4+ years
Reviewed on: 8/28/2022
i would rate it good. They stream loads ofs tuff and its always entertaining.
Jennifer from Jersey City , NJ
YouTube TV Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 8/27/2022
Muchos anuncios, pero excelente.
Eddie from Macon , GA
YouTube TV Customer for Less than a year
Reviewed on: 8/21/2022
It has been very easy to use. I lo e the unlimited dvr storage. It has awesome customer service
Rose from Augusta , GA
YouTube TV Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 8/11/2022
I love sports.its entertainment.its fun.inlove it
Gerholdfrom Anchorage, AK
YouTube TV Customer for 4+ years
Reviewed on: 8/11/2022
it's very favourable platform
Suzanne from Big Sandy , TN
YouTube TV Customer for Less than a year
Reviewed on: 8/9/2022
I like YouTube because the search art is easy and flows. I also can record all my fav shows
Jillfrom Jackson, AL
YouTube TV Customer for Less than a year
Reviewed on: 8/8/2022
The value progranning is veary well and the features are great
Is this provider in your area? Find out!
Endnotes and sources
(1) "NFL, Google announce agreement to distribute NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube TV, Primetime Channels,” NFL. Accessed 3 February 2023.(2) "YouTube TV abruptly drops MLB Network as spring training approaches," The Verge. Accessed 3 February 2023.(3) "Most-Watched Television Networks: Ranking 2021’s Winners and Losers,” Variety. Retrieved Sept. 6, 2022.As an Amazon Associate, Switchful.com may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.