YouTube TV adds support for offline viewing, 4K resolution — and unlimited simultaneous streams

YouTube TV logo on Apple TV
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YouTube TV — the second-largest live TV streaming service in the United States — today announced a trio of new features, each of which is something its closest competitors don't have.

First and possibly the most important is the ability to watch on as many devices at once as you want. (Previously that was limited to three.) That's actually a big deal because YouTube TV has one of the easiest barriers to entry of any of the services, whether you're watching on a TV, on a phone, or on a smart display like the Nest Hub Max. Now you can watch on an unlimited number of devices at the same time.

Second is the ability to watch "recorded" shows and movies offline. Or, as Google calls it, "download to your DVR to watch later offline." That's less of a thing if you only use YouTube TV at home on your TV, but definitely cool if you want to watch recorded shows while you're on your commute.

And finally there's the ability to "watch available shows in 4K" resolution. And that's great ... except there's very little in the MVPD world (that's multichannel video programming distributor, meaning services like YouTube TV, Sling and Hulu With Live TV) that's ever streamed in 4K. FuboTV has been streaming Fox sports events in upscaled 4K resolution for some time now, so this potentially could be its first competition in the U.S. We'll have to keep our eyes out for 4K content — or maybe even an improved bitrate across the board, which is something else YouTube TV could definitely benefit from. (And as we note in our YouTube TV vs. Hulu guide, the latter does have some on-demand content in 4K already.)

The 4K stuff also is being deemed "and optional add-on package." So the obvious question is whether it's going to cost extra, or if Google will throw it in for free.

Meanwhile, no news of yet another price increase, which we hesitate to even mention out loud lest Google hear us. YouTube TV — which sports more than 3 million members; Google hasn't updated that number since the fall of 2020 — still costs $65 a month, which gets you more than 85 live channels and up to six profiles for family members. And now it also gets you all the stuff listed above.

Phil Nickinson

Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for and Mobile Nations and is the Dad part of Modern Dad.