YouTube TV now has an option that allows you to watch some shows in 4K resolution. And that's great, because higher resolution is always better. It means the picture is clearer. It means colors are brighter. It is, in a word, better.
It also is more expensive. In addition to the $65 a month you'll already be paying for YouTube TV, the 4K Plus option will add a bit more. The add-on technically costs $19.99 a month — that's an increase of about 30 percent each month. But the good news is that you currently can get the first year of 4K Plus for $9.99 a month — and that comes after a 30-day free trial. Still, it's not nothing.
And all that raises the question of what, exactly can you watch in 4K on YouTube TV with the 4K Plus option? At launch, some seven networks — channels, really — are a part of 4K Plus. They include: Discovery, ESPN, Fox Sports, FX, Nat Geo, NBC Sports, and Tastemade. Google says we should expect live sports on ESPN and NBC this summer (the latter presumably will include the Tokyo Olympics).
Live sports in 4K resolution is, of course, the holy grail of streaming. It's not uncommon to see live events streamed in 720p at 60 frames per second. The higher the resolution and the higher the FPS (and bitrate), and you're pushing some serious data. But for many sports fans that'll be worth an extra $10 or $20 a month.
In the meantime, there are a handful of on-demand shows available in 4K resolution. (And Google has helpfully added a 4K filter to the home menu, making them easy to find.) At present, here's what you can watch in 4K on YouTube TV:
- American Titans
- Basic Versus Baller: Travel at Any Cost
- How It's Made
- Insane Pools: Off the Deep End
- Jeremy Wade's Mighty Rivers
- Mad Good Food
- Make this Tonight
- Misfit Garage
- Race to the Center of the Earth
- Sea of Shadows
- Struggle Meals
- The Community Table
There are a few caveats, of course. You'll be able to watch 4K content on YouTube TV on smart TVs from Sony, Samsung, LG, Hisense and others, and on devices like NVIDIA Shield, Chromecast with Google TV, Roku, the 2021 Apple TV 4K, PlayStation 4 Pro, and the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K. However, only select content will be available in 4K on Apple TV and PS4 Pro.
In other words, not all 4K is equal. So be sure to test things out thoroughly during that free trial period.
Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for AndroidCentral.com and Mobile Nations, is the Dad part of Modern Dad, and is editor of WhatToWatch.com.
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