Best answer: No, YouTube TV does not broadcast shows in 4K. If you want to watch shows or movies in 4K, you have other options.

Netflix: Netflix Premium plan ($14 per month)

Why would you want 4K TV?

A 4K display is capable of displaying a resolution of either 4096x2160 or 3840x2160, and a 4K movie or show will match one of those resolutions. In your everyday use of just watching TV or movies, it means the image is a bit sharper, and the director can do more to make the scenery look more lifelike.

Another standard that often gets paired with 4K panels is HDR, or High Dynamic Range. Most content these days comes in Standard Dynamic Range (SDR), which offers support for 16 million different colors. HDR bumps this up to a whopping 1.06 billion colors. This means a greater difference between blacks and whites, so scenes can be super dark without looking like you're in a cave, or super bright without looking washed out. HDR10 is the most common HDR standard, but Dolby Vision is a bit more advanced. Fortunately, if a service or device supports Dolby Vision, it automatically supports HDR10.

What do you need for 4K TV shows?

One part of this equation is relatively easy: having a 4K display. 4K TVs are the de facto standard, and you can get a great TV for well under $1,000. Those TVs will have a "smart" operating system with access to YouTube TV and other great services, a high-resolution image, and even support for HDR — with some doing Dolby Vision.

The other piece is a bit harder: content. 4K movies are getting more plentiful, with most new releases and re-releases of older movies coming on UHD Blu-Ray disks. Netflix and Amazon Video both support 4K playback of some of their content, with HDR for compatible displays. Broadcast and cable television — the thing YouTube TV is aiming to replace — is still coming through in 1080i resolution, which will look great, but not as great as 4K.

Does YouTube TV stream in 4K?

No, YouTube does not stream in 4K.

Having said that, it doesn't hurt to get a 4K device for YouTube TV today. You're likely to want to watch 4K content on Netflix, or you can purchase 4K digital movies. YouTube TV will still come through in 1080p, but it doesn't hurt to have some extra power if you want to use that.

Alternatives to YouTube TV

If you want something for broadcast shows, you're not going to find them in 4K just yet. But if you must have 4K content, there are a few options. Netflix offers a handful of 4K originals and third-party content, though you need the company's most expensive plan to watch it in the higher resolution.

You can get 4K content in other places, but it's not the same content that you'd get from YouTube TV.

Amazon Prime Video has a few shows that stream in 4K, and the company offers some UHD digital movies to purchase. Speaking of purchasing, iTunes, Google Play, and the Microsoft Store all offer UHD movies to purchase. If you prefer disks, UHD Blu-Rays are becoming more abundant, with most new releases coming to the higher-resolution format. There won't be much overlap with the content YouTube TV offers, though, since that's mostly for television shows. If you do want UHD TV shows, HBO is releasing Game of Thrones and Westworld on UHD Blu-Ray disks, but those wouldn't come with the base YouTube TV subscription anyway.

Also, FuboTV is streaming some sporting events in 4K.

Until broadcast TV starts getting transmitted in 4K, there's no sense in YouTube TV and other cable replacement services supporting the higher resolution format.

4K all the way

Netflix

Netflix offers a few shows and movies in 4K.

While you likely won't find the content that you'd want from YouTube TV, Netflix does offer its originals and some third party films in 4K. Keep in mind you'll need the most expensive plan Netflix offers to unlock 4K streaming, though that also lets you watch on more devices at once.

Cut that cord

YouTube TV

All your favorite stations, with no nonsense.

YouTube lets you watch your favorite local and cable channels from anywhere in the world. You also get access to an unlimited cloud DVR, so you can save your favorite shows for later without worrying about a cap. And recordings are good for nine months, so you have plenty of time to get caught back up. You just won't get it in 4K.

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