YouTube TV

If there's one destination on the internet that's synonymous with video, it's YouTube. Nary a day goes by when you haven't seen a video on Google's's best purchase to date. (That's right — Google didn't invent YouTube, it bought it in 2006.)

But YouTube is more than cat videos and reaction shots and fashion hauls. It's more than stupid pranks and other jackassery.

Nope, YouTube is very much a player in original content with YouTube Red, as well as live streaming TV with the aptly named YouTube TV.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV

YouTube TV is pretty straightforward — live streaming TV, in the same vein as Sling TV and PlayStation Vue and the like. The big selling point for YouTube TV is the price — a single plan, with a $40-a-month flat rate. The other big selling point is that YouTube TV has an unlimited, cloud-based DVR. That is, "record" all you want. But that's also become a bit more muddied, because DVR services traditionally let you fast-forward over commercials. Obviously content providers aren't a huge fan of that, and we've seen "record" programs instead get shunted into a video-on-demand type of playback, in which you can't skip over commercials.

YouTube TV does, however, also include the streaming of local broadcast networks. The quality can be worse than if you rigged up an over-the-air antenna — because of the compression — but it's definitely still a selling point. But that also means that the rollout of YouTube TV nationwide has hinged on those local streams. Basically it's been going by Metro Service Areas. As YouTube TV gets access to a region's local broadcasts (mine, for instance, is Mobile-Pensacola-Fort Walton Beach), then the entire YouTube TV service will go live in that area.

In other words, YouTube TV isn't available everywhere, but they're making progress.

Also, the channel selection is somewhat limited, even with the optional add-ons. Still, for $40 a month it's not bad at all and might well fit your needs.

YouTube TV plans and pricing
What Channels are on YouTube TV?
Where is YouTube TV available

YouTube Red

While YouTube by far is made up of what those of us in the biz call "user-generated content" — and the sheer amount of video uploaded by people like you and me every minute is nearly unfathomable — YouTube also has a fairly sizable stable of original content. This is just part of what makes up YouTube Red, but it's not an insignificant part.

While it's tempting to look at YouTube Red originals as something your kids might be into, there's a fair bit of content geared toward the older generations (we're talking 40 and up, right?) as well. The Karate Kid returning 30 years later? Got it.

YouTube Red costs $10 a month (after a free one-month trial). And in addition to YouTube Red original videos, you also get an ad-free viewing experience across all of YouTube. (And, honestly, it's almost worth it just for that.) Plus you get a subscription to Google Play Music, though that's expected to be folded into YouTube Music (yes, that's a thing, too) at some point in the future.

YouTube Red is pretty limited in location, though, available only in Australia, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand and the United States.

YouTube TV

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