CNET First Look
YouTube TV's big-screen app lets you kick Chromecast to the curbIf the lack of an app for Roku, Apple TV or Xbox was keeping you from trying YouTube's $35-per-month cord-cutter service, check this out.
[MUSIC] Until now YouTube's TV service, a suite of 40 odd channels streamed live for 35 bucks a month was restricted to an app on your phone. To watch on an actual TV you had to connect to Google Chromecast and use your phone for control. Now you can use an actual remote too. The new YouTube TV app is coming to numerous TV devices soon. Let's take a look. The new Bigscreen app is organized much like the YouTube TV mobile app with three main sections, home, live, and library. But the menus are darker than the mobile app. And whatever you're watching continues playing in the background. Home has rows like topics for you, movies, shows, family, and more. Like the mobile version, each one responds to your viewing habits, serving up stuff YouTube thinks you're going to like. Clicking on a show page reveals extra options including cast information and more, that aren't available on the mobile app. But where the extra big screen real estate really shows up is in the live section. It's a real grid style programming guide, prettier than a typical cable box, but otherwise very similar You can record future shows from here and quickly browse and many channels have their own curated sections. There's no way to customize the grid yet with favorite channels for example but YouTube says that feature could come soon. The library section is where you'll find all the recorded and on demand shows you've elected to watch by clicking the little plus icon. Since YouTube TV's cloud DVR doesn't have any storage limits, the number of available episodes can quickly get overwhelming. The top section highlights newly aired episodes making them easier to find. There's also plenty of categories to browse. In my demo it's easy to pause, play and fast forward through recorded and on demand shows using the remote. And the big screen interface looked a lot like YouTube itself. There's a cool mini guide that let's you flip through what's on now at lightning speed and responses are generally very quick. YouTube TV claims that the majority of viewing is already done on TVs via Chromecast and its user watchers an average of four to five hours everyday on their TVs. With the addition of apps for other platforms including Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Xbox One and smart TVs from Samsung and LG by the end of 2017, It's now an even more appealing choice for people who ditch cable tv. [MUSIC]