YouTube's $35-per-month alternative to cable TV comes to a pair of popular streaming platforms.
David KatzmaierEditorial Director -- Personal Tech
David reviews TVs and leads the Personal Tech team at CNET, covering mobile, software, computing, streaming and home entertainment. We provide helpful, expert reviews, advice and videos on what gadget or service to buy and how to get the most out of it.
ExpertiseA 20-year CNET veteran, David has been reviewing TVs since the days of CRT, rear-projection and plasma. Prior to CNET he worked at Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as the Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics.Credentials
Although still awaiting his Oscar for Best Picture Reviewer, David does hold certifications from the Imaging Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology on display calibration and evaluation.
Roku makes the most popular streamers and is a perennial favorite of CNET's streamer and smart TV reviews, which are the best values on the market. Apple TV is more expensive but still highly recommended for its polish and raft of capabilities. Between the two they account for more than half of the streaming player installed base in the US.
The launch of YouTube TV on both platforms means that Roku and Apple TV users now have access to yet another alternative to traditional cable TV. The YouTube TV app is the same as the one currently available on Android TV, Xbox One and other platforms, complete with access to the service's unlimited cloud DVR, personalized recommendations and a full grid-style program guide.
Watch this: YouTube TV's big-screen app lets you kick Chromecast to the curb
YouTube TV, not to be confused with the free version of YouTube filled with music videos, late-night TV clips and cute puppies, costs $35 per month and appeals to cable TV cord cutters. Its package of 40-plus live TV channels includes locals such as ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC as well as cable stalwarts including AMC, ESPN, the
Channel, Fox News and Bravo. (Disclosure: CBS is the parent company of CNET and Showtime.) Initially restricted to a handful of cities, YouTube TV is now available in more than 80 markets nationwide, covering 80 percent of the US population.
When YouTube TV first launched in April 2017 it was available on PCs, phones and tablets, but the only way to watch it on an actual TV was by casting from your phone to a Chromecast. Now it can be used on the following TV devices: