Schlagwort-Archive: starts

YouTube’s $35-a-month TV streaming service just launched — here’s what it’s like

 Steve Kovach 
 
Google's experiment to court cord-cutters begins now.

On Wednesday, Google launched YouTube TV, the live-TV video-streaming service it announced earlier this year, on iPhone and Android. It costs $35 a month, and up to six users can share an account. (However, you can stream on only three devices at the same time.) You also get a one-month free trial and can cancel whenever you want — no contracts.

YouTube TV includes over 40 channels with the option to buy premium networks like Showtime. There's also a virtual DVR service with unlimited storage so you can stream shows you've recorded to your device and skip past commercials.

Here's a quick overview of the channels you get with YouTube TV

I've been using YouTube TV for only a few days, so this isn't a full, in-depth review. I also haven't had a chance to test the service on Chromecast or use the voice-control features with the Google Home speaker. But overall, the video streams have been steady and reliable on YouTube TV, which has been a big challenge for competitors like DirecTV Now and Sling TV. We'll see how it holds up once the public gets to try it though.

Want to see it in action? Keep reading.

View As: One Page Slides

YouTube TV is a separate app you download for iPhone or Android. It's not on devices like Roku or Apple TV yet.

 

If you want to watch YouTube TV on your television, you'll need Chromecast or a special TV with Google Cast.

Chromecast and Google Cast will let you beam YouTube TV from your phone to your television.The Home tab recommends live and recorded shows you might want to watch based on shows you've selected to record.

The Live tab shows you what's streaming now from about 40 channels. 

The user interface is nice here. You swipe up and down to channel-surf, and previews start streaming as soon as you scroll through. The Library tab displays the shows you've saved to your virtual DVR. You have "unlimited" DVR space, but shows disappear after nine months.

Clicking the + button next to a show will save it to your DVR. The show will automatically record the next time it airs. You can also fast-forward through commercials on shows stored in your DVR . There are also a lot of shows and movies available to watch on demand.

If you like sports, you can select your favorite teams, and YouTube TV will automatically record the games they play.  

You get access to YouTube's original programming. These shows also come with YouTube Red, its $10-a-month subscription service that doesn't include live TV.
You get access to YouTube's original programming. These shows also come with YouTube Red, its $10-a-month subscription service that doesn't include live TV.
YouTube original shows feature YouTube stars like Lily Singh and MatPat.

Although YouTube TV is a bundle with over 40 channels, you might have trouble finding what you want to watch.

There's no CNN, Discovery, HBO, TBS, Comedy Central, or a slew of other popular channels.

YouTube TV has all four major broadcast networks, though, which have been tough for competing services to provide. Still, channel availability can vary depending on where you live.

This is the biggest drawback to YouTube TV right now. While DirecTV Now offers packages with 120 channels or more, YouTube TV's selection feels limited in comparison.

There's some good news: AMC networks are coming soon.
AMC was one of the biggest networks missing from YouTube TV when the service was announced. But now YouTube says it's coming soon, along with IFC, Sundance TV, BBC America, and others. It won't cost extra.

You can add Showtime for another $11 a month.
Showtime
Other premium services like Fox Soccer Plus ($15 a month), Shudder (coming soon), and Sundance Now (also coming soon) will be available as add-ons.

YouTube TV isn't a good option for most people.
Hollis Johnson
To borrow Google CEO Sundar Pichai's favorite phrase, it's clearly "early days" for YouTube TV and similar services.

As nice as it is to stream shows to your smartphone, it'd be better to have more options besides Chromecast to watch on TV. And YouTube seems so steadfast in keeping the price at $35 a month that it's willing to leave out a lot of cable channels people love.

The technology behind YouTube TV feels sound, but it'll need to grow up a lot before it becomes a viable cable replacement for most people.

 

 

 

 

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Innovation starts with your users…

The best advice I ever received when I was looking to start a consulting business was this:

“To guarantee success, find a need and fill it.”

There is no value in creating products or services for which there is no need. On occasion, an organization will come up with a game-changing product and redefine a whole industry, such as RIM in the early days, replacing pagers with email anywhere, and Apple with its iPhone and iPad, which brought smart devices to the masses. But, for the most part, the businesses that thrive are those who have mastered the ability to identify a need and fulfill it.

It is evident that they excel at anticipating what their customers would need, and when. They have essentially put themselves in the place of the user, and walked through what a successful experience would be. Interacting with these organizations is uncannily intuitive. The website is informative, expectations are clearly defined, there are no unpleasant surprises, and if it is a product, you could likely hand it to a child and they would be able to figure out how to get started.

As you read this, I’m sure you are remembering your own experiences in dealing with companies offering this type of product or service. This may be anything from the great little restaurant you frequent or the car dealer you have bought a second or third vehicle from because you loved the service.

But not all businesses are thriving.

There are far too many companies, service organizations, and manufacturers more concerned with numbers, and specifically how high can their sale numbers reach in the next quarter, than they are with the experience of their customers in interacting with their products.

No one will deny that Apple has made a huge impact with the iPad. Even if you are not an Apple fan, you can’t deny the device is simple to use. I can hand mine to a 3-year old and she will flick and swipe at the screen like a pro to find her games and books.

I got an iPad for my parents (who are in their eighties). A week later, they wanted to buy a second one so they don’t fight over who gets to use it. These devices have opened up a whole new world of opportunity and discovery from the comfort of their La-Z-Boy recliners.

And the best part (for me), I have barely spent mere moments providing them with tech support. When you consider that I’ve had to help them with setting up almost every other device (i.e. their first computer, programming numbers into phones, setting up HD television, replacing the 8-track player with an iPod) this is almost a miracle.

In my role as a CIO, I get to preview and try a lot of different devices, software applications, and computer hardware. I admit that much of what I see leaves me underwhelmed, like the array of slate devices that have come my way recently.
I also know that I would never, ever recommend that my parents use one of these other slate devices.

The iPad comes with the Apple ecosystem. The iPad, while intuitive to use, is like celery – designed to move the dip (or in this case the experience) from the bowl to your mouth. A lot of the other devices are like celery without the dip. The experience runs out of steam pretty quickly.

I am remiss to quote yet another saying by Steve Jobs, but the following is fitting of the streamlined user experience and device capabilities of the iPad:

“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards for the technology.” (WWDC 1997)

So what can an IT leader learn from this?

It would seem that many of us in IT leadership missed the class on customer experience:

We have a service catalogue but have never defined what a successful experience would look like.
We ask our users to use products and services that we ourselves would never incorporate into our own department.
We launch new technology initiatives without ever consulting the people who will actually have to use the new system.
We get defensive when we are questioned about missing functionality or dismissive when new features are suggested that we didn’t think of.
And on and on…
It doesn’t sound very nice to be a customer of this type of an IT department but, unfortunately, many of our users have these experiences daily.

What is different though is that given the influx of personal devices and cloud- based applications and services, our users now have a choice. For example, marketing departments can set up a contract with SalesForce.com and completely end run your department.

Don’t think it isn’t happening, or won’t happen to you, so let me suggest something:

It’s time to change the way IT is done in your organization.

Dust off your service catalogue; sit down with your team. Take each of these services and discuss what a successful user experience would look like. It’s not about what’s most convenient for your team, but what would make the user experience the best it could possibly be. Talk about how you are going to make it happen. Then do it.

If you start at the end, you are leveraging proven wisdom for running a successful organization.

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Note: A version of this post by the author previously appeared on the IT World Canada website.

Images:  Used under Creative Commons license

About the Author:

I’m the Chief Information Officer for Appleby College, in Oakville, Ontario Canada, where my team is transforming the delivery of education through innovative application of technology. I'm also a beBee Brand Ambassador.

I'm convinced that IT leadership needs to dramatically change how IT is delivered rather than being relegated to a costly overhead department.

In addition to transforming IT in my role as CIO, I look for every opportunity to talk about this… writing, speaking and now blogging on BeBee (www.bebee.com/@kevin-pashuk) , LinkedIn, ITWorld Canada, or at TurningTechInvisible.com.

I also shoot things… with my camera. Check out my photostream at www.flickr.com/photos/kwpashuk 
IT – Information Technology
Kevin Pashuk Kevin Pashuk
Chief Information Officer – Appleby College/ beBee Brand Ambassador • Appleby College and beBee

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