YouTube TV, Google’s live TV streaming service designed to replace the cable, is getting more pixels. Starting Monday, subscribers can add an upgrade package, called 4K Plus, which delivers TV programming in 4K resolution and HDR, including live sports like the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the MLB All-Star Game.
YouTube TV service costs $65 per month and adding 4K Plus increases the price by another $20, to $85 per month total. New users get a price break, however. YouTube is offering a one-month free trial of 4K Plus and a price increase of $10 per month for the first year, bringing the total down to $75 per month.In addition to 4K, the add-on lets subscribers download shows from the service’s cloud DVR to watch offline on phones and tablets. A third benefit is unlimited simultaneous streams at home. Without the add-on, YouTube TV subscribers can only watch three different streams at the same time.
Two other new features are also available to all TV subscribers, whether or not they buy the add-on. The first, rolling out to select devices in the coming weeks, is surround sound audio. YouTube says 5.1-channel Dolby Audio has been one of its most requested features. Though most other live TV streaming services offer on-demand content in surround sound, they will only play stereo sound on live TV.
FuboTV is the only other service with 4K sports, and it does have a couple of events coming up, but it hasn’t yet confirmed if the Olympics will be broadcast in 4K. Unlike YouTube TV, Fubo doesn’t charge extra for 4K broadcasts, but if it was a choice between the two competing services, we like the basic YouTube TV package better overall.