YouTube TV is here -- but is it something people want?

Traditional TV is so four years ago, so YouTube is officially getting into the game now. 

Except its cable alternative, YouTube TV, isn't really traditional TV -- and it has the potential to work well for cord cutters who don't want an entire cable subscription. But it isn't the only game in town, and it isn't available everywhere yet. So will it hold mass appeal?

In IT Blogwatch, we sit back and watch. 

So what is going on? Ryan Whitwam has the background:

Google's latest attempt to invade the living room is YouTube TV...the service is now live in the U.S. However, it's only available in five markets so far: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and the San Francisco Bay Area...YouTube TV is a paid TV streaming service. You still have to pay the $35 monthly fee for access to 40+ channels.

Great, but aren't there other cable alternatives out there already? David Katzmaier reminds us what they are:

The service competes directly with Sling TV...Sony's PlayStation Vue, and AT&T's DirecTV Now, all of which offer similar streaming video packages. They're expected to be joined later in 2017 by a live TV offering from Hulu.
Unlike standard cable or satellite plans, there's no annual contract or additional hardware needed [for YouTube TV]...Of course, you'll need a good broadband plan that can support HD video streaming.

So what channels can you get? And how does it work? Christina Warren has the details:

YouTube Live subscribers...get access to about 40 channels, including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN, FX, USA, Bravo, and Disney. YouTube says that AMC, BBC America, IFC, Sundance, and Telemundo will be available soon.
You can use YouTube TV on the web or in an app for iOS or Android...if you want to watch shows on your TV, you’ll need a Chromecast or a TV with Chromecast built-in.

But does anything make YouTube TV stand out? What are some additional features? Natalie Jarvey has that info:

In addition to its offering of...traditional...programming, YouTube TV will also give members access to its slate of YouTube Red originals...YouTube TV also comes with unlimited cloud DVR that will store shows for up to nine months.

But do questions about the service still remain? Eric Deggans has a few:

YouTube's move still raises lots of questions. Will...young viewers who watch YouTube videos...consider paying for a streaming service to see more conventional TV? Can it help transform YouTube stars...into more mainstream television celebrities?
And how will YouTube TV compete with Hulu, which...has a large library of original content along with rights to stream shows on demand that have already aired on conventional TV outlets?

And the big question -- can YouTube TV bring cord cutters back into the fray? Peter Kafka isn't so sure:

Can you hear the ennui in my typing? It’s...because these internet TV packages, which seemed ground-breaking and/or impossible...a few years ago, now seem pretty ho-hum. They’re all basically delivering the same thing, with slight tweaks for pricing and channel lineups.
And it’s...because I have yet to get the sense that regular people actually want this stuff.

So let's hear from someone who has actually tried YouTube TV. Meganmorrone‏ shares her first impression:

I just signed up for the 30-day free trial of YouTube TV & it was an excellent reminder about how much of TV is unwatchable garbage.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon