YouTube gets 4K streaming at last, but you won’t like the details

Eric Abent - Jun 28, 2021, 12:55pm CDT
YouTube gets 4K streaming at last, but you won’t like the details

YouTube today announced that it’s rolling out a new add-on for YouTube TV called 4K Plus. As the name suggests, this add-on allows you to watch 4K content on YouTube TV – assuming, of course, that you have the appropriate hardware for such streaming. While the 4K streaming part of the package is obvious given its name, it’s the “Plus” part where things get particularly interesting.

In a post to the YouTube blog today, Google says that the 4K Plus add-on will also net you the ability to save your DVR recordings to a phone or tablet and then watch them offline – which is big functionality that users have probably been requesting left and right. Signing up for 4K Plus will also let you watch unlimited streams on your home WiFi network. Without 4K Plus, YouTube TV base subscribers are limited to just three simultaneous streams at a time.

YouTube says that it will offer several sporting events this summer in 4K, clearly as a carrot on a stick to get people to sign up for this new package. 4K Plus will normally run a hefty $19.99 per month. However, YouTube TV subscribers will get a one-month free trial to the 4K Plus add-on followed by $9.99 per month promotional pricing for 12 months. It sounds like this promotion is only available to those in the US, and after that 12 month promotion period, 4K Plus will continue to be charged at $19.99 per month.

In addition to revealing 4K Plus, YouTube TV also announced a number of features that will be rolling out to all YouTube TV subscribers. Chief among these new features is 5.1 Dolby audio support, which is coming to “select devices” in the coming weeks.

We’ll also see YouTube launch some new features centered around sports. For instance, YouTube TV will let you jump to specific moments in DVR sports recordings, much as it does for news broadcasts. You’ll also be able to search for specific sports to add to your DVR, whether you want to record entire leagues, games involving individual teams, or tournaments. Finally, YouTube TV subscribers will see live medal view counts for each country during the Olympic Games later this summer.

It’ll be interesting to see how YouTube TV subscribers react to news of this 4K Plus add-on. YouTube TV is already one of the more expensive streaming TV services out there, running $64.99 a month. At its usual price of $19.99 per month, a YouTube TV subscription with the 4K Plus add-on would come very close to $100 a month, and we’re guessing that many YouTube TV subscribers aren’t going to like the fact that 4K streaming and offline DVR viewing will be locked behind an add-on. We’ll find out soon enough, as 4K Plus launches today for YouTube TV subscribers.


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