The initial YouTube TV lineup

TV watchers looking to cut the cord on expensive traditional multi-channel video services now have a new affordable slimmed-down live over-the-top (OTT) service option in YouTube TV.

The service, which is rolling out now in five top markets, is offered for multiple platforms including: PCs and mobile devices, but to view it on TVs right now users will need to have or get a Chromecast device. YouTube TV is offering a free Chromecast to subscribers who pay for one month of service up front. The monthly fee starts at $35.

YouTube TV, which is owned by Google, plans to include apps to the service on smart TVs by the end of the year, but right now Chromecast, another Google property, is the only way to access it on TV screens.

The live OTT service is rolling out now in five metropolitan markets including: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Philadelphia. More cities will be added soon, as the roll out ramps up.

YouTube TV was officially announced earlier this year but had long been rumored as coming as a challenger to services like SlingTV, PlayStation Vue and DirecTV NOW.

Read more on the YouTube TV service after the jump:

YouTube TV is being offered as a one-month free trial after which monthly subscriptions will start at $35 per month and will include about 50 channels. The service also includes cloud-based DVR recording with unlimited storage. Stored recordings are automatically deleted after 9 months.

Live streaming channels include key broadcast networks: ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, the CW and many of their affiliated cable channel properties. Among the included popular cable networks: are ESPN, MSNBC, FoxNews, SyFy, and CBS Sports. However, the service does not include many of the popular properties of Discovery Networks or A&E Network.

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Channels listed as coming soon include: AMC, BBC America, and IFC. Also offered is access to YouTube Red’s original programming.

Core package subscribers will also be able to add on premium cable networks Showtime ($11 per month extra), Fox Sports Plus ($15 per month extra), Shudder (coming soon) and Sundance Channel (coming soon).

A subscription covers six accounts, each of which has its own unlimited DVR recording capability, but only up to three accounts can be streamed at a time.

By Greg Tarr

 

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