YouTube today revealed that it will add 4K streaming to YouTube TV, although it did not provide a launch date. When it does add 4K, YouTube TV will become the second live streaming service to offer programming in the picture format. (Fubo TV is the first.)
In a blog on the company’s web site, Neal Mohan, YouTube’s chief product officer, suggested the 4K feature would be an ‘add-on’ option requiring an additional fee. (Fubo TV does not require its subscribers to pay a separate fee to watch 4K programming.)
In addition to 4K, Mohan said YouTube TV subscribers will get other new features including the ability to download shows and watch them without an Internet connection. Again, he did not specify a time.
“After just a few years, YouTube TV now has more than 3 million paid subscribers, 85+ networks, and offers unlimited DVR,” he writes. “Sports fans can even enjoy their favorite games with the ability to view key plays, hide spoilers, and check out real-time stats. And there’s more to come, including a new add-on option that lets viewers watch available shows in 4K or download them to their DVR to watch later offline. Plus, this option will add unlimited concurrent streams at home, so the whole family can enjoy YouTube TV on different screens at once.”
The introduction of 4K will help YouTube TV compete more effectively with Comcast, Dish, DIRECTV and other cable and satellite operators which already offer programming in the format. It will also help separate YouTube TV from live streaming rivals that don’t offer it, such as AT&T TV, Sling TV and Hulu Live.
However, YouTube TV could face resistance from subscribers if they are required to pay extra to watch shows and movies in 4K. Many YouTube TV subscribers sharply criticized the service last July when it raised its base monthly price from $50 to $65.
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— Phillip Swann