Everything you need to know about YouTube TV in 4K


Sep 15, 2020 — 5 min read

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YouTube TV is an online streaming service that enables subscribers to watch more than 80 live TV channels. Its channel selection includes a wide range of options that provide cable-like experiences, from entertainment and news to movies and sports.

The best video quality currently available for streamers to watch movies and TV shows is 4K programming. Video that’s considered 4K offers picture quality that appears four times crisper and more precise than its high-definition (HD) equivalent. The image looks sharper and smoother, which means movies and TV shows appear to be more realistic to the viewer. 

The video standard features four-times greater pixel resolution than standard HD programming. Content that’s classified as 4K has a pixel resolution of 2,160 x 3,840 compared to the 1,080 x 1,920-pixel resolution of HD. This results in more vivid viewing experiences and a wider color spectrum that sees dark shades appear darker and bright colors stand out more prominently.

Major TV networks don’t yet broadcast live content in 4K video quality, with their programming limited to HD. Unfortunately, that means watching YouTube TV in 4K is currently not possible. Streamers who want to experience 4K content can only do so through on-demand streaming services, many of which are already providing movies and TV shows in the highest possible video quality.

For more information about the service, read our YouTube TV review.

YouTube TV 4K pricing

YouTube TV provides one all-encompassing package that costs $64.99/mo. It doesn’t have an option for viewers to remove ads from its programming.

User experience and navigation 

YouTube TV offers an excellent user experience. It provides all users with unlimited recording space for up to nine months with its cloud digital video recorder (DVR) feature. It also enables them to watch on up to three simultaneous streams. YouTube TV subscribers can also create up to six profiles per account, each of which receives its own space for recording shows, personalized show recommendations and a customizable TV guide. 

The service enables users to add their favorite shows and sports teams to their account, which then sends alerts and updates. However, a nice feature for sports fans is the option to switch off all scores for specific teams, which enables users to record games safe in the knowledge that the final score won’t be spoiled for them.

YouTube TV provides the same navigation across its web player and apps for various devices and platforms. The layout consists of three main tabs: Library, Home and Live. Library contains content from users’ preferred sports teams or TV shows and their DVR recordings. Home provides content recommendations to the user based on the channels and shows they’ve recently watched and their local broadcast channels. And the Live tab lets users know about shows that are available to watch at that moment.


YouTube TV’s content consists of more than 80 live channels laid out in a scrollable TV guide format. This includes local channels like ABC, FOX and NBC, as well as popular news networks such as BBC America, CNN, CNN International and MSNBC.

The service offers plenty of popular entertainment channels, including AMC, Bravo, nine Discovery Inc. options, FX and USA. It also features a good choice of movies with dedicated channels like EPIX, TNT and Turner Classic Movies.

Sports fans are also well served by YouTube TV’s live channels, including national networks CBS Sports, ESPN, FOX Sports and NBC Sports Network. Other sports options available are ACC Network, Big Ten Network, Golf Channel, MLB Network, NBA TV, Olympic Channel and Tennis Channel.

YouTube TV 4K channels

YouTube TV 4K channels are not currently available. This is because TV networks don’t yet provide live channels in 4K, so no live streaming services are able to offer subscribers the highest video resolution. The only way to watch live 4K content is through select sports streams on fuboTV.

YouTube TV 4K movies

YouTube TV subscribers can’t currently watch any movies in 4K on the service. The service provides plenty of channels that enable subscribers to watch movies, but at this time, 4K content is unavailable through live streams. 

Other YouTube TV 4K features

There aren’t any further 4K features available through YouTube TV. But the service does provide additional benefits to its subscribers. This includes strong parental controls that enable users to restrict the content available on their accounts. YouTube TV subscribers can create profiles that limit viewers to only have access to content from the Kids Hub. They can also restrict content options by turning on the Allow TV-Y, G and PG Only setting in a profile.

YouTube TV 4K FAQs

How do I play YouTube TV in 4K?

Unfortunately, the YouTube TV live streaming service doesn’t currently enable viewers to watch content in 4K. However, it’s not just YouTube TV, as no live streaming services are currently able to broadcast in 4K video quality. This video resolution is currently reserved for select movies and TV shows streamed by on-demand services like Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu and Netflix.

What does YouTube TV 1080p mean?

YouTube TV 1080p means content on the streaming service that’s in full HD video quality. HD is also referred to as 1080p as the video mode features 1,920 x 1,080 pixels.

What is the YouTube TV performance on 4K TVs like?

YouTube TV performance on 4K TVs will be excellent. The service isn’t available in 4K but does feature up to 1080p HD. Therefore, 4K TVs will stream YouTube TV in the highest performance HD video quality.

The bottom line

YouTube TV is one of the leading live streaming services available. It offers more than 80 live channels that give users a wide option of entertainment, news, movies and sports, along with excellent user experience. However, no live streaming services are currently available in 4K, so YouTube TV isn’t an option for people who want to stream in the highest possible video resolution.

Despite that, YouTube TV is a beneficial service for people who want to stream live channels without signing up for expensive, long-term cable contracts.

By Rob Latham

Allconnect Watermark

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