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YouTube TV adds 4K and offline downloads at US$20 premium

YouTube TV, the cord-cutting OTT TV service from Google’s video platform of the same name, has introduced 4K viewing and offline downloads.

The oft-requested features are a part of YouTube TV’s new 4K Plus add-on, which will cost users an additional US$19.99 per month. YouTube is running a promotion for early adopters who will get the bolt-on for US$9.99 per month for the first year. 

The add-on also enables ‘unlimited’ concurrent streams for any device on a user’s home network, whereas that would normally be restricted to three devices. The limit still applies for devices outside of the home.

In a blog post, the company touted the availability of major sports in 4K from networks including NBC and ESPN, along with on-demand content in higher fidelity from FX, Discovery Networks and Tastemade.

Critics have noted that the cost of the add-on – which includes some features like 4K that are offered by rivals for no additional cost – effectively negates the purpose of the service which has a starting subscription cost of US$64.99 per month. 

Services like YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV were initially pitched as cheaper alternatives to expensive cable packages in the US, but with this addition making the former cost closer to US$100 than US$50, questions of value may begin to emerge. 

Announcing the new tier, chief product officer Neal Mohan said: “As a sports fan myself, I’ve been really excited about YouTube TV since we launched it a few years ago. YouTube TV not only offers all the content I love, but the team has continued to build new experiences that are changing the way people watch live TV.”