YouTube TV is now available in 4K with 5.1 surround sound – but it costs extra

YouTube TV
(Image credit: YouTube)

Google has unveiled the next big upgrade for its YouTube TV streaming service: 4K. 

It’s part of a new package called YouTube TV 4K Plus that will offer higher-resolution streaming content from cable networks like NBC, ESPN, FX, Discovery Networks and more as well as 5.1 surround sound, unlimited streams to the same household and offline downloads for later playback.

That’s a lot of extra value for Google’s now five-year-old service – however, it’s not going to be a free upgrade. According to Google, the 4K Plus package will set you back an additional $10 per month for the first 12 months and then jump to an extra $20 per month after that. 

Considering the base package already costs $64.99 per month, the future cost of the service with 4K Plus tacked on will rival packages from most major cable providers – something Google had actively tried to avoid when it first launched its streaming service.

All those extra pixels are going to cost ya

While the extra fee feels like a bit much considering how expensive the service already is, it’s not uncommon for streaming services to charge more for access to 4K content. For example, Netflix charges almost double for access to its Premium package that supports 4K HDR with Dolby Vision as does almost any video rental service like iTunes or Vudu. 

The counterpoint here is that the latest crop of services – Apple TV Plus and Disney Plus – don’t charge extra, it’s just one flat fee. 

Without seeing the streaming quality (and quantity of the content) for ourselves, it’s hard to make a judgment call whether it’s worth subscribing to the new 4K Plus package or not. For an extra $10 per month it seems worth it – especially if you plan on downloading shows to watch later and have multiple people in the house (more than three or four) who all watch YouTube TV simultaneously. 

If you’re ready to jump on the UHD streaming train, YouTube TV’s 4K Plus package is available now and, according to Google, is available to try for free for 30 days.

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.