Google’s rollout of higher quality videos on YouTube TV has been stalled by bugs

YouTube TV app logo on a phone
(Image credit: OpturaDesign/Shutterstock)

YouTube TV has been quietly rolling out support for a "1080p Enhanced" streaming option across many of its channels, bringing subscribers better picture quality. However, the company hasn't officially announced these changes, which might explain why there's been a delay in its wider rollout. 

In a reply on Reddit earlier this week, a YouTube employee confirmed it would be rolling out the "1080p Enhanced" option to "updated 4K-compatible streaming devices", which will be delivering the company's "highest video quality".

However, a few days later in another reply on Reddit, the same YouTube employee confirmed that the "1080p Enhanced" option some users had already begun to notice is now delayed. 

Even though this option showed up for some subscribers over the past few days, YouTube acknowledges it has "identified a bug that prevents users from manually selecting this option in their settings", assuring that its "teams are working to address the issue".

This has hidden the new setting from being seen by subscribers, at least for now. There's no word on when it'll come back, but it's positive to see members of the YouTube team actively replying to people on Reddit and keeping them updated at least.

What's the appeal of YouTube TV? 

If you've not heard of YouTube TV before, it's essentially Google's version of one of the best streaming services, except it's only available to those who live in the United States and it shows live TV, like Sling TV.

It's a solid option for those who want to cut the cord with cable contracts that so often charge a small fortune to bundle channels into a package that you don't fully use. The reason we can confidently call it a cable replacement is it can offer live TV straight to your phone, tablet or other streaming device. All of the channels you want from an affordable subscription service instead of a long and sky-high contract.

The news to offer improved 1080p Enhanced resolution is just the latest in a string of higher quality video upgrades YouTube Premium subscribers received last year. We first saw it become available to iOS and Apple TV 4K users in April 2023, then to desktop users by August, followed by Android devices and TVs in November

It addresses some of the most common concerns among users who are increasingly demanding top-tier picture quality and means YouTube TV can compete with the industry standards set by other streaming platforms. 

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Becca Caddy

Becca is a contributor to TechRadar, a freelance journalist and author. She’s been writing about consumer tech and popular science for more than ten years, covering all kinds of topics, including why robots have eyes and whether we’ll experience the overview effect one day. She’s particularly interested in VR/AR, wearables, digital health, space tech and chatting to experts and academics about the future. She’s contributed to TechRadar, T3, Wired, New Scientist, The Guardian, Inverse and many more. Her first book, Screen Time, came out in January 2021 with Bonnier Books. She loves science-fiction, brutalist architecture, and spending too much time floating through space in virtual reality.