There's not much difference between YouTube TV and cable TV
So, I was perusing my smart TV the other day and found YouTube TV. That seemed interesting, and they were offering a free trial, so I gave it a try. What I learned is that they really meant that part about TV.
After signing up and enabling the service on the TV, I browsed the available selections. I looked at the channel lineup, even the live TV lineup. And as I looked at all the channels, and what was playing on each channel, it all came rushing back to me. Commercials, commercials, commercials, and more commercials. Then I started to think about my kids and those commercials.
Commercials to me are nothing more than mind pollution. I don't like how they interrupt my thinking. I am uncomfortable knowing that there is a ton of subliminal messaging going on where I don't see or can't see it. I am repulsed by the prospect of even exposing my kids to all that mental nudging, elbowing and pushing. And that is on every channel offered on cable and YouTube TV. For $40 a month.
I also noticed that there were movies that I could add to my library, as if it were already recorded. As a test, I added one of the Hunger Games movies to my "library" just to see how it would look. Turns out that what I added to my library is a "recorded" version of the movie from TNT. Who wants to watch a bean counter edited for TV version of The Hunger Games on TNT, with the commercials to skip through with the fast forward button? I'm sure that FF button will be slow enough to show just enough of every commercial to lend an impression, but will seem fast enough to be palatable for many, many people, except me.
I'm not even sure that YouTube TV can do anything that cable TV isn't already doing. Streaming to every device you own? Comcast was doing that years ago. DVRs? Comcast and pretty much every other cable service offered that. And you still get those commercials, just for good measure.
I used to be a cable subscriber and my review of YouTube TV triggered me. I can recall now, the insanity of subscribing to cable. I can recall thinking about paying $60 a month for cable TV while I'm at work, and not watching TV. Then I think about the way I felt "obligated" to watch TV because I'm paying $60 a month for cable TV. By subscribing, I am paying to be a very well trained monkey to watch whatever they're going to show me, at the time they want, unless I time shift with their DVR (add $10 a month), and then studiously fast forward through the commercials to get back to the content I want, as fast as I can. Why would I do that when I can subscribe to Netflix, YouTube Premium or Amazon Prime?
Sure, it's a bit awkward to watch TV shows with built in pauses for commercials, but to me, it's worth it to be able to watch the content I want to watch, without putting up the mental guards, sifting through commercials and trying to forget what I saw later on. There is plenty of commercial free content for a price, and that price is much lower than a cable or satellite TV subscription fee.
And now that I'm on Utopia Fiber, what is essentially community broadband for 13 cities in Utah, I know that the money I spend for internet access is not being used to subsidize cable television subscribers. Better yet, I'm not subsidizing ESPN! That is the one thing that I did not like the most about cable TV (and satellite TV, too, so let's just lump them together like one piece of coal). I am not sure I can put together the superlatives to describe how much I did not like having to accept ESPN on the lowest tier of service with Comcast or Dish. But I did that for years.
Now I'm a true cord cutter, and I get my internet access just the way I like it - a la carte. I get two simple invoices that are easy to read with flat fees to boot. That one simple act of changing ISPs from one that is a vacuum for all political power when it comes to broadband access to one that just wants to provide internet access with no BS, has freed my mind up a bit. One less thing to worry about.
Yes, I could probably stop watching TV altogether. But there is something about culture that I find fascinating. I enjoy the stories, the plots, and the humor. There are some nice documentaries out there, too. I like to watch content that either makes me laugh or think. That's what I look for.
So if you're considering a subscription to YouTube TV, while looking for something different, you can expect to be disappointed, or at least, you might want to keep your expectations low. YouTube TV is rather redundant if you're a cable internet access subscriber, too. I'm not sure what they were thinking when they created it, but I think they meant well by trying. All I know is that I'm glad I checked it out and that I know what they're offering. I know I'm not missing out on anything without YouTube TV.
Slogan by @tecnosgirl
Plan B for Humanity
A short but growing list of people I admire, who have helped me, and/or influenced me, my thinking and/or my posts: