I am a veteran of several television channel streaming services. In fact, I am hooked on all things tech. Every time I switch, I think it is the last time. Now I have made the switch from AT&T Now to YouTube TV. Here are the reasons I switched from AT&T now to YouTube TV in this breakdown of AT&T Now vs. YouTube TV.
So why I switched from AT&T Now to YouTube TV? My choice of a television streaming service goes beyond just the channels they offer. I want high-quality technology. I also want a wide variety of devices that the service will work on. I have long been an Apple TV user and love it; however, I just bought a couple of LG TVs. They have their own built-in streaming choices. AT&T Now was not one of them but YouTube TV was. When coupled with the fact that I was no huge fan of how AT&T Now worked, the choice to switch was made for me.
I must admit that the whole point of television streaming services are watching the channels they provide; however, for me, the channel lineup is really my smallest concern about streaming services. I usually begin to sour on the streaming services when the limitations of the technology in question start to rear their ugly head.
Constant buffering, a clunky interface, or not being able to simply find what I’m looking for all contribute to me jumping ship on the various technologies.
So every time I switch, I go in with a positive attitude about the technology I’m jumping into. Then I use it for a while and I’m inevitably disappointed. Now I will admit I am a new user of YouTube TV, but so far the technology seems to be phenomenal. This may have something due to the fact that YouTube has been at this a while with user-created videos.
AT&T Now vs. YouTube TV
I was having my issues with AT&T Now. If I found this to be a great platform, I would have found a way to use it everywhere.
My LG televisions did not have AT&T Now as one of their streaming channels. I could have just used my Apple TV to watch AT&T Now on those TVs.
Their were limits on where I could watch it (albeit tiny limits) and I was not thrilled with how the tech worked. It was time to switch.
The DVR was clunky
You set the DVR to record a show. You are ready to watch. Here is what I guess you are hoping:
- It will start up the minute you click
- You can skip through commercials
- It will be a better experience than watching through the television network’s app
I will use a real-world example. I recorded Deadliest Catch. AT&T records it and I am ready to watch. I click and it starts. Step 1 complete and working well.
Now I get to commercials and I want to skip through them. I start fast-forwarding and all I see is the total show length bar at the bottom of the screen and where I am currently at in the show. The show is 45 minutes long and I am at minute 12 so I “guesstimate” 3 minutes forward to get past the commercials.
I have no idea if that will be right, it is just a guess. I do not see any static images of where I am jumping to (more on that with YouTube TV).
That is a little annoying but here is where it gets worse. I hit play and nothing happens. I try again and the screen icon changes from “play” to “pause”. Wait, am I playing or is it paused? It eventually begins to play, but not instantly. Grrrrrrrr. This was a huge checkmark for YouTube in the AT&T Now vs. YouTube TV scorecard.
The Whole App Was Clunky
I hit the “menu” button on my Apple TV remote to get to the guide. I get there and none of the buttons work. So I go backward and try again and then it works.
I want to switch between two channels that I am watching. There is no “last Chanel” button but you can see a list of several channels you have watched. The problem is there is no rhyme nor reason to how this list is populated. It could be a show you did watch, but it was 1 hour ago (and may not even be playing anymore). Another check for YouTube in the AT&T Now vs. YouTube TV battle.
YouTube TV….Hallelujah (for now)
Take every complaint I had about AT&T Now and reverse it and you have YouTube TV. Yes, both apps are the same in that you click a button and the program starts playing.
The real change for me was the DVR. Yes setting up recordings and playing them back was easy in both apps; however, when I went to fast forward through the commercials I see still images of where I am in the program. Then I hit play in the program begins to play immediately. No guessing “so is it playing or paused or somewhere in-between.”
When you’re watching your program if you hit the down arrow you have several options. The two I like the most are either programs you have already been watching you want to go back to watching or a selection of shows that are similar to the one you watching.
In my limited experience thus far, the list of shows you have been watching is very accurate. That’s the first choice on the list is the show you were watching just before the one you were currently watching. And then the list continues from there of other shows you’ve watched.
Since I am not someone that is probably switching between several channels all at once, I don’t really need a very robust list. Generally, I’m just switching between two or maybe three shows so I want to be able to just switch between those very easily. YouTube TV does it really well. The suggestions for shows that are similar to what I’m already watching is just an added bonus. Check again for Youtube in the AT&T Now vs. YouTube TV battle.
Let’s talk about channel lineups and my biggest gripe with every one of these services
I really wish someone offered a service like this that was a la carte. Start the service and pick one channel, 5 channels, 10 channels, or all the channels they offer.
My reason for this? I simply don’t watch that many TV shows and I’m not interested in that many channels. So whether you doing streaming, cable TV, satellite TV, or getting your channels from any provider, you’re probably ending up with a whole package of channels. which you never watch.
So when it comes to making the switch to any provider, you most likely are going to look through the channel lineup and see if the ones you really like are there. It seems no matter which provider I ever try, there’s always some compromise I make because one or two of the channels I like are not provided.
Because of that, that’s why I’m loathed to even talk about channel lineups and pricing since this is always some sort of compromise for me. That is why I tend to focus a lot more on the technology and its usability.
Why I think the YouTube TV technology is a homerun
I must admit that a lot of my television viewing is actually watching YouTube. What I think is great about YouTube is that rather than watching an entire show, you can just pick the parts you like and watch that video.
As an example, if you were a news watcher and you find yourself watching CNN or Fox all the time, rather than watching an entire program, you can just pick a specific topic that they’ve covered and watch that video.
It sure seems to me that YouTube has taken this entire concept and applied it to a television streaming service. The interface and usability are incredibly similar. It is easy for me to find what I’m looking for, to play that content, and interact in a way that is intuitive and very functional.
I would always let users decide for themselves about channel lineups and pricing because that is a very individual thing. If you were looking for a streaming service that is incredibly easy to use, I don’t think you’ll find a better choice out there than YouTube TV.