YouTube TV Is Adding Offline Downloads And 4K Streaming

It's becoming hard to compete with the influx of new streaming platforms, each offering new original titles. So YouTube is offering a bit of an upgrade to its live-TV streaming platform YouTube TV. With the imminent rollout of a new add-on package, YouTube TV offline downloads, 4K streaming, and more will be available on the platform to its subscribers.

YouTube TV will be offering some brand new features and better video quality in a new expansion for the live-TV streamer. The company announced that in the coming weeks, the service will "introduce a new add-on package with 4K streaming, offline viewing, and unlimited concurrent streams at home."

It's unclear whether there will be limits on these new features, with The Verge noting that a YouTube TV spokesperson didn't have much to share beyond the announcement of the additions. For example, will all channels or YouTube shows be available in 4K? Sporting events will likely be available in this format, as most of them are already shot in the high-quality resolution, but grainy local news shows may not be able to support 4K.

But offline viewing is a pretty nifty feature. Offline viewing is already very rare among streaming TV apps: Hulu lets you download on-demand TV shows and movies to watch offline, but the feature doesn't apply to recordings from its live TV service. Sling TV offers no offline viewing feature, and neither does AT&T TV. If YouTube TV is able to smoothly introduce this function, it will put the service far ahead of its competitors.

The last new feature, unlimited concurrent streams, opens the door for way more viewers in one household. Currently, subscribers have a maximum of three concurrent streams, but YouTube is removing any constraints, making it possible for as many viewers as possible, as long as you're viewing from home.

It's not made clear whether customers will have to pay more than the standard $65 monthly YouTube TV subscription for these features. Presenting it as an "add-on package" implies as much, so we can likely expect the additional price tier to be announced soon. However, The Verge also notes that YouTube TV raised its base subscription to that last June, with an emphasis from the company that the live-TV streaming service doesn't come with any hidden fees and includes unlimited cloud DVR space. So perhaps these new features will be introduced to YouTube TV subscribers without any additional fees. Stay tuned.