How to set up and customise a YouTube TV subscription, to access unlimited recording space, personalise your Live TV guide, and more

ShutterstockIt’s easy to set up and customise your YouTube TV subscription.
  • You can set up and customise your YouTubeTV subscription to access countless hours of programming, including broadcast TV, sports, news, and more.
  • YouTubeTV also allows you to record unlimited shows, movies, or live events, and you can add or change these preferences at any time.
  • You can watch YouTubeTV programming on a computer, on mobile, on a smart TV, or by using a streaming device like Chromecast.

YouTube TV has taken the whole cable ditching thing – the so-called “cord-cutting” movement – to the next level.

Whether you want to watch live TV, sports, news, record favourite TV shows for later viewing, or browse through an impressive archive of past programming, a YouTube TV subscription has you more than covered.

YouTube TV isn’t a cheap alternative to cable: its $US50 monthly cost is somewhat comparable to what you’d pay for legacy cable providers. But the many ways you can engage with the content and the range of programming offered makes YouTube TV an excellent service.

Once you have finished paying for a YouTube TV subscription, you will be led through a series of easy steps that allow for initial customisation.

We worked with YouTube directly to put together these tips for getting your account set up and getting the most out of it.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:


Roku TVs (From $US129.99 at Best Buy)

Apple TVs (From $US149.99 at Best Buy)

Android TVs (From $US379.99 at Best Buy)

How to navigate the 3 main tabs on a YouTube TV account

These tabs are LIBRARY, HOME, and LIVE. The home tab is where YouTube gives you recommendations of what to watch.

Screen Shot 2019 08 07 at 1.45.17 PMSteven John/Business InsiderThe YouTube TV home screen gives you recommendations to watch.

You can tap the “+” button next to programs you’d like to add to your library, and YouTube TV will automatically record all programs as they air. You can then access all of them in the Library tab.

The Live TV tab shows you everything that’s playing right now. Check out your local live broadcast channels and watch sports, local news, or catch primetime shows airing on those broadcast networks.

Screen Shot 2019 08 07 at 1.47.22 PMSteven John/Business InsiderYou can see what’s currently playing on YouTube TV in the Live tab.

You can scroll down further to see over 70 popular cable networks and local sports networks.

How to personalise your Live Guide on YouTube TV

You can customise the Live tab to match your viewing preferences. For example, you can reorder networks in the guide or hide certain networks so that only your favourite networks appear.

To do this, select “Sort” on the Live tab, tap “Edit” and customise your Live tab.

How to set up live recordings and build a library

Add any show, sports team, event, movie, and so on to your library just by tapping the “+” button. YouTube TV will record all current and upcoming airings.

Screen Shot 2019 08 07 at 1.45.39 PMSteven John/Business InsiderYou can access all recent and upcoming recordings in Library.

You can add as many programs to your library as you like – YouTube TV includes unlimited cloud-based DVR space, and recording doesn’t take up space on your device.

How to watch YouTube TV on your smart TV or gaming system

You can watch YouTube TV on most smart TVs and gaming systems.

Options include Apple TV, Roku, Xbox One, Android TV, and select Samsung, LG and Vizio models – with Amazon Fire TV forthcoming. You can also stream on your TV with AirPlay, Google Chromecast, or a Chromecast-enabled TV.

How to search for shows, sports, and movies by genre

Head to the search area by clicking the magnifying glass at the top right.

You can search via general terms like Sports, News, or Movies, or you can search for specific shows, movies, or televised events.

Screen Shot 2019 08 07 at 1.44.59 PMSteven John/Business InsiderYou can search for shows and movies in the Search bar.

How to hide scores (and avoid spoilers)

You can turn on the “Hide all scores for this team/league” feature in YouTube TV to hide scores for specific sports teams and leagues.

This will prevent spoiler information, like final scores or live previews, from appearing before you’ve started watching.

To enable this feature, open YouTube TV, select the overflow menu three-dot on a team or league page, and toggle on “Hide all scores for this team/league.”

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