Spectrum TV vs YouTube TV: The Ultimate 2024 Comparison Guide

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Written by

Jason Lin
Jason Lin

Published on

All ArticlesReview, Spectrum, YouTube TV
Spectrum Tv Vs Youtube Tv

Are you looking to cut the cord and switch to cable TV alternatives like YouTube TV or Spectrum TV? Trying to figure out which live TV streaming service is better for your needs?

In this comprehensive guide, we compare every aspect of Spectrum TV vs YouTube TV to help you decide:

Introduction – Cord Cutting Options for Live TV

The days of paying $100+ a month for a bloated cable package with 500 channels you don’t watch are over. Modern consumers have an abundance of more affordable live TV streaming options to choose from.

Two of the most popular cable TV alternatives are:

  • YouTube TV – Google’s live TV streaming service with 100+ channels. Starts at $64.99/month.
  • Spectrum TV – Cable provider Spectrum’s equivalent streaming service. Packages from $59.99/month.

Both YouTube TV and Spectrum TV provide popular live channels from major broadcast and cable networks. They offer cloud DVRs, on demand libraries, simultaneous streaming, and more cord cutting perks.

By the end, you’ll know exactly which service fits your watching preferences and budget. Time to start cutting cords!

YouTube TV vs Spectrum: At a Glance

Before we dive into the nitty gritty details, here is a high-level overview comparing YouTube TV and Spectrum TV:

FeatureYouTube TVSpectrum TV
Cloud DVRUnlimited hours100 hours (extra $)
On Demand LibraryYesYes
Simultaneous Streams3Unlimited
Supported devicesAll major platformsMost platforms
Sports ChannelsSolidExcellent
Picture QualityDecentDecent

Spectrum TV has more channels in their base package and unlimited simultaneous streams for less money.

But YouTube TV provides an unlimited Cloud DVR and better sports package options. Both offer comparable streaming quality without contracts or hidden fees.

Now let’s analyze them more closely across various factors:

Spectrum TV vs YouTube TV: Price

Due to recent price hikes, YouTube TV and Spectrum TV cost about the same now for their starter packages. But Spectrum TV bundles tend to offer more value.

YouTube TV Pricing

YouTube TV pricing is simple:

  • Base Package: Over 100+ channels for $72.99/month
  • Spanish Plan: 30+ Spanish channels for $34.99/month

Add-ons like 4K, Sports Plus, Entertainment Plus and Unlimited Screens cost an extra $9.99 to $19.99 per month.

You also have the options to bundle:

  • NFL Sunday Ticket – Includes every out-of-market Sunday game.
  • NBA League Pass – Watch live out-of-market NBA games.

Yearly NBA League Pass bundles with YouTube TV cost around $200.

Spectrum TV Pricing

Spectrum TV has 3 main packages:

TV Select$59.99/month125+ channels with major networks
TV Select + Entertainment$71.99/month205+ total channels
TV Select + Sports & Entertainment$77.99/month228+ channels with sports networks

So Spectrum TV starts at $5 less per month than the YouTube TV base package.

Additional channel packs like Sports View, Entertainment View, Espanol Mundo, International, Premiums (HBO, Showtime) range from $3 to $15 monthly add-ons.

A Cloud DVR+ upgrade runs $10 per month for 100 hours of storage. There are no annual contract options for Spectrum subscribers.

Winner: Spectrum TV starting package is cheaper, but YouTube TV long term value is decent.

YouTube TV vs Spectrum: Channels

YouTube TV and Spectrum carry most of the same popular cable channels. But there are some key differences in exactly what’s included:

YouTube TV Channels

In their base package, YouTube TV provides:

  • 100+ total channels
  • Live local ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox stations
  • Top cable networks – ESPN, TNT, TBS, CNN, MSNBC, FX and more
  • Add-ons for premium channels like Showtime, Starz, AMC Premiere
Youtube Tv Channels 1

Notable exceptions missing are A+E Networks like Lifetime, History Channel and regional Bally Sports networks.

Spanish networks like Univision, Telemundo and ESPN Deportes are available on all plans.

Spectrum Channels

Spectrum TV Select baseline package contains over 125+ channels such as:

  • Local CBS, ABC, Fox and NBC
  • TNT, TBS, HGTV, Food Network, Discovery
  • Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, TV Land
Spectrum Tv All Channels

Plus they carry A+E channels like Lifetime, History Channel and regional sports from Bally Sports and SportsNet NY.

But Spectrum TV lacks full coverage of popular national feeds like ABC News Live, CNBC World and Newsy.

Popular ChannelsYouTube TVSpectrum TV
Local Networks👍👍
Spanish Language👍👍👍

Based purely on the breadth of channel options, Spectrum TV has the slight edge over YouTube TV thanks to better entertainment and regional sports coverage.

But YouTube TV may suit you better if Spanish-language channels are a priority.

YouTube TV vs Spectrum: DVR & On Demand

One advantage cord cutting services have over cable is the inclusion of cloud DVR functionality to record and replay content.

YouTube TV DVR

YouTube TV offers:

  • Unlimited Cloud DVR storage
  • Recordings saved 9 months
  • Fast forward through ads
Youtube Tv Recordings

With their unlimited DVR, you’ll never have to worry about running out of space. It’s extremely reliable for time-shifting your favorite shows to watch on your schedule.

Spectrum DVR

By default, Spectrum only includes:

  • Access to On Demand library
  • Option to upgrade to Cloud DVR+ for $10/month
Spectrum Tv Cloud Dvr

That gets you 100 hours of DVR storage and the ability to record multiple shows simultaneously. Saved recordings expire after 90 days.

You can also pay an extra fee for more Cloud DVR storage, extend time, or skip more ads.

Winner: YouTube TV for unlimited Cloud DVR storage at no extra cost.

YouTube TV vs Spectrum: Streaming Quality

In terms of picture quality, YouTube TV and Spectrum TV are very comparable.

The majority of channels stream at 720p or 1080p resolution – about the same quality as cable.

One knock is that neither service provides any 4K channels without paying for add-ons or equipment upgrades.

YouTube TV Streaming Quality

YouTube TV streams most programming at 720p60 or 1080p30 quality.

There’s an option to get a 4K Plus add-on for $19.99 a month that unlocks:

  • 4K channels like NBC and ESPN on supported devices
  • Offline playback downloads

When watching YouTube TV, you can press a stats button to see technical details like resolution, framerate and buffer health.

Spectrum Streaming Quality

Spectrum channels predominantly broadcast in 720p as well.

Subscribers can access 4K On Demand content included with any Spectrum TV package.

But there is no 4K live streaming available. You need extra equipment like a 4K-enabled set-top box to view 4K VOD.

There are no settings to view the streaming quality metrics like with YouTube TV.

Winner: It’s mostly a streaming quality tie. Neither service has broad 4K live TV support built-in at this time.

YouTube TV vs Spectrum: Supported Devices

YouTube TV and Spectrum TV apps are accessible across most popular media streaming platforms.

YouTube TV Devices

You can watch the YouTube TV app on:

  • Mobile – iOS, Android mobile devices
  • Media streamers – Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Fire TV
  • Game consoles – PlayStation, Xbox
  • Smart TVs – Samsung, LG, Vizio
  • Web browser – youtube.com/tv
Youtube Tv Devices

You get up to 3 simultaneous streams per account as part of the base package or pay extra for unlimited screens.

The apps are very polished across platforms with even Chromecast support for beaming shows to a big screen.

YouTube TV is not working on your Firestick? Check out this guide for fixing YouTube TV Firestick issues.

Having problems getting YouTube TV running smoothly on your Samsung Smart TV? This troubleshooting guide for Samsung TVs can help.

Spectrum TV Apps

Spectrum TV is available on:

  • Apple devices – iPhone, iPad, Apple TV
  • Android – phones, tablets
  • Roku
  • Samsung Smart TVs
  • Xbox One
  • Chromecast (with mobile app casting)
Spectrum Tv Supported Devices

Plus you can access Spectrum TV via web browsers at SpectrumTV.com.

A key advantage over YouTube TV is unlimited simultaneous streams at home are included on all Spectrum TV plans.

Get tips on using the Spectrum TV app on Vizio Smart TVs.

Winner: Spectrum TV for allowing unlimited screens by default. But YouTube TV has better overall device app support.

YouTube TV vs Spectrum: Sports Channels & Options

Die-hard sports fans will want to examine the sports channel availability closely before deciding between YouTube TV or Spectrum TV.

YouTube TV Sports Channels

In their base package, YouTube TV includes fantastic sports channel coverage with:

  • Regional sports networks (in-market for local teams only)
  • TNT, TBS for NBA playoffs
  • NBC, CBS, Fox for NFL games
Youtube Tv Sports Channels

There is no NFL Network or MLB Network. The $11 Sports Plus add-on gives you NFL Redzone, FOX College Sports, GolTV and more.

YouTube TV really shines by offering NFL Sunday Ticket (up to $400 value) bundled with your subscription so you can watch every Sunday football game.

Similarly, an NBA League Pass bundle ($200 value) lets you follow your favorite basketball team.

Get tips on the best YouTube TV remotes for controlling sports viewing.

Spectrum Sports Channels

Spectrum TV has an expansive sports lineup encompassing:

  • National mainstream ESPN channels
  • NFL Network, MLB Network
  • Regional Bally Sports networks
  • NHL Network, NBA TV, MLB Network, Tennis Channel, ACC Network and more.

There’s a Sports View package for $6/month that contains NFL RedZone, 15+ additional sports channels plus access to pay-per-view events.

But Spectrum does not offer any comparable NFL or NBA league-wide subscription pass options like YouTube TV provides.

Winner: YouTube TV for incredible NFL Sunday Ticket and NBA League Pass bundles.

YouTube TV vs Spectrum: Customer Service

Hopefully you won’t require much customer support. But it’s reassuring the backing is there in case any streaming issues arise.

YouTube TV Support

YouTube TV offers customer service through:

  • Email support form
  • Direct message @TeamYouTube on Twitter
  • 24/7 phone 1-866-606-2986

In my experience, YouTube TV reps tend to be very responsive across social media channels and phone when technical problems occur.

Spectrum Support

Spectrum provides customer service via:

  • Live chat through Spectrum.net
  • Phone support call center open 24/7
  • Email for billing or account questions

They also have a wide network of retail stores and service centers across the US in case you need hands on troubleshooting.

Many users report frustration dealing with Spectrum’s outsourced overseas call centers though for technical issues.

Winner: YouTube TV support.

YouTube TV vs Spectrum: Contracts

A benefit of switching from cable TV contracts to streaming services is avoiding long term commitments or hidden fees.

  • YouTube TV has no contracts. You go month to month and can cancel anytime.
  • Spectrum TV has no contracts. Quit when you want without early termination fees.

Both companies clearly advertise “no contracts” when you sign up for service. And you can pause or cancel accounts as needed if traveling long term or switching providers.

YouTube TV vs Spectrum: Pros & Cons

Here’s a high level breakdown of the major advantages and disadvantages for YouTube TV vs Spectrum TV:

YouTube TV Pros

  • No contracts ever
  • Unlimited Cloud DVR storage with recordings saved for 9 months
  • Fantastic sports packages with NFL Sunday Ticket and NBA League Pass bundles
  • Polished viewing apps across platforms like mobile, Roku, Fire TV

YouTube TV Cons

  • Missing some regional sports like Bally Sports
  • Recordings deleted after 9 months
  • Price increased recently up to $64.99

Spectrum TV Pros

  • Solid DVR and VOD included on all plans
  • 225+ channel lineup on higher tier packages
  • Access to regional Bally Sports networks
  • Unlimited simultaneous streams at home

Spectrum Cons

  • DVR limited to 100 hours unless paying for extras
  • Contract disputes lose channels like ESPN/ABC occasionally
  • Streaming apps not as robust as competitors
  • Poor customer service reputation

Carefully weigh the pros and cons before deciding between YouTube TV and Spectrum TV based on your personal preferences.

Learn how to delete recordings from your YouTube TV DVR.

FAQs About YouTube TV vs Spectrum TV:

Q. Is YouTube TV better than Spectrum?

A. Overall YouTube TV edges out Spectrum TV thanks to unlimited Cloud DVR storage, sports subscription deals and supporting apps. But Spectrum provides more base package channels at a lower monthly fee.

Q. Does Spectrum TV have more channels than YouTube TV?

A. Yes, Spectrum TV has 125+ channels in their starter package compared to 100+ channels on YouTube TV. Their mid range packages go up to 200+ channels.

Learn how to watch Paramount Plus on Spectrum TV bundles.

Q. Why is Spectrum better than YouTube TV?

A. Reasons Spectrum TV has advantages over YouTube TV include: more simultaneous streaming allowance, broader access to regional sports networks, lower entry pricing for base packages.

Q. Is Spectrum streaming quality better than YouTube TV?

A. The streaming quality is very similar between Spectrum TV and YouTube TV at mostly 720p. Both offer 4K video-on-demand access only through special add-ons or equipment upgrades.

Q. Does YouTube TV have better sports?

A. Yes. While the day-to-day sports channel lineup is comparable, YouTube TV excels for serious fans by offering NFL Sunday Ticket and NBA League Pass bundles directly subscribed with your streaming plan.

Troubleshoot what to do if you get the YouTube TV “Are you still watching” prompt.

YouTube TV vs Spectrum: The Verdict

Hopefully this comprehensive YouTube TV vs Spectrum guide covered everything needed to evaluate the two services. Here’s a quick final verdict:

Both streaming services provide outstanding bang for buck flexibility beyond traditional cable.

In my opinion, YouTube TV pulls ahead as the current top option for sports fans thanks to their NFL and NBA deals plus Cloud DVR perks.

But Spectrum TV offers enticing unlimited streams and channel package deals if you want a cable-like experience.

Either choice ultimately brings the most popular entertainment, news and sports channels to any screen at significant savings over inflated cable packages locked into long contracts.

So what are you waiting for? Start streaming and embrace the cord cutting future today!