When it comes to live TV, families is a big selling point as one of the major benefits of streaming services is the option for multiple people to watch live TV, at the same time, on multiple devices.
After all, TV is no longer restricted to the living room or to the one channel at a time and therefore, if your household is a fairly packed one, picking the right service for your entire family matters.
In short, YouTube TV is the best option for you and your family overall. This service is priced competitively compared to most of the other main live TV streaming services, but also comes with some additional features that makes it even more appealing to families, specifically.
First, is the family account feature. Unlike most streaming services, for every member of the family you add to your main YouTube TV account, they will get their own account. This is super important for families as it gives each family member a unique and customized user experience.
They will not only see recommended content based on their personal viewing habits, but will have the option to customize their preferences and favorites. This is in addition to record their own shows resulting in a catalog of recorded content that’s not mixed up with the recordings made by everyone else in the home.
In the simplest of terms, a single YouTube TV subscription effectively becomes six separate subscriptions at no extra cost and that’s a feature hard to argue with.
To put this into perspective, other live TV streaming services tend to just have the one account which is then used by everyone in the home. Typically, the only feature the other services offer that cater to families is simultaneous streams. This is where more than one person can access the same account on different devices. While useful for families, it is still the same account with the same shared issues and this is what makes YouTube TV so effective for families.
With the other services, the lack of account separation not only means the bundling together of recommendations and favorites, but also recorded content. While this might not sound like a major problem, it can become an annoying one with each member having to spend additional time finding their recordings or worst still, having their recordings recorded over by newer ones due to the limits most streaming services place on their DVR features.
When it comes to YouTube TV, there's no limit on how much you can record with each family member able to record as many shows and movies as they like. Although it should be pointed out that recordings are not permanent as they are automatically deleted after nine months.
Another point to note is do with simultaneous streams as YouTube TV also has a limitation in this respect with only three streams at the same time possible. This means that although six family members can have their own YouTube TV sub-account registered to the one master subscription, in reality only three family members can stream live TV at the same time on different devices.
Although this is certainly a limitation with YouTube TV, it is the same limitation that’s currently in effect with all the major live TV streaming services. Arguably, three is actually towards the high end of the spectrum considering some of the other services only offer two or even one stream at a time.
An honorable mention for families looking for a new live TV streaming service is PlayStation Vue. This is another service that also allows the addition of personal profiles (even more than YouTube TV) as well as personal DVR and recommendations. However, depending on the channel lineup you want PlayStation Vue can become quite expensive, quite quickly.
In addition, its DVR functionality is limited as PlayStation Vue only allows up to 500 shows to be recorded and recording are automatically deleted after just 28 days.
Therefore, when taking all things into consideration, and although PlayStation Vue is a decent option for families, YouTube TV is the best option overall.