Apple TV  vs YouTube TV – Which Streaming Service Is Right For You?

Apple TV and YouTube TV are two of the most popular streaming services available today. With these services, people from around the world can get the entertainment or information they need from the comfort of their own homes.

Both services offer high-quality content including documentaries, movies, comedy, drama, news, and talk shows. And while the two services have certain similarities, they also have some striking differences.

A closer look at both of the services can be key to appreciating what each has to offer. It will also help you determine which of the two is the most suitable for your needs.

Sit back and read on to find out more about Apple TV vs YouTube TV.

What is Apple TV?

Apple TV is a subscription service offered by Apple Inc. technology company. It offers a wide selection of original movies and TV shows to stream anytime.

Individuals can access this service by visiting the official Apple TV website and signing up. Alternatively, you can visit the App Store and download the app on your device.

In case you do not have an Apple TV or mobile device, you can always opt for Apple TV’s streaming box and hook it up to any TV. The device supports WiFi and ethernet connectivity so you’ll be able to stream shows as soon as you finish the installation process.

Some original content you can find on this service includes movies, TV shows, sports, documentaries, talk shows.

What is YouTube TV?

YouTube TV is a live streaming service with several channels to suit different preferences. It differs from Apple TV because it mainly focuses on relaying live channels for its viewers.

Keep in mind that Apple TV offers pre-recorded movies and TV shows while YouTube TV makes it possible for you to stream content in real-time. YouTube TV offers over 85 different channels and covers a wide range of genres to suit different preferences.

Some of the things you can expect to watch through this service include documentaries, news, sporting events, and talk shows. With this service, you’ll gain access to both local and international channels.

Another point to note is that YouTube TV is different from YouTube which is a free video-sharing and social platform. YouTube TV works seamlessly on Apple TV, Roku, Android TV, Chromecast, and Amazon Fire TV.

It is also compatible with a range of smart TVs, phones, tablets, game consoles, and web browsers.

Getting Started

Apple TV

The process of getting started with Apple TV is fairly easy especially if you want to watch your favorite shows on a browser. Once you land on the home page, you’ll be able to find the sign-up button.

Simply click on the button which will redirect you to the next page. You can then sign up using your existing email address or your Apple ID.

In case you do not have an Apple ID, your email address will automatically become the ID. You’ll also need to enter your name and region.

This information is important because certain regions of the world receive more services than others. The signup process is the same when you download and install the Apple TV app on your device.

YouTube TV

The process of signing up for a YouTube TV subscription is almost similar to that of Apple TV. All you have to do is visit the home page and navigate to the sign-up page.

Enter your existing Google email address or create a new one for the purpose of subscription. You’ll then be required to specify your location so that services will be matched to your residence.

Keep in mind that certain areas have more channels than others. Once an account has been created, you’ll be able to view your subscription plan including the networks that are available to you.

You’ll also be able to get an overview of the amount of money you’ll be charged every month.

Verdict

Overall, the process of signing up for both streaming services is extremely easy and fast. You’ll be able to create an account on each of the sites at no cost at all.

The Interface

Apple TV

Apple TV features a simple yet intuitive interface that takes the guesswork out of navigation. Once you log into your account, you’ll notice five main sections at the top of the home page.

These include TV+, Movies, TV Shows, Kids, and the Library. You can click on any of the sections to navigate to a list of relevant content.

There is also a search box at the top of the page where you can enter the title of whatever you want to stream. Once you click on a section, you’ll be redirected to a page with movie or TV show titles along with HD thumbnails for easy browsing.

In case you are watching a show, you can bring up a floating menu at the bottom of the screen just so you can have a look at the shows that are coming up next.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV also comes with an extremely pleasant interface. Instead of having five main sections at the top of the page, it has three.

These include Library, Home, and Live. The Library section is where you’ll find all the saved content under your plan.

The Live section is where you go to access the list of program schedules for live streaming. It is also under this section that you’ll find the different channels available and the current programs on the air.

The Home section has featured and streaming programs. One of the best things about YouTube TV’s interface is that it makes it possible for you to search for content from any page.

All you have to do is activate the search bar at the top and then type in the title of the show or channel you wish to stream. Clicking on one of the results will take you directly to the channel or content.

Verdict

When it comes to the aspect of the interface, both services have done an excellent job. Both interfaces have a minimalist design with a few clearly marked sections for you to navigate.

However, the floating design and fluid movement of movie or TV show posters on Apple TV give it an impressively modern feel which is why it scores a few marks over YouTube TV.

Content Offering

Apple TV

If you navigate to the Originals section of the service, you’ll find plenty of movies and TV shows that are produced by the Apple company. You can browse for content by genre including comedy, drama, non-fiction, and family fun.

Some of the most popular shows under this category include Hijack, Silo, The Crowded Room, The Last Thing He Told Me, Foundation, Invasion, Ted Lasso, and Central Park. If you click on any of the titles under this section, the app will start playing a preview version so you can decide if it is the best pick for you.

There is a Kid’s section where you’ll find plenty of shows that are suitable for young children. These include cartoons and educational programs. However, the list of titles under this section is not as extensive as most alternative providers.

There is also the Library section where you’ll find all the movies and TV shows you have already purchased on iTunes.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV provides over 100 channels to users in the United States. These channels often have a variety of programming schedules so you can simply switch from one channel to another to find the type of entertainment you like.

For instance, one of the users in your home may switch to a sporting channel while you continue enjoying your favorite documentary on a personal device. Keep in mind that some channels are dedicated to specific things such as news and sports.

There are also channels that have a varied range of programs including movies, talk shows, documentaries, and music. In case you are unable to watch a show during live transmission, you can always activate the DVR feature to record the show for later streaming.

Some of the channels you can expect to get on this streaming service include ABC, Fox, AMC, ESPN, Comedy Central, CNN, Nickelodeon, and NFL Network.

Verdict

A close look at both streaming services reveals that YouTube TV offers a wider range and variety of content. With over 100 channels at your disposal, you’ll always have something interesting to watch.

However, YouTube TV does not give you the freedom to determine the programming schedule of the day. You simply have to watch whatever is on TV at that moment.

The only alternative you have is to record a program and watch it later. Apple TV on the other hand delivers different types of content on your cloud storage allocation.

That means you simply have to choose what you want to watch and play it immediately. You are even free to create a playlist of programs to watch on any given day.

The only downside is that the content available is limited and you may start running out of shows to watch after a period of time.

Overall, YouTube TV beats Apple TV when it comes to content range and variety.

Device Compatibility

Apple TV

One of the most important considerations to make before you choose a streaming service is its compatibility with the devices you already have. Apple TV is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad devices.

You can also install it on a Mac computer and Apple TV. There are also other supported devices but you must first have a look at specific system requirements before you make up your mind.

These supported devices include Amazon Fire TV, Android TVs and Android streaming devices, Google TV, and specific smart TVs from LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, and Vizio.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Apple TV can work seamlessly on Xbox One, Xbox One S, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S. Finally, you can install it on PlayStation 4 and 5.

You can find and download the app from the App Store.

YouTube TV

One of the best things about YouTube TV is that it is a web-based streaming service. That means you do not have to worry about getting any additional hardware or software.

Simply go to your favorite browser and search for the home page. You can stream as many channels as you wish from any device.

Of course, there is also the option to install the app version of this service. The app is available on both the App Store and Google Play so it can install on your iOS and Android devices.

Verdict

Both streaming services offer a web version you can log into and start streaming from any device that is connected to the internet. However, the YouTube TV app scores higher points because it is compatible with more devices than the Apple TV app.

Pricing and Subscription Options

Apple TV

One of the best things about Apple TV is that you get a three-month free subscription when you purchase a new Apple device. That can be a smartphone, computer, or TV.

Keep in mind that the Apple TV app itself is available free of charge even when you are using old devices. However, to gain access to the streaming service which is referred to as Apple TV+, you’ll need to choose one of the premium plans.

In case you have not yet made up your mind about using this streaming service, you can always go for the seven-day free trial offer. This will give you access to the content available on Apple TV+.

The free trial version is compatible with all the devices listed above. It also gives you access to many of the movies and TV shows considered popular by users on the platform.

Once the seven-day free trial expires, you’ll be required to pay $6.99 per month to continue enjoying the Apple TV app service. Both the free trial and the paid subscription allow you to share the same account with up to five family members or friends.

In case you want more services at a relatively affordable rate, you should consider the Apple One bundle. This brings up to six different services under one umbrella.

The Individual package under this plan costs $16.95 per month but only works on one device. With this package, you get to enjoy Apple TV+, Arcade, iCloud+, and Music services.

The Family package costs $22.95 per month but can connect up to five different devices. With this package, you get to enjoy iCloud+ with up to 200GB of storage space, Arcade, Apple TV+, and Music services.

Finally, the Premier package costs $32.95 per month and can connect to five different devices. It includes iCloud+ with 2TB of storage space, Arcade, Apple TV+, Fitness+, News+, and Music services.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV offers a 14-day free trial for new subscribers. This can be a good way for anyone to sample the channels and variety of programs available before committing to a paid subscription.

Once your trial period has expired, you’ll be required to upgrade to the Base Plan which costs $64.99 per month. You’ll be pleased to know that this is a discounted amount since you get to save $8 every month for the next three months.

After the three-month period, you’ll have to start paying $72.99 per month. The good news is that this subscription allows you to connect up to six different accounts in the household.

You are also free to stream three different things at the same time. Keep in mind that the Base Plan includes more than 100 live channels.

You also get to enjoy unlimited DVR space so you can save as many shows as you wish. There are also special features such as Key Plays Views under this plan.

The second subscription option you can go for is the Spanish Plan. This package will cost you $34.99 per month.

However, it only avails networks that are in Spanish. With this package, you also get to enjoy unlimited DVR space for file storage.

There are over 30 different networks and special features like Key Play Views. The Spanish Plan also makes it possible for you to connect up to six different accounts.

If you are an avid sports enthusiast, you should consider the NFL Sunday Ticket + YouTube TV bundle. While there are offers that may alter the total costs, traditionally you would have to pay $349 to cover the entire season.

With this package, you get to enjoy YouTube TV along with every out-of-market Sunday game. The package affords you unlimited simultaneous streams at home for NFL Sunday Ticket games.

There is also the NFL Sunday Ticket + NFL RedZone + YouTube TV package. This costs $339 for the entire season and also offers unlimited simultaneous streams at home for the NFL Sunday ticket games.

You also get to enjoy the ultimate fan experience and catch every touchdown.

Verdict

When it comes to pricing, Apple TV scores quite highly because you only have to part with $6.99 to enjoy movies and TV shows for a month.

YouTube TV may have a lot of variety when it comes to content but that does not mean you’ll always get something interesting enough to hold your attention.

Keep in mind that the basic YouTube TV subscription costs $64.99 per month which is much higher than what you’d pay for Apple TV.

Also Read: Best Roku Alternatives

Apple TV vs YouTube TV: Key Features and Functionalities

Apple TV

One of the most striking differences between Apple TV and YouTube TV is that the former is compatible with Apple devices and a select group of devices only.

Another thing to note is that Apple TV primarily offers original movies and TV shows. Of course, there is an option for you to subscribe to other streaming services within the Apple TV app.

In case you take that route, you’ll be able to access TV shows and movies from such services without having to leave the Apple TV app. This app also stands out because it offers content in 4K quality.

Apple TV integrates Siri into the system and that means you can gain control of a lot of aspects of your TV by simply giving voice commands. If you are using an Apple TV or Apple TV box, you can always use the small remote control to adjust settings and execute other commands.

YouTube TV

While Apple TV is built to provide you with a theater-like experience, YouTube TV replicates a live cable TV experience.

You even get a chance to watch live events such as sports and breaking news. It includes a DVR feature that lets you record live programs for later streaming.

Like Apple TV, YouTube TV avails content in up to 4K quality which can be quite breathtaking. This service also includes a huge selection of sports channels and content.

Another interesting thing is that you can use add-ons to customize your YouTube TV and elevate overall entertainment levels. Finally, you get over 30 Spanish-based networks which can be exciting for anyone that loves the Spanish language.

Standout Features

Apple TV

  • Offline downloading
  • 4K video quality
  • Integration with Siri
  • User-friendly interface
  • AirPlay support
  • Connects up to five different user profiles

YouTube TV

  • DVR functionality
  • Unlimited cloud-based storage
  • 4K video quality
  • Connects up to six different user profiles
  • Supports many add-ons

Verdict

Both streaming services have exceptional features that give users impressive control over their entertainment. You get 4K quality content on both as well.

There is not much of a difference when it comes to features and functionalities which is why the two services score the same points.

Customer Support and Reliability

Apple TV

Apple TV has a customer support page where you can visit to find a lot of resources regarding the app and the services available to you. The support center includes information on how to set up and troubleshoot your system.

There is also an Apple Community Forum where users can converge to ask questions and learn from others who may have dealt with similar problems. Additionally, there is an Apple Support app you can download on your device to find personalized solutions to any problems you may be dealing with.

Finally, users are free to subscribe to the AppleCare plan that affords them up to three years of expert help with regard to different Apple products and services. Users who buy this subscription get priority support on a 24-hour basis.

YouTube TV

YouTube has a help and support center where anyone can visit to find answers to commonly asked questions. You can get to learn about the various premium plans available and compatible devices.

What’s more, you can find resolutions to issues that may be popping up. In case you are unable to find help on the resource page, you are free to send an email and wait for a response within a stipulated period.

Users can also get in touch with customer support through a live chat option. Finally, you can choose the voice call option where you get to talk to a YouTube support representative regarding the issues you are experiencing.

Overall, both Apple TV and YouTube TV have reliable customer support that will help you resolve issues within a short time.

Verdict

While both streaming services offer reliable customer support, Apple TV scores fewer points because it requires users to subscribe to a special program for priority support.

YouTube TV on the other hand is a clear winner because it offers free support to all customers. It also provides more options for getting in touch and that makes it an even more convenient service.

Also Read: Roku vs Chromecast

Reviews and Feedback

Apple TV

According to ConsumerAffairs.com, Apple TV has a rating of 3.8 stars out of 5. This score was reached after weighing votes from 85 users.

One of the reviewers, Coeur D’Alene, notes that the content selection of Apple TV is pretty poor and gets boring after some time. Frank Vaughan, another reviewer on the same site says the service buffers more than other alternative streaming apps.

Blake Franklin, who is also a reviewer on the same website says that the content on Apple TV conforms to some of the most impressive standards of quality.

A look at ScamAdviser shows that Apple TV is a safe service. That means you can download and install the app without having to worry about bugs or other malicious software.

You can also subscribe to the service without worrying about getting scammed out of your money.

YouTube TV

According to Similarweb, YouTube TV has a rating of 4.1 stars out of 5. This rating is based on votes by over 127,122 users. The same site notes that YouTube TV is more popular in the United States than anywhere else in the world.

Most people interested in this service are drawn to it because of the variety of sporting programs available. A user on Google Play named Pete Azarnoosh states that this app does not allow users to delete files from the DVR and that can make sifting through content quite tedious.

Another by the name of Daniel Huerta notes that it is an excellent app but still requires improvement on certain devices.

According to U.S. News, YouTube TV shares the number one spot for the Best Live TV Streaming services with alternatives such as fuboTV and Hulu + Live TV.

Check Out: Roku vs Android TV

Verdict

Both streaming services have fairly good feedback from users and that means developers behind the services are doing a commendable job. In both instances, users note a few shortcomings but agree that the services are among the best in the world.

Reviews on professional sites such as ScamAdviser and U.S. News also show that both services including their apps are genuine and conform to high standards of quality.

With that in mind, it is clear that the services score the same with regard to reviews and feedback.

Wrapping Up

Apple TV is a good choice for anyone that wants to have a library of movies and TV shows to watch.

YouTube TV, on the other hand, is ideal for someone who wants to enjoy a variety of live television programs without having to subscribe to individual networks or connect cables all over the house.

When making up your mind on the right streaming service to choose, remember that YouTube TV offers more variety when it comes to programming and live streaming options.

However, Apple TV has a list of movies and TV shows you can enjoy at any time you like.

About Author

Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.