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Downloaded YouTube TV Videos Are Blocked on Other Devices

YouTube TV subscribers can now download videos with the 4K Plus add-on, but those videos can’t be accessed on other devices while downloaded.

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Downloading YouTube TV videos using the new 4K Plus add-on comes with some limitations, including the blocking of the same video on other devices linked to the same account. YouTube TV recently announced the new add-on that not only offers the option to download videos for watching offline, but also increases the number of simultaneous streams and adds 4K playback on compatible content.

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Although YouTube TV offers one base subscription, priced at $65 per month, the service has been routinely launching add-ons to improve the experience or the channel lineup. For example, there’s the Sports Plus add-on with its additional sports-focused channels and the Entertainment Plus add-on which combines HBO Max, Showtime and Starz subscriptions into one more manageable and slightly cheaper subscription.

4K Plus is the latest plus add-on to arrive and it includes the option to change existing recordings from storage-based to device-based. Effectively, opening up the option for videos to be watched anywhere and even without an internet connection. However, there are some caveats to the feature and one of the most notable is the blocking of the same video on other devices.

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Once a video has been downloaded to a device, YouTube TV will block the same video from being accessed on additional devices linked to the same account. The confirmation of this can be found on a new YouTube TV help page which specifically states that the video lock remains in effect until the download has been deleted again.

“You can only download a video on one device at a time. After you download a video on a device, you can’t play the video from any other device until you first delete the download.”

YouTube TV Help

Unclear why, but not that surprising

Another of the major benefits of YouTube TV is the ability to share a subscription with up to five other people. However, services like YouTube TV typically place additional limits on the experience to avoid subscriptions being shared with people outside the primary home. In some cases, this is often seen through a lock on the subscriber’s home area, location or Wi-Fi. While not confirmed by YouTube TV, it is possible the blocking of downloaded videos on other devices was put in place as a similar protection.

For example, as a YouTube TV subscription can be shared with others, and each person has access to their own unlimited and personal cloud DVR, YouTube TV likely assumes there would be few genuine instances where an individual would need to access a downloaded video on another device. Regardless of the reason, if a YouTube TV subscriber suddenly finds they cannot access a recording on certain devices, they might want to check if there’s a downloaded version on their mobile device and delete it first.

Source: YouTube TV

By John Finn

John started Streaming Clarity to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been writing about technology and TV-related services and devices since 2014 and believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingclarity.com or on Twitter

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