YouTube TV seems to be introducing better picture quality for all subscribers, even though the company itself isn’t making it known far and wide for some inexplicable reason, especially as it calls the new option its “highest video quality” while ignoring how you still need to pay extra for true 4K.
YouTube’s official Reddit account told the r/youtubetv subreddit it was planning to release a 1080p Enhanced option for those who subscribe to YouTube TV and the Primetime Channels, as in those who watch specific channels like Starz, Paramount, or Shudder. Users noted that the new option is much better than the regular 1080p60. It’s the company’s “highest video quality,” though the option will only be available on devices that support 4K. Engadget first reported on YouTube’s initial message from this past weekend.
That 1080p Enhanced is now already available on any of the channels and shows that supported 1080p60 (which denoted the 60 FPS framerate). Users should be able to access the 1080p Enhanced through the video quality settings tab. At the very least, it’s not yet another package that would cost extra, like the 4K option. At the same time, it seems a strange decision not to make any announcement and then not make the Enhanced setting default on supported streams.
All in all, it’s just another way your YouTube TV subscription is getting even more confusing. If you want 4K streams and the ability to download recordings for offline viewing, you need to shell out for the extra 4K Plus package. That add-on came out back in 2021 and cost an additional $20. Last year, the company raised subscription prices to $73 a month, lowering the cost of 4K to just under $10. The company added a few new features to make up for the price increase, including the ability to stream four channels simultaneously for those who enjoy zoning out on information overload.
Last year, users spotted how YouTube seemed to be testing a “1080p Premium” option with a higher bitrate for YouTube Premium subscribers. The company told The Verge it had been testing that service for a few subscribers while stressing how the current 1080p options weren’t being affected.
The change comes just in time to stream the Super Bowl LVIII, which could be good news for those planning to watch the big game on their YouTube TV account. If you’re looking for a few more ways to beef up your living room before Feb. 11, check out our best list here.