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YouTube TV and Roku: Why your cable box and TiVo days are numbered

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Cable television (that is, television programming delivered through a dedicated cable connection and set top box) may well be on its last legs. The latest offering from YouTube, YouTube TV[1], may help usher the old school cable box to its inevitable doom.

Also: The 8K race is in full swing in 2018[2]

That's a bold statement. But while it makes for a good sound byte, there are so many ahems, buts, on-the-other-hands, and it-depends-on-yous that it may just be so many words.

Let me explain

At first glance, YouTube TV[3] does pretty much what an old-school dedicated cable TV box did for us for a couple of decades. YouTube TV delivers network television and local TV channels. It delivers some favorite cable channels. It even provides DVR support.

YouTube TV does all this without needing a special cable box, cable card, or any custom fiddling. If you've got broadband and YouTube TV, you have the array of channel-based TV we all grew up watching.

YouTube TV is a subscription television service provided by the same folks who brought you YouTube. Let's be clear. YouTube TV, YouTube Red[4], and plain ol' YouTube are three separate things. Because, of course they are.

A YouTube TV subscription replaces your cable box and provides network and local television. YouTube is where you go for kitten and puppy videos. And if you want to watch all the kitten and puppy videos you can without watching any ads, you can pay for YouTube Red (plus some original programming).

Got it? Good. Today, we're just talking about YouTube TV.

For $40 per month (in the US), you gain

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