The Chromecast with Google TV Fixes YouTube TV’s Biggest Annoyance

The Live TV view on the new Chromecast with Google TV. It's showing Daytime Jeopardy.

I’ve tried pretty much every live TV streaming service out there and ultimately settled on YouTube TV many months ago. Despite recent price hikes and losing certain channels, it remains the best choice for my family’s watching habits. That said, the app itself pisses me off daily. Or at least it used to until I got the new Chromecast with Google TV.

The Issue

Join me, if you will, on a journey. A cinematic adventure. A TV journey. So here we are, hanging out on my couch—just me, you, and the thousands of other people reading this. All on one couch. This is cozy, isn’t it?

I’m flipping through the channels when we all spot Ghost Nation on the Travel Channel. But which episode is it? According to YouTube TV, it’s S2 E5: Demonic Plantation … but that’s it. There’s no episode info. There’s no synopsis. The only way to find out if it’s an episode you’ve already seen is to start watching it.

A screenshot from YouTube TV showing "The Meg" but no other info
Does Jason Statham play Meg in this romantic comedy? I have no idea!

This. Drives. Me. Nuts.

And it’s even worse for movies. Not sure what a movie is about? There’s no way to find out. There’s just no info at all. Unless you want to look it up on your phone, of course. But c’mon, man.

YouTube TV is the only service I’ve used that has this issue, and it’s a huge oversight. I don’t know a single person who just starts watching something without reading what it’s about first. Because who wants to waste time watching something that might be stupid?

No one.

So How Does Chromecast with Google TV Fix It?

Enter the new Chromecast, which sports a dramatic new interface compared to its Android TV base. The interface itself focuses on making recommendations for things that you might want to watch across various services.

It combines your watchlist and habits to curate this list. And as useful as this is, this isn’t my favorite thing about the new Chromecast. Nope, that belongs to the Live tab.

The Live tab is essentially a guide of what’s currently on YouTube TV. (The feature will apparently integrate with third-party services at some point, too.) And if you’re a YouTube TV subscriber, it’s a huge improvement over YTTV’s native guide. Why? Because it actually gives a quick synopsis of each show or movie as you highlight it. No wondering what a movie is about or if you’ve already seen a particular episode of a show.

A screenshot show "The Meg" movie info on the Live view on Chromecast
OH HEY THAT’S WHAT IT’S ABOUT HAHAHA

It’s not totally perfect, though—if the synopsis is more than a couple of sentences it gets cut off with no way to see the expanded description. But it’s still better than nothing.

It’s such a simple, elegant fix. I can’t believe that this isn’t baked into YouTube TV natively. For months this is all I’ve wanted from YouTube TV (aside from lower prices) and now that I have it, I never want to go back.

Guess I’m buying Chromecasts for every room in my house now.

Worth it.

Cameron Summerson Cameron Summerson
Cameron Summerson is the Editor in Chief of Review Geek and serves as an Editorial Advisor for How-to Geek and LifeSavvy. He’s been covering technology for nearly a decade and has written over 4,000 articles and hundreds of product reviews in that time. He’s been published in print magazines and quoted as a smartphone expert in the New York Times. Read Full Bio »

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