YouTube TV is giving away free a TiVo Stream 4K to annoy Roku

TiVo Stream 4K
TiVo Stream 4K (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • YouTube TV is sending out free TiVo Stream 4K and Chromecast with Google TV devices to select subscribers.
  • This giveaway is likely due to the ongoing dispute between YouTube TV and Roku.
  • It's unknown as to whether every YouTube TV subscriber will get this or if it will only be select subscribers.

If you're a current Roku user and are tired of the ongoing shenanigans surrounding the YouTube TV app, you're in luck. 9to5Google has found that YouTube TV is giving some of its subscribers a free TiVo Stream 4K streaming device. In the email, YouTube TV says the following:

To ensure our loyal YouTube TV members have a great watch experience (including the ability to watch 4K content on our optional new add-on service coming soon!), we want to offer you a free TiVo® Stream 4K device.

The TiVo Stream 4K isn't one of the first options that come to mind when it comes to streaming devices, but it should. It's quite a powerful little dongle that can rival even the best streaming devices and provides access to 4K content for less than $40. The streaming dongle can be had for even less if you grab it from Amazon.

You might be asking yourself why this would matter all that much considering that you can't stream YouTube TV in 4K yet. Back in February, the YouTube TV team outlined plans that it will be bringing 4K streaming to the platform. This was re-iterated in the email received today, as YouTube TV states that 4K streaming will be "coming soon."

For the past couple of months, YouTube TV and Roku have been at odds regarding the agreement to provide YouTube TV for Roku users. The disagreement came to a head, and Roku removed the YouTube app from its Channel Store. Google then responded by integrating its YouTube TV service into the pre-existing YouTube app, which is still available for download and has not been removed.

It's also entirely possible that Google was already planning on running this promotion, since the company previously stated that it was working with some manufacturers to provide free streaming devices, so this could is likely the result of that. It seems a bit odd to offer the TiVo Stream 4K, but it appears some users are also receiving the Chromecast with Google TV. However, it's unsure whether this promotion applies to all YouTube TV paying subscribers or if the company is going through some type of odd lottery system.

Regardless of the reason behind it, select YouTube TV subscribers are still getting quite a deal. It's hard to say "no" to a free streaming device, especially one that includes 4K HDR streaming, along with Dolby Vision and Atmos support. As we stated, this could only be rolling out to select subscribers, so don't be too disappointed if you miss out.

We've reached to Google for confirmation and will update this post once more information is made available.

Andrew Myrick
Senior Editor - Chromebooks, tablets, and wearables

Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.

  • Notice they aren't giving out the awful Chromecast with Google TV.
  • Actually I just got the email today but with the Chromecast with Google TV. Idk about awful lol I enjoy it. Great for traveling with.
  • It would be great if it worked properly, but it's a bug ridden mess.
  • I haven't noticed any issues with mine. Granted I don't use it that much. What specifically are you having problems with so I can be on the lookout?
  • There's a few things I've had. Sometimes video apps will just show a black screen. You can't cast Netflix, it opens the app and won't play if the accounts don't match(probably intended but I consider it an issue). Playing things from an assistant speaker doesn't work ("hey Google, play Bo Burnham: inside" ok, playing on living room TV... *Tumbleweeds*). Worst of all is the actual Chromecast function. I cast twitch a lot and there are multiple issues. Sometimes the audio will play and the home screen will still be displayed. Regularly the picture will freeze and the audio will continue. Sometimes pausing and unpausing fixes it, often you have to stop casting and restart. And others have had multitude other issues. I'm glad you haven't, but I guarantee the bugs are in there and you just haven't run into them. Oh, also it's wired into Ethernet, so there's really no excuse.
  • This is interesting considering YouTubeTV doesn't even work on the Tivo Stream 4K. It's been broken for months with numerous reports and both sides acknowledging the issue.
  • I got the email and ordered my free TiVo - because FREE... but I would have much rather been offered a free Chromecast. I already have a Chromecast for our main TV; it would have been nice to have the same device for the bedroom TV to give a consistent UI between them. I guess I can use this as a way to compare the devices.