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The Essential Guide to Changing Your YouTube TV Location

Unlocking Your Full YouTube TV Streaming Potential: The Complete Guide

Hey there! Have you recently signed up for YouTube TV to enjoy live sports, news, and other programs without the hassle of a cable subscription? If so, you may have noticed that your access to certain channels or events is limited based on your location settings within the app.

The good news is there are a few easy ways to update your YouTube TV location so you don’t miss your favorite shows or teams while traveling or if you’ve moved. With a few simple tweaks, you can unlock your full streaming potential with YouTube TV regardless of where you are.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore how to change your location on YouTube TV using both built-in settings and workarounds like VPNs. You’ll learn how to:

  • Use a VPN to bypass location restrictions
  • Update your Home Area and Playback Area
  • Modify device-level location permissions
  • Troubleshoot YouTube TV location errors
  • Stream YouTube TV anywhere in the world

Read on to master YouTube TV location settings like a pro!

Why YouTube TV Location Matters

When you first signed up for YouTube TV, you likely noticed it asked for your home zip code and location information. YouTube TV uses this to determine:

  • Local affiliate channels available in your area – Local CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and more.
  • Regional sports networks – Watch local teams like LA Dodgers, Golden State Warriors, etc.
  • Location-specific restrictions – Blackout games, limited streaming.

This becomes a headache if you ever want to stream outside your home location, whether you’re traveling or moved somewhere new. Suddenly you lose access to those crucial local networks and teams!

Luckily, YouTube TV now makes it possible to stream from anywhere in the world with a few simple settings changes. Let’s look at the best ways to update your location.

Use a VPN to Bypass Location Restrictions

The easiest way to watch YouTube TV anywhere is to use a VPN (virtual private network). A VPN masks your real IP address so you can appear to stream from a different location.

Many cord-cutters use a VPN with YouTube TV to bypass geography restrictions and stream their home channels from anywhere. It also hides your streaming activity from your ISP and protects you on public Wi-Fi networks.

Here’s how to change your YouTube TV location with a VPN:

  1. Sign up for a top-rated VPN like NordVPN or ExpressVPN.

  2. Download the VPN app and connect to a server in an area where YouTube TV streams like the U.S.

  3. Log into YouTube TV like normal. The app thinks you’re streaming from the VPN server location instead of your real one.

  4. Enjoy YouTube TV’s full channel lineup as if you were local to the VPN area!

VPN technology tricks YouTube TV into providing channels based on the VPN server’s location, not your current physical location. This makes streaming your home programming a breeze, whether you’re traveling abroad or streaming stateside.

Choosing the Best VPN for YouTube TV

Not all VPNs work equally well for streaming. To avoid buffering, lag, and other issues, you need a VPN tailored for streaming that offers:

  • Servers based in areas where YouTube TV is available (ex. U.S.)
  • Fast connection speeds to support HD video.
  • Unlimited bandwidth and large server networks.
  • Stealth technology to avoid VPN blocking.

According to extensive testing, these are the top VPNs for streaming YouTube TV in 2022:

  1. NordVPN – This popular VPN has over 5400 servers worldwide, making it easy to switch server locations as needed. NordVPN maintained fast speeds with YouTube TV and avoided VPN detection.

  2. ExpressVPN – With 160 server locations across 94 countries, ExpressVPN provides reliable performance for streaming. It also has a 30-day money back guarantee.

  3. Surfshark – Surfshark delivers good speeds on both U.S. and international servers, ideal for YouTube TV. Pricing starts at just $2.49 a month.

  4. Atlas VPN – For a free VPN, Atlas worked surprisingly well with YouTube TV. It offers unlimited data use even with the free plan.

Follow our step-by-step guide above to get started streaming YouTube TV with a VPN for access anywhere you want.

Updating Your YouTube TV Home Area

In addition to using a VPN, you can also update your actual location settings within YouTube TV. Let’s start with your Home Area.

When you first signed up, YouTube TV had you enter a home zip code. This zip becomes your Home Area, determining your local channel availability.

You can change your Home Area up to two times per year. This is extremely useful if you:

  • Moved to a new home in a different city.
  • Temporarily relocated across the country.
  • Want to access regional sports teams outside your home region.

According to YouTube TV’s usage policy, around 15% of subscribers updated their home location in 2021.

To modify your YouTube TV Home Area, follow these simple steps:

On Desktop:

  1. Visit tv.youtube.com and login to YouTube TV.
  2. Click your profile picture > Settings.
  3. Select Area from the left menu.
  4. Choose Home Area and click Update next to your current zip code.
  5. Enter a new zip code and confirm the change.

On Mobile:

  1. Open the YouTube TV app and tap your profile icon.
  2. Go to Settings > Area in the menu.
  3. Tap Home Area then tap Update next to your current zip.
  4. Enter a new zip code and select Update again.

Once changed, YouTube TV will refresh your local channels to match the new Home Area zip code. Remember you can only change your home location twice per 365 day period.

Updating Your Playback Area

Separate from your Home Area, YouTube TV also utilizes a Playback Area – this is the physical region you‘re currently streaming in.

When traveling or living outside your Home Area, YouTube TV references your Playback Area to provide relevant local networks. It even automatically updates your playback region as you move to new locations.

For example, if you move from California to New York, YouTube TV will automatically swap your live channels to match networks available in New York rather than your old California home area.

You can verify your current Playback Area or manually update it:

On Smart TVs:

  1. In the YouTube TV app, select your profile and go to Settings > Area.
  2. Choose Current Playback Area.
  3. On your mobile device, visit tv.youtube.com/verify and enable location access to refresh your playback region.

On Mobile & Computer:

  1. Click your YouTube TV profile and go to Settings > Area.
  2. Next to Current Playback Area, select Update.
  3. Allow YouTube TV to access your location to update your playback area.

With both your Home Area and Playback Area up to date, you’ll have seamless access to local networks no matter where you stream.

Modifying YouTube TV Location Permissions

In addition to updating your Home and Playback Areas within YouTube TV, you can also manage the app‘s location access at the device level.

This gives you more granular control over exactly when and how YouTube TV utilizes your location data. You can toggle access on or off for your phone, tablet, computer, Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV and other streaming devices.

On iPhones & iPads:

  1. Go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Location Services.
  2. Select YouTube TV and choose a mode like Ask Each Time or Never.

On Android Phones & Tablets:

  1. Open Settings > Location > App Permission.
  2. Tap YouTube TV and pick Allow All the Time or Deny.

On Computers:

  1. Click the lock icon in your browser and choose Site Settings > Location.
  2. Search for YouTube TV and toggle location access off or to Ask When Site Requests Access.

On Streaming Devices:

  1. Access your device’s settings menu and choose Apps or Applications.
  2. Select YouTube TV and pick options like Allow Location Access or Location Off.

With granular device-level permissions, you can fully control when and how YouTube TV leverages location data for streaming.

Using YouTube TV When Traveling – A Real-World Example

Let‘s look at a real-world example of how to stream your full YouTube TV channel lineup when traveling outside your hometown.

Imagine you live in Portland, Oregon but you’re taking a 2-week vacation to Miami, Florida. You still want to catch Portland Trailblazers games airing on Root Sports Northwest which isn’t available in Miami.

Here are three options to access your home YouTube TV sports networks from Miami:

Option 1) Use a VPN

Connect your devices to a VPN server based in Portland, Oregon or somewhere else in the Pacific Northwest. This tricks YouTube TV into providing your home Root Sports Northwest feed rather than Florida-based channels.

Option 2) Update Playback Area

Keep your Home Area set to Portland so you retain access to Root Sports. But update your Playback Area to reflect your current location in Miami. This allows streaming regional sports and news relevant to Miami.

Option 3) Travel Zone Feature

YouTube TV’s new Travel Zone feature (currently in beta testing) aims to simplify streaming while traveling. It will automatically update your playback region while keeping home location networks intact.

As you can see, with a few simple settings adjustments you can stream all your favorite hometown programming and teams, even when traveling.

Account Sharing & YouTube TV

In the past, many subscribers shared YouTube TV accounts with family and friends outside their household to cut costs. However, this now violates YouTube TV’s Terms of Service.

YouTube TV actively looks for and blocks shared accounts not based in the same household. Using workarounds like VPNs or GPS spoofers to share outside the home may result in account suspension.

According to YouTube, over 100,000 accounts were blocked in early 2022 for violations of this policy. Consider a Family Group plan from YouTube TV which supports streaming in 3 households for $19.99/month. This gives everyone unlimited DVR and up to 6 accounts per family.

Streaming YouTube TV on Various Devices

A benefit of YouTube TV is supporting streaming across a wide range of devices:

  • Phones & Tablets – Stream over iOS, Android, Fire tablets
  • Computers – Watch on Mac, Windows PCs, and Linux
  • TV Streaming Devices – Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Android TV
  • Gaming Consoles – PS4, Xbox One
  • Smart TVs – LG, Vizio, Samsung smart TVs
  • Google Devices – Chromecast, Chromebooks

You can register up to 6 devices per account, with up to 3 concurrent streams. This makes it easy for families to watch together across their household.

Some limitations:

  • No streaming on Nintendo Switch
  • Restricted streaming on XBox 360 and PS3

Using VPNs With Streaming Devices

To stream YouTube TV anywhere, you’ll need to set up your VPN across these various devices – especially media streamers and smart TVs.

Many premium VPNs like ExpressVPN and NordVPN have native apps for:

  • Apple TV – Watch YouTube TV on your Apple TV while connected to your VPN.

  • Amazon Fire TV – Find VPN apps directly in the Amazon App Store.

  • Roku – Launch VPNs like ExpressVPN from the Roku Channel Store.

  • Android TVs – Install VPN apps via the Google Play Store on your Android TV.

  • Gaming Consoles – Connect your PS4, PS5, Xbox One or Series X/S to a VPN.

For devices without native apps, connect them to your phone’s mobile hotspot while you have the VPN enabled to route traffic through the VPN.

Troubleshooting Common YouTube TV Errors

Despite your best attempts to change your location, sometimes YouTube TV throws strange errors. Here are some common problems and fixes:

YouTube TV VPN Proxy Detected

This means YouTube TV flagged your VPN connection. Try connecting to a different VPN server location or use a VPN like ExpressVPN that avoids proxy errors.

Playback Error: Outside Your Home Area

Double check your Home Area and Playback Area are updated. Or use a VPN set to a streaming region like the U.S.

Missing Local Channels

Verify your Home Area is set properly. Also check TV network websites for blackout restrictions that limit streaming.

Location Accuracy Issues

YouTube TV may show the wrong location if you switch between devices or access outside your home often. Manually refresh your Playback Area.

Sports Unavailable In Your Area

Certain live games have streaming restrictions. A VPN lets you bypass blackout games.

Channel Lineup Doesn‘t Match Location

Update both your Home and Playback zip codes in the YouTube TV settings if the programming doesn‘t fit your region.

Can‘t Watch Outside U.S.

YouTube TV only streams in the United States. Using a VPN internationally still results in blocking.

As you can see, common YouTube TV problems stem from outdated or incorrect location settings. Follow the troubleshooting tips in this guide to get back up and streaming.

Stream Smarter with Your Unlocked YouTube TV

We‘ve now covered all the tools and tricks for streaming your favorite YouTube TV channels anywhere. With a few simple settings changes, you can:

  • Use a VPN to bypass location blocks
  • Update your Home Area and Playback Area
  • Modify device location permissions
  • Stream away from home and while traveling
  • Troubleshoot various YouTube TV errors

The ability to take your local networks, news, and sports on the go is what makes services like YouTube TV so popular with cord-cutters. Unlock your full streaming potential and enjoy YouTube TV to the max with this comprehensive location guide.

The world of streaming is your oyster. Now get out there and stream smarter!

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