YouTube TV is investigating unskippable ads bug — what we know

Youtube TV app on Apple TV home screen
(Image credit: Future)

We at Tom's Guide love YouTube TV, but even one of the best cable TV alternatives can have irritating bugs. Its latest frustration practically ruins the whole concept of a DVR, too. 

The error, as reported by Redditor seanodotcom breaks your ability to fast-forward or rewind past ads in programs you record on YouTube TV. The user's problem is actually worse than the above might make it sound, writing "Was trying to rewind & queue up the Phillies' leadoff Schwarbomb this evening (after a few innings had passed) and couldn't even watch it, as it had been permanently overwritten by Safelite + Great Wolf Lodge ads."

Seanodotcom repeatedly tried to break through this digital wall, "3 or 4 times, at slightly different markers, and each time, one of the above 'Ad Info' personalized ads insisted on playing... over the first minute of the game."

Five other users in this same Reddit post claimed to have experienced the same bug. One noted they're using the Apple TV 4K, but no other users noted their hardware.

What good is a DVR, you might wonder, if it's replacing parts of your recording with ads? Well, the good news (at least for those who haven't had their recordings eaten up) is that the YouTube TV team is on it. The official TeamYouTube account replied, saying "Thanks for flagging – I've already shared the reports about the unskippable ads on recorded shows with the engineering team, and they're already looking into the issue. We'll circle back once we have an update!"

In a follow-up reply, which basically felt like a part of a customer service phone call we're all witnessing TeamYouTube asked for more details. Specifically they needed the airing date and a screenshot of the Stats for Nerds window. The rep said "I'll make sure to pass it along to help with the investigation." 

Analysis: Open customer support is a welcome sight

While we hate to see bugs like this, they're not as rare as we wish they were. Yours truly even noticed it in a Hulu + Live TV recording this past week. 

So, while I would rather see nobody reporting bugs like this, I do have to give YouTube TV some credit. The live TV service has used its Reddit page as a great place to engage the public on topics like this. 

YouTube TV needs to fix and avoid bugs like this overall, especially after its recent $8 per month price increase, but at least its users can feel like there's some transparency. Sometimes, it's even better than just optics, as YouTube TV recently responded to complaints by reversing course on its interface changes.

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Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.