YouTube TV might just be the replacement for traditional cable and satellite television you've been looking for.
The service costs $35 per month and delivers just shy of 40 live channels, including favorite networks like FX, Disney and ESPN, in addition to local broadcast networks like CBS, ABC and Fox.
If you want to give YouTube TV a try, you can get a month for free. Better still: after you pay for your first month, you’ll get a Chromecast, courtesy of YouTube. (It’s not purely out of the kindness of YouTube’s digital heart; at present, a Chromecast is the only way to watch YouTube TV on a bigger screen.)
To sign up for your free trial, visit the YouTube TV website, then follow the instructions below.
1. Sign into your Google account.
YouTube is a Google service, so that means that YouTube TV also falls under the search engine’s aegis. If you don’t have a Google account, just click the “Create account” button on the bottom and follow the instructions.
2. Select your location.
At present, YouTube TV is available only in the Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco metro areas. If you live somewhere else, Forbes came up with a workaround involving VPN services on computers and locational jiggery-pokery on smartphones.
It seems like more trouble than it’s worth, especially since YouTube TV will probably make its way to other markets soon enough, but feel free to give it a try if you absolutely can’t live without a fourth cable replacement service.
3. Check out the channels.
At present, there’s only one YouTube TV channel package, and one free trial, so you can just click Next to advance the screen.
4. Add extra networks (optional)
You can add Showtime for $11 per month, or Fox Soccer Plus for $15 per month, or both. Or neither. Whichever suits you.
5. Confirm your purchase.
Choose your payment option (credit card, Google Play credit, PayPal, etc.), then click Buy. YouTube TV is now yours for at least the next 30 days.
If you decide that YouTube TV isn’t for you, you can also cancel your service anytime within the next 30 days to avoid being charged once the next billing cycle begins. To do so, visit the YouTube TV site, access your account options, and select “Cancel membership.” You’ll still be able to use YouTube TV until the 30-day trial expires, and you can always renew it later if you change your mind. That’s the beauty of no-contract cable replacement services.