TV Answer Man, I am looking to watch some TV on the cheap. Can you tell me what streamer has the best free trial? The longest time you can watch without having to pay anything? — Quinn, Jefferson City, Missouri. 

Quinn, many streaming services offer a free-trial period so you can check out their lineups before committing your hard-earned dollars. However, there are some notable exceptions. Netflix, HBO Max and Disney Plus, for example, do not offer free trials. They are concerned that many potential customers will take advantage of the free trial but never subscribe.

While that can be a problem for any business, the free trial is still a great way to attract interested viewers, which most streamers understand. YouTube TV, for instance, occasionally offers a two-week free trial for its live streaming service that offers more than 100 channels. FuboTV, another live streamer, has a seven-day free trial. Peacock, which has a mix of live and on-demand programming, offers a free plan which enables you to watch programming indefinitely while deciding whether to upgrade to a paid package (starting at $4.99 a month.) The Criterion Channel, which has a large library of classic and esoteric films, has a 14-day free trial.

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Those are just some of the free trial offerings, but I would say the very best is a tie between Hulu’s 30-day free trial for its subscription Video on Demand service, and Amazon’s 30-day free trial for its Prime membership, which includes Prime Video. A full month is plenty of time to make a decision on a video service, and a great opportunity to simply watch some excellent programming for free. (Hulu’s ads-included service is $7.99 a month while the ads-free plan is $14.99 a month. Amazon’s Prime membership is $139 a year.)

Quinn, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann