YouTube TV is a popular live TV streaming service that offers over 100 channels, including major broadcast networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox. As a cable TV alternative, it provides a traditional channel guide experience where you can easily flip between channels. However, the interface is a bit different compared to regular cable boxes.
Here is a guide on how to navigate channels and switch stations efficiently on YouTube TV using various devices:
Table of Contents
Using Remote and Guide on Smart TVs
If you are accessing YouTube TV through a smart TV app such as Android TV, LG TV, Samsung TV, etc., you can use your remote and on-screen guide to change channels:
- Channel Up/Down Buttons – Most smart TV remotes have dedicated Channel Up/Down or CH+/CH- buttons that allow you to quickly increment or decrement the current channel.
- Guide Button – Press the Guide button to bring up the YouTube TV channel guide. You can then scroll vertically to browse channels and highlight any channel tile to start watching it immediately.
- Last Button – Some remotes have a Last button that switches back to the previously viewed channel. This is useful for toggling between two channels.
- Number Pad – Enter a channel number using the number pad to directly tune to a specific channel. However, unlike regular cable, YouTube TV does not use traditional channel numbers.
Using Mobile and Computer Apps
The YouTube TV mobile apps and website provide similar options to switch channels:
- Tap Channel Logo – While watching a channel, tap on its logo on the player to bring up the guide. You can then select another channel tile to switch your viewing.
- Guide Icon – Tap the Guide icon in the top left to access the channel guide and select another channel.
- Swipe Gestures – On touch devices, you can swipe left/right on the player to change channels.
- Keyboard Shortcuts – When watching YouTube TV on a computer, using the ← and → arrow keys will let you change channels.
Customizing Guide on All Devices
YouTube TV allows fully customizing your channel guide to put your most watched channels on top and hide less relevant ones. This makes channel surfing much faster.
Follow these steps:
- Go to Settings
- Select Live guide
- Click Custom under Sort channels by
- Drag and drop channels to reorder them
- Hide unwanted channels using the toggle switch
After customizing, exit and re-launch the YouTube TV app for changes to take effect across all your devices including smart TVs, mobiles, and computers.
Using Multiple Profiles
Take advantage of YouTube TV’s support for up to 6 user profiles within a single subscription plan.
- Create personalized profiles for each family member with their own saved shows and watch history.
- Customize Live Guide channel order per profile for maximum convenience.
Quickly switch profiles to access each person’s customized channel lineup for seamless TV viewing.
Voice Commands with Google Assistant
Use voice commands to change channels on supported devices with Google Assistant built-in or connected:
- Say “Change to [channel name]” e.g. “Change to ESPN”
- Say “Switch to [channel number]” e.g. “Switch to channel 5”
This enables hands-free voice channel surfing for times when you don’t have the remote handy.
Video Streaming Quality
YouTube TV adjusts video quality automatically based on your internet speeds. However, you can also manually change video resolution in Settings:
- Data Saver mode limits video to 480p SD for minimizing data usage
- Best available resolution goes up to 1080p Full HD based on your bandwidth
- 4K viewing requires a 4K Plus add-on subscription
A faster internet connection will deliver better video quality with smooth channel surfing.
Additional Ways to Discover Content
While the channel guide is the easiest way to change channels, YouTube TV offers some additional features to discover live and on-demand shows:
- Home tab – Provides personalized recommendations based on your viewing history and subscriptions. Scroll horizontally to discover relevant shows.
- Library tab – Includes all your saved recordings, scheduled shows, and watched history for quick access.
- Search – Find shows by name or explore recommendations for specific genres.
- Notifications – Enable notifications to get alerts about live events, scheduled recordings, favorite teams and more.
YouTube TV makes it simple to flip between channels across different devices. Customizing your channel guide puts your favorite stations front and center. Multiple user profiles allow personalization for each family member. And advanced features like voice commands, streaming quality controls and smart recommendations provide even more ways to discover and watch content. With some tips to master the interface, YouTube TV can deliver a smooth channel surfing experience.
I have over 5 years of experience as a cord cutting consultant and YouTube TV subscriber. Let me know if you have any other questions!