Amazon Fire TVs are about to get better live TV integration
Amazon has announced it’s expanding the lineup of live TV options available through the Fire TV, with a focus on subscription-free options. With more people staying home due to lockdown restrictions, the latest update arrives at an opportune time.
The new additions include IMDb TV, XUMO, and Amazon’s news app. Amazon also said (via Android Central) it plans to add Plex, but didn’t reveal an exact date. With today’s update, Fire TV users will see channels and other content from these services in the Live tab, as well as in the Universal Channel Guide on the Fire TV app.
The additions mean Fire TV’s live channel guide can access more than 400 live streaming channels from across 20 provides, including YouTube TV, Sling TV, Tubi, Pluto TV, Prime Video Live Events, and more. Over 200 of those channels are available for free, so you’ll have plenty of content to watch.
Amazon recently launched Live TV support on Fire TV devices in India through SonyLIV, Voot, Discovery Plus, and NextG TV. The feature will add a Live tab on the navigation page on the On Now row on the Fire TV home screen. Support for live channels from Zee5 is also on the way in India.
These new updates come as Amazon is seeing a surge in engagement with live streaming apps on Fire TV. The company said engagement has more than doubled in the last 12 months.
“We’ve always taken a content-forward approach when designing Fire TV. When you turn on your TV, you’re going to see shows, movies and sports — not just rows of apps,” said VP and GM of Amazon Fire TV Sandeep Gupta. “This philosophy extends to our approach to live content. We’re continuing to invest heavily in Live TV and so are our content partners. We’re expanding that today with the addition of new integrations, Alexa capabilities and enhanced content discovery mechanisms,” he added.
Meanwhile, Amazon said Alexa has been integrated with live TV programs. That means you can say, “Alexa, play the Raiders game,” when you want to launch a specific program. The latest feature is supported by the Alexa Voice Remote on the Fire TV Cube and any Fire TV paired with an Echo device.