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Amazon Fire TV grows live TV features, includes Alexa support for live content

Amazon is revealing another experience for its Fire TV platform that puts more attention on subscription-free streaming and other live content. The organization today declared a few new services are being integrated into its suite of Live features, including Xumo and its own IMDb TV and Amazon news application. The organization additionally soon plans to include Plex, it notes.

Each of the four of the services is accessible for free with ads and doesn’t need a subscription, Amazon says. These channels and their content will show up in Fire TV’s Live tab in the “On Now” rows, as well as in the Universal Channel Guide on the Fire TV app.

With the increments, Amazon says there are currently more than 400 live streaming channels from across 20 suppliers that can be accessed from Fire TV’s live channel guide — including services like YouTube TV, Sling TV, Tubi, Pluto TV, Philo, Prime Video Channels, Prime Video Live Events (like Thursday Night Football) and more.

Amazon additionally takes note that more than 200 of those channels are accessible free of charge with advertisements and needn’t bother with a subscription to watch.

Free, live streaming content is becoming a milestone for both Amazon and Roku, the best two streaming media platforms in the U.S. However, they’re adopting various strategies to the format.

Amazon’s section exhibiting free, live content has gotten to a greater extent a part of its overall Fire TV interface, rather than a different channel you have to launch. This speaks to Amazon’s design philosophy with Fire TV, whose interface to a great extent takes after that of a streaming service.

“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 living 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.

In the interim, Roku offers its own hub with always-on free films and TV shows, called The Roku Channel, which assists with serve as a beginning point for cord-cutters who are searching for something to watch after they’ve discarded traditional pay-TV.

Be that as it may, dissimilar to Fire TV, Roku’s design is, truth be told, “rows of apps.” This simplifies its interface to use and is less cluttered — something numerous individuals appear to like. Here, The Roku Channel is simply one more application to launch, not a part of the Roku interface.

Roku additionally makes The Roku Channel accessible online and as a standalone mobile app, actually like other free streaming services. This week, it integrated the vast majority of The Roku Channel’s free content with its main Roku.com website, to arrive at more buyers.

Independently, Fire TV offers its own app, however restricts itself to live content, not on-demand, advertisement-supported shows and films.

Notwithstanding the present recently declared live TV integrations, Amazon likewise says its live TV programs are currently Alexa-enabled.

That implies you can make statements like “Alexa, play ‘Good Morning America'” or “Alexa, play the Seahawks game,” to launch a particular live TV program by name. This will work with the Alexa Voice Remote on the Fire TV Cube and with Fire TVs matched with an Echo gadget.

Live TV programs will likewise show up in the “App Peak” (hover) feature on the recently updated Fire TV interface. This feature will show you what’s on a given channel when you hover over it in the main navigation and works on Fire TV Stick (third generation) and Fire TV Stick Lite, for now.

Because of its extensions and live TV integrations — also the pandemic that is saved individuals at home for entertainment — Amazon says that engagement with live streaming applications on Fire TV has more than doubled in the last 12 months, up by more than 130%.

Amazon says the new features are turning out today to Fire TV gadgets.

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