If you are an Amazon Fire TV user who streams live television on the device, your experience may soon be more enjoyable.
Amazon recently announced that it has implemented an upgrade that supports some of the most popular live streaming options for its channel aggregator — available through the Fire TV menu.
This means that subscribers to YouTube TV, Sling TV and Hulu Live can now find all of their content in one spot on their Amazon streaming device. Previously, you’d have to log in to each downloaded streaming app to find the content.
4 Things to Know About Amazon Fire TV’s Live Tab
The Amazon Fire TV Live tab is not brand new, but the addition of these major streaming TV sources may bring new users to it. We’re here to help.
I successfully tested the new functionality with YouTube TV via the Amazon Fire TV Stick on July 9, 2020.
1. How to Find It
Many of your live streaming services are now accessible through the Live tab on the Amazon Fire TV menu, which you’ll find at the top of your TV screen (screenshot below).
On the Fire TV Stick, the default menu option is “Home.” The Live tab is just to the right of the Home tab:
As you can see in the screenshot, there are streaming subscriptions, like Philo, that are already integrated into this ecosystem. You can add select free streaming services, such as Pluto TV, to your customized live channel menu.
2. How to Use It
Once on the Live tab, you can browse the live TV content from all of your connected streaming subscriptions in one place.
For this to work correctly, you need to make sure you’ve entered your login credentials for your live streaming services on your Amazon Fire TV device. The device should automatically sync the channels to your Live tab. But if you’re having trouble getting to your content, you can manually sync through the options menu.
As you can see from the screenshot below, the new feature offers a way to browse all of your content quickly by category.
Once you make a selection from the menu, you are taken to the app that houses content. For example, selecting content from an ESPN stream directs me to the YouTube TV app, because that is where that channel is housed on my device.
Previously, I would have had to browse each app independently. So this is definitely a timesaver if you use more than one live streaming app.
3. There Is a Channel Grid
If you don’t like browsing by category and prefer a more traditional cable TV feel, Amazon has you covered.
The Fire TV offers a channel grid function on the Live tab. It lets you see what’s streaming by channel, time and date. This lets you pick from every one of your live streaming channels all at once. It also tells you what each of the channels plans to air — up to two weeks in the future (when that data is available).
4. You Can Adjust Settings for Favorite Channels and Parental Controls
While much of the Amazon Fire TV’s live tab is curated through automation, you do still have some control via the Live TV options screen.
Here, you’ll be able to do things like:
- Edit your favorite channels: If you have a few channels you access most often, you can mark them as “favorites,” and they’ll be more prominently featured within the Live tab’s ecosystem.
- Manage channels: If you’re like me, you may have access to several streaming services. And sometimes those services offer a lot of channels you’ll probably never watch. Through this function, you can manually add or subtract from the channels that you see in Amazon’s aggregation of your streaming options.
- Parental controls: With a couple of little ones at home, I understand the value of having the parental controls right there on the Live tab. You can require a PIN to be entered before any content is accessed from the Live tab’s channel grid. For example, if there’s an R-rated movie on one of your streaming channels, your child won’t be able to access it without your five-digit code.
- Sync sources: As mentioned earlier in the article, this is where you’re able to add a streaming service to your Live tab’s menu if the automated process does not work.
Amazon’s addition of YouTube TV, Sling TV and Hulu Live to the Live tab will produce a better user experience on Fire TV devices.
As more consumers switch from traditional cable to streaming services, the ability to access all live subscription channels in one place should help ease the transition.