Grabbing a remote and clicking over to a TV channel to discover what's on is too outdated. Well, it is for Amazon Fire TV owners at least. A new roll out by Amazon means the owners of Fire TV streaming devices can now discover on-air shows right at the home screen itself.
Amazon has been trying hard to make the Fire TV work better for watching live programming. And in the process, the company has rolled out channel guides and an accompanying feature called 'On Now', which lists all the shows that are on the air the very give moment across channels. What else? The feature has been integrated right into your home screen. You can instantly watch any program by clicking on it, or just ask Alexa to do so. Just say "Alexa, tune to Cinemax," and she'll get you there, without having to mash away at buttons on your remote.
Users can browse through the whole schedule of any particular channel by clicking on the 'Options' button on their Fire TV remote. It'll bring up a more traditional guide where users can browse upcoming content for up to two weeks. Unfortunately, the list of supported channels is really small: just channels from HBO, Starz, Cinemax and a few more. But again, its just the launch, so more channels will follow the suite in the future.
The catch to all this, however, is that this live programming is limited to Amazon Channels customers only and there is an associated fee with it.
Amazon Channels is a service that comes with Amazon Prime and Prime Video subscription. If you're subscribed to any of these services, you can opt for third-party cable channels through your Amazon account and enjoy the new live programming service in your Amazon Fire TV.
Amazon Fire TV has been frequently on the news for all the wrong reasons; the ugly self-destructing feud with Google, getting itself blocked from YouTube access. But now, Amazon itself seem to be preparing to take on the likes of YouTube TV and Sling TV. Exciting times ahead for Amazon Prime Video customers.