What you need to know
- Google is reportedly working on bringing free TV streaming channels to Google TV.
- The channels would include ad breaks and will likely be featured on a linear guide with other streaming services.
- The feature could launch as early as this fall or some time in 2022.
Google could be working on bringing free streaming channels to your Google TV device, according to the latest report from Protocol.
Google is reportedly in talks with various companies to provide the platform with FAST (free, ad-supported streaming television) channels. These are similar to what you'd find on some of the best Samsung TVs where the Korean manufacturer provides its TV Plus service. Other companies like Vizio and Roku also offer free TV channels of a similar nature.
Because the channels would feature ad breaks and graphics, it would give users the feeling of live TV. They will likely sit alongside paid services like YouTube TV on a linear guide in Google TV's "Live" tab.
According to Protocol, the feature could launch as soon as this fall on devices like the Chromecast with Google TV and TV sets from Sony and TCL. However, Google may choose to wait to launch the feature early next year alongside new smart TV launches.
Bringing free streaming channels to Google TV could benefit users who rely on the platform but aren't ready to spend money on live TV services from Hulu and others, which can still incur a hefty cost. For example, YouTube TV starts at $65/month, with ad-ons for features like 4K support and offline downloads costing as much as $20 extra.
While the content on free streaming channels isn't nearly as robust, they offer a decent and free alternative for anyone looking to cut the cord and may hold some hidden gems like an entire channel dedicated to Mystery Science Theater 3000.
We've reached out to Google to verify their plans, but the company did not immediately respond.
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There already are quite a few TV channels that have a free app available for streaming ad-supported content, including live-tv for news etc. In addition Amazon Prime has it's own TV channels offerings, of course for an extra monthly fee on top of the Prime membership monthly/yearly fee. Most have a 30 day free trial and/or reduced monthly fees for the first few. BritBox, Acorn TV and PBS Masterpiece are of note because of the excellent British, Aussie, Kiwi and other content. The newest addition is AMC+ . The programming on these is ad free. Not sure what Google TV will bring on, or if the channels will be region specific. It will be interesting to see.
Some of these apps channels don't have much at all or duplicate of other apps
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