Google TV could soon let you stream free TV channels
Google TV on Chromecast and smart TVs could soon become a more enticing platform as Google plans to add free to stream TV channels to it. Google TV currently acts as an aggregator for various streaming apps, complete with personalized content recommendations.
Protocol reports Google has held talks with multiple companies for adding FAST (free, ad-supported streaming television) channels to Google TV, with the look and feel of traditional TV channels. They will also have ad breaks and on-screen graphics similar to regular broadcasts.
Google reportedly plans to introduce the free streaming channels on Google TV this fall, perhaps in October at the Made by Google event where the Pixel 6 could be launched. However, the plans are still in flux, and Google could end up waiting to announce the initiative along with its smart TV partners in early 2022.
The free TV channels could be shown in the Chromecast’s Live tab, which currently shows paid TV services like YouTube TV and Sling. On smart TVs running Google TV, the channels are more likely to be shown alongside over-the-air programming that’s accessible via an antenna.
Google’s approach here won’t be entirely new since Samsung has long used a similar strategy. It has integrated free channels into its smart TV platform via Samsung TV Plus, where users stream “billions of minutes” of free content every month. Other TV platforms like Amazon and Roku have also adopted a similar strategy. The trick is to integrate the free channels into program guides to seamlessly transition between live TV and streaming channels.