Pluto TV brings 12 Free News Channels to the Amazon Fire TV’s Live Channel Interface

Amazon added a live channel interface, which includes a traditional grid-style program guide and an “On Now” row on the home screen, to all Fire TV devices at the start of the year. At the time, it was so subscribers of Prime Video Channels could easily find and watch content that was airing live. More recently, Amazon partnered with PlayStation Vue to add the service’s channel catalog to the same live channel interface, giving subscribers a single place to find both Prime Video Channels and PlayStation Vue channels. Now Amazon has worked with Pluto TV to add 12 free news channels to the Fire TV’s live channel interface.

With this new Pluto TV channel integration, this is the first time that free channels have been available on the Fire TV’s live channel interface. For customers who have never owned a Fire TV Edition television and are not subscribers of PlayStation Vue or Prime Video Channels, this will be your first chance to try out the Fire TV’s live channel interface, which will also heavily be used by the upcoming Fire TV Recast.

To add these free channels, simply install and launch the Pluto TV app on your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. Your device may need to be on the latest Fire TV software version for the channels to appear, which is version 6.2.5.5 for the Fire TV Cube and Fire TV 3 (pendant) and version 5.2.6.7 for Fire TV Sticks and older Fire TV models. Once Pluto TV is installed, a new “On Now” row should appear on the Fire TV home screen with a list of content that is currently airing.

Even though Pluto TV offers over 100 free channels, only 12 of their news channels are being made available on the Fire TV’s live channel interface and they’re all news channels. It’s unknown if additional channels will be added in the future. The available channels are Bloomberg TV, CBS News, Cheddar, CNBC, NBC News, News 24/7, Newsmax TV, Pluto TV Election, Sky News, Today’s Top Story, Top Stories by Newsy, and TYT Network.

On the far left of the “On Now” row is a shortcut to the Fire TV’s live channel program guide. You can also get to the guide by pressing the menu button on the Fire TV remote while watching any live channel and selecting the channel guide from the menu that appears in the lower right corner. In the channel guide, you can see what is airing on each channel. You can also add channels to your list of favorites, which makes the channel appear at the top of the program guide.

If you’ve never used the Fire TV’s live channel interface, you might be surprised to learn that when you select to view a Pluto TV channel, it does not use the regular Pluto TV interface. Instead, the content is streamed from the Pluto TV app but with the Fire TV’s own live channel interface. This makes it easy to switch between live content from different apps. While watching a live channel, you can press down on the Fire TV remote to start browsing through your other channels without leaving what you’re currently watching.

You can manage the new Pluto TV live channels from the Fire TV’s new Live TV settings menu. There you’ll see that Pluto TV is now listed as a Live TV Source. Selecting the Channel Management menu will list the 12 Pluto TV news channels and allow you to manage your favorite channels or hide individual channels altogether. The Fire TV’s live channel interface is also integrated into the device’s parental controls, so you can set it so a PIN is required before viewing any of the live channels.

Amazon does not yet have any documentation or method for content providers and app developers to add their own channels into the Fire TV’s live channel interface. For now, it seems like Amazon is only working directly with content providers, like Pluto TV and PlayStation Vue, to include channels in the Fire TV’s live channel interface. Hopefully, we’ll see the addition of more live streaming services integrated in the near future.

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27 comments
  1. AFTVnews says:

    Note: Political comments are not allowed because the discussion always degrades into a fight. Any comment even remotely about politics will be deleted.

  2. Fred says:

    Be nice if they could recognize Network tuners

  3. Jim Carter says:

    I was Amazon would add Pluto’s movie offerings. I can only stomach about 15 minutes of news every few months. It’s too depressing.

  4. Man says:

    Why no spectrum ap?

  5. Jp says:

    So random question don’t know where else to address it. My fire stick voice remotes all make strange ticking sounds even when the firetvs are off. Noticed on at least two of my remotes when I hold it up to my ear I hear clicking and whining sounds. The sounds increase after hitting a button on remote. I used to think it was a sound similar to power arc or the like but lately it sounds like the clicking and whirling in old hard drives just very faint. Does anyone else hear these sounds? Are my remotes defective? Should I stop using nimh batteries?

  6. Aaron says:

    Hopefully hulu is next…

    • Bumbo Diddy says:

      Hopefully everything is next. Even though Hulu isn’t my live TV choice, I hope you’re right because every major provider that does this pushes the next provider to do it and then we all get to enjoy this. Well, everyone except the YouTube TV people, that’ll never happen.

  7. RG Geiger says:

    Wow this is huge. As big as when Alexa voice was integrated. Can anyone who has both PlayStation Vue and Pluto tv answer this? Do you get two separate rows (channels)on the home page or are they both mixed togeather in one live channel? Looking forward to adding local live stations from over my antenna when the dvr arrives but they should get their own row channel

  8. JFC says:

    I have a Fire TV 2nd gen stick with the latest OS installed on my TV with the Pluto app set up and registered, all U.S.-based. And I’m now seeing the “On Now” row and the entries in the Live TV menu under the FTV Settings menu.

    However, for some reason, I’m only seeing 6 of the channels mentioned available, not 12. The 6 I’m able to see are Bloomberg, CNBC, NBC, NewsMax, Pluto TV Election and Sky News. None of the others anywhere to be found.

  9. Randy Reid says:

    I like the one line in the article “On the far left of the “On Now” row is a shortcut to the Fire TV’s live channel program guide.”
    It seemed accurate seeing that only the MSM is involved with this new feature.

  10. Kenn says:

    Why NO HLN,or CNN ?

    Or even major cable
    News Network Channels ?

    Just Curious…

    • RG Geiger says:

      They probably cost Pluto money to retransmit.it appears when Amazon takes over the Pluto stream for streaming they strip out Plutos ads but I could be wrong. Just having the channel creates interest for other Pluto channels and a great example for other services on getting on fire TV.

  11. Donald says:

    FAKE NEWS

  12. B Shep says:

    Do you see a time when the ps Vue channels / app will be integrated into the fire tv universal channel guide like Pluto tv. It would be nice if the fire tv channel guide could be accessed from within the ps Vue app, like how the interface is with the Pluto tv app. Currently once your in the ps Vue you have to leave it to go access the fire tv channel guide. One universal fire tv app for antenna / paid and free tv apps would be great.

  13. ComicCon says:

    Any word when Comet TV going to be integrated?

  14. John says:

    I always have trouble on the Amazon rows.
    Many times Amazon deliberately removed 4k UHD rows
    for save their bandwidth. I’ll say 80% of times for
    last two years.
    I can’t watch 4K because of that.
    Only way to watch 4k contents are add each title
    for watch lists. But why do I have to look for every
    single titles for it?

    On now row is no different.
    I have fire cube with latest update version.
    6.2.5.5 version.
    I installed Pluto channel and there is no
    On now row. Yes I did restart after
    Pluto installed.

    Amazon is too much flipping around with rows.
    I am very upset for last 2 years of having
    this kind of services. 3 years now with Prime members.

  15. Flokic says:

    New Hulu app version says that this update introduces DD+ 5.1. Wasn’t it there already? Not a big sound guy here :)

  16. Steve Siemen says:

    Wrong. The latest version for firestick is version 5.2.6.6. Also Amazon download is full version not just the 12 news channels, which is nice.

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