The CW has just released a new app for the Amazon Fire TV 1 and 2. Oddly enough, the app is not available for the new Fire TV Stick 2 or the old one, but hoefully that’s just a mistake that will be corrected soon. The best thing about the app is, unlike most network television apps, all the content in The CW app is available for free without the need to login with a cable provider.
Since there is no way to pay for a subscription or activate the app through a cable provider, the app is monetized by ads. While watching content through the app, you can expect to see ads as often as you would if you were watching over-the-air or through a cable provider. In a typical 1 hour long TV show, expect to see about 5 or 6 blocks of ads. As you can guess, you cannot skip the ads. The fast forward and rewind buttons on the Fire TV remote don’t work at all in this app and the on screen fast forward and rewind buttons disappear while an ad is played. While watching a show, if you fast forward past an ad before the ad starts playing, the ad block will still play once you press play.
The app consists of two main sections, a HOME screen and a SHOWS screen. The home screen highlights a few featured shows at the top via large banners that scroll horizontally. Moving down the app’s home screen takes you to a row of newly released episodes. Moving down again brings up a row of featured content.
The CW says that the 5 newest episodes of every show will be available to watch through the app. There is no way to access additional episodes, either by paying for a monthly subscription or by activating the app with a cable provider.
The SHOWS section is where you’ll find the list of all shows available to watch. At the top is a COMING SOON area highlighting upcoming new shows. Below that is a CURRENT SHOWS section, and below that is an ALSO ON THE CW section.
Selecting a show takes you to a screen with all the content available for that show. At the top is a large banner highlighting the latest episode, and below that is a horizontally scrolling row of all content related to that show. The 5 latest episode are listed first, followed by shorter clips related to the show. The clips include promos, trailers, interviews, making-of, and behind the scenes videos. At the bottom of the show screen is a description of the show.
Overall The CW app is a great addition to the Fire TV app library. Yes, you are shown many ads while watching content, but it’s great to have a free ad supported alternative to paid services, like Hulu, for new episodes of network television. I hope other networks take notice and follow suit.