Amazon has brought several UI elements found previously only on Fire TV Edition televisions to all Fire TV devices. These new interfaces include an On Now row on the home screen and a new Channel Guide. While they’re used for over-the-air channels on televisions running Fire OS, they’re being made available on Fire TV devices to make it easier to see what is currently streaming live and what will be streaming live through select Amazon Channels.
The On Now row on the Fire TV home screen shows a horizontally scrolling list of what is currently available to stream live from select Amazon Channels. A red bar at the bottom of the content thumbnail indicates how far along the live stream is for each show.
While watching a live stream, a row similar to the On Now row can be brought up to view what else is currently airing on other Amazon Channels that can be viewed live.
Highlighting any content in the On Now row on the home screen, or in the Up Next row while watching a live stream, and pressing the menu button will bring up the option to view a newly added Channel Guide. The guide lists what is currently streaming live as well as what will be streaming live in the future. In the bottom right will be a picture-in-picture live view of the channel you were just watching live.
Currently, only HBO, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and Cinemax are available in the On Now row and the Channel Guide but Amazon says they hope to add more services. You’ll need to be subscribed through Amazon Channels for live programming to be available in this manner. Being subscribed to a service directly, such as through HBO Now, will not cause the new interface to appear.
Lastly, the compatible Amazon Channels will now also work with the recently added Alexa commands for pulling up specific stations. You can say “Alexa, tune to HBO Family” or “Alexa, watch STARZ” to jump directly to the live stream of each channel. You can also say “Alexa, go to the Channel Guide” to go directly to the channel guide.