How to add over 100 Live Channels for Free to the Fire TV’s Channel Guide and ‘Live’ tab

The Fire TV’s “Live Experience,” as Amazon calls it, consists of a built-in channel guide that displays each channel in a traditional scrollable grid layout and the ‘Live’ tab, where content that is airing now is grouped together by various genres (e.g., News, Sports, etc..) and service. Even though more and more apps have added support for this interface over the years, I suspect that most Fire TV owners ignore it entirely. When you don’t know what to watch and/or are sick of endlessly scrolling through the same old apps, it’s sometimes nice to just channel surf through live content or just put a never-ending channel on in the background, like the good old days. Here are instructions for how to quickly add over 100 live channels, completely for free, to the Fire TV’s channel guide and live experience.

The number and selection of free channels changes over time. At the time that I am writing this, there are a total of 133 free live channels available across various apps. You’ll be able to customize the channel list to the ones you care about by deleting individual channels and favoriting others.

  1. Install the following Free apps on your Fire TV. Each app adds a certain number of free channels.
    Pluto TV: Currently offers 49 Channels for Free
    Sling TV Currently offers 36 Channels for Free
    Red Bull TV: Currently offers 10 Channels for Free
    Tubi: Currently offers 8 Channels for Free
    IMDb TV (already pre-installed):Currently offers 30 Channels for Free

  2. Sling TV is the only app that currently requires logging in to access the free channels, so you’ll need to create an account. Either within the Sling TV app or on Sling.com, you can start signing up for a free trial but then stop when it asks for payment information. When you get to the payment information part, your acocunt will have already been created, so you can log in with it in the Sling app.
  3. On the Fire TV, go to Settings > Live TV > Manage Channels. You should see all of the above apps listed. If any of them are missing, go to Settings > Live TV > Sync Sources and select the app that is missing. Sometimes it helps to restart the Fire TV for all channels to be added.
  4. If you’d like, from the Manage Channels screen, you can go into each service and see the list of channels. From there you can press PLAY to hide a channel or press SELECT to favorite a channel. When a channel is favoirited, it will appear at the top of the channel guide and at the front of the Live tab’s row for that service.
  5. Now you can browse all the free channels in the channel guide and the Live tab. You can open the channel guide by either saying “open guide” into the voice remote or by selecting the “Channel Guide” button in the Live tab. If your Fire TV remote has a button with a TV icon (currently only on Fire TV Stick Lite and Fire TV Edition remotes), that button will also open the channel guide.

47 comments
  1. RedPenguin says:

    I must admit that when I first heard about this, I thought cool but I can already watch this stuff as is.

    But then I started to realize that this is actually a very good way to watch various free content in one place.

    I just wish that you didn’t have to install each app as it’s always a fun chore with the 8GB of space on the Fire TV Stick, at least the 2nd Gen & Lite for me.

    I know there are some ways around the 8GG limit but it’s not always practical.

  2. Michael Nix says:

    Very nice. Can’t believe I get 1st for once.

  3. Michael Nix says:

    Ops. Never mind.

  4. Lisa Sw says:

    How can I download theses apps and have these free channels on the Fire TV if I’ll keep getting a pop up message on the screen saying the tv has low storage and I need to DELETE some apps?

    • Michael Nix says:

      All in all, I would switch to a Fire Cube or a Fire TV (which are pretty cheap) and can be gotten with more storage.

      • Carlos says:

        On one TV I have a Roku an the other one is a Smart TV and I have hundreds you hundreds of TV channels completely FREE without paying nothing to scammer.

    • Rodger says:

      When my Firestick says that , ( low storage) I have to go to settings , manage apps ( not sure if that is exactly how you get there , but bet you can find it —- then delete cache on your apps ( could be several) – hope that works for you

      • Lisa Sw. says:

        Thanks….. I have done that tens of times but it doesn’t seem to resolve the problem.

        • oasis_001 says:

          There are times when ‘low storage’ has been an issue on multiple FTV4K devices for me and just ‘clearing cache’ seems to have little or a very temporary affect. What I have found to help at times is to go to SETTINGS – MY ACCOUNT and select SYNC AMAZON CONTENT. Give it about a minute to refresh and I have found recently that if I go back into APPLICATIONS and check INTERNAL SPACE indicator that a considerable amount of memory appears to be freed up. I had one device that was always in the 400MB to 600MB free space range, based on usage. Now that I periodically run SYNC AMAZON CONTENT, it sits at around 1GB of free space. It can still bounce lower based on usage, but running SYNC AMAZON CONTENT seems to get it back to the 1GB range. It could be a ‘placebo effect’, but it can’t hurt to give it a try. It doesn’t always have a dramatic affect, but running it every few days on my four (4) devices seems to get me more free space and I have to do much less clearing of cache to avoid ‘low storage’ warnings.

          • MM says:

            Thanks for that tip. I tried it and when syncing Amazon content it said “Syncing Amazon Paid Content”. I do not purchase any content from Amazon so it probably does not help me in my case and I am not sure if it does any housekeeping on free apps residing on the stick.

        • Kelly Northrup says:

          From. Another perspective, could it be a message from your Smart TV?

          I had my volume get stuck on my Samsung tv and the solution was to delete some apps.

    • Anthony Navarro says:

      You can buy a couple of extensions and more memory for the firestick, Just google how to add storage to your firestick. Or you can simply delete some apps.

    • Bob Morris says:

      Buy an OTG cable and a small Sandisk thumb drive. Search this site and You Tube (TDUK) for How To Add USB Storage To Fire Stick. Put all your sideloaded apps on the USB drive.

    • David says:

      Stupidly they don’t have Locast in their list of Live TV apps

  5. Archeeto24 says:

    Just buy a Nvidia shield. Much faster, less buffering. You can side load whatever you want.

  6. sp says:

    Tubi isn’t appearing on live channels even after launching the app first, restarting the device and launching the app, going into manage channels and sync sources (it doesn’t appear as one of the sources). Tried it several times now.

  7. Dennis D. B.. Allen says:

    To Whom It May Concern,
    I Just Purchased A
    Amazon Fire T.V. Stick And Haven’t Had
    The Chance To Use It Just Yet So I Think That Your Articles Are Special Information About The
    Amazon Fire T.V. Stick Are Very Helpful So All I’m Going To Do Is Finally Put It To Use

    Thank You Very Much For All Your Time And Support And Help ! !

    Sincerely Appreciated,
    Dennis D.B. Allen

  8. Neogeo71 says:

    if you use a 3rd party launcher to replace the main FireTV UI, is there a way to access this guide?

  9. Matt says:

    I’m in the UK and the region of my Amazon account is set as UK. Even with the VPN active and set to the US, Sling TV, Tubi and IMDb TV do not appear in the Fire TV appstore for me to download. I’d like to try sideloading the apps to see if they will allow access to their content under VPN but need some help with this. Can anyone who has the apps installed use an APK Extractor and upload them to a hosting site please? I’m hopeful that once installed, the appstore will automatically update them as new versions get released as it has done this before with other sideloaded apps!!

  10. Eddie says:

    I’m really excited to see this add Because I Been trying to get that Tubi App I can get it on my phone But I can’t get it on my Television I didn’t know I will have to buy a Fire Tv To get the App that I really enjoy Thanks!

  11. Cindy Coats says:

    Can you get this on any smart tv or does it have to be a fire tv?

  12. Rik Emmett says:

    I installed the recommended apps on my Fire TV second gen box and moved the apps to the SD Card to free up space. Then I synced all the apps with the live guide. The Live Guide is sluggish. I went through all the channels in the manage apps settings and hid the channels I do not care to watch.

  13. Rik Emmett says:

    On my Fire TV second gen box, for the live channels in the Sling app, when selecting a channel in the live guide, it just opens the sling app rather than starting a stream of the selected channel.

  14. RG Geiger says:

    Elias great article. I noticed another platform also offers Pluto TV and incorporates it into a system grid guide but there you get 257 channels. I was just wondering why the fire tv platform only allows 49 channels in it’s grid guide when the pluto tv app has many more channels available. I’ve been using Pluto tv and the grid guide for live tv even before the recast was released so maybe it’s my problem but I can’t seem to access any more than the 49 channels you mention.

    • I wish I knew the answer. When Pluto TV first integrated into the Fire TV’s guide, they only made 12 channels available. The number of channels has been increasing over time, but I don’t know why all channels aren’t available. I assume it’s Pluto TV that is limiting the number of channels, not Amazon, so maybe it’s a content licensing issue.

      • Jim says:

        Elias,

        Was wondering if heard or learned of anything further as to why Pluto only shows a limited number of channels in the integrated live programming guide. It’s is the one aspect of the live guide that I find REALLY annoying, LOL. You suggested it might be a Pluto thing??

  15. Mark says:

    Hi Elias, I’m trying to get into the Live TV submenu, but after asking for the pin, nothing happens. Same after restarting

  16. Keith says:

    I wish someone could get REAL live TV channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS) instead of the junk that’s currently on offer. I don’t want to watch 24/7 “news” channels or home shopping channels!

    • Red says:

      Would be nice if locast integrated. If you have / use locast request integration, I have.

    • jacqueline badilla says:

      Hola les recomiendo Cineclub en directo History,ADN,Dos etc algunos canales están actualizados y otros tienen temporadas antiguas pero la publicidad es del canal.es legal y gratis en playstore o sin app en navegador http://www.phottocall.con .para chileno s chiletvgratis 2.0 en playstore

  17. hdmkv says:

    Finally got around to trying this; quite cool, especially w/Recast in the mix for OTA. This set-up now beats Live Channels on Android TV, which has become buggy as heck. Hope Amazon adds XUMO and that would make all the free channels I need complete :)!

  18. Gary L Bulthouse says:

    How can I view Fire TV’s “Live Experience,” channel guide on computer? I want to be able to decide what to watch without interrupting what I’m watching at any time, or is there a way to view it in Picture in Picture?

  19. Harry says:

    Great write up, thanks!

    How do you deal with channels that are duplicated among the installed apps? Don’t want same channel in the guide more than once.

    Any idea which live TV apps have the least amount of annoying ads?

    • Gary L Bulthouse says:

      @Harry
      my channel guide doesn’t mix apps, in other words it lists the OTA channels, then the IMDB (probably that one second because Amazon owns it) then lists the Pluto apps line up followed by Tube. In my opinion the IMDB app is seriously flawed and I don’t mess with it much since Amazon wrecked.. I mean, bought it. Pluto seems to randomly insert ads (with high repetition of particular ads) anywhere..mid sentence, mid paragraph, although they aren’t as horrible as they used to be. On my equipment, Pluto buffers for along time before starting and often in the middle of things. Tubi is my hands down star, they play a minimum of ads, doesn’t cut in except where an ad space is in the script… the way TV God designed it, and it doesn’t buffer at all, remembers were you were in a show if you have to leave in the middle of something. My only complaint is is that I’m running out of content a bit because for the last year I streamed full seasons of everything all day and night.

    • Rik Emmett says:

      Settings-Live Channels-Manage Channels allows you to hidd channels from the guide.

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