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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.