American tech giant Google is reportedly working to introduce free TV channels to its Google TV platform in the near future.
Google TV is an Android-based smart TV platform that works with Chromecast and selected smart TVs from Sony, TCL, and so on. Several streaming apps, including Disney+ Hotstar, Netflix, and others, are already available on Google TV and, it is now considering stepping things up a notch by adding free TV channels to the mix.
Google is reportedly in discussions with companies that distribute free and ad-supported streaming television channels. According to the sources, free streaming channels might arrive on Google TV as early as fall this year or alongside its smart TV partners in 2022.
Chromecast owners will be able to browse channels through a dedicated Live TV menu through this addition. This menu currently solely offers premium TV options, such as YouTube TV subscriptions. The new free TV channels will be available along with these subscription-based live channels.
As per the report, these channels may have the look and feel of traditional, linear television networks, complete with ad breaks and on-screen graphics. These attempts are akin to what Samsung offers on its smart TVs with its monthly TV Plus service. “This service integrates free streaming channels, and Samsung is reported to stream “billions of minutes” of linear programming every month,” according to the reports.
Further, media streaming platforms Roku and Amazon are said to have followed Samsung’s lead in bringing live channels to their devices. Nowadays, most smart TV manufacturers aim to include free streaming channels in their program guides so that users may simply switch between streaming and live TV.