Android TVs are getting 800 free channels in a great free update

A screen shot of the Live TV tab on Android TV
(Image credit: Google)

More than 800 free channels are being added to Android TVs in the coming weeks, giving those that own a smart TV or a streaming device like the Nvidia Shield TV Pro that uses the operating system the chance to easily watch a whole lot more TV and movies. 

You won’t have to download the new channels or search in the app for them either. The free built-in channels are being rolled out to those located in the US, giving everyone with an Android TV device access to news channels such as NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX as well as international programs that will be available in more than 10 languages, including Spanish, Hindi and Japanese. 

A Live tab, which was recently added to Google TV devices, is also being added to Android TVs – you will be able to find this between the ‘Home’ and ‘Discover’ sections. In the Live tab, free channels such as Tubi, Plex, Pluto TV and Haystack will be made accessible. Cable TV replacements YouTube TV, which offers access to more than 100 channels, and Sling TV will also be available. 

However, in a community post released earlier this week, Google said that premium live subscriptions such as YouTube TV won’t be integrated into the Live tab right away. Instead, this can be accessed through the app for now. 

What to watch with so much choice

From local news stations and live sports to several international channels, there’s a lot to choose from on Android TV now. The update brings the service in line with Google TV, which is essentially the newer and slicker version of Android TV, but not all Android TV devices are being updated to Google TV.

So what’s good to watch? Like other Google products, the newly added Live TV tab will offer personalized recommendations based on your watch history. No official list was announced alongside the update, but looking at the free channels available on the Live tab on Google TV the following channels will be included: 

  • NBC News Now
  • Today All Day
  • Sky News
  • Reuters Now
  • Scripps News
  • Cheddar News
  • AccuWeather
  • Xumo Free Movies

With so much choice, Google has added the ability to favorite any channels you love, which will pin the content to the top of the Live TV guide. This feature will undoubtedly become increasingly useful when trying to filter through the expanding content library. 

Given that an increasing number of the world’s best streaming services are raising prices and clamping down password sharing, free TV channels are looking increasingly attractive, especially as more and more content gets added.    

Amelia Schwanke
Senior Editor UK, Home Entertainment

Amelia became the Senior Editor for Home Entertainment at TechRadar in the UK in April 2023. With a background of more than eight years in tech and finance publishing, she's now leading our coverage to bring you a fresh perspective on everything to do with TV and audio. When she's not tinkering with the latest gadgets and gizmos in the ever-evolving world of home entertainment, you’ll find her watching movies, taking pictures and travelling.