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Amazon Fire TV takes on Roku and Samsung with new free TV tab

(Image credit: Amazon)

The Amazon Fire TV interface is doubling down on free TV streaming, with a new, dedicated tab for all the content on Fire TV you don't have to pay for.

Titled simply 'Free', the new tab sits on the Fire TV's navigation bar, collating together the freely available programming in one handy place. While only available in the US so far, we expect it to roll out to the UK and elsewhere in the coming months too.

In a blog post, senior product marketing manager Michael Polin wrote that, "The new Free tab offers customers a single destination to a curated selection from thousands of free movies, TV shows, news, and more."

Free apps include IMDb TV, Tubi, Pluto TV, Crackle, and The CW – as well as Twitch, Red Bull, PBS and PBS Kids – for a total of over 20,000 titles to enjoy.

There's also a free News app for keeping up with the events of the day, as well as a row dedicated to free content available on Amazon Prime Video and other streaming services that you already pay for, such as Netflix or Hulu – or the more recently-added Disney Plus.

Fight fire with fire

The Fire TV platform powers a number of streaming devices, such as the Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Cube, and television sets that come with the OS built-in.

It's a smooth and zippy smart TV platform, and for years now has made a great argument for replacing your TV's operating system with a cheap streaming stick rather than upgrading to a new set entirely.

The move towards free streaming, though, seems very much in the style of other major players in the streaming and smart TV industries. Roku streaming devices have offered a similar tab for some time now, while the quickly-expanding Samsung TV Plus enables any Samsung TV owners to access up to 120 free TV channels (depending on their nation of residence).

Via The Verge

Henry St Leger

Henry is TechRadar's News & Features Editor, covering the stories of the day with verve, moxie, and aplomb. He's spent the past three years reporting on TVs, projectors and smart speakers as well as gaming and VR – including a stint as the website's Home Cinema Editor – and has been interviewed live on both BBC World News and Channel News Asia, discussing the future of transport and 4K resolution televisions respectively. As a graduate of English Literature and persistent theatre enthusiast, he'll usually be found forcing Shakespeare puns into his technology articles, which he thinks is what the Bard would have wanted. Bylines include Edge, T3, and Little White Lies.