How to Watch Live TV on Fire TV

How to Watch Live TV on Fire TV

Amazon’s Fire TV is one of our favorite streaming boxes, and like all great streaming boxes, it makes cutting out cable a whole lot easier. That’s because the Fire TV can act as a hub for all kinds of OTT services, including Netflix, Hulu, and more.

But on-demand content alone isn’t enough to replace cable – after all, cable is all about live TV. Can your Fire TV be a path to the same kind of live network channels? Of course it can! Here are the best ways to watch live television on your Fire TV (you can check out our similar piece on Roku here).

 

OTT Skinny Bundles

The best replacement for live cable TV is live streaming TV! Skinny bundles like PlayStation Vue and Sling TV offer the same live network channels that cable does, but they charge you less because they cut out the fat, allow you pay only for the channels you want, and deliver your content “over the top” instead of through cable. Here is a little more information about the three big skinny bundle options:

 

DIRECTV NOW

DIRECTV NOW

DIRECTV NOW is a skinny bundle that replicates the cable experience in the form of a streaming service. For as little as $35/month, DIRECTV NOW offers more than 60 live television networks. DIRECTV NOW primarily competes with PlayStation Vue and Sling TV – and, like its competition, it offers a free trial.

 

Sling TV

Sling TV

Sling TV is less than two years old at the time of this writing, but it’s nevertheless the elder statesman of the skinny bundle scene. It’s an intuitive and solid service, and it can cost as little as $20/month, depending on which base package you choose. Read our full review of Sling TV here.

 

PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue

Sony’s OTT competitor is a great option. PlayStation Vue has a DVR feature and offers more channels for your buck than Sling TV does (though none of their packages are as cheap or small as Sling’s smallest). For a full comparison of the two services, check out our Sling TV vs. PlayStation Vue piece. You can also read our full review of PlayStation Vue here.

 

Single-Channel Apps

WatchESPN

Like cable companies, some channels offer individual streaming apps. Some, like ESPN’s WatchESPN app, will require a pay TV login (a skinny bundle login will work, so cord cutters can still access these apps). Others put live TV outside the paywall. Usually, these apps also feature on-demand content.

A few to try:

  • CNNgo
  • CBS News 24/7
  • Watch ABC
  • WatchESPN

Whatever your favorite channel is, it’s worth doing a search in Amazon’s channel store to see what’s available! If you have a friend or family member who is willing to share a cable login, you’ll have access to a lot of live streaming options.

 

CBS All Access

CBS All Access

CBS All Access is a bit like the single-channel apps we discussed above, but it can be subscribed to directly. It’s CBS’s direct-to-consumer OTT solution, and it’s an easy way to get live CBS programming over the top as a cord cutter. You can read our full review of CBS All Access here.

 

Pluto TV

Pluto TV

Pluto TV doesn’t quite fit in with the OTT skinny bundles, because its live channel selection is actually assembled from online videos. But Pluto TV’s channels do stream around the clock, replicating the channel-surfing experience that you’d get with live TV. It’s a great app for relaxing and flipping channels mindlessly.

 

Sports Streaming Apps

MLB.TV

Want live sports? America’s major leagues have you covered with their OTT services. You can subscribe directly and watch live baseball, basketball, and hockey on your Fire TV. Local and national blackouts apply.

Services to check out (links are to our reviews):

 

Tablo

Tablo

The OTA DVR Tablo is another option for watching live TV on your Fire TV. The Tablo’s main purpose is to record live TV from your OTA antenna, which you can then watch on your various Tablo apps. But Tablo’s apps also allow for live streaming from your antenna feed, making it a great option for watching live TV on Fire TV.

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About the Author

Stephen Lovely
Stephen Lovely
Stephen Lovely is a freelance writer and a longtime cord cutter with a passion for technology and entertainment. You can find his work on Cordcutting.com and his tweets at @stephenlovely.

3 Comments on "How to Watch Live TV on Fire TV"

  1. Michael Hamrick | October 8, 2016 at 12:04 pm | Reply

    I’m new to Roku. I’m still learning about all the devices out there. Is Amazon better than Roku? Which is the best device? I am happy with Roku, however, I’m curious about the other devices.

  2. Michael,

    I’m already an Amazon Prime member, so I had not problem picking up a few Fire TV boxes (not stick) and enjoy the content that comes with the membership. The frame rate is noticeably different when watching PS Vue, and the response time switching between menus is faster. If you’re not an Amazon Prime member and it does not interest you, then Roku is certainly a great alternative, but given “my” situation I like Amazon over Roku. To be fair I’m comparing the stick, not the new box Roku just released. Hope this helps.

  3. I use PlayStation Vue. My non-techie wife loves it. It allows five devices while the others are more limited, and that’s a big deal with kids in the house.

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