Fire TV beefs up live TV offering with DirecTV integration

Amazon’s Fire TV is stepping up its live TV game, launching this week a new integration with DirecTV. According to Amazon, the company is making it easier for viewers to browse, watch and switch between live channels on Fire TV.

Fire TV customers with a DirecTV Stream subscription can now download the DirecTV app from the Amazon Appstore. Then, they’ll be able to access DirecTV’s live TV catalog via Fire TV’s “Live” tab. The integration is only available for Fire TV users in the U.S. and doesn’t apply to DirecTV’s satellite customers.

Other live TV features in Fire TV’s UI include a channel guide that checks programs airing now and in the next 14 days, integrated search results for live TV and apps, a Recently Watched section as well as Alexa voice remote capabilities. In addition to DirecTV, Fire TV has integrated live TV from Peacock, Plex and Haystack TV, among other services.

DirecTV Stream is the live streaming alternative to the company’s satellite service. Plans for both DirecTV and DirecTV Stream start at around $65 per month, but the key difference is the satellite subscription requires customers to sign up for a two-year contract.

The integration with Fire TV comes a couple of weeks after DirecTV unveiled a brand-new set top box – dubbed the Gemini – for its satellite and internet customers. The Gemini, which marked DirecTV’s most significant set top box upgrade in nearly a decade, allows users to search through streaming apps without switching between TV inputs.

As for Fire TV, it’s striving to become a home entertainment hub for consumers. At the NAB show this week, Fire TV Head of Device Monetization Matt Hill told Fierce Video that connected TVs should be both part of daily life and help make things simpler for users.

Hill also mentioned free ad-supported streaming is Fire TV’s “fastest growing category.”

Separately, Amazon on Wednesday announced it’s teamed up with Fox Television Stations to distribute free local news content via the Amazon News app, a customizable news aggregator built into Fire TV. The content can also be accessed through Amazon’s Echo Show smart speaker.