Google TV just added over 800 free live TV channels — here's what you get

Google TV logo on TV
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Like free stuff? Google has announced a partnership with streaming services Tubi, Plex and Haystack News to bring more than 800 free live channels to its smart TV operating system, Google TV.

You can find these options the redesigned Live tab with the rest of your live channel services, including premium ones like YouTube TV or Sling TV.

This effort from Google aims to revamp its Live tab to make it a one-stop shop for live TV options that can rival the best streaming services. In this tab, you'll find free TV channels featuring shows shows like Westworld, Law & Order: SVU and The Walking Dead along with news channels like ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX.

It's also adding a new TV guide feature on the left rail that lets you browse by genre or see what's trending. Any shows or channels saved to your "Favorites" are pinned at the top. 

Google claims this latest update makes Google TV the platform offering the most free TV channels within one electronic programming guide. The company said its new live TV expansion rolls out today in the United States for all Google TV devices, including its Chromecast with Google TV and smart TVs with Google TV built-in. It plans to bring the new TV guide and free channels to all eligible Android TV devices "later this year."

What shows and movies are coming to Google TV?

A gif of accessing the revamped Live tab on Google TV

(Image credit: Google)

The 800 channels from Tubi, Plex and Haystack News join Google TV's existing lineup of Pluto TV channels. With this latest move, Google TV is quickly becoming a leading hub of the best free streaming services available today. 

For those unfamiliar, Plex started as a media server, but has since expanded its offering with movies and TV as well as the ability to connect to other free streaming services. We previously named Plex one of the best streaming apps when it added a new Discovery mode and a Watchlist to make it easier to manage all the server-hosted content and its free catalogue of movies and TV shows.

There you'll find free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channels, which collect shows such as Baywatch, NBC's Hannibal and Doctor Who into linear TV "channels." Paid Plex subscribers also have access to community-focused features, like adding friends to see what they’re watching and how they’re rating shows and movies.

Tubi is an ad-supported free streaming service owned by Fox with a library of over 20,000 older TV shows and movies from partnerships with Hollywood big names like Paramount, Lionsgate, Warner Bros. and MGM. In terms of content, you'll find a bit of everything.

As far as TV shows go, Tubi has a hefty offering of reality and True Crime content such as TMZ, Dateline, Hell's Kitchen, Duck Dynasty and Forensic Files. Movie-wise, you won't find the latest and greatest hits, but there's plenty of old-school classics and nostalgia fodder. Tubi also has a robust selection of anime that could rival Netflix, including newer releases and fan favorites from the '90s and 2000s. Check out our full Tubi explainer for more details.

Haystack News hosts live channels from local, national and international news outlets, including Reuters, Al Jazeera, CBS, ABC and CNN. 

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Alyse Stanley
News Editor

Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment.

Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats.  She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.