Wouldn’t it be neat if you could get free streaming TV channels without downloading an app or signing up for a new service? Well, you just might be getting that soon if you’re Google TV user, 9to5Google has decompiled the latest version of the software and reports the company’s TV streaming platform (formally Android TV) contains text that hints at 50 included live TV channels.
The purported new feature seems to be called “Google TV Channels” based on text found in the launcher app. And there’s also an image in the software that hints at what channels will be included in the new service. It’s the usual lineup of internet-streamed free channels like ABC News Live, NBC News Now, and USA Today. There’s also a bunch of background noise channels like Divorce Court, American Classics, and Deal or no Deal. You’ll even get the Hallmark Movies channel, and enjoy the one where a big city lawyer learns to love the simple things after falling in love with a rugged baker. And you’ll get the Reelz channel where you can apparently watch my actor friend play a soft-spoken cop.
Many of these channels are readily available on other free or cheap streaming TV services, including Pluto TV, Philo, and Sling TV. But these are services you’d have to sign up for, whereas Google is taking the approach that some TV manufacturers like LG and Samsung are doing with their Smart TVs — giving buyers something to watch in just a few clicks on a remote. Google’s 50 channels sound slim compared to the 175-plus with LG Channels, and over 200 with Samsung’s TV Plus, but you probably won’t have to buy a whole new TV or download an app to take advantage of it.