Google TV, which offers one of the cleanest streaming experiences for cable cutters, only improved its live TV options – meaning users actually have options now. While the “Live” tab was previously limited to Google’s own expensive live TV streaming service, YouTube TV, the company has introduced a cheaper alternative with a Sling TV integration.
The companies confirmed to The Verge that the extra support for Sling TV marks the first non-Google live TV integration for the platform, and that’s important. While pretty good, YouTube TV costs $ 65 per month before any extras or entertainment subscriptions like Starz or HBO Max are offered through the service. Sling TV, meanwhile, starts at $ 35 per month for one of two basic plans: Orange for sports and family content or Blue for news and entertainment.
This is not to say that Sling TV, Hulu with Live TV or Fubo TV users could not access their live TV services on the platform – you certainly can only by navigating to your chosen live and linear app. But Google has a special Live tab at the top that makes navigation a breeze, and this category was previously only available to subscribers to the YouTube TV service.
Now, however, anyone who wants their live TV to be baked directly into the Google TV experience has another, less expensive option. While Sling TV’s plans offer about half of the channels that YouTube TV does – around 30 to 45 versus YouTube TV’s more than 85 channels – the service also offers shit cheap package deals starting at around $ 6 for decent customization.
Google TV is currently available on Sony’s 2021 Bravia XR TVs and Google’s latest Chromecast device, with the platform soon to be launched on TCL TVs. To enable the Google TV experience feature, connect the Sling TV subscription to your Google Account in the Google Home app. After Sling TV is connected via Google Home, a Live tab should appear at the top of the Google TV navigation bar.
Update June 8 at 16:15 ET: After publication, a spokesperson told Sling TV The Verge that the update will roll out to compatible devices within the next week. The spokesman added that the integration would be widely available “in the next few days.”