Google is looking to make a serious push into smart TV OS with its new Google TV platform, but it still lacks some of the tools its competitors have.
According to Protocol, the tech giant is about to close one big gaping hole with the addition of free ad-supported streaming channels (aka FASTs).
Again, this is something that everyone else Google competes with in smart TV OS already had. Roku, for example, launched its Live TV Channel Guide last year, allowing its users to have a pay TV-like linear experience with more than 200 channels, including local broadcast affiliates and O&Os that are blended in via over-the-air antenna.
In fact, Roku announced last month that it was adding former cable network El Rey and 16 other channels to the free service, which rests within its Roku Channels dominion.
But Roku's hardly alone. Samsung TV Plus, which is available on all of the eponymous Korean OEM's smart TVs, touts more than 180 live-streamed channels. Other smart TV makers such as LG and Vizio have FAST offerings, too.
As for Google TV, the software is foundationed on Android TV and was launched last October with the debut of Google's Chromecast with Google TV dongle. But smart TV makers Sony and TCL have introduced TV sets using the new OS, too.
Google hasn't commented or confirmed the plan to add a Fast component to Google TV. According to Protocol, the addition could occur as soon as this fall, but the tech pub said Google is still mulling those plans.
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!
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