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7 cheap and easy ways to watch live TV on Android, Chromecast, Fire TV, and more

As the coronavirus quarantine drives entire nations of people to seek refuge indoors, you may have recently found yourself with a lot of free time and little to do. While there's no shortage of on-demand streaming services to keep you entertained, what if you're looking for something a little more ... present? To help pass the countless minutes of solitude, we've assembled a list of affordable ways you can tune in to live TV. Most of these options are compatible with a wide range of devices, including Android phones, Chromecast, Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, and more, unless otherwise noted.

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YouTube TV makes EPIX channel free for all subscribers until April 25

Many TV providers and streaming services have been offering additional free content to subscribers, mostly to help pass the time during self-isolation or mandatory lockdowns from the coronavirus outbreak. While it's not clear if this is also a response to the growing number of folks stuck at home, YouTube TV is giving all its customers free access to the EPIX channel for the next month.

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YouTube TV now allows you to mark shows as watched

Other than letting you watch linear TV anywhere you go, YouTube TV also allows you to save as many episodes and shows to a virtual DVR as you like. This likely helped grow many people's libraries to unsurmountable sizes, which makes it harder to keep track of what you've watched and what you haven't. Google seems to recognize this, as the company is starting to roll out a "mark as watched" option so you can manually sort out episodes you've already finished, in case the platform hasn't caught that you did.

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YouTube TV retains most Fox regional sports networks, drops NY and LA channels (Updated)

Google and Fox Regional Sports networks owner Sinclair Broadcast Group have agreed to a new carriage deal that will see 19 local sports channels across the nation remain on the YouTube TV lineup. There are major omissions, though, as the YES Network in New York and Los Angeles-based Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket will be cut loose, effective today.

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HBO will be available on YouTube TV this spring

Cord cutting was all great and fun until every network and content maker jumped on the streaming service bandwagon and users started discovering how many subscriptions they'd have to accumulate to replace what used to be their single cable bill. YouTube TV has been trying to bridge that gap by offering a little bit of everything, including live sports, for US users. This spring, it'll also add HBO.

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YouTube Premium and Music share 20 million subscribers, YouTube TV has over 2 million

People are spending more time on YouTube and that means ad buyers are spending more cash to reach them. It also just so happens that a growing number of viewers are paying to avoid those commercials and even to watch non-YouTube programming. That's the picture parent company Alphabet is painting with its fourth-quarter earnings report.

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YouTube TV now available on PlayStation 4, only two years after the Xbox One

YouTube TV is one of several popular ways to get your cable TV fix without dealing with all those other cable TV inconveniences, though platform support has always been a limiting factor. Today the PS4 picks up compatibility with Google's service, allowing those that enjoy Sony's exclusive games to also enjoy their streaming cable programming courtesy of YouTube — all just a mere two years after the Xbox One got it.

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YouTube TV guide now shows 7 days of upcoming programs instead of a few hours

Today, YouTube TV announced the addition of a new feature to the service's Live Guide, the cord-cutting app's list of upcoming programming, which will now allow users to browse content seven days in advance of airing. Interested users can try out the revamped programming guide now by visiting the desktop version of YouTube TV's site.

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YouTube on Android now acts as a voice remote for the TV apps

Earlier this week, YouTube introduced several new features to its app with the hopes of making it more accessible and easier to use. The most noteworthy addition was that viewers can now use voice search when casting the YouTube app to their smart TV.

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YouTube TV adds PBS, PBS Kids, and OWN to channel lineup

Back in July, YouTube TV announced that PBS and PBS Kids would be coming to the streaming platform sometime "later this year." It would appear that the wait is over as PBS, PBS Kids, and the previously unannounced OWN have begun rolling out to the service today. More than 100 local PBS affiliates are now available on YouTube TV, with more on the way in 2020.

Some may argue that YouTube TV's network additions and the subsequent price increases have made the service less of a value than it had been. Hopefully, subscribers upset with some of those changes will be pleased to see three networks added to the platform with no further price hikes.

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