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Introduction to Linear Television

Fire TV content can be explored through browsing, voice control, or searching. Linear Television (the focus of this page) is one prominent and easily discoverable type of content available. Through this integration, linear TV content can be promoted throughout Fire TV, encouraging users to engage with your app. Here are some definitions to keep in mind.

Important Definitions

  • Linear TV - Programs that can be viewed according to a set schedule, much like traditional cable TV.
  • Video on Demand (VOD) - You can watch these at your convenience.
  • Live streaming events - These are events that are taking place as you watch them. Sports often falls into this category. These events may be recorded and be watched later as well.

Comparisons

  • Linear vs Video on Demand (VOD) - How you watch. Whereas Linear TV is watched according to a schedule (posted ahead of time), Video on Demand is available to be watched at any time.
  • Live vs Replay - Time of content relative to recording time. Live content are streamed as they happen. Sometimes these may replayed to be watched later.
  • Show vs Event - Cut & Edited vs unedited. A show usually follows a script and is edited. An event is broadcast, and maybe recorded, as it happened.

If you have Linear TV content, you can integrate your app into Fire TV. The rest of this document will focus on Linear TV and its features.

Linear TV Features on Fire TV

After you have integrated Linear TV with your app, these features will be available for all Fire TV devices once a customer installs and authenticates your app.

Visibility

Tiles under the Home tab display programming information on the Recent row and On Now row.

Programming information

Linear TV programming will be available on the “Live” tab, a dedicated tab for current Linear TV content.

Available in the Live Tab

Focusing on a program reveals more detailed information.

Detailed information

An integrated channel guide reveals up to 14 days of scheduling information for a channel.

Integrated channel guide showing up to 14 days

Users can search for Linear TV content for up to 14 days of programming. This can be done by typing in the search, or using voice search.

Search for content

Alexa voice support for "Tune to <channel_name>."

Tune to channel name

Users can add Linear TV channels to a list of favorites for quick access.

Add to favorites

Ways to Play Linear TV Content

Users can play content either in its own app or play it directly. Playing it directly increases discoverability and saves time and effort for customers.

To learn how to implement these features, go to the next page: TV Input Framework on Fire TV.


Last updated: Aug 27, 2020