Since its launch in the fall of 2020, the new Chromecast has been an absolute smash. From adding a real UI to finally introducing a remote to the Chromecast formula, there’s no denying the appeal of Google’s affordable, useful streaming dongle. Even with all the good things I have to say about this hardware, though, it isn’t without its limitations. The on-board storage is puny, the processor is pretty slow, and up until now, there has only been one option for live TV integration. That has finally changed, however, and you can now integrate Sling TV with the new Chromecast instead of YouTube TV.
I took Sling for a quick spin and after signing up for my free 3-day trial, the office TV now has the ‘Live’ tab up top on the Chromecast’s homescreen and the Google TV guide shows my live television options without having to open any apps up. If you’ve used YouTube TV with the new Chromecast, you know exactly what we’re working with, here. If you’ve not, the idea is pretty simple. Just like other suggestions and content offered on the home screens of the new Google TV interface, the Live TV tab integrates with YouTube TV or Sling TV to show you a very well-laid-out guide of what’s currently on to watch. Clicking an item takes you the respective app, but having a quick-glance live TV guide integration is great for those initial browsing moments and it makes the whole experience far more streamlined.
Google said it would integrate 3rd-party live TV services and Sling TV looks to be the first. It is unclear at this point whether or not services like Hulu with Live TV will get integrated in a similar fashion down the road, but there’s no real reason not to expect it in the future. With a successful piece of hardware like the new Chromecast and a UI that does a great job of integrating and highlighting all sorts of streaming content services, I’d imagine most live TV providers are ready to get integrated in a similar way as we’re seeing with Sling TV. The updated and fully-integrated version of the Sling TV app is rolling out now for all users and if you are a current or prospective user of the service, you should see the update and the new feature very soon.