After being leaked in mid-December, Dish Network today officially launched its new AirTV brand with an optional streaming box and wireless dongle (OTA) “optimized for Sling”, the service Other companies to stream everything except TV OTA.
An in-box AirTV player powered by Android combines the ability to stream online video services – including Netflix, Sling TV, and other apps available in the Google Play Store – and access live TV channels online.
While nearly every TV can already receive those free channels with the addition of an inexpensive antenna, AirTV is offering the convenience of combining them with online services into a single “storefront.” one stop “without having to switch inputs. It also consolidates antenna-based channels into the Sling TV’s online channel guide.
It also has the benefit of filling in some “missing” channels from the Sling TV lineup, including ABC and CBS (the owners of CNET), without asking for licenses with those broadcasters. (NBC and Fox are available on two tiers higher out of the three Sling programming tiers.)
The Player box costs $ 100 that includes the remote control, an OTA USB adapter for $ 40, and if you buy them together you’ll save $ 10 at $ 130. You get $ 50 in credit for the Sling TV service when you buy the Player – but it won’t require a subscription unless you want to subscribe to services other than OTA. And of course, related subscriptions like Netflix will still incur additional fees.
Both products are available right this minute. AirTV is also offering an installation service for those without an antenna or those who want optimal positioning ($ 100 indoors, $ 150 outdoors), though it’s only available in one limited number of regions at this time.
AirTV supports resolutions up to 4K, as well as Wi-Fi 2.4 and 5GHz. The Bluetooth remote also incorporates voice, and it has dedicated buttons for Netflix and YouTube.
Note, however, that it lacks both local and cloud DVR capabilities, a feature the Sling TV also lacks. (Sling TV’s Cloud DVR service is in beta.) No need to change your time!
AirTV will compete with new products announced in 2017 like the new Tablo Droid, Tablo Live and Mohu AirWave, all aimed at integrating antenna-based TV channels with streaming options.
Updated January 5 with additional context and new competitive products announced.