Dish’s Sling TV Launches Test of DVR, but It Won’t Be Able to Record ABC, Disney or ESPN Channels

sling-tv-dvr
Courtesy of Dish Network

Beta version will provide up to 100 hours of recording for no extra cost to Sling subscribers

UPDATED: Dish Network announced a network DVR beta test for Sling TV subscribers offering up to 100 hours of storage, looking to steal some thunder from AT&T’s DirecTV Now launch Monday.

However, Sling TV’s DVR feature will not be available for Disney, ABC or ESPN channels — because the Disney-owned networks’ distribution agreements for Sling do not allow recording of their programming on the internet-delivered service. Sling TV’s cloud DVR beta program will be available first to customers using Roku streaming players and Roku TVs, starting in December. It will be available at no extra cost to subs with either the single-stream Sling Orange package or the multistream Sling Blue plan.

“Unlike other OTT services, we’re delivering a true cloud DVR with no 28-day restriction on your recordings, marking another win for Sling TV and our customers,” Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch said in announcing the launch. “Two years ago we became the first live OTT provider, and we continue to innovate and bring the best experience to our customers.”

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The reference to a 28-day restriction on recordings is to Sony’s PlayStation Vue rival broadband-delivered service, which saves recorded shows for 28 days after live airing.

In addition, Sling TV on Monday launched a new promo offering customers a free Roku Streaming Stick (which sells for $35) when they sign up for one month of service.

The move by Dish to sweeten the pot for Sling TV subs comes as the over-the-top service will face a new crop of competitors. Those include DirecTV Now, set to offer more than 100 channels for $35 per month, as well as a live TV service from Hulu in early 2017. Google also is expected to introduce a YouTube-branded “skinny bundle” next year.

Sling TV’s DVR feature will let users record multiple programs simultaneously without any recording conflicts, and will automatically manage space to make room for new recordings by deleting the oldest watched recordings when capacity is full. DVR recordings will be integrated directly into Sling TV’s “My TV” screen.

Dish said it will continue to develop the Sling TV cloud DVR throughout the beta-test phase based on customer feedback and usage behavior. DVR features planned for future development include the ability to upgrade storage space and protect recordings.

Sling TV subscribers using Roku devices may request an invitation to participate in the cloud DVR beta program by signing up at sling.com/dvr. Dish said applications do not guarantee admittance into the beta program.

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  1. Al in SoCal says:

    If Sling would get rid of the sports channels – add as optional and lower the price (apparently ESPN adds $5 per month per subscriber) – I would be up for something like that.

    I won’t pay that $5 for one of like 30 channels as I don’t ever use it. Maybe one day they will allow us specialized packages rather than a conglomerate of channels where we’re really only interested in 3 or 4.

    • Jeff Withrow says:

      Totally agree with this, but I heard that it’s actually $7 just for ESPN. The problem is that there are so few companies now owning so many channels, that they can force you to take some to get the channels people actually want. Even at $20 a month, they just don’t have enough content to justify it. I got it strickly for TWD, and found that that is the only thing I watch from sling. Luckily it includes a free month of showtime and hbo, so the month wasn’t a total loss.

    • helpful55 says:

      It seems like it is easier than ever for providers to do some a la carte, but they continue to manipulate this all so we can’t do that. I believe that a lot of the delay on net tv services has been all of the work to make sure they can still force us to pay for a bunch of stuff we don’t want and make lots of money. I understand that has to be an initial base price for it to be financially viable for them, but I agree with you. Personally I am a sport guy and only need only a handful of channels and the networks (which I get from my antenna) and it would be nice to lower my cost slightly.

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