×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Dish Debuts AirTV Device to Bring Free Broadcast Television to Sling TV

Dish Network has officially unveiled its plan for delivering local TV channels to its Sling TV over-the-top internet TV service — with no retransmission deals required on its part.

The satcaster, in an announcement Tuesday timed for the 2017 CES trade show, launched AirTV Player, an Android-based streaming device with support for Ultra HD 4K video that lets Sling TV customers add free, live local broadcast stations into their guide using an external antenna.

When an over-the-air antenna (not included) is connected to the AirTV Player, the Sling TV channel guide includes local OTA channels. Viewers can watch the broadcast channels on the TV connected to the AirTV Player via HDMI and switch among OTA channels and Sling TV content without changing TV inputs.

Dish is selling the AirTV Player with the OTA AirTV Adapter for $129.99; a streaming-only version of the AirTV Player is available for $99.99. A standalone AirTV Adapter is available for $39.99 if consumers choose to add OTA integration at a later date. Purchase of the AirTV Player includes a $50 Sling TV credit, available to new and existing Sling TV users.

At launch, AirTV Player provides integrated support for Sling TV, Netflix and YouTube along with access to titles in the Google Play Store along with free local OTA channels. Dish has established AirTV as a subsidiary that is separate from its satellite TV business and Sling TV service.

Sling TV does offer local Fox and NBC owned-and-operated stations in certain markets with its $25 per month Sling Blue multistream service. But with AirTV, Sling TV users now have access to the entire range of over-the-air broadcast channels available in their areas, including local feeds of ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, PBS, CW and others.

“Americans are rediscovering free local, over-the-air TV for sports, shows and news, particularly given how well OTA complements popular streaming platforms like Netflix, Sling TV and YouTube,” Mitch Weinraub, director of product development for AirTV, said in a statement. “AirTV’s new streaming device and antenna installation service again make getting your entertainment as easy as turning on the TV.” Weinraub previously was director of advanced video products for Dish.

The AirTV Player connects to dual-band Wi-Fi networks and includes a Bluetooth voice-enabled remote supplied by Universal Electronics Inc. (UEI). The remote features dedicated buttons for Sling TV, Netflix and Google Play Store, provides voice capabilities and can control power and volume on any connected TV or sound system using infrared signals.

With the launch of the OTA device, Dish has established a network of licensed and insured AirTV Pro Install technicians who can set up device with either an indoor or outdoor antenna solution, based on a customer’s location. The professional installation service is available to all consumers at AirTV.net, with or without the purchase of an AirTV Player. The AirTV Pro Install service uses Winegard FlatWave Amped indoor antennas and Televes DigiNova BOSS outdoor antennas. Standard one-room antenna installation, including the antenna, is available starting at $100 for an indoor antenna or $150 for an outdoor antenna.

Separately Tuesday, Dish’s Sling TV launched an “Optimized for Sling TV” certification program for devices and platforms that provide an “exceptional” experience for the OTT service. Those initially on the certified list include the new AirTV Player and Xiaomi’s Mi Box. Sling TV also is available on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku players, Microsoft Xbox One, and Google Chromecast.

In addition, Dish announced a new skill for Amazon’s Alexa that gives customers the ability to control their TV using voice commands. Users can pair any generation of Hopper DVR with an Alexa device like the Echo or Echo Dot to speak commands like “Alexa, go to CNN.”

Finally, the satcaster unveiled Dish Music, a Hopper-based feature powered by DTS Play-Fi that gives customers with a Hopper 2 or Hopper 3 DVRs the ability to sync music throughout their home with one central control. Dish Music will be compatible with a music services including Pandora, iHeartRadio and Amazon, as well as personal libraries on mobile devices.

More Digital

  • philo

    Philo Is Discontinuing Its Cheaper Internet-TV Skinny Bundle for New Customers

    The skinniest virtual pay-TV offering available is going by the wayside. Philo, the over-the-top TV company backed by four cable programmers, is eliminating its super-skinny bundle that offered more than 40 channels for just $16 per month for new customers. It’s more evidence that OTT players are being forced to adjust their pricing and packaging [...]

  • Samsung's Galaxy Fold Launch Delayed After

    Samsung Officially Delays Galaxy Fold Launch

    Samsung has officially delayed the launch of its much-anticipated foldable phone, the Galaxy Fold, after multiple reviewers experienced issues with the device’s screen. The company said in a statement that it would announce a new release data for the device “in the coming weeks.” The Galaxy Fold had first been unveiled at a press event [...]

  • Variety Cord Cutting Placeholder Cable

    Cord Cutting Will Accelerate in 2019, Skinny Bundles Poised to Fail (Report)

    The pace of cord cutting is continuing to accelerate this year, according to a new Convergence Research Group report, with 4.56 million TV households opting to ditch pay TV. By the end of the year, 34% of U.S. households won’t have a traditional TV subscription, according to the research company’s latest “Battle for the American [...]

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Sirius Logo

    SiriusXM Unveils $8 Essential Plan for Consumers Without Cars

    SiriusXM wants to cater consumers without cars, or cars without compatible stereos, with a new $8 plan for mobile and in-home listening. Dubbed SiriusXM Essential, the plan offers access to 200+ channels featuring the network’s entire music programming, as well comedy, news and select sports channels. Consumers will be able to test the new plan [...]

  • Mueller Report Book Editions Top Amazon's

    Mueller Report Book Editions Shoot to Top of Best-Seller Lists at Amazon, Barnes & Noble

    Robert Mueller is now a best-selling author. Book publishers’ forthcoming editions of the special counsel’s report zoomed to the top of the Amazon’s and Barnes & Noble’s lists of book best-sellers Friday. That comes a day after the report was publicly released, culminating the nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content