AirTV Combines Streaming and Local Channels So You Can Ditch Cable
Dish Network has unveiled their new cord-cutting device, the AirTV player. It’s an Android TV box on which you can watch local channels, Sling TV (also by Dish), and Netflix all from one device. The set-top box is touted as a single platform for on demand streaming entertainment and internet TV much like Amazon Fire TV, TIVO, and Roku.
The Full Package
AirTV comes pre-installed with YouTube, Netflix, and Sling TV. You can also install hundreds of other apps and the player also supports 4k streaming in UHD resolution. The box comes with a remote which supports voice search and separate buttons for Netflix and Sling for easy viewing of your favorite programs and movies. The package also includes a locator button on the box which helps you find the remote whenever it has slipped into the cushions of your couch.
Easy to Use
The streaming experience is easy and smooth. The box is designed simply and always loads straight into Sling TV. You can also plug an antenna into the box and load your local channels directly into your Sling TV guide. The buttons on the remote are clearly labeled, making for easier navigation. The combination of the small, white AirTV box and Sling TV allows you to watch cable channels. Which channels you have access to depends on the monthly package you choose. The packages are in the $20-$40 range and include the all major cable channels such as HBO, ESPN, TNT etc. Having Netflix pre-installed right in the Sling TV app is convenient and allows you to just turn on your T.V., select Netflix, and choose the movie or program you want to watch. If you would rather choose something from Google Play, you can do so with AirTV. Sling TV initially had a coverage gap but with the addition of local channels that gap has closed and you can now have the full TV, cable, and internet TV experience without any wires all in one source. Meanwhile on the back of the box are the power, USB, HDMI, and Ethernet ports.
Worth the Purchase?
If you don’t want to dish out money for a Sling TV account, the box still provides access to OTA channels and the other streaming apps via a free Sling TV account. The Nintendo sized Air TV box is currently priced at $99, with $129 getting you both the box and the OTA adapter. If you want something better or different from your regular cable service, the AirTV is a solid and fairly priced alternative as good as the competition and perhaps even better.
A little surprising that it took someone this long to include an OTA option to a streaming box, whether built-in or as an add-on, but definitely a step in the right direction.