It was two-years ago almost to the day that Dish made a splash at CES with its Sling TV online streaming service. Fast forward to today, and the satellite company is taking the stage again with a new ‘Optimized for Sling TV’ platform in partnership with the just-announced 4K AirTV Player. While there is a lot of build-up for Dish’s first in-house streaming box, this isn’t necessarily a ground-breaking piece of technology. Sling (along with many other services) has long been available on media players like Roku and, more recently, Apple TV. What Dish has to its advantage is the ability to create a service-specific user experience that will hopefully make Sling more viable than ever before.
The new AirTV set-top box is based around the Android TV platform with access to the Google Play store. One distinct advantage over Roku and others is that it is also compatible with over-the-air antennas for local channels too. This answers a big gap in Sling TV’s service, bringing popular channels like ABC, CBS and NBC to customers. Additionally, it offers support for 4K video, although content is largely limited to Netflix and YouTube at this time. AirTV is set to go on-sale today with a $129.99 price tag for the OTA model or $99.99 as the standalone streamer. You’ll receive $50 worth of Sling TV credit with purchase, as well.
Hit up our CES 2017 guide for more details on new releases.
“We have set a high standard with our device partners to continually improve Sling TV’s performance,” said Ben Weinberger, chief product officer of Sling TV. “The ‘Optimized for Sling TV’ program is designed to elevate that standard and highlight our dedication to our device partners, including Xiaomi and AirTV, to develop new paths for improving Sling TV.”