After leaking it in mid-December, Dish Network today officially launched its new AirTV brand with a streaming box and optional over-the-air (OTA) dongle that are “optimized for Sling,” the company’s other service for streaming everything except OTA TV.
Dish’s Android-powered AirTV Player box adds 4K live TV streaming capabilities with a built-in antenna for your free TV viewing, rather than necessitating partnerships with traditional over-the-air broadcasters to stream the limited live content they agree to. It also supports all the other Sling TV streaming options — you get a $50 credit toward Sling when you buy the Player — but it won’t require a subscription unless you want to sign up for services other than OTA.
The Player box (for streaming) costs $100 including remote, the OTA USB adapter is $40, and if you buy them together you save $10 at $130. They’re all available right this very minute. AirTV is also offering an installation service for folks who don’t already have an antenna or who want optimal positioning ($100 indoors, $150 outdoors), though it’s only available in a limited number of regions at the moment.
AirTV Player comes preloaded with apps for Netflix, Sling TV, YouTube and the Google Play store — relevant subscriptions will still cost extra of course — and it unifies the experience in the Sling TV online channel guide. It supports 2.4 and 5GHz Wi-Fi. The Bluetooth remote incorporates voice as well, and has dedicated buttons for Netflix and YouTube.
Sadly, it lacks both local and cloud DVR capabilities, which Sling TV is also missing. No timeshifting for you!