Dish officially announces the AirTV Set-Top Box based on Android TV
Throughout the summer of 2015, some people noticed product pages for an unreleased device called the AirTV on various retail websites such as Amazon. We then started to see Dish Network apply for trademarks on the AirTV name which revealed that it was a collaboration between EchoStar’s subsidiary Sling Media and Dish’s Sling TV. Towards the end of December, a landing page on the Sling TV website went live that revealed the new set-top box the company was working on.
Just as we had come to expect, the product is called the AirTV and it’s being heavily promoted by Sling TV. The set-top box is based on Android TV (capable of 4K streaming), and integrates services such as Netflix, Sling TV, and YouTube into a single experience. A feature that sets the AirTV apart from other Android TV devices though, is its Over the Air (OTA) adapter that allows you watch free channels directly on the set-top box.
It has been reported that more people are taking advantage of free OTA channels for sports and other local channels such as ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC. This feature has become even more important as people are increasingly cutting the cord to their cable TV service. Nielsen reports that close to 14 million households in the United States are currently watching free channels via OTA TV. This number has grown by 24% compared to the previous year so it’s clear that there is growing demand for the feature.
Not only are Netflix, Sling TV, and YouTube pre-installed on the AirTV box, but thanks to the Android TV OS it also retains the Google Play Store for all your other application needs. The base model costs $100 and comes with a Bluetooth voice remote, but you’ll have to pay an additional $30 if you want the OTA TV adapter. Naturally, subscription plans to Sling TV and Netflix are required if you want to enjoy those services as well.
Source: Business Wire