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‘Air TV’ Box from Sling TV

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Last year, Dish Network unveiled Sling TV, its dedicated internet video streaming service. The new platform quickly added new channels. Shortly after launch, its basic package grew from seventeen to twenty-three channels, and Sling TV offered several optional premium channel packages.

If Sling TV had a drawback, it was inability to stream local broadcast stations. A new device manufactured by EchoStar, a corporate relative, may help to close the gap.

Echostar’s Sling Media division is preparing to roll out Air TV, a box with an over-the-air tuner. ‘Over-the-air’ (OTA) refers to broadcasting of TV or radio signals over the airwaves. It doesn’t require a satellite dish or cable lines. Most OTA broadcasts are by local network affiliates.

Dish Network has not announced a price for the Air TV box. A company official said Sling TV would not comment on speculation and rumors.

Meanwhile, Sling TV has begun to offer local broadcast stations in several markets over its standard streaming app, and is constantly seeking to add more. Early this week, it began market tests of a $20.00 per month multi-stream service primarily featuring Fox-owned networks and premium channels. (“Multi-stream” means the service can be streamed to several devices per household.) In February, the company’s ‘Broadcast Extra’ $5.00 per month premium package began carrying ABC in several markets. In January, Sling TV rolled out an app for the Channel Master DVR+ box. The DVR+ is a non-subscription DVR with a broadband connection for streaming video, and an OTA tuner for commercial broadcast TV.

Dish Network has not revealed a price for the Air TV box, but we expect to hear more about it by mid-summer.

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