Sling TV unveils their AirTV Player with Android TV and an OTA tuner onboard

Sling TV has officially announced their new AirTV streaming box that leaked last week. It’s based on Android TV and is capable of streaming 4K content from services like Netflix, but its biggest trick is the optional built-in OTA tuner for live local broadcast TV watching.

AirTV runs some form of Android TV under the hood. The focus of the interface is obviously Sling TV’s streaming cable service, but the box also comes with Netflix pre-installed. The box has access to the Google Play Store for additional apps.

The biggest trick up its leave is a built-in OTA tuner which you can connect an HD antenna to for local broadcast channels. OTA channels will appear along side your Sling TV lineup in the channel guide for a seamless experience.

The included voice remote is bluetooth based, for communication with the AirTV, but also has IR capabilities to control your TVs power and volume. The AirTV will sell for $129 with a built-in OTA tuner, but will also be available for $99 without the tuner if you just want to stream content.

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35 comments
  1. Pete says:

    Nice idea, though the color scheme looks like something more suited for being in the bathroom…

  2. Craig says:

    Say it with me: Black Devices Matter!

  3. viper says:

    Nice sideclick ripoff on the remote…

  4. jbrodack says:

    Needs DVR

  5. eyekey says:

    That is the most ugly remote I have seen in years.
    I also do not get why companies bring colors in their devices.

  6. NashGuy says:

    I’d prefer black but I don’t really mind the blue and white color scheme. Reminds me of the Apple iBook from back in the late 90s. It is a shame, though, that they didn’t built DVR capabilities into the box for OTA TV. Maybe that will come if they eventually upgrade it to Android TV 7.0.

  7. HeyRadar says:

    So can other devices (e.g. fire TV) connect to the AirTV box to take advantage of the tuner? Or am I going to have to buy an AirTV and antennae for every room?

  8. HeyRadar says:

    I like the fact they did the remote right. Ability to control the box, TV, and audio.

    I can live with the color for that. But would prefer black.

  9. CrabbyOne says:

    Amazon needs to do something like this with the Fire TV. The device has the capability to add a USB TV Tuner (drivers are already included in the kernel) AND it has the ability to use a micro-sd card as well, so all that is needed is a way to integrate the tuner into the interface and allow it to record to the card. Couple this with something like Sling/HuLu or DirecTV Now and it would be a killer device..

    • NashGuy says:

      Amazon has already designed a way for OTA tuners to integrate into the Fire TV interface. Check out the story on this site today about Fire TV OS getting built into certain 2017 model smart TVs. On those TVs, the Fire TV interface features a very nice grid-style program guide for seeing what’s on live OTA TV and switching between channels. Why not add that feature to their Fire TV boxes and sticks if a compatible OTA USB tuner is plugged into it?

      • NashGuy says:

        And while we’re at it, why not also incorporate into the program guide live streams for whatever Amazon Channels you’ve added to your Prime subscription — channels like Showtime, Starz, HBO, etc? They could sit right next to your live OTA channels.

        • CrabbyOne says:

          Although I am not a programmer, I would think that would require some changes in the Fire OS itself. The addition of an app is easier, but that would make it even better for the end user. Since they are licensing the OS for TV’s, it probably wouldn’t be all that hard.

      • CrabbyOne says:

        I saw the link but didn’t check it out yet. If they did that already, all that is needed is a way to port it to the Fire TV and know what USB tuners are supported and it is ready for use. Maybe the new interface will be offered in a future update along with a list of supported devices.

  10. Mark says:

    Makes me think of the bondi blue imac from the 90s.

  11. unknownsoldier says:

    Appears the box was wacked with a giant ugly stick. The remote would turn users OCD, it looks like you should wash your hands before each use.

    • Y314K says:

      Regardless of the apperance of the remote & box. The remotes capabilities themselves are way above any others stock remotes so far. It’s only missing a headphone jack ala Roku & maybe more programable buttons.

      And PVR capabilities will probably depend on the speed or inclusion of U3 SDCard slot and/or at least two USB 3.0 ports since one will be taken by the OTA addon.

  12. dankai43 says:

    hi i visit your site every day almost love the aftvnews GREAT JOB

    it looks very very cheap i understand about keeping cost down also it looks like its made for little kids to play with
    its a no no

    great ideas redesign the remote and box to make it more desirable

    it looks like it was made up in 5 mins
    this is my thoughts

  13. Maaterblaster says:

    This has a marine color scheme designed to be used by the water+ Waterproof remote!

  14. Luke says:

    I’m assuming you’ll be able to run Kodi/SPMC on this since it’s Android and uses PlayStore?

  15. Keith says:

    The idea seems like one thatll move the settop box more into the future.
    The box and remote are reminiscent of toys you might buy a toddler.

  16. TechyChris says:

    I agree the color scheme is not so great. I love the idea of integrating an HD antenna into the box. A few questions though: How “peppy” will the tuner be? Will it be fluid or an agonizing 2-3 seconds between channel changes. Will there be a full featured OTA program guide? Also is this a “full” version of Google Play giving access to everything android can run or a “watered-down” custom version that only uses a few apps that also lag behind a few updates from the official app store?

    • TechyChris says:

      $100 for the box, and an extra $30 for the antenna adapter. Clearly trying to squeeze themselves in between Amazon and Nvidia on their price points.

  17. Y2Bogus says:

    I’m just happy to see more AndroidTV boxes out there, it’s an awesome but badly underused platform

  18. shwru980r says:

    Most newer TVs already have an OTA tuner, but many people don’t like to change the input on their TV, so integrating OTA into the set top box interface might lure some customers to cut the cord.

    There will be many customer returns and/or dissatisfaction with the OTA box because of poor reception, so you might be able to find a cheaper one if you wait.

  19. shwru980r says:

    Sling may have missed an opportunity by not adding an analog output to their set top box lure customers still using TVs without an HDMI input.

  20. atone says:

    Very cool. definitely stands out from the pack firetv, roku, appletv,nvidiaShield,etc.
    I just wonder if more competition will mean bad business for one or more of these boxes forcing them to quit development (eg. Asus google nexus player)

  21. Mark says:

    A dedicated Google Play button?! Seriously?! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! This thing looks like something designed for small children to play with.

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