AirTV announces network OTA tuner with Sling TV compatibility and Fire TV app

AirTV has just released their AirTV network OTA tuner box and accompanying Fire TV app that I wrote about yesterday. The tuner connects to an HD antenna and your network to stream free OTA to all of your devices. You can watch the channels through their new Fire TV app or, if you are a Sling TV subscriber, through the Sling TV app alongside your paid content.

The AirTV itself is a simple device that has actually been in development since at least 2016. It seems like its release was put on the back-burner in favor of AirTV’s set-top player, which was released about a year ago.

You connect an HD antenna to the AirTV and connect it to your home network, either via WiFi or ethernet, and tuck it away wherever you can get the best antenna signal. The one device will provide access to your local broadcast stations to all of the devices you own.

You can use the standalone AirTV app to view the OTA channels on Amazon Fire TV devices, Fire Tablets, Android TV devices, Apple TVs, Rokus, and both Android or iOS mobile devices. For all devices except Apple TV and Roku, you can also view the OTA channels directly in the Sling TV app.

Both Sling TV and AirTV are both subsidiaries of Dish Network, which is why this new device works with Sling’s TV subscription service. Sling offers local channels as part of some of their plans in certain areas. If you are not in one of those markets or don’t want to pay for the more expensive plan just to get local channels, the new AirTV box is designed to provide free access to those local channels.

AirTV does not appear to have any kind of DVR or time-shifting capabilities at this time. That makes the similar, but more expensive, Tablo TV a more capable device. Like the Tablo TV, the AirTV has dual tuners and a USB port. That means it could theoretically be updated in the future to support external hard drives for recording and allow you to watch and record at the same time, however, there is no indication that those features are in the works.

The AirTV network tuner is available to order now for $119.99 directly from the company. Buying the device entitles you to a $25 credit that can be used towards a Sling TV subscription.

  1. Jon says:

    With a new ATSC standard being deployed starting next year, no one should purchase any product like this or Tablo TV. Sure the ATSC standard we are using will be around in some form or another for the next five years, but if you wait very little time the next batch of products will likely work with the next and current versions of ATSC.

    • JoeyTan says:

      Right on. Good advice. Has ATSC 3.0 been finalized yet?

      • Tony Ramirez says:

        I agree don’t buy any tuner boxes that don’t have ATSC 3.0.

      • Jon says:

        I would assume that the standard is finalized, but the things I dont know could fill an ocean. I believe the article I read about this stuff was from Cnet, but regardless of where the article came from apparently they are already using ATSC 3.0 in South Korea.

        I am a big fan of the HDHomerun and have had one for some time now, these network tuners are fantastic. Unless you absolutely have to have DVR or the ability to watch an antenna on a cell phone/tablet then all these network tuners are really nothing more than a novelty. Yeah there great, but odds are you are watching your antenna on your TV and to get to the antenna without paying anything extra all you have to do is click the source button on your remote.

        With that being said even if you happen to live in an area that will be getting ATSC 3.0 quickly, the current tuners will work for at least 5 years after ATSC 3.0 is deployed. You may or may not get the same quality or the same number of channels on the old ATSC once the new is rolled out in your area, but the network tuner will not be obsolete anytime soon. To top it all off there is no quarantine you will even get ATSC 3.0 in your are anytime soon, according to the article I read it is not a mandatory roll out for the networks unlike the last time tuner technology changed.

        So if you absolutely have to have a network tuner then I guess go a head and pull the trigger, even if you get ATSC 3.0 tomorrow it will still work for five years. The real point I am trying to make though is that the new standard is right around the corner, even if it takes a long time to get in your area. According to the article I read it will be deployed first in Arizona sometime next year. That means if it will be in Arizona in 2018, then companies like HDHomerun and Tablo will surely have a new updated version fairly quickly. These network tuners have already been on the market for quite some time, so if you are just now thinking about getting one, you are already late to the party. Why not wait a bit longer and get something that will work with the new standard even if you will not have it in your area anytime soon, especially since they really are a novelty item. A really neat novelty item, but it is not like you need it to watch the antenna on your TV anyway. Not only that but waiting till the new ATSC network tuners are on the market will also save you from either updating your TV or purchasing a converter box when/if the current standard is no longer in your area.

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