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.