AirTV Delayed During FCC Review

Dave Zatz —  October 15, 2016

airtv-guide2

It seems Echostar failed to dot the i’s and cross the t’s as the AirTV over-the-air network tuner, designed to pipe live OTA television into Sling TV, has been delayed… while they seek FCC approval to waive an archaic analog tuner requirement.

Pursuant to Section 1.3 of the Commission’s rules,1 EchoStar Technologies L.L.C. (“EchoStar”) respectfully requests the Media Bureau (“Bureau”) to waive the “all channels” requirement in Section 15.117(b) of the Commission’s rules to permit the importation, marketing, and sale of an Internet-enabled, set-top box (the “AirTV”) that does not include an analog over-the-air tuner.

Designed and manufactured by EchoStar for use with applications running on smartphones, tablets, and streaming devices such as Android TV, Roku, and Apple TV, the AirTV will offer consumers access to digital HD television content broadcast over-the-air from almost any broadband-enabled multimedia platform using groundbreaking place-shifting technology from Sling Media. The ability to combine over-the-air television content on devices with over-the-top functionality makes the devices a perfect, economical choice for households that have “cut the cord” but still wish to enjoy the combination of over-the-air content and pay-per-view or subscription over-the-top services without the confusion of swapping TV inputs and using multiple remote controls. All of this functionality is packaged in an attractive energy efficient form factor that can be used with a TV, monitor, or mobile device.

13 responses to AirTV Delayed During FCC Review

  1. Once again we have confirmation that it’s real. But there’s a bit more to the story as the companies had originally been planning a late spring launch and then we were locked for a September release… that obviously came and went.

  2. I assume locals would not work if you are not at home?

  3. Seems like the target market for this box is Sling TV subscribers who want to add in their live local OTA channels. That’s a pretty narrow market; I’m not sure I see this doing that well. For others, I tend to think Silicon Dust’s HDHomeRun OTA network tuners offer a more flexible solution (with two tuners, optional DVR service, and support for Apple TV, Android TV, Kodi, etc.) at about the same or less cost, depending on your home network set-up.

  4. I use a Android TV hub that plugs into my micro USB plug for local TV. Why would I need or want a paid service. You have to make shore the dongle is for North America. But it works fine for me on the go.

  5. Well… herein lies Echostar/Sling’s marketing challenge. I do not believe any fees are required to access those antenna-only channels, however those who subscribe to Sling TV would have a pretty comprehensive OTA+pay TV lineup. As to why you might choose this solution, I assume the out-of-home and mobile streaming would be a draw for some.

  6. Does Tablo have the ability to record sling tv? If Air tv had dvr I would be interested. Right now I just switch inputs at home. Is there a dvr device out there that would allow you to record sling tv programming?

  7. None that I know of. Probably the closest you could get is using your Sling TV logons on sites like ESPN in conjunction with PlayOn – PC software that records from streaming sites.

  8. Not really worth it. I would buy this if it had dvr capabilites from sling. I keep hoping sling will introduce dvr to their options. Their price is pretty good for what you get, only downside is not being able to record and getting stuck with commercials. I guess I could pay double or triple to get that capability.

  9. That’s why PlayStation Vue is a much better OTT service.

  10. Richard Potter what is the name of the dongle that you use to receive OTA channels on your phone?

  11. @Tim I’ll tell you why something like this would fill a huge void for me. Right now, you have to switch apps to watch different parts of television. With this device, it would integrate local channels directly into the Sling guide. For someone not as tech savvy like my mother, this kind of “no-hassle” “all-in-one” place to watch channels she’s used to watching is vital in deciding to cut cable.
    With a $150 price tag, I’m really hoping the usb port will be enabled to plug a hard drive in to give it DVR functionalities, but in all honesty, having everything in one streamlined place is much more important to me than being able to record local stations.

  12. No OTA recording equals not much of a market for this.

  13. It appears this has been green-lighted by the FCC:

    “The FCC has cleared EchoStar to import, market and sell the AirTV, a new device seemingly targeted to cord-cutters that will support over-the-air digital TV signals as well as over-the-top content.

    The FCC’s opinion and order, released Dec. 1, found that the AirTV, as well as a new USB-based tuner product from Hauppauge, are “capable of adequately receiving all channels allocated by the Commission to the television broadcast service.”

    http://www.multichannel.com/news/content/fcc-gives-echostar-s-airtv-lift/409434