DISH has been at the forefront of cord cutting technologies, having launched the original OTT aggregator in Sling TV and more recently unveiling home hardware to harness antenna television. DISH clearly continues to crank away in this space as an AirTV 2 just passed through the FCC.
The question is: Which sort of AirTV will this be? They currently sell two distinctly different AirTV models:
- AirTV PlayerAn Android TV box, with all the apps you’d expect plus OTA tuning capabilities, connected directly to the television like a Roku or Fire TV.
- AirTVA Slingbox-based network tuner, similar to HDHomeRun or Tablo, that streams OTA television into Sling TV apps on other set-tops (or mobile devices)
Both AirTV models are heavily discounted at the moment, which doesn’t provide clues in either direction… unless the new box is an amalgamation of the existing boxes, designed to replace both. Complicating AirTV 2 analysis is rather thin FCC documentation and the actual database itself is offline for maintenance this weekend. Not to mention I’ve got no intel from other sources, suggesting it could be awhile before release.
UPDATE: It turns out SatelliteGuys.US attended an AirTV 2 sneak peak and confirms they’re taking the network tuner approach to shoot live television into the Sling TV app on a variety of platforms, with or without subscribing to the Sling TV service. Additionally, a USB drive can be added for DVR capabilities. The new dual tuner box, with improved WiFi, is scheduled for a July release. Thanks Scott!