Slingbox Lives On In AirTV 2

What’s old is new again and the Slingbox Tuner, circa 2006, lives on in the form of AirTV 2.

The ownership timeline is somewhat convoluted at this point — Echostar buys my former employer Sling Media and later transfers the assets to DISH who launch AirTV LLC as a hardware accessory/gateway for their Sling TV LLC service — but the core technology and value proposition remain the same: a network tuner streams locally-sourced television video around the home… and beyond. And CNET has gone hands on with the latest iteration:

While the AirTV is not the first DVR I’d suggest to cord cutters (that would be the Fire TV Recast), the AirTV is a lot less expensive and works best for Sling TV subscribers who want to watch live TV sports and other local programming. And despite the fact that it uses the Sling TV app and menus, you don’t need to be a Sling TV subscriber to use it.

Unlike the first AirTV, this new $99 model requires the Sling TV app… but the currently supported set-top platforms are Android TV, Fire TV, and Roku. While iOS is supported on mobile, Apple TV isn’t (yet?) compatible nor is there web-based access (like the Sling of old). However, beyond merely adding an antenna as we did in prior decades, AirTV also acts as a DVR with the addition of a USB hard drive. Sadly, that recording capability doesn’t extend to pausing live television according to CNET, who suggest the Fire TV Recast as a superior, cost-effect OTA DVR.

7 thoughts on “Slingbox Lives On In AirTV 2”

  1. Sorry just to confirm this doesn’t have all the functionality of the traditional Slingbox, right? For example, I can’t stream my cable DVR live/recorded programming with this?

  2. Right, that’s why I specified the 2006 Slingbox Tuner model (vs the 2005 original or other models) as its closest analogue and spiritual predecessor (which itself is basically a play on the original HDHomeRun, but with way better firmware and software). Beyond Slingbox, it’s way more effortful these days to relay cable video and requires a certain amount of technical acumen and devices. Easier to work something else out like a TV Everywhere solution or purely focus on moving recordings around.

  3. Tons of slingbox this week! Woke up to a random ios app update the other day. So glad to see the tech still in use.

    Just wish there were more TvE guide/aggregation solutions. FitzyTV had to remove TvE functionality last week due to issues with Adobe. Having to use separate apps for different networks is a pain.

  4. Channels DVR offers TVE integration. I currently only use it with my HDHR for locals, but I’ve experimented with TVE. It fully integrates any supported channels into the guide, and recordings are stored locally which I prefer. It also has commercial skipping features.

  5. Yeah, I think Channels is using similar methods as Fitzy for TVE but is still working? I use Channels with FiOS TV… but supplement the Big 10 channel from my mom’s Xfinity TVE. I haven’t really tested recording commercial skip yet. Maybe I should. :)

  6. Any reason why they can’t make the AppleTV work? The original AirTV is not supported on AppleTV either. You have to use the AirTV app.

  7. The only reason I can think of is that the AirTV is on the local network, and the AppleTV typically runs apps through remote servers. The Sling app works on the AppleTV, but not the local channels from the AirTV.

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