Boxes that go under your TV and offer access to Netflix or other streaming services or over-the-air TV channels are all the rage at the moment, with things like Roku and NVIDIA Shield selling well. A new competitor has entered the area, as AirTV lays its claim to be under your television.
AirTV is a subsidiary of Dish, so that would explain why its pushing both OTA channels and Sling TV a great deal. The box, the AirTV Player, is powered by Android TV, and plays its content at 4K resolution. The OTA channels require an AirTV adapter and OTA antenna, which are both sold separately. As the Player is based on Android TV, the Play Store is accessible, allowing many video streaming apps to be downloaded as well as the pre-loaded options of Netflix, YouTube, and Sling TV. In particular, Netflix can be launched by pressing a button on the Bluetooth remote, which apparently is a unique feature; these are in addition to Sling and Google buttons.
All the usual features are of course there too, with dual-band 2.4GHz / 5GHz ac/n/a/b/g connectivity, plus an ethernet port if that's more your thing, and HDMI for connecting to your TV. The remote, which uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology, has voice integration with the AirTV and QuickSet Cloud built-in, allowing it to control any brand of audio or video equipment on the market. The AirTV Player will be available starting at $99.99, or for $129.99 with the optional OTA adapter.
In a bonus, AirTV Pro Install is a process whereby an indoor or outdoor antenna will be installed, depending on your location. This is available whether or not you buy an AirTV Player. The service costs $99.99 for an indoor antenna or $149.99 for an outdoor antenna.
AirTV, a brand dedicated to meeting the growing consumer demand for over-the-air (OTA) products and services, today began offering AirTV Player, a new 4K Android TV-based streaming device, and AirTV Pro Install, a service that offers expertise, installation and setup of OTA antennas. Both are available to consumers nationwide at AirTV.net.
“Americans are rediscovering free local, over-the-air TV for sports, shows and news, particularly given how well OTA complements popular streaming platforms like Netflix, Sling TV and YouTube,” said Mitch Weinraub, director of product development for AirTV. “AirTV’s new streaming device and antenna installation service again make getting your entertainment as easy as turning on the TV.”
Nielsen reports that nearly 14 million households in America watch over-the-air TV, and that market has grown 24 percent over the past four years.
AirTV is dedicated to integrating OTA technology into the entertainment experience, making it simple and accessible to consumers. Local broadcast stations transmit high-definition (HD) channels for free, and consumers can tune in to those OTA channels using an antenna. OTA channels are available across the country, and consumers in many markets can receive dozens of local channels, including ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC.
Available starting today at AirTV.net, the AirTV Player streaming device combines some of the fastest growing segments of the television ecosystem: streaming video platforms and live, over-the-air signals when used with the AirTV Adapter (sold separately) and an OTA antenna (sold separately).
“AirTV Player simplifies what has been a fragmented viewing experience and integrates a customer’s entertainment options in one easy-to-navigate app,” said Weinraub. “AirTV Player is a versatile platform that unites live, local over-the-air channels, Netflix, Sling TV, YouTube and the Google Play Store with the click of a button.”
How AirTV Player works
AirTV Player, built on the Android TV operating system, is a streaming device that, at launch, can integrate Netflix, Sling TV, YouTube and thousands of options in the Google Play Store with free local OTA channels (OTA channel integration requires an AirTV adapter and an OTA antenna, both sold separately). Internet access is required for streaming platforms and AirTV Player is Wi-Fi and Ethernet compatible. AirTV Player connects to a TV via HDMI.
“AirTV Player connects consumers to some of the most popular streaming platforms now, and we’re interested in adding even more choices in the future,” said Weinraub. “With a custom-built smart remote that controls the AirTV Player, your TV and your sound system, as well as dedicated buttons for Netflix and Sling TV, customers can focus on watching the best content, rather than juggling remote controls.”
AirTV Player features
AirTV Player includes a number of unique features:
Pre-loaded apps – AirTV Player includes Netflix, Sling TV and YouTube pre-installed for easy access to popular streaming content. A Sling TV account and Netflix membership are required to access those apps.
Google Play Store – Built on Android TV, AirTV Player provides access to thousands of shows, movies, apps and games through the Google Play Store. A Google account is required to use the Google Play Store.
Netflix integration –With the click of a button, a user can launch directly into their selected Netflix content within the Netflix app. Users without a Netflix subscription will have a row of curated suggestions of TV shows and movies along with the ability to sign up and start watching.
4K compatible – AirTV Player can play 4K content, available on Netflix and other apps in the Google Play Store.
Wi-Fi compatible – AirTV Player connects to dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz / 5 GHz) networks that use the 802.11ac / n/ a / b / g standard.
Bluetooth voice remote – The AirTV remote controls the AirTV Player via Bluetooth and provides access to popular apps, including dedicated buttons for Sling TV, Netflix and Google. The remote features voice capabilities and can control power and volume on any connected TV or sound system utilizing infrared. AirTV Player can automatically detect a connected TV or sounds system using HDMI CEC, or the user can enter the information manually.
When an OTA antenna (sold separately) is connected to the AirTV Player via the USB AirTV Adapter (sold separately), access to local OTA channels is integrated into the Sling TV channel guide. Viewers can watch the OTA channels on the TV connected to the AirTV Player via HDMI and seamlessly switch between OTA channels and Sling TV content without changing TV inputs.
Pricing and Availability
Available at AirTV.net, AirTV Player with the optional OTA AirTV Adapter is available for $129.99. AirTV Player for streaming only is available for $99.99. A standalone AirTV Adapter is available for $39.99 if a consumer chooses to add OTA integration at a later date.
Purchase of the AirTV Player includes a $50 Sling TV credit, available to new and existing Sling TV users.
AirTV Pro Install
A nationwide network of licensed and insured AirTV Pro Install technicians will identify and set up the best available indoor or outdoor antenna solution, based on a customer’s location. The professional installation service is available to all consumers at AirTV.net, with or without the purchase of an AirTV Player.
“There is an art to identifying the best antenna and positioning to get free HD TV channels in your home,” said Weinraub. “For those times when it becomes more than a do-it-yourself project, AirTV Pro Install delivers expertise to your door, including a skilled technician armed with a ladder, tools and the know-how to make it simple for you.”
Standard one-room antenna installation, including the antenna, is available starting at $99.99 for an indoor antenna or $149.99 for an outdoor antenna. Most appointments can be fulfilled on a next-day basis, and installation is available in 48 markets at launch. Broadcast station availability is dependent on geographic location, topography, and antenna specifications.
“We have identified, evaluated and tested indoor and outdoor OTA antennas to choose two trusted solutions for our customers,” said Weinraub. “They are well-designed for effectiveness, aesthetics and affordability, and we’ll help determine if they are a good choice for our customers.”
AirTV Pro Install service utilizes Winegard FlatWave Amped indoor antennas and Televes DigiNova BOSS outdoor antennas.