AirTV, which launched the very good Android-based AirTV Player set-top box last year, has revealed its latest device. The simply-named AirTV picks up over-the-air broadcast signals and streams them to devices in, and outside of, your house.
Available now for $119.99, the AirTV box connects to an antenna via a coaxial cable and your local network via Wi-Fi or Ethernet. Much like the AirTV Player, launched last year, this box then takes the 50-plus channels it picks up over the air, and slots them into the Sling TV app, creating one user interface for the local networks and content you subscribe to.
The AirTV can stream local channels to up to 2 devices at once on the Sling TV and AirTV apps on Roku, iOS, Android and Amazon Fire TV. The best part? One of those devices can be outside of your home. That way, you can watch your favorite programming, and follow your local sports teams, wherever you go.
At a meeting with AirTV representatives last week, I saw the AirTV in action, running in the Sling app on both a TV and an iPad. With a flat antenna slapped on a window of their NYC offices, the AirTV box picked dozens of broadcast channels, including ABC, CBS and FOX affiliates, which it added to the Sling channel guide, where they're needed since Sling doesn't include local networks.
The other perk of the AirTV is that it can possibly reduce clutter in your entertainment system, as you keep the box near the coaxial cable's point of entry to your home. By contrast, the AirTV Player — just like an HD antenna, as well as cable and satellite TV boxes — needs to be plugged into your TV. Not only does your TV have less junk around it, but you have one less cord snaking around your home.
Later this year, the AirTV will get a firmware update that will allow users to connect an external hard drive to its USB port, for use as a DVR. It will support up to 2TB of storage.
The AirTV is mostly for Sling TV users, but that $120 one-time purchase will allow you to stream your local networks to your devices forever, as no membership is required.
Credit: Henry T. Casey/Tom's Guide