Dish Network hit a few home runs at the 2017 CES with their unveiling of AirTV, Dish Anywhere and the first peek at their Alexa integrated voice control. These three services will eventually decimate consumers’ needs for Dish’s current and traditional service offerings, but Dish has no need to worry as they are set to tap into a new generation of consumers.
Dish has evolved their Sling TV service that debuted in 2015 into AirTV. AirTV takes all the offerings of Sling TV and adds in Netflix. Maybe not so impressive at first glance, but when we tell you that AirTV also provides over-the-air (OTA) channels in HD via a TV antenna, you might have a different sentiment.
All you need is the AirTV Android box and an antenna set-up for the OTA channels, and you are ready to roll. Dish will install an antenna (outdoor or indoor) for $120-$150. Since AirTV is an Android device, it can play any app from the Google Play store (Netflix comes pre-loaded). If you are planning on utilizing the OTA channels, you will also want an AirTV adapter plug that will connect the box to your antenna.
Don’t we all wish we could take the comforts of home with us wherever we go? With Dish Anywhere, you can. That is if you qualify “home” as television, which of course any good American does. With Dish Anywhere, you can take all of your local channels, programming guide, DVR, video on Demand and live TV with you anywhere you go. “Anywhere” meaning any spot on the globe with a television and an HDMI port.
The device will be similar to that of the Amazon Fire Stick or Chromecast and will come with a tiny remote. Don’t forget the remote!
We’ve known for a while that Dish has been working with Amazon to integrate Alexa voice control. At CES, we finally caught a glimpse of the pre-production integration.
Dish will be the first to offer this native voice control integration for television. When the service launches, there are a few functionalities that will be excluded or not available. For instance, you will not be able to turn the TV on and off through voice control, open Netflix or give the command “pause”. Unfortunately, for those functions you will need to reach for the remote, at least for the time being.
Dish Network was definitely a bright light at CES 2017, offering some very aggressive plans for television and technology in the coming years. And that boldness will most likely pay off for them with a new and younger consumer base.