Dish AirTV Launches Local Channels DVR In Beta

Dish-owned live TV streaming box and service AirTV has rolled out a new Local Channels DVR feature for customer-facing beta testing. The feature does exactly what its name implies; it allows users to catch and record broadcasts coming in over free local channels. The new feature, for now, is integrated into the system alongside Sling TV Cloud DVR, which means that customers will use that menu to access and record programming, and will find recorded OTA programming sitting in the same collection as DVR recordings from Sling TV. As long as you're able to receive and view free OTA broadcasts with your AirTV box, you should now be able to record those same streams if you're on the latest version of the AirTV software and have access to the beta feature.

As a caveat, the AirTV box is mostly just a specialized Android TV streaming box and does not have its own OTA antenna. In order to receive and record OTA broadcasts, you will need a special AirTV adapter, and an OTA antenna, both of which are sold separately from the main AirTV box. You will also need your own storage, which can be added to the box via USB. MicroSD card readers with cards in them, flash drives, and even large external hard drives are all fair game, so long as you can plug them into the AirTV via USB. Naturally, this means that how much DVR content you can have on hand all depends on how much storage you use.

AirTV is an Android TV box built around cord-cutting. It integrates Sling TV with antenna-based OTA broadcasts for a mostly seamless TV experience and is also compatible with the thousands of streaming apps and services scattered around the Play Store. The interface is centered around Sling TV and can make it difficult to do much else with the box, but at its core, it is an Android TV device and can run just about any Android TV app, with the exception of NVIDIA's Tegra-exclusive games. The device itself isn't all that special but it puts Sling TV and live broadcasts front and center, making it very clear that it's not meant as a normal Android TV device but a Sling TV delivery platform and cable replacement that just happens to run Android TV.

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