Sling TV, the high-tech streaming alternative to a pay TV subscription, is going old school in order to offer local broadcasts as part of its service.
Sling is releasing a new over-to-top streaming device called AirTV, which allows users to plug a traditional TV antenna into the box and access over-the-air channels. Instead of switching between inputs, AirTV allows users to access those over-the-air channels inside the Sling interface.
When it was initially introduced, Sling TV bundled antennas with its service, hoping customers would access those local network-affiliated channels outside of the Sling app, Engadget reports.
In other words, AirTV saves time and brings an old school technology — over-the-air broadcasts — into the modern world of streaming.
All of that being said, the service could be limited, depending on where you live. More rural customers can have a difficult time pulling down broadcast signals. And customers in big cities like New York or Chicago may have a hard time pulling down signals because of interference.
AirTV isn’t Aereo, the controversial streaming service that allowed customers to stream local broadcast stations in some markets via an antenna that was essentially leased. The service was ultimately shut down after a court ruling. By forcing customers to buy their own antenna and physically hook it up, Sling is bypassing any legal snafus.
It’s unclear when AirTV will be available for purchase.