Some consumers are a bit miffed that the initial version of the new AirTV Player/Adapter combo lacks a tight guide integration of local over-the-air TV channels and over-the-top channels from AirTV’s corporate cousin, Sling TV.
At CES, AirTV demonstrated “full antenna integration” that combines Sling TV and OTA on a unified interface, but the product being shipped today requires users to press a button for “Over the Air and Internet Channels” and that the those channels – apparently linked to Android TV’s “Live Channels” app – uses a separate interface that doesn’t display the Sling TV lineup, TechHive reported, noting that AirTV expects to release an update that supports that promised, tighter integration sometime in “early 2017.” Multichannel News has asked AirTV for further clarification on the timing of that.
Gadget blog ZatzNotFunny also made note that AirTV “shipped without its primary selling point enabled,” and also noticed that the topic came up on Twitter from an AirTV customer, followed by a response from Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch confirming that the CES demo was based on a beta software and that full integration would be arriving soon.
@markreaume The version shown at CES had beta software where the locals are integrated. That feature will be rolled out soon.
— Roger Lynch (@RogerLynch) January 13, 2017
Update: AirTV confirmed that its fully-integrated OTA experience demonstrated in beta form at CES will be coming way of a software update, currently undergoing testing, that will automatically be rolled out to all AirTV boxes sometime in February.
In the meantime, the OTA channels are accessible from Sling TV’s full channel guide, the company added. “Customers select the “Guide” tab, then click the over-the-air icon (TV with antenna) in the channel ribbon. This allows customers to view all available local channels prior to an upcoming software release.”
AirTV also mentioned that it has a standard return policy in place and that it’s happy to issue refunds to customers who aren’t fully satisfied with the product. Additionally, AirTV’s FAQ has been updated to communicate that the software update is scheduled to be distributed by mid-February.
AirTV hasn’t announced shipment figures since the product launched earlier this month, but the product (the baseline AirTV Player and AirTV Adapter) are still shipping two weeks after orders are placed because of “overwhelming demand.”
Via TechHive, an AirTV customer likened the initial version of the product as the “equivalent to a Nexus Player,” a reference to the first OTT device that was powered by Android TV (Google stopped selling the Nexus Player last year, though a growing mix of OTT devices and smart TVs currently support Android TV). Early adopters of AirTV also complained that the product also lacked integration with Netflix queues and personal recommendations.
Update 2: The Netflix integration is live on AirTV, as a Netflix ribbon appears on Sling TV’s “My TV” tab.