Dish Network is bragging that it's the first pay-TV provider to stream live TV to Apple iPad devices -- although the "free" feature requires customers to either buy a $99 device or upgrade to the satellite operator's "Sling-enabled" DVR set-top.
To watch TV using the Dish Remote Access app for iPads, customers must have a broadband-connected, Sling-enabled device such as the $99 Sling Adapter, which connects to the satellite operator's ViP 722 or 722k HD DVRs, or the ViP 922 SlingLoaded DVR.
Other pay-TV providers, including Cablevision Systems and Verizon's FiOS TV, are working on similar projects to deliver live TV to tablets and other mobiles devices. Comcast this month launched the Xfinity TV app for iPads, which provides remote control and content browsing features -- and soon some video-on-demand content -- but doesn't currently let users watch live TV on the tablet.
"Dish Network is the only pay-TV provider to offer a true TV everywhere solution, and now we've extended that experience to the iPad," Dish chief marketing officer Ira Bahr said in a statement. "Unlike mobile viewing from cable and telcos that limit access to select programs, our TV Everywhere services give consumers 24x7 access to all of their live and recorded content included with their DISH Network programming subscription."
In addition to TV viewing, the Dish Remote Access app also lets customers with compatible DVRs browse and search up to nine days of programming, schedule DVR recordings, delete shows on multiple receivers, and use the iPad a remote control.
Dish had expected to debut live streaming to the iPad in September. The Dish Remote Access app for the iPad can be downloaded for free from the iTunes App Store.