In a step toward adding a featuring that’s been lacking in its arsenal, Sling TV said it will test a cloud DVR for Roku users starting next month under an invitation-only beta program.
Unlike the cloud DVR that Sony uses for its OTT-TV service, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV’s version will have a 28-day restriction on shows and movies recorded to the cloud DVR.
Sling TV noted that Cloud DVR functionality, initially available on Roku players and integrated Roku TVs, will not be available on all channels. Sling TV has been asked which channels are not supported by the Cloud DVR trial and if those restrictions are due to specific limitations in Sling TV’s digital rights agreement with programmers.
Update: Sling TV confirmed that ABC, Disney and ESPN networks initially will not support Sling TV's Cloud DVR capability. "Participants in our beta program can expect the DVR functionality to continue evolving. We are working to enable DVR functionality on all the programming we offer; however, ABC/Disney/ESPN networks currently do not allow Sling TV customers to record programming on their networks," a Sling TV official said in a statement.
Sling TV said the Cloud DVR will be available to beta customers who take the service’s single-stream tier, Sling Orange, and/or its multi-stream offering, Sling Blue, for no extra charge. Interested Sling TV subs can request an invitation via this web page. Sling TV said beta trial participants will have the ability to "record multiple programs simultaneously," but did not specify how many shows can be recorded at the same time.
Sling TV said it plans to roll out the cloud DVR trial to additional devices/platforms in the “coming months.” Sling TV’s service currently supports several other platforms, including Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV boxes and Fire TV sticks, Android TV-powered devices, the Google Chromecast streaming adapter, iOS and Android mobile devices, the Xbox One console, and Web browsers. Sling TV is also being integrated with Comcast’s X1 platform, which already offers a cloud DVR service.
For the Roku trial, Sling TV will integrate the Cloud DVR feature with the service's “My TV” screen. It will also auto-manage DVR space by deleting the oldest "watched" recording when storage capacity is full.
The OTT-TV provider noted that it’s also working on other features, including a way for customers to upgrade their cloud DVR storage and to protect recordings.
“Unlike other OTT services, we’re delivering a true cloud DVR with no 28-day restriction on your recordings, marking another win for Sling TV and our customers,” Roger Lynch, CEO of Sling TV, said in a statement. “Two years ago we became the first live OTT provider, and we continue to innovate and bring the best experience to our customers.”
Sling TV made the announcement on the same day AT&T is expected to reveal more product details, including a launch date, for its new OTT-TV service, DirecTV Now.