THROWBACK THURSDAY: When DISH actually announced Sling TV

Now this is cool. The rest of the world thinks that DISH introduced its Sling TV streaming product at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show, but it turns out that I was blogging about it over six years ago. I just didn’t know about it. I talked about a potential streaming-only service, and what-do-ya-know, it came to pass.

Take a look at what I wrote on October 3, 2012. Sound like what we have now?

A world without satellite TV? If DISH Chairman Charlie Ergen has his way, that could be the world we live in someday. Satellite television has been with us for two generations but it may be just a stepping stone to internet-based delivery. It seems DISH is in negotiations with MTV and others to create an internet-only subscription service different from anything else out there today.

Direct Broadcast Satellite television was first created in the 1980s as a response to high costs to lay cable in major cities. While local broadcasting wasn’t capable of providing 50 channels (believe it or not that was a lot of channels in 1985) the hope was that with a simple, dish-shaped antenna, regular folks could get at least 50 channels without cities and towns having to lay expensive cable wires.

As we all know, two companies took up the challenge. Echostar started Dish Network, while rival Hughes started DIRECTV. Both launched in the mid-1990s after a long journey filled with regulatory challenges. Now, after 25 years of operating a satellite fleet, it seems that DISH may be ready to move on. Could the company whose name literally means satellite antenna be giving up satellite?

It could be a smart move. DISH has struggled to keep its satellite fleet current as rival DIRECTV launched a series of RV-sized HD satellites in the mid-2000s. In the meantime, internet technologies have meant a 10,000 times speed increase since the early days of satellite.

The entire television package

What’s cool is that you can package Sling with the AirTV or AirTV Player and get the entire experience. The names are confusing, so let’s make it easy.

This box, the “AirTV,” gives live TV to every streaming device in your home plus every phone and every tablet you have. You connect an antenna to it and using a streaming device, you can watch antenna TV anywhere in the house. Plus, you can watch antenna TV on any phone or tablet, anywhere. If you watch TV in a lot of different locations, this is the one for you.

This box, the “AirTV Player,” is your all-in-one solution for a single TV if you don’t have a streaming player. It will give you Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now and thousands of other apps, plus the Sling TV service AND free local channels. It’s the best value in television today. If you have only one TV and that’s where you do your TV watching, this is the box you want.

Enough throwback, time to enter the future

Streaming TV is the future. You know that. And adding live TV makes it perfect for today’s TV watching. If you’re interested in learning more, give a call to the people at Solid Signal. They can walk you through the process. The number is 888-233-7563.



About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.