After months of anticipation, Dish Network has chosen to unveil its new stand-alone TV service, Sling TV, today at CES 2015 in Las Vegas. Not to be confused with the Slingbox media system, Sling TV is Dish’s independent Web TV service that will proffer a handful of live channels like ESPN and CNN from an app available via streaming devices, computers, smart TVs, Xbox One consoles, and smartphones for just $20 per month.
A trimmed down offering for those looking to ditch traditional cable and satellite services, Dish’s recent deals with content providers like Disney and Turner have helped it secure a lean but mean selection of live programming for Sling TV. The list of channels at launch will include ESPN, ESPN2, Disney Channel, ABC Family, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, TNT, CNN, TBS, Cartoon Network, and Adult Swim. Additional packages for children’s programming, sports, and other genres will reportedly become available in the near future for $5 a pop.
The device list for Dish’s new service at launch is impressively robust. The Sling TV app will land in Roku’s streaming boxes and streaming stick, Roku TVs, iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, Macs and PCs, Amazon’s new Fire TV and Fire TV Streaming Stick, and even Google’s fledgling streaming device, the Nexus Player. LG and Samsung Smart TVs, and Microsoft’s Xbox One gaming console are also reportedly in the works.
Though Sling TV hails from the same roots as the Slingbox media device, a separate set-top box owned by Dish’s parent company that “Slings” programming from your existing cable box to select devices, Sling TV is a completely different animal. The service, which comes free of the constraints of Dish’s own hardware, offers cord-cutters a convenient way to get a taste of live TV programming from a simple app, without the need to throw down the cash for a large-scale cable or satellite subscription.
In other words, no connection to Dish Network’s traditional satellite service will be necessary to setup Sling TV, offering truly independent Web TV from a host of devices you probably already own. No word on when Sling TV will be available yet, but a launch date is expected soon, bringing the true age of Web TV into center stage.