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Sling TV Looks to Expand Brand Awareness, Compatibility

3 Jan, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Sling TV wants in on third-party CE remote controls, televisions and streaming devices that feature direct-access buttons for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube, among other apps.

Heading into CES this week in Las Vegas, Sling TV Jan. 3 launched a certification program, dubbed “Optimized for Sling TV,” for third-party CE manufacturers.

The first standalone online TV platform, Sling TV launched in 2015 featuring 20 marquee pay-TV channels for $20 a month without contract, including ESPN. The service now features separate tiers offering access to more than 100 channels, including HBO, Starz, Turner, A&E, Hallmark, Disney, Viacom, Epix, AXS and Univision.

“The program is designed to … highlight our dedication to our device partners [and] to develop new paths for improving Sling TV,” Ben Weinberger, chief product officer of Sling TV, said in a statement.

Device certification includes embedding the Sling TV app, enabling auto-launch functionality, a branded remote control button, TV content integration, wireless access and over-the-air digital content integration, among other requisite criteria.

AirTV, a subsidiary of Sling TV parent Dish Network, this week launches an over-the-air streaming device that includes certification.

Xiaomi, a privately owned Chinese electronics company headquartered in Beijing, is also incorporating the Sling TV button on its Mi Box, a 4K Ultra HD media player powered by Google’s Android TV, and available on Mi.com and Walmart for $69.

“A quality experience is a priority for us, and as a launch partner for the program, we have been working closely with Sling TV’s engineers to develop a great experience that highlights Sling TV’s capabilities,” said Hugo Barra, VP of international of Xiaomi.

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