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Sling TV Unveils Updated Roku User Interface

2 Dec, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Since its hasty rollout in February, Dish Network’s over-the-top video service Sling TV has faced frequent technical glitches — notably on Roku — as one of the first online skinny TV channel platforms.

Dish CEO Charlie Ergen alluded to the issues — which included buffering, blank screens and dropped coverage during high-profile broadcasts such as NCAA’s “March Madness” and AMC’s premiere of “Fear of the Walking Dead,” among others — during the satellite operator’s recent fiscal call.

“We’re not perfect yet. One of the big obstacles is to perform technically to the level that we can on linear TV. We’re not quite there yet,” Ergen said.

Sling is trying to change that (at least from a visual perspective) on Roku — one of the largest manufacturers of streaming media devices. Sling is also available via Amazon Fire TV, Xbox One, Android TV and iOS operating systems.

Calling it “phase one” of a new user interface, Sling unveiled a “filter ribbon” at the top of the mini guide that allows users to filter through channels by category directly from the mini guide view.

For example, if preferring HBO channels, just click the “OK” button on the “HBO/Premium” option, and the mini guide will remain filtered with the related channels every time it opens — unless changed by the user.

“This makes finding the channel you are looking for much easier,” Ben Weinberger, chief product officer with Sling TV, wrote in a blog post.

In addition, new Roku 3 remote controls feature a “Sling TV” button (along with Netflix, Amazon and Rdio) for direct access.

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