Sling TV Launches Cloud-Based DVR, For a Fee9 Mar, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Sling TV March 9 formally launched a cloud-based DVR service, dubbed ‘First Look.' For an additional $5 monthly fee, the service affords subscribers 50 hours of content storage regardless of the programming plan.
The DVR service bowed late last year in beta to Roku users.
Dish Network launched Sling TV in 2015 as the first online TV service and first to offer ESPN and other marquee channels outside the traditional pay-TV ecosystem. It didn’t offer time-shifting content — a mainstay of pay-TV and online TV upstarts YouTube TV (unlimited storage), PlayStation Vue (28-day storage) and pending Hulu live TV service.
With consumers increasingly watching TV programming on-demand, Sling TV’s appointment viewing format seemed old school.
“Many customers have requested DVR since our launch, and as more consumers cut the cord, we know cloud-based DVR is a must-have feature,” Ben Weinberger, chief product officer of Sling TV, said in a statement.
The DVR service is available on any Sling TV plan (single-stream Orange, multi-stream Blue) and can record multiple programs simultaneously with no time expirations.
Cloud DVR is available on Amazon Fire TVs and Fire tablets, Android mobile devices, Android TVs, Roku and will expand to additional devices in the coming months, starting with Apple TV. Eligible subs who created their account through Amazon may add cloud DVR through the Sling TV app on their Fire TV or Fire tablet. All other eligible subs can add DVR service by signing in to their Sling account online and selecting “Add Cloud DVR.”
Weinberger deflected the $5 surcharge as a way to avoid charging subs not interested in the DVR service.
“We know some customers prefer to watch our 30,000 on-demand titles, and we don’t want to make them pay for a feature they won’t use. While other OTT providers force everyone to take cloud DVR at a higher price, Sling TV continues to give our customers choice and control over their entertainment experience,” he said.