When we first took a hands-on look at Dish’s AirTV Player, we found a few things we enjoyed, like the interface, app selection, and the fact that it supported 4K streaming, but we weren’t thrilled by the fact that the antenna adapter — which was required for most of the device’s functionality — was sold separately. Now it seems that there is an upside to this, as while the player originally only had a single tuner, a new adapter doubles that number, letting you record two shows at once, Techcrunch reports.
The AirTV Player is a streaming box not unlike a Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire TV device, with a key addition: It also functions as an over-the-air (OTA) tuner and DVR. The single tuner was a big part of what we didn’t like about the AirTV Player, but it also felt old-fashioned in that you could only watch your recordings on the TV the device was connected, too. Another device, simply called the AirTV, was announced a few weeks later, that streams OTA channels to Roku and Fire TV devices in your house. Both of these devices lean heavily toward Dish’s Sling TV streaming service, which makes sense, but may not be your cup of tea.
With the new adapter, AirTV Player owners can now do the major feature we all associate with DVRs: Watch one channel while recording another. We would have preferred to see this out of the box, but this does at least make a small case for the decision to make the antenna adapter a separate purchase, as you can somewhat customize the AirTV Player to your needs.
This new adapter also helps Dish better compete with Amazon, which announced a similar product this month in the Fire TV Recast, a separate OTA tuner and DVR that works with any Fire TV devices you may own and even streams live TV and DVR recordings to your mobile devices. The Fire TV Recast is set to launch in November and comes in two-tuner and four-tuner models, which will cost $230 and $280, respectively.
One thing the AirTV Player has going for it is that it is significantly cheaper. The core device sells for $100, while the dual-tuner adapter sells for $30. If you’re buying both, you can get them in a bundle on the AirTV website for $120. No matter which you buy, you also get a $50 credit toward Sling TV included in the purchase.