AirTV is offering up some clarification on why its new streaming box shipped without full over-the-air (OTA) broadcast channel integration, its primary selling point.
As shown during its debut at CES, the AirTV features a user interface that assembles multiple video platforms in one, but customer complaints, surfaced by Zatz Not Funny, alleged the experience with the first boxes shipped was not the same.
AirTV explained that it felt it worth getting the streaming boxes out right away, even knowing that the full integration software update would go out by early February.
“In a move that advanced the market, we launched AirTV Player as a platform that integrates OTA, OTT and Netflix, and allows access to YouTube and apps from the Google Play Store,” an AirTV spokesperson told FierceBroadcasting. “With the AirTV Adapter, customers today can launch OTA channels from within the Sling TV app. Knowing that our initial OTA user interface path would be quickly followed by a more elegant experience, we felt it worth shipping devices with the first gen interface. Our priority was delivering access to a diversity of content on a single platform.”
“We are confident that we will push the updated user interface to customers in February. We’re excited about this, and the experience will continue to improve in a number of ways over the coming months,” the company added.
AirTV has since updated the FAQ section on its website to indicate that full OTA channel integration into the Sling TV guide will be coming to AirTV devices in mid-February.
The response from AirTV came after Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch answered questions about the full integration being absent, which one Twitter user described as a “bait and switch.”
“The version shown at CES had beta software where the locals are integrated. That feature will be rolled out soon,” said Lynch on Twitter.
The AirTV costs $100, but costs $130 for a package that includes the optional AirTV OTA adapter. The adapter can also be purchased later for $40. The AirTV also comes with $50 in Sling TV credits for new and existing Sling TV customers.