Dish Network has managed to pull off a near perfect cord cutter miracle. Dish Network’s Sling TV delivers live streaming of some of the most popular cable networks, creating a “network mini-bundle” for only $20 a month. ESPN, EPSN2, TNT, TBS, CNN, Disney, Cartoon Network, HGTV, and many more worthy channels. The bundle is a fantastic solution for those without cable, and Dish Network gave T-GAAP the keys to beta test Sling TV. There’s only one glaring issue for Dish Networks shiny new toy – Sling TV is not on Apple TV (yet) and is not able to work with Airplay from iOS. However, we at T-GAAP have a solution to get Sling TV onto your television thru Apple TV.
A while back we reviewed AirParrot, but the software has since grown in maturity with in AirParrot 2. (Squirrels, the company who created AirParrot, is located in the high-tech capital of the U.S., in North Canton, Ohio). Regardless of where they guys/gals are located, they make great software.
AirParrot 2 effortlessly connects to an Apple TV, and it can be used to mirror your Mac’s monitor or in extended mode to give your Mac an additional monitor. Running my TV in Extended Desktop mode, I launched Sling TV and simply dragged Sling TV to my new “extended” monitor — the TV. Once I set the Underscan to zero, Sling TV consumed all 1920 x 1080 pixels on my flat screen TV.
The Sling TV menu is easy enough to understand, and switching from one network to another is simple. Three areas could stand improvement: Frame rate, image quality and bugs, but for a 1.0 offering Sling is what cord cutters, like we T-GAAPers, have been waiting for — affordable TV. However, don’t expect iTunes movie rental quality, Sling TV just isn’t to that level yet.
Sling TV unable to Airplay or have an app available for Apple TV at launch is down right ridiculous. Considering Apple has sold over 25 million Apple TV’s, and roughly 15 million of them in the U.S. are able to handle an app like Sling TV, the decision to omit Apple TV and Airplay is not likely to be coming from Dish Network. The cable networks onboard are largely from Disney/ABC and Tuner Networks, leaving one to believe they are both skittish about lending yet another reason for more consumers to dive into and purchase more Apple TVs. Giving Apple more market share isn't exactly what the networks have in mind.
Recent rumors claim Dish Network clashed with Apple’s strict Apple TV UX and UI design requirements, and has thus left Apple out in the cold for the time being. But this would mean Dish Network is willing to leave money on the table from potentially millions of subscribers over a silly squabble about interface design?... Not likely.
No matter the reasons Dish Network left Apple TV and Airplay on the sidelines, we have a solution, and it is called AirParrot 2. It is available for a 7-day free trial, and can be purchased for $14.99.
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