Dish Networks and SlingBox plan to bring streaming digital TV to iOS, Android and Blackberry devices as soon as September according to the AP. Yes, that includes the iPad. The AP, however, does not list any sources for this story, so we’ve emailed both Dish and Sling Media for comment – so this is very much an unconfirmed report.
Just yesterday, we reported a Financial Times report that said that Verizon and Motorola are working on a tablet that will stream TV as well, but this announcement, if true will bring digital TV to many more devices (and ones that, you know, actually exist today). New iOS and Blackberry apps will be available in September with Android coming in October.
On the downside, it won’t be as simple as installing an app to get this to work. Here is how the AP describes what you’ll have to do (in addition to being of course a Dish Network subscriber):
“Subscribers will need special hardware. One option is Sling Media Inc.’s SlingBox, which retails for $180 to $300. Dish subscribers can also pay $200 to $400 to upgrade to Dish’s high-definition digital video recorder with SlingBox features; they’ll need to pay $10 a month for multiple DVR service, but they’ll get recording capabilities with it. Sling is owned by EchoStar Corp., whose chairman is Dish CEO Charles Ergen.
Viewers using Dish’s new app can switch channels remotely. But if someone at home is watching one channel, the person using a mobile device elsewhere has to watch the same thing, unless the DVR being used has a second tuner. SlingBox also can access programs recorded on your DVR, but the box itself can’t record.”
We should certainly note that SlingBox already lets you watch TV from your mobile devices (the apps cost $29.99 across all platforms), so we’re not exactly sure what further benefit this will provide other than perhaps the inclusion of the iPad app plus perhaps making the apps free? Of course, it’s also satellite TV if that makes a big difference to you.
So yeah, this won’t be cheap and it won’t be simple, but if it all works, then the end result will be Dish Networks on your smartphone and/or iPad. One thing is for sure: it’s certainly way more expensive overall than the $8.99 for Netflix or $9.99 for Hulu Plus per month from free apps.