Freeing yourself from cable and satellite contracts just got easier. Dish has unveiled an over-the-top video service called Sling TV that will offer subscribers a chance to stream live TV without locking themselves into contracts, commitments, and hidden fees.
For $20 a month, subscribers will be able to stream ESPN, ESPN2, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Food Network, HGTV, TNT, CNN, TBS, and CNN on select WiFi-enabled devices.
At launch, they'll include the Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Roku 3, Roku Streaming Stick, Xbox One, Google Nexus Player, iOS and Android devices, and Mac and PC computers.
Not only is Xbox One is the only gaming console that will offer Sling TV when the service launches in a matter of weeks, but all Xbox One owners will have the opportunity to try one month of Sling TV for free when the service launches.
As of now, LG is the only company whose televisions are confirmed to run Sling TV, but Dish has said that more smart TV announcements are on the way. Dish CEO Joseph Clayton remarked that the company's "first mover advantage" would allow the Sling TV to outfox its competition.
Subscribers will also have access to 3-Day Replay, which makes most shows available for on-demand viewing for three days after they've aired. Crucially, there's no contract and no extra hardware required. You can sign up and start streaming right away, and cancel whenever you like.
Sling TV is yet another attempt to appeal to a younger, more tech-savvy demographic that might be more reluctant to commit to long-term contracts from cable or satellite providers. By offering users access to live programming, it might be the most radical cord-cutting gambit to date.
But that doesn't mean Dish is ignoring its traditional users. At CES, the company has also announced the first ever pay-TV receiver designed specifically for 4K UHD TVs.
Dish SVP of Product Management Vivek Khemka touted the Hopper updates debuted as "a quantum leap" to the latest 4K Ultra HD resolution. Additionally, the Hopper series gained a brand-new remote control—a product of two years of research by Dish's designers.
The Hopper Voice remote, as it's called, features a touchpad that's also a number pad when needed. Buttons on the side of the remote toggle voice commands for navigating shows without tediously punching in letters with a directional-pad.
The 4K Ultra HD Joey, which will be available this summer, is designed to fit behind wall-mounted TVs and built to support 4K content at 60 fps. With a picture-in-picture feature, you can watch two full-HD shows or events side-by-side on a single TV, which is an unforeseen benefit of having so many pixels on a single display.
Be sure to stick with Reviewed.com throughout this week for more coverage.