Consumers in the US pay anywhere from $51 to $150 for television, according to a survey conducted in 2017. This is a large amount of money to pay just to watch TV. While cable TV may come with more channels than you get using alternative TV options, most consumers don’t even watch half of the cable channels offered.
This is why most consumers are seeking ways to reduce or cut their cable TV bill. If this is you, then you are in the right place.
While there are many streaming services offered on the market currently, most of them will not include live TV streaming. This is what sets AirTV apart.
AirTV is one of the best options if you are thinking of cutting cable. In this article, I will be doing objective AirTV reviews, and I’ll also be telling you all the AirTV options you can currently find on the market. I will also be telling you everything you need to know to choose the right option for you.
I have put together a list of the best AirTV options you will find on the market. Let’s see what they’re like.
If you are looking to cut the cord, this is one of the best hassle free AirTV options you will find on the market. It’s the second generation AirTV box, which is a huge improvement from the previous one.
You will need a digital media player for streaming purposes, an HD antenna, internet with speeds of 25Mbps or higher, an external storage hard drive with anything between 50 gigabytes to 2 terabytes of storage space, depending on your needs.
This AirTV box works by connecting the HD antenna, which you buy separately, with the TVs and other personal devices like your cell phone, tablet, or PC over the Wi-Fi. While connecting through Wi-Fi works just fine, you might want to use Ethernet cords for a better quality signal.
You get 2 tuners, which means you can only access two live TV channels on different devices simultaneously. You get TV channels like ABC, Fox, CBS, and others depending on your subscription options.
You also get to record two channels simultaneously.
AirTV saves you money by allowing you to only subscribe to channels you want, without unnecessary channels you may never watch.
It’s compatible with these digital streaming players: Roku, FireTV, AirTV player, and android devices.
While it is not a must for you to have a Sling TV subscription, it integrates seamlessly with AirTV, and you get to access local channels right along your Sling TV channels.
Unlike cable TV, AirTV gives you access to TV anywhere, even when you are on the go or have tasks to do outside the house. This way, you can follow your favorite shows or watch your favorite game wherever you are.
Enjoy streaming local TV channels alongside your Sling TV subscriptions with this next AirTV set-top box. It integrates perfectly with Sling TV, so you can watch local channel broadcasts for free with your Sling TV subscriptions. It’s one of the most rated AirTV options on amazon.
You’ll need a digital media player, an HD antenna, an internet connection with speeds of 25Mbps or higher, and an external storage drive if you want the DVR option.
It’s compatible with Roku, AirTV player, Fire TV, and Android TV digital media streaming devices.
This AirTV device connects one HD antenna to all the TVs and mobile devices in your home network. You get two tuners, which means you can stream two live TV channels simultaneously. You will have access to channels like CBS, ABC, Fox, NBC, and more.
Keep your TV bill down by customizing subscription packages to include channels you actually watch.
Being cord-free also means you can access TV on the go, so you don’t have to miss that show you want to watch or a live game. If you want to record your favorite show, you’ll have the option to record up to 2 shows simultaneously.
You will need to get a storage drive separately for recordings. It will need a minimum of 50GB and can have up to 2TB of storage. You should note that flash drives are not compatible.
If you have a Sling subscription and you would like to watch your subscriptions on TV, this is the AirTV device to get.
With it, you will enjoy your Sling subscriptions on any connected device on your home network. If you are not planning on being a regular Sling TV subscriber, this may not be the best digital streaming player for you as it works best with Sling.
Also, unlike other AirTV options that have the option of streaming local TV channels, this one cannot, but it allows you to access your Sling subscriptions instead. This is especially if you want to watch Sling when you don’t have a smart TV.
It is 4k capable, which means you get high-quality images with a high resolution.
If you are looking to cut the cord without necessarily changing your TV watching experience significantly, this is the android TV box to get.
It seamlessly integrates your subscription services like Netflix, Hulu, and your local TV channels that are broadcasted over the air. For this, you will need an antenna, which you must acquire separately.
It’s a dual-tuner player, which means you can access two different channels on two devices so that everyone watches what they want.
You can record your favorite shows to watch later, as this player has a DVR function. You will, however, need to get an external storage drive separately if you want to record shows. It can support up to 1TB of storage, which is quite substantial.
You can also access apps and games on Google Play, which makes it extra fun. There is also a voice search option, which makes things even easier for you.
Keep in mind that you can only stream local TV channels.
What to Look for When Buying AirTV
When you decide to cut the cord and get one of the AirTV options out there on the market, there are a few factors you should think about to ensure the best experience possible. Here are some of the things you ought to consider before buying.
Is Your Wi-Fi Strong Enough?
AirTV works by picking up antenna HD channels and your Sling subscriptions and broadcasts this to other devices in your home network with the Sling app or the AirTV app using Wi-Fi or Ethernet cables. This way, you can access TV wherever you are in your home or even when you are out running errands, as long as you have an internet connection.
This is why you need to make sure that your broadband internet speed is up to the task. If you don’t have the right internet package to support AirTV, then you will probably have a lot of issues with the installation and use of AirTV.
Most AirTV options will require a 25Mbps internet speed. It is, however, safe to have higher speeds of internet access, such as 30Mbps. With a fast enough connection, your transition from cable TV will be smooth.
Do You Need a DVR Option?
Cord-cutting is made easy with AirTV, as you can still record your favorite local TV channels to watch later. If you need this function, however, the AirTV black box is probably the best option. Any other AirTV device that has this function will work too.
If you want the DVR option on AirTV, you will need an external storage device. While some AirTV boxes are compatible with flash disks, others are not. There are also minimum and maximum storage capacities to consider. For example, AirTV 2 will require 50GB minimum storage and can only support a maximum of 2TB, while AirTV all-in-one dual-tuner will only support storage of up to 1TB. AirTV Mini does not have a DVR function at all.
How Many Channels Can You Watch Simultaneously?
Some AirTV devices will allow live streaming of two different channels at once. This means you can have two devices on your home network accessing different channels at the same time.
This is handy when, say, two people would want to watch different shows. Some of the AirTV devices will allow up to two tuners, while others won’t allow any.
How Many Shows Can You Record Simultaneously?
The DVR function comes in handy when your favorite show is on, but you don’t have the time to watch it while it airs, so you record it for later. Some AirTV devices will allow you to record up to two shows at a time that you are not watching, and record one while you watch. Others, like the AirTV Mini, will not have a DVR function. Choose a product with DVR functions that suit your needs.
Do You Need to Watch Local TV Channels?
Most AirTV devices allow you to watch live local TV channels available in your area. This is what makes AirTV so appealing for most cord-cutters. To take advantage of this, you will need a good antenna. Keep in mind, some devices, like the AirTV Mini, do not allow you to use an antenna.
Before buying yourself an antenna, it’s good to find out the channels you will be able to access in your area. You can do this by logging in to antenna.org and inputting your zip code. They will let you know the channels that broadcast over the air in your region, and the strength of the signals you can get.
Think of Other Things You Need to Set Up AirTV
When you decide to cut the cord with AirTV, there are a few items you’ll need that don’t come with the box. You will need an antenna, broadband internet connection (25Mbps or better is recommended for most of the AirTV devices), and a mobile device like a phone. If you need the DVR function available on most AirTV devices, you will also need an external storage drive.
How Easy is It to Install?
Most AirTV devices are pretty easy to set up, while others will need a little more tech support.
Frequently Asked Questions about AirTV
What is AirTV, and how does it work?
AirTV is a streaming box that allows you to integrate your Sling TV subscriptions with local TV channels available over the air using a simple antenna.
With AirTV, cord-cutters can have a more wholesome TV watching experience, without paying the exorbitant monthly fees needed to access cable or satellite TV. That said, you should know some AirTV devices will not include local channels.
Another great feature of AirTV devices is the ability to watch TV on the go. As long as you have an internet connection on your device, you can watch even when you are not in the house.
AirTV also allows you to customize your channel lineup, unlike cable TV, where you have to pay for up to 200 TV channels, many of which you don’t watch much. You also don’t need a contract for AirTV, unlike cable TV.
Do I Need to Have a Sling TV Subscription to Use AirTV?
No. You don’t need to have a Sling TV subscription to use AirTV. You can use the AirTV app, but AirTV works much better and integrates more seamlessly with Sling TV.
What Do I Need to Setup AirTV?
You will need to have an antenna for the local channels, a mobile device like a phone, and a broadband internet connection. If you are using an AirTV device with a DVR function, you will also need external storage.
Do I Need an AirTV Box for Every Device I Want to Watch TV on?
No, a single AirTV box uses the internet to connect all the devices on your home network, so that you can access TV on all of them. Most AirTV devices will only allow watching two local channels at once.
Also keep in mind that your devices have to be AirTV compatible.
What Does OTA Mean?
OTA means “over the air”. This is mostly used to refer to channels broadcasted over the air by TV transmitters in your area.
While consumers formerly had no other option than to pay a lot of money to cable TV companies to watch TV, things are changing, and those who want to cut the cord can now have an amazing TV watching experience without a cable subscription.
AirTV is one of the trendsetters on this. With their devices, you can customize your channel lineup to only include channels you truly need and watch.
While all the devices I have reviewed here are great, check out AirTV 2. It integrates your Sling subscriptions and local channels seamlessly, allows you to watch TV for free, lets you watch when you’re on-the-go, and also has a DVR function.