Television is no longer just for the TV. “Integration,” that popular tech buzzword, has led to a bevvy of new devices that can help link content to nearly any screen that you have. Several years ago these devices were uncertain, slipshod products that only worked in very limited circumstances or were too confusing to appeal to many consumers. As the years have passed, these devices — including the Dish Network Sling adapter — have grown simpler and more effective.
If you like the idea of watching Satellite TV on multiple devices around your house, including your tablet computer, phone, and desktop computer, then look into the Dish Network Sling technology. One adapter and a few downloads, and your TV shows could follow you no matter how you want to watch.
Is Sling an Additional Service?
Sling is not an additional service. The Sling adapter is an additional product that you must buy to enable the feature, but it is not a separate service and does not cost an extra monthly fee after you start using it. Originally, Sling adapters sold for around $100, but prices have now dropped to around $50. You will also have to download Dish Network apps for any phones or tablets that you will be using to watch TV, but the required app is free. Do not confuse the Sling adapter with the Slingbox. A Slingbox is a more expensive, separate device. The adapter is designed to provide similar services by working with an already-installed DVR.
How Does Sling Work?
Sling is appropriately named. All Sling devices take content from Dish Network and “sling” it to other devices beyond your TV. Dish Network has a refreshingly easy explanation of the process on its TV Everywhere site. The adapter uses the DVR’s Internet connection to stream television to a variety of different devices. Plug it in, and you can watch whatever Satellite TV programs you currently have access to — on different devices beyond your DVRed TV. Watch a show on your smartphone. Turn on the iPad and catch up on the game. Work on your computer while keeping up with the latest new episode.
Because the video is streaming, it does take up a certain amount of bandwidth and may occasionally lag, but you can use it with nearly anything in your house that has a screen and an Internet connection. Sling also includes several extra features, which you may or may not use, such as a search function for TV and On Demand content and the ability to manage your DVR through the apps that Sling uses.
Can I Use it for All Types of TV?
The Dish Network Sling adapter works with both live TV and any TV that you have recorded on your DVR. Yes, this means that in theory you could watch a show on the primary HDTV, while your spouse watches another show on an iPad. There is no normal TV channel that is off limits to the process. Any channel that you get live as part of your normal satellite package is fair game.
Sling also allows you to watch certain On Demand content that you must pay separately for. However, what On Demand content is available depends on Dish’s current contracts and what content you have currently paid for, so take a close look at your package to find out if streaming On Demand movies is also possible.
What Do I Need to Use Dish Network Sling?
First, you must have a Dish Network subscription and a Dish DVR system, such as a ViP, Dish Hopper, or DuoDVR. Sling cannot generate television on its own; it can only transmit shows. Then you need to buy a Sling Adapter, which you can find in many electronics stores or order directly from Dish Network. You will then need to download the DISH Remote Access App for any mobile devices, a free app that can be found on both iTunes and Google Play (sorry, Windows phone users).
Sling adapters are very easy to install. A single USB cable goes to the DVR. The adapter then needs to be placed somewhere near the DVR where it has access to open air for appropriate cooling. The USB connection takes care of power and data streaming. However, you must already have a working Internet connection on your Dish DVR to make the adapter work. If you do not have Internet access on your DVR system, you must get it. High Speed Internet is recommended to ensure smooth quality when you sling TV shows. Chances are good that your DVR already has an Internet connection since many Dish services require services to be downloaded or stored online. If you don’t, enter your street address in the form on the top right corner of this page to see what Internet service deals are currently available in your area.
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