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Sling TV Goes Back to the Future

Sling TV has added an old-school grid programming guide to its new-school live streaming service.

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The guide is now available on Android TV devices that offer Sling TV, such as Amazon Fire TV products, and Sling says it will soon be added to other platforms such as the iPad and iPhone.

Like the on-screen programming guide that has become a staple of pay TV services for decades, the Sling TV grid enables users to scroll up or down from channel to channel to search for a show. Once the show is located, the Sling subscribers can tune to it by clicking on the grid.


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In a blog posting announcing the new feature, Sling TV product chief Ben Weinberger acknowledges that the guide’s introduction is not exactly what you expect from a service designed to disrupt traditional TV.

“While this addition isn’t “revolutionary,” you’ll be right at home with the traditional TV guide view. Believe it or not, following DVR, he grid guide has consistently been our most requested feature from Sling TV customers; we heard all of you who want a way to quickly browse what’s on now, filter channels by genre and see the upcoming schedule of every channel, and now you have it!” Weinberger writes.

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Sling TV’s programming guide is the latest example of how live streaming services seem to be trying to look and operate much like the traditional pay TV service.

Despite the disruption boasts, Sling, DIRECTV Now, Hulu Live and PlayStation Vue still offer programming in bundles rather than a la carte. And DIRECTV Now and PlayStation Vue have already included grid guides with their on-screen menus.

— Phillip Swann

About TV Answer Man (586 Articles)
The TV Answer Man is veteran journalist Phillip Swann who has covered the TV technology scene for more than two decades. He will report on the latest news and answer your questions regarding new devices and services that are changing the way you watch television.

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