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Sling TV — a pay TV company — encourages people to stop paying for TV with its new AirTV box

It’s for cord-cutters who don’t know how to cut the cord.

Did you know you can watch TV, for free, legally, no strings attached?

It’s true! You just use something called an “antenna,” and it will pull in signals from local broadcast stations, so you can watch “Sherlock” on PBS, or an NFL game on Fox, or whatever version of NCIS is on CBS.

Lots of people — millions of people — actually do this. If you wanted to, you could buy a decent antenna for $10 and start watching today.

Another option: Here’s AirTV, a $130 hardware bundle that combines broadcast TV with streaming video services. It’s from Sling TV, the streaming service owned by Dish Network.

If you are a serious cord-cutter/cord-never, you have likely already cobbled something like AirTV together, using a streaming box like Roku or Apple TV and your own antenna. And that means you are probably already aware of the pros/cons of “over the air” TV: Yes, it’s free. No, it doesn’t come with a DVR or any on-demand functions.

Anyway, this product is not for that group. It’s for people who haven’t cut the cord yet, but are itching to do it. Don’t pay for TV, says the company owned by a pay TV distributor — get it for free.

Sling/Dish used to rationalize this pitch by arguing that they were going after other people’s pay TV customers. They’ve basically given up on that argument; now, they’d rather cannibalize their own customers — and keep them as customers — than lose them altogether.


This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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