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Sling TV Fills the DVR Gap

Adding a key weapon to its video arsenal, Sling TV will begin this month to trial a cloud DVR for its over-the-top TV service that will initially become available to Roku users on an invitation-only basis.

The cloud DVR trial will be available for no extra charge to selected subs who take the service’s single-stream tier, Sling Orange, and/or its multi-stream offering, Sling Blue. The provider expects to extend the trial to other supported platforms in the coming months.

Possible candidates include Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV (boxes and sticks), Android TV-powered devices, iOS and Android mobile devices, the Xbox One console and Web browsers.

The addition fills a gap in Sling TV’s feature set, but, like the service itself, it comes with some caveats and limitations.

Most notably, ABC, Disney and ESPN networks will not support Sling TV’s cloud DVR capability, at least not at the outset. “We are working to enable DVR functionality on all the programming we offer,” the company said.

For the initial beta, Sling TV’s cloud DVR will allow users to record up to 100 hours of content. The company also has plans to let users to upgrade for more storage space.

PlayStation Vue, a Sling TV rival, offers a cloud DVR with unlimited storage, though customers must view shows within 28 days of the recording. Sling TV said its cloud DVR will not have that restriction.

DirecTV Now, the OTT TV service launched last week, has a cloud DVR on its roadmap for 2017.