Dish Network has finally released the official version of its SlingTV app for the Nexus Player and other Android TV devices. The app can be installed through the Google Play Store, where you'll find it front and center in the "Entertainment Apps" category.
As aweseome as this news is, it gets even better: Dish and Google have teamed up to offer the Nexus Player for 50% off when you prepay for 3 months of Sling TV service. It's a whale of a deal, with the powerful Nexus Player costing a total of $49.50. For more information on this offer, check out the official site on Sling.com.
When Dish Network announced a new $20/month streaming cable service called Sling TV, I was excited to hear that the Nexus Player would be supported. So excited, in fact, that I signed up to be a beta tester and started using the service before it even went public.
Well, here I am now, 3 months into my membership, and Sling has still not released a Nexus Player-compatible version of its app. Sure, there's a version for Android devices, but it refuses to install on Android TV devices.
Rather than canceling my subscription (I still have a Roku and a handful of Android devices, after all), I decided to learn how to add Leanback Launcher code to existing Android apps. After some trial and error, I've finally got the Sling TV app working flawlessly on the Nexus Player. So if you're set up for sideloading apps, read on past the jump to see how to install this version of Sling TV on your Nexus Player.
Basically, what I've done here is decompile the installer file for the official Sling TV Android app, add in a bit of code and a Leanback Launcher banner icon, then recompile the APK. As a result, the app can be installed on your Nexus Player like any other.
To begin, download the modified APK file from this link. When the file has finished downloading, transfer it over to your Nexus Player's internal storage.
Next up, use any file browser app to open the APK installer file. When Android's traditional installer interface comes up, simply click "Install."
With that done, head back to the home screen, then launch the Sling TV app. The banner-style icon that I've added should ensure that the app blends right in on your home screen.
You'll have to log in with your account credentials before you can use Sling TV, so click the "Sign In" button near the top of the screen to take care of that.
This version of Sling TV can be completely controlled with the Nexus Player's regular remote or gamepad—no mouse is required. To bring up the channel guide, simply press the down arrow on your remote.
From here, use the left and right arrows on your remote to flip between channels, then press the enter button to begin watching a particular network's live feed. It's incredibly simple to use, and all features that are available on other platforms are now available on your Nexus Player.
I should note that this APK is signed differently than the official Android version. This means that if Dish ever gets around to releasing the official Sling TV app that they promised months ago, you'll have to uninstall this version before installing the official client.
Are there any other apps that you'd like me to add the Leanback Launcher code to? Let me know in the comment section below, or on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter, and I'll see what I can do with the most popular requests.
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