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Sling comes to Google Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max for a voice-driven TV experience

Sling TV subscribers now have an interesting new option for watching live streaming TV beyond their biggest and littlest screens. On Wednesday, the company announced that its service is available on Google’s Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max smart-screen devices. It marks the first time these products can stream a live TV service other than YouTube TV without the help of a smartphone or tablet.

With the Sling integration, the streaming service can be controlled through Google Assistant voice commands such as “Hey, Google, watch HGTV on Sling” or “play,” “pause,” “skip forward 10 seconds,” or “stop.” If you have a Chromecast-enabled TV or streaming device such as a Google Chromecast Ultra or Nvidia Shield TV, you can cast Sling TV to these devices with your voice from the Nest Hub.

If you own a Google Nest Hub Max, the device’s Quick Gestures feature lets you pause and resume content by holding your hand up and looking at the camera.

Adding your Sling TV account to a Google Nest Hub device is done via the Google Home app for iOS and Android. Simply go into the Settings menu, then under the Add … option, select Video and Photos under Add services. From there you can pick Sling TV as an available service.

The decision to allow Sling TV onto Google’s first smart screen devices comes at a time when Google’s smart speaker strategy faces some tough questions. The company’s sales fell quite dramatically in the most recent quarter, according to reports. It could be that Google fears a loss of momentum in its smart screen sales, so adding Sling gives potential buyers another reason to jump on the Nest Hub bandwagon.

Sling TV is one of the most affordable live streaming TV services for cord-cutters looking to scrap their cable or satellite bills. For as little as $25 per month, the service offers a decent amount of traditional live TV channels and lots of upgrade options for those who want more. Unlike YouTube TV, which charges one flat $50 fee for its content, Sling TV offers a more flexible set of packages.

The live TV streaming category is undergoing some pretty big shifts, which makes the Sling/Google announcement even more interesting. Sony recently announced that its PlayStation Vue service will close its doors in January 2020, and Hulu has warned that it’s raising the rates on its live TV service, Hulu + Live TV, by $10 per month starting in December.

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Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like spatial…
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