Why Sling TV Should Be Part of Your Quit Cable Plan
Since the mid-2000s the push for streaming devices and streaming networks has grown immensely. From the likes of Netflix to Hulu, streaming has become an integrated part of many people’s daily routine. This in turn has had a negative effect on cable giants and satellite giants. Why? Well, it’s simple. As streaming has grown larger, more people have found themselves cutting cable and satellite services. Read on for our Sling TV review.
This resonates particularly well with millennials, who don’t see the value in an expensive cable bill. When you can subscribe to something that’s only a handful of dollars a month and cancel at any time, that makes it far more attractive than a $150 monthly cable bill. This where Sling TV comes in.
Owned by satellite giant Dish Network, Sling TV offers a low-cost streaming service. But something is different about Sling TV, as it actually streams live TV.
Cost Per Month?
Sling has an entry level price point of $20/month. From here there are two other packages available. The $20 package is named “Sling Orange,” the next package up is $25 and is named “Sling Blue.” Finally, the last package is $40 a month and is named “Orange + Blue.”
Upgrading from the Orange to Blue package gets you more channels, but you will also lose channels such as the ABC networks including ESPN and ESPN2, Disney, etc. But with the Blue package you will pick up national networks NBC and Fox. The way to resolve this, is to simply go for the $40 package which gives you all the channels in both packages.
Once you’ve decided on a base package, you can begin adding extra channels to your lineup. Packages that you can add range from Sports Extra, which adds on channels like the SEC Network and ESPNU, to Comedy Plus Extra which gives you MTV, MTV 2, TV Land and more. Sling TV also has several Spanish packages available. All of these add-on packages are just $5 each and allow you to customize your experience to your needs.
If you’re a movie lover or you love HBO, you can add HBO for just $15 a month or you can add Cinemax for $10 a month.
What Kind of Channels Do You Get?
We already know there are three basic packages to choose from. But what channels are within those packages? Here’s a quick look at several of the channels in each package.
With Orange you will get:
- ESPN,ESPN 2, AMC, CNN, Comedy, Cartoon, TBS, Food Network ,Disney, Travel Channel, History, TNT, HGTV, A&E, Freeform and more.
With Blue you get:
- Fox, NBC, Fox Sports, FX, USA, Bravo,FS1,FS2, NBC SN,FXX, SY FY, Nick Jr, BET, NAT GEO, TRU TV, TBS, History,AMC, CNN, Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, TNT and more. You will lose ESPN, ESPN 2 and the Disney Channel when upgrading to Blue.
In total, there are over 100 channels you can get on Sling TV, and they are constantly adding new ones to increase the user experience.
What Can You Watch On? Any DVR Function?
You can watch Sling TV in a multitude of places. Sling TV is currently available on Apple TV, IOS, Roku, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast and Xbox One. You can also access ESPN 3 anywhere just by simply signing in with your Sling username and password.
While Sling TV is offered on all of these devices, you will find that it operates slightly different on each hardware. For instance, on the Xbox One you may seem some latency you won’t see on the Roku. If you’re using Sling TV on your iPhone, your connection will be fine when running on LTE but if it switches to 3G you will notice an immediate drop in quality and an increase in buffering.
Sling offers a playback function, but not a DVR function. Meaning, you can play back certain channels for a set amount of time, but you can’t record anything you want and it be there forever. Usually you’re allowed to play back channels up to 72 hours, though some channels don’t allow you to play back at all.
Negatives About Sling TV?
From the get go, Sling TV has been interesting. It has changed a lot over the last 18 months, but there are still some annoyances about the service. At launch you were only able to stream on one device at any time and while that has since changed for the Blue service, Orange users are still left with one stream at a time. This means your account can only stream on one device at a time. If you’re a Blue user or a Blue+ Orange user, you will be able to stream on up to three devices at once.
If you’re looking for all of the local networks, you won’t find it here. While Sling TV does have Fox and NBC on board, in select markets, they’ve yet to get ABC and CBS. An easy fix for this is to simply get an antenna, but that is extra work especially when you’re looking at a cable streaming service.
As far as performance goes, it works most of the time. During large events you could see buffering and some performance issues but Sling has worked out most of the kinks in this regard. When watching sporting events, you may notice that your game is lagging behind national television. While the delay is only a minute or so, it can be an annoyance especially with social media being right in your palms at all times.
Finally, if you’re watching on your iPhone and decide you want to now watch on your TV instead, the transition isn’t as seamless as it should be. You will fire up the tv and have to look for the channel you were watching, and then the program you were watching as well. If you were running a playback of an episode, you will then need to fast-forward to the point you were at. On the Blue plan, this isn’t a big deal. You will likely have multiple streams running, but on the Orange plan, where there’s only one stream allowed at a time, its a tedious task to pull up what you were watching on another device.
Who is Sling Optimal For?
Sling TV is great for the cord cutter who enjoys live TV but doesn’t like the cost of a traditional cable bill. With many offerings in terms of channels, Sling TV has most categories covered for anyone looking to cut cable, including the ability to rent videos on demand.