Thursday, February 23, 2017

Sling TV Review: $20 for Cable or $20 for Crap?

Prior I've talked about how I cut cable by using a streaming device called Roku (You can see my first review HERE and my second review HERE). 

In my first review, I briefly discussed a third party style service that offers a "cable" package of sorts, for as low as $20. This service is called "Sling TV" and all it requires of you is a credit card, your choice of cable package, internet and either a smart TV or a streaming device that the Sling TV app coincides with (from what I've seen, it's available on a wide array of devices). 

Sling TV offers a few select "cable" packages ranging from $20 to $40 and up. Each package can be altered by adding "add on" bundles to your "plan" ranging between $5 and $15 a bundle. With Sling TV you're able to pay monthly for this service, WITHOUT any sort of contract. This means you can cancel at any time and you won't have to worry about any sort of surcharge. Sling TV gives you live TV for the selected channels within your package, along with on-demand for said channels as well. 

The $20 package - being their cheapest offer - will give you about 30 channels to watch from, the $30 package will give you about 40 channels, and the $40 package will give you all the streaming channels Sling TV has to offer. 

Along with their package deals, they also have - what I mentioned earlier - bundles that give you additional channels not offered within the packages. There are also different types of bundles. You have "extras", "premiums", "Spanish" and "international". 

Extras are bundles that you can choose from, where you're given multiple extra channels. There are Sports Extras (ESPNU, NFL RedZone, NBA TV to name a few), Kids Extras (Disney Junior are among them), along with a few others. These range between $5 and $10.

Premiums add-ons are HBO ($15 extra), Cinemax ($10 extra), and Starz ($9 extra). 

Spanish bundles are similar to Extras, where they have different bundles you can choose from to get select Spanish speaking channels, all of which are $5 extra each. 

International bundles are - again - similar to the Spanish bundles and the Extras bundles, where you can choose between Hindi Extra (9 extra channels for $5), Chinese Extra (16 extra channels for $5), Arabic Extra (12 extra channels for $10), Brazilian Extra (1 channel for $15), World Music Extra (15 extra channels for $5), Francais Extra (5 extra channels for $5), Italiano Extra (4 extra channels for $10), and Urdu-India Extra (8 extra channels for $10). 

Sling TV offers a 7 day free trial period, where you'll only be charged AFTER the trial period ends. You can even cancel before the trial is over, if you find that it's not your exact cup of tea and you don't wish to continue. When doing the trial, you can choose to include SOME add-on's during your trial, but not HBO. Again, you won't be charged until after the trial ends, but please read the fine print to make sure you won't be charged for anything if you're not planning on spending any money! 

If you have a credit card, internet, an email, and a streaming device (you could even use it on your computer/laptop or tablet), you'll be ready to sign up.

Personally I've done the trial and before the 7 days were up, I cancelled. 

I don't think Sling TV is a bad choice for live television and I certainly think you could benefit from such a cheap package - especially if you're not paying a lot for internet - but for us, it just wasn't worth it. You see, while the program did offer a wide variety of channels that we actually do watch and the concept itself is an awesome one to where you could literally choose the TV you pay for, the quality wasn't equal to the quantity of "products". 

Numerous times a channel would buffer, blurry images, stop working in the middle of watching, not allow you to continue watching, skip, or just plain ol' not work. At first I thought it was because we were using it during peak hours - when numerous devices were on wifi - but even late at night with only one device linked to the wifi - the Roku -  streaming wasn't nearly as smooth as I'd had hoped. With so many reboots, waiting, and refreshes, I lost all patience. 

I'm sorry if I have to work extra hard to try and enjoy television, I don't want to watch. It makes the entire experience beyond frustrating and when you end up missing half your show because of the app consistently buffering, you lose all interest. Trust me. 

I've heard that for some it's far better of a product, but to be honest I've helped friends sign up for it and it still seems to show the same issues. I truly believe that the overall idea is an excellent one, but it needs some tweaking and fine tuning. I do understand that the price is pretty decent, but I don't see the value in something you can't truly enjoy. Even with such a low cost. 

Do I think Sling TV is a complete flop? No not necessarily. I think with some fine tuning and perhaps a better wifi connection (don't quote me on that), Sling could live up to it's full potential. Until I can happily watch an episode of ANYTHING on Sling without issues and actually have visible quality, I don't think I'll be re-downloading this app or signing up in the future. 

What are your guys' thoughts? Have you tried Sling or any other service resembling this service? If so, let me know down in the comments below or on social media! 

Until next time Jedi's, may the force be with you. 

No comments:

Post a Comment