Cord cutters are not a minority anymore. Their numbers are growing and of course, many streaming services have cropped up to satisfy their demands. Sling TV is a relatively new streaming service that was launched in 2015. Sling TV differentiates itself by offering live TV to its viewers. In essence, it is cable TV for cord-cutters. Let’s check out the good and the bad about Sling TV that we have seen in the short time that it has been in the market.
No Monthly Contracts
This is one of the biggest selling points for Sling TV. While the service is offering users live TV just like cable, subscribers are not required to sign any contracts. This offers them a lot of flexibility and puts them in the driver’s seat. They can stay with the service as long as they want or can switch to another service when they think it is not fulfilling their entertainment needs. Also, there are no installation costs or any other service related charges.
The Sports Programming
Before Sling TV was launched, sports lovers had no option but to stick with their old cable subscriptions. At the time, none of the streaming services offered sports entertainment. With Sling TV, subscribers can finally enjoy ESPN in their basic package. If that is not enough, there is always the Sports Extra that you can opt for.
Other than the sports programming, there is a lot to watch on Sling TV. You get the Travel Channel, CNN, Food Network, Cartoon Network, ABC Family, Comedy Central, BBC America, HGTV, TNT, and many more. Other than the basic pack, there are also extra packs to choose from. But, you have to pay separately for each pack. There is a pretty exhaustive list of add-on packs on offer, including Kids Extra, Deportes Extra, Hollywood Extra, and more.
Near Universal Compatibility
Compatibility is a big issue with almost every service. No matter how good a service is, if it is not compatible with the most common streaming devices, then a lot of people will never be able to access it. People use more than one streaming service at a time and they often want to play them on the same devices. This is also one of the reasons why Sling TV has become so popular so quickly. It is compatible with devices supported by iOS and Android operating systems, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Xbox One, Roku, and more. The installation is also simple and takes five to ten minutes.
Apart from live TV, full HD streaming, and on-demand content, there are a lot of other features that you can enjoy when you subscribe to Sling TV. There is the 3-Day Replay feature which offers users a replay of programming on select channels from the past three days. If you stream Sling TV through Roku, you can also take advantage of the Cloud DVR service. This feature is still in its beta phase, and will soon be available for all streaming devices. Mobile viewing is also an option with Sling TV as long as you have a high speed internet connection. Subscribers can all add premium channels like HBO to their basic plan for additional charges.
No DVR Capability
One of the best things about cable services is the DVR feature. The ability to record, and watch shows later ensures that you never miss a show. It also allows you to rewind, fast-forward, and pause your TV programs. This feature, which most TV viewers take for granted is not available with all the programming on Sling TV. It is not difficult to implement this feature. Its absence can be solely attributed to the resistance from the TV networks. However, Sling TV is in the process of developing a cloud DVR service that is in its beta testing phase.
Yes, you can cut the cord, but you can’t hide from the ads. That is, if you want to enjoy live TV on Sling TV. There are as many ads on the streaming service as there are on the cable connections. Cord-cutters have developed a basic set of expectations from streaming services, and an ad-free experience appears on the top of that list. Especially when there are a whole range of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video that offer a completely ad-free experience for their premium users at lower prices, Sling TV is sure to drive away many customers.
Limited Number of Channels
Not all cable channels are available on Sling TV. You will be missing a good number of local channels on this service. Channels like NBC, Fox, and CBS are nowhere to be found here. However, there are a good number of channels included in each package, and you can add premium programming. However, if you are a fan of a particular show on a channel that is not available on this service, then short of signing up for a cable connection there’s not much you can do about it.
When you buy a basic pack from Sling TV, all you get is one stream that you can watch on one device. So, while other streaming services offer multiple streams at a lower price a $20 a month, this is not something that will go down easily with the subscribers. It is not much of a problem for small families that watch shows together, but big families with kids of all ages will definitely pass up on the service for only this one reason itself.
Too Much Dependence on the Internet
Streaming services like Sling TV should make the life of their users more convenient and fun. The fact that they deliver their content over the internet makes them easy to access and enjoy. But, the same factor plays out against them. Sling TV needs a high speed and stable internet connection to deliver content in full HD. But, that is hardly the case when you are travelling. The network strength varies constantly, and the resulting effect is interrupted service. Moreover, the fact that Sling TV does not offer offline viewing option either. The user gets frustrated by this experience.