Anyone using Sling TV? Alternatives?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by head_unit, Dec 25, 2017.

  1. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    Soon my DirecTV contract is up, and I'm contemplating changing to Sling TV. Seems I could get a bunch of channels for $20 and add my wife's precious Cooking Channel for another $5. And get rid of the cable box to boot I presume?
    Experiences and thoughts pro and con? Any similar services I should consider? (To get typical channels like History, Travel, Food, local rebroadcast. I know Netflix, Hulu, whatever have a lot of their own shows, but my wife likes to tune in LIVE to whatever is on, she is not a DVR person at all nor will I attempt to train her to be one :D)
     
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  2. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    I've not used any of them, but I've heard very good reports about YouTube TV, and particularly it's interface. It shows each channel live as you flip through them, and has unlimited DVR ability.

    Whichever you choose, I recommend a Roku as the box, mostly because it's the only one that is primarily interested in selling you a box rather than selling you a package of services, unlike Apple and Amazon.

    Edit to add: I just checked, and YouTube TV is not on Roku yet, and you would need a compatible smart TV or a Chromecast. But on the other hand, they have local channels in a lot of markets.
     
    head_unit likes this.
  3. RayS

    RayS Forum Resident

    I've been using Sling since September. It is not glitch free, but for the most part I've found it to be reliable and easy to use. The DVR function seemed a little clunky at first, but either I've got better at using it or they improved it. If you're a sports fan, be forewarned that the DVR function is disabled for ESPN.
     
    head_unit likes this.
  4. Benno123

    Benno123 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    I started with Hulu Live, or whatever it’s called, and it buffered all the time and was clunky. I switched to PlayStation Vue and it has buffered once ... just wish more than one local was available but besides that it offers what we need and want.

    My wife did mention that since cutting the cable we’re really not saving any $$$ and actually have a lot less for a lot more $$$. That is true but the fact that I can add, cancel, etc. gives me a better feeling than paying Spectrum anymore of my hard earned money.

    Ditto the Roku box. I have an older box which works great still, and just added a Roku stick which is working awesome in the bedroom.
     
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  5. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    Saving money? I suppose it depends on matching what you watch to the packages offered. I usually watch podcast shows that cost me nothing, like the TWiT network.

    Yeah, I could buy a Roku 4, but my Roku 3 units work so well I can't really justify it. I haven't done a through investigation of all the boxes, but it looks like Roku offers the largest number of channels.

    Since they are all so cheap, you could get a Roku stick, a Firestick and a Chromecast and try them all, and all the free packages available for each (forget the Apple TV unless you're already a committed Apple household.)
     
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  6. woody

    woody Forum Resident

    Location:
    charleston, sc
    I am now on my third provider.

    Started with Sling and had good service but channel lineup did not correspond to everything I wanted at the time. They now have more channels but have to get both the blue and orange plan, so the price goes up too much for me.

    I was on PSVue the past year and had good service with no buffering. They just changed their UI and raised their prices. I did not like the new UI.

    Switched to Hulu live this week. It has been buffering a bit more for certain broadcasts like some football, but I like having access to some of the Hulu original programming.
     
  7. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    The buffering is not always the fault of the service provider and is only going to get worse, as your cable company/phone company is now free to prioritize their own offerings.
     
    head_unit likes this.
  8. woody

    woody Forum Resident

    Location:
    charleston, sc
    I understand but I switched the game tonight to the ESPN app and have had no buffering issues, like what was happening on Hulu. I have not had any issues watching anything else but live sports on Hulu.
     
  9. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    They are on different IP ports, which would be afforded different "Quality of Service" levels. ESPN is the big dog that the cable, sat and phone companies are paying huge amounts of money to. Hulu is a competitor that the cable, sat and phone companies view as stealing their bandwidth.
     
    Damien DiAngelo and head_unit like this.
  10. woody

    woody Forum Resident

    Location:
    charleston, sc
    True, maybe they are throttling, but I am on a 200 Mbps business plan with a smaller ISP called Wow. Wow are running a Hulu promo now, too.
     
  11. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    Ah, OK. I'm on Google Fiber, and even with a gigabit of bandwidth, I get varying levels of quality. Maybe I can do a test of all of the services.
     
  12. 2trackmind

    2trackmind Forum Resident

    Location:
    MA
    Ain't that the truth! I've used Sling for several months on two separate Roku devices. At the end of every show the video would speed up and the audio would cut out as if someone was fast forwarding the program. It was annoying. Tried everything I could think of to fix to no avail.

    Anyone else experience this issue?
     
  13. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    How is that true? Can you explain more specifics, I'm curious. Spectrum is so cheap by you, or PlayStation Vue so expensive or what?
     
  14. Abbagold

    Abbagold Forum Resident

    Location:
    World
    I went with kodi and amazon prime as well as a digital antenna. Now my cable bill is $55 a month, and that’s just for internet.
     
  15. Benno123

    Benno123 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    My internet is $109.99 a month for Spectrum 100MBPS. I need the speed due to my job but I am not reimbursed. Vue is approx $40 month, plus when you add in Hulu, Netflix, and the various other apps it comes out roughly the same to a bit more BUT I am not stuck in a contract and can cut an app any time I want. Spectrum is not cheap by me. I have tried numerous times since August when I started working at home to negotiate a better price and they will not budge. Our friends just increased to 100MBPS at $40 less a month so I called and went to the office and was given the run around. The best answer/reason they gave me? “It sounds like your friends have newer lines so it doesn’t cost as much to send signals to them.” Honest to God that was a reason they gave me on the phone.
     
  16. krisjay

    krisjay Forum Resident

    Location:
    Waterville, Maine
    I have been trying various ones lately. Sling is ok, kind of glitchy, Playstation Vue so far has the best channel assortment (at least for us), and works great. Trying Youtube TV now, good, not the best channel selection. No Discovery Channel is not good for this house. I will say, I don't miss the ignorant amount of the cable bill anymore. Cut the cord to freedom, kind of.
     
  17. starfieldroad

    starfieldroad Forum Resident

    We cut the cable cord a while back, thought losing the DVR was going to be an issue but it's not been.

    We had Sling for a while but gave it up.

    We run things via Roku and have been very happy. We have Amazon video automatically since we're Prime and we're able to add channels under it (HBO, Sundance) for reasonable cost. We also have netflix (we dropped our dvd option when they raised prices) and we pay to have the ad-free version of Hulu.

    We have plenty of choices. We do occasionally miss not having better access to local channels (we're in an HDTV antenna black hole) but work around it.
     
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  18. mrdon

    mrdon Well-Known Member

    At the moment, Streaming broadcast TV is still meh and still more expensive than traditional cable TV Service. As time goes on, obviously this will change, so for me right now the best of both worlds is TiVo. You pay upfront for the box or boxes, rent a cable card for $2-$5 from your local Cable Service Provider. and pay a monthly TiVo service fee of $14.99. The TiVo Experience is unified so you get what is essentially a Cable Box and Roku all in one and the User Interface is beautiful and easy to use. On top of that, through the TiVo app you can watch local TV or DVR’d programming anywhere in the world as long as you have access to the Internet.
     
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  19. nopedals

    nopedals Active Member

    Location:
    Columbia SC
    I have an attic antenna, TiVo DVR, Netflix, and amazon. I mostly watch the (free) YouTube channel which has lots of live news feeds. The TIVO interface makes all of this pretty glitch free to watch. I only keep Netflix because the wife and kid watch it, and Amazon because it comes free with Amazon prime.


    Free YouTube is way underrated as a program source. The TiVo interface is excellent. It knows what I like to watch and puts suggestions up on the opening screen.
     
    head_unit likes this.
  20. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    Dumb question which I could look up (but have a feeling I would not easily find a concise answer): what the heck is on Hulu? In particular, can we find Cooking & Food channels, History, old Perry Mason reruns, BBC?

    Local channels, that's another thing. We have a direct line of sight to Mt. Wilson, but I have a feeling my wife would have eternal difficulty (=annoyance with ME) at having to switch between antenna and some other input.
     
  21. mj_patrick

    mj_patrick Forum Resident

    Location:
    Elkhart, IN, USA
    Sling TV (basic package) + Netflix (2 screens) + Amazon Prime Video (covered with the cost of paying for Prime shipping) + HBO Now* + Mohu Leaf for local stations = good entertainment package

    Throw in a monthly subscription to Apple Music and my monthly internet bill and it's still less expensive than what I had been paying for cable and internet.

    There's not much I'm missing out on with this method, although there's a few shows on the STARZ network I need.

    I can't speak for DVR functions as I never use them; most, if not all, of the shows I watch on Sling TV are still retrievable after they air.

    *I may swap out HBO Now for Hulu now and then.
     
  22. John Moschella

    John Moschella Forum Resident

    Location:
    Christiansburg, VA
    If you are NOT into sports than the streaming/cord cutting deal is workable. You have to realize that you don't really have a DVR, so if you like to archive shows or movies you can't. The "DVR" from the streaming services it not really a DVR, its access to shows/programs.

    Here is the big problem with sports. If you record something with a real DVR that say ends late on the east coast, you buffer the recording to account for running over. Can't do this with streaming services, you really have no control. Second, pausing live TV is very limited. I can't (for instance), pause a football game, go eat dinner and then come back. With PS Vue I only get 4 min of pause.

    The entire DVR/live TV interface is WAY better with DTV where I can pause one football game, watch another channel, then go back to the paused game.
     
    head_unit likes this.
  23. starfieldroad

    starfieldroad Forum Resident

    lots of stuff. we watch SNL on it. they are rolling out a live-TV beta now too. I'd recommend a trial so you get a feel for it.

    plus they also offer premium add-ons (if you don't have access via Prime for example)
     
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