This is my Review of the Sling TV App.
TV has changed. It is an activity that I only enjoy sparingly these days. My busy schedule means that I while I can make time for appointment television for content that I absolutely have to see, mindless channel surfing is out of the equation.
This makes me a perfect candidate for a service like Sling TV. It is a godsend for individuals like me that are either occupied throughout the day, or are on the move.
A subscription based, contract free, Netflix for live TV kind of a deal, that allows users to sign up for a selection of live, HD streams of cable channels like ESPN, Comedy Central, AMC, CNN, and more.
What’s not to like?
Sling TV launched in 2015. Developed by DISH Network, this service finally offers cord cutters a viable alternative that starts at $20 per month.
A selection of channel packages is available that you can tack on, ranging from $5 to $10. A DVR option costs you $5 a month. This is where Sling TV excels, in how it sells you the content.
Rather than forcing you to sign up for an expensive package with a bunch of channels that you do not want, the service offers you two basic options. You then get granular control over the offerings, and can easily add in the channels that you want.
The best part is that Sling TV can be accessed from a wide variety of platforms — Windows, macOS, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox One, along with several smart TVs and streaming boxes.
In fact, the only notable exception here are the Sony consoles. PlayStation Vue being a Sling TV competitor means that Sling TV is not available on PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4 systems. But other than that, you are well covered and can carry your virtual television whenever and wherever you want.
Take your pick
And this is its biggest strength. Live TV streaming whenever and wherever, without the hassle of contracts, equipment, and costly subscriptions. The interface does take some getting used to, but on the flipside, it is neither complicated, nor overly busy. You will make sense of it all in minutes.
Sling TV is not without its minor quibbles, though.
The company offers two packages, Orange and Blue. And while these are enough to get you started, you will have to tack on additional channels if you are a heavy watcher.
I personally spend a fair amount of time watching sports, and this is where Sling TV really shines, offering me access to live sporting events right on my phone. All the added stuff is an icing on the cake.
The company has rolled out a host of updates and cosmetic changes to the service, since the early days of its launch. But some issues still remain that result in this being a great option for some people, instead of being an excellent option for everyone.
Most prominent of these is that streaming tends to struggle a bit on streaming sticks. While the app is very reliable and stable, as long as you have a decent internet connection, the same can sadly not be said when using it on streaming devices like Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV.
HD programming regularly slips into low-resolution, and occasionally crashes.
As for the experience itself, Sling TV may be live, but it is not fast. Channels take up to 5 seconds to load, and you should also expect a brief buggering for a couple of seconds — no mindless flipping through an endless ream of channels here.
Mac users beware
Upgrading your Mac Operating System to High Sierra seems to cripple the Sling TV app and based on my queries to Sling customer support, it really seems like they are trying to phase out their desktop apps. They are pushing Mac users to the Chrome browser instead.
As a long time Sling customer, I have to say that even though they offer a lot of value, the inability of this company to simply support an app for a MAJOR OS upgrade is very unprofessional and disappointing.
Thumbs down for that.
With a slick app design, mostly lag free experience, and straightforward subscriptions, Sling TV is the best cable replacement options available right now.
The content is varied, and even though the base package may be small, to keep things affordable, you do get a selection of over 100 channels to add on. Its value comes down to what you like, and for me, there’s a lot.