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Sling TV Review: Is it Worth $20 Per Month?

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Sling TV offers cable channels without the nasty contract. Read my Sling TV review to see if it’s worth the $20 per cost to get ESPN shows.

We tried Sling TV for two weeks in January as we had recently canceled our DirecTV contract and thought a review of the service would be good. We were intrigued by the idea of getting access to channels like ESPN for $20 without a contract. Those who want to cut the cord are often held back out of fear that they’ll miss out on sports.

I used to be one of those people and was excited about getting ESPN and ESPN2 for $20 per month with the ability to cut it any time I want. We had a good overall experience, but ultimately decided not to keep it. Here’s a Sling TV review to give a full breakdown of the service.

How Sling TV Works

 

As mentioned, Sling TV is a no-contract way to get television content. Ironically, it was launched by Dish TV in 2015 though they don’t have the messy contracts or high costs the parent company has.

As I’ve shared in the past, we now get all of our content through the Amazon Fire Stick and are more than happy with that as a replacement. We also get our local channels with the Mohu Leaf which has worked great for us.

Sling TV is an Internet based TV service that offers just over 20 channels for $20 per month. They also offer a $25 per month plan for 25 channels. You simply download the app to get started. You can download it straight from the Sling TV website or you can download it for free from Amazon.

Sling TV works on a variety of different devices. We only used it on our television, but it you can use it from the following devices:

As you can see, there are a fair number of options to use Sling. The installation, at least for our television was relatively simple. I set up our account for it through the Sling TV website as they offer a free 7 day trial. I then downloaded it through our Amazon Fire TV Stick, and was set up in a total of maybe five minutes.

I will add that while I was setting it up on our Fire Stick there was an ad to try it free for 14 days. I chatted with their customer support area and they instantly upgraded me – so keep that in mind if you sign up.

I will also add that Sling TV is a mix of live TV plus on demand shows, so it’s really a marriage of Netflix and the channels you want from cable.

What Channels Do You Get With Sling TV?

 

The Sling TV app offers a base package of 23 channels. Those channels are:

ESPN                                               TBS

ESPN2                                             Travel Channel

AMC                                                 Adult Swim

Food Network                                CNN

A&E                                                   H2

History Channel                              Cartoon Network

TNT                                                   ABC Family

El Rey                                                Lifetime

HGTV                                                Galavision

IFC                                                     Bloomberg Television

Disney Channel                              Polaris+

Maker

Sling TV also offers eight, add-on packages for an extra $5 per month per package. Those packages are:

Sports Extra – which comes with nine channels, including ESPNews and the SEC Network.

Kids Extra – which offers five channels, including Disney Junior and Boomerang.

Best of Spanish TV – which lists 14 channels, including Univision and ESPN Deportes.

Deportes Extra – which provides seven channels, including Azteca.

Peliculas and Novelas Extra – which includes nine channels, including Uni Mas.

Hollywood Extra – which comes with six channels, including Sundance TV and TCM.

World News Extra – which offers seven extra channels, including HLN and RT.

Lifestyle Extra – which lists six channels, including DIY and the Cooking Channel.

In total, Sling TV offers access to 65 channels though it’d not make much sense to get each as you’d pay $60 plus tax every month. They also offer HBO Now if you’d like access to that for an additional $15 per month.

Sling TV – What to Like

 

There’s a lot to like about Sling TV. Most importantly, it’s relatively inexpensive and does not require a contract. That alone is worth consideration. It lets you access some of your favorite shows if you’ve cut cable without the nasty cost.

I also like that it’s compatible with so many devices. You can use it on your phone or even on a video game console if you like, so there’s obviously a lot of options. We only used the television interface but it was relatively straightforward. You simply launch the app on the Fire TV Stick (here’s our Amazon Fire TV Stick review) and navigate to the channel you want to watch.

The app provides a “What’s On” section so you can see what’s live. You can also navigate to the specific channel to see what on demand programming they have available. I will add that many of the channels have pause, rewind and fast forward features, which is nice – though it does not work on channels like ESPN, TBS or TNT.

The other thing of note I really liked is the 3-Day Replay Sling TV offers. It’s not available on all channels, but is on most. This feature allows you to access content that has been on the given channel during the past three days. They also offer a similar “Start Over” function that allows you to jump back to the beginning of a show. While not the full features found in a DVR it does offer some ways around it.

Sling TV – What Not to Like

 

The main complaint I had with Sling TV was buffering issues. We have a relatively fast Internet connection (42.85 Mbps download speed, 6.13 Mbps upload speed and 90 ms latency) since we work from home, but still ran into buffering issues.

The most glaring time I saw this was while trying to watch the college football playoffs in January – with the championship game being the worst. It took 10-15 minutes for the game to come on though I’m sure it’s because there were many other people trying to access it at the same time. That being said, they had much worse problems during March Madness last year so it’s something to keep in mind.

Another thing to keep in mind is Sling TV only works on one device at a time. That wasn’t an issue for us though it may well be for you. Lastly, some of the more popular channels are linear only which means live is the only option you get with no ability to fast forward or rewind.

Sling TV offers cable channels without the nasty contract. Read my Sling TV review to see if it’s worth the $20 per cost to get ESPN shows.

Sling TV Review – Final Thoughts

 

Ultimately, I believe Sling TV is the beginning of new things for those who want to cut the cord. As such, it’s not perfect. My hope is that they continue to improve its functionality and clear up the buffering issues. I think for those who want to cut the cord and still have access to channels like ESPN it can be a great option for the $20 per month price tag, especially given the lack of a contract. That’s also not to mention the fact they seem to be adding new channels and capabilities to the platform regularly.

We chose to forego signing up after the free 14-day trial. We have Netflix and HBO Now plus we can access a lot of content for free thanks to our Amazon Prime membership and Amazon Fire TV Stick. That saves us nearly $90 per month and we saw no need to add an additional $20 per month.

If you’re looking for something to include in your home theater system, then the Amazon Fire TV will be better suited for you thanks to its 4k capabilities and ability to connect to Alexa. Likewise, you can get the TiVo Bolt if you want to have a DVR in your home entertainment system.

We also get local channels with our Mohu 50 Leaf, so we’re set for our channels and if we really can’t get something we can almost always find it somewhere online. We may change direction come football season but for now we’re content without it – but it still might be a good consideration for you given it’s free for a week or two and has no contracts.

 

Do you still have cable and, if so, how much are you paying for it each month? What’s one channel you feel like that you can’t live without? If you’ve used Sling, what are your thoughts on it?

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I'm the founder of Frugal Rules, a Dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry. I'm passionate about helping people learn from my mistakes so that they can enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. I'm also a freelance writer, and regularly contribute to GoBankingRates, Investopedia, Lending Tree and more. If you're wanting to learn how to monetize your blog, check out my blog coaching services to see how I can help you take your site to the next level.

98 Comments

  • I have heard a ton of good thing about Sling, although I have never tried it. Hulu and Netflix are working out for us at the moment.

    • John Schmoll says:

      I had as well Holly, but it didn’t measure up to the talk. I’d stick with what y’all have and save the $20/month.

    • Mike says:

      I have Netflix and Hulu also and that seems to be enough for me. I will be keeping an eye on sling and see what happens. These cheap startup deals usually lead to mega bills.

    • Madeline says:

      Sling tv is a ripoff. I signed up to watch my favorite show the same night and it did not stream live as advertised so I cancelled the same night. Three weeks later sling tv has charged my account twice for the full monthly fee in one month. I reported this to my bank and now I have to wait three weeks for a new debit card.

  • We have been cable free for just about 6 years now. I’ve heard of sling tv before, but considering we never watched those channels much (with the exception of HGTV) I figured we wouldn’t get our monies worth. Also, many of the shows that I do watch on HGTV are now being played on Netflix, after season, of course. This makes Netflix so much more valuable to me:) I don’t mind watching after everyone else has at all…

  • Jaime says:

    We tried Sling TV for two weeks too and ended up canceling. I ended up watching for the most part and my bf gave up on it. Mostly because just like you did, we ended up having buffering issues.

    We’re also just too used to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and couldn’t get used to the commercials again. Meh for commercials!

  • Ben says:

    I tried Sling a while back when the college football season started, and I ran into the same buffering issues. Wasn’t worth it.

    We also live in an area where we can’t get local channels so I was bummed they didn’t offer those.

  • We just switched to basic channel only cable, and I admit I was going to look into Sling if my husband decided he just couldn’t live without his sports. So far, though, it hasn’t been a problem (and in NC during college basketball season, that’s saying something.) Good to know the draw backs though…if the buffering is bad, that makes it really frustrating to watch games.

    • John Schmoll says:

      The sports aspect is the big draw to Sling in my opinion. But, it just doesn’t measure up when it comes to the buffering. I have hope they, or someone else, will be able to improve upon that in the near future.

  • Michelle says:

    We don’t have cable, Hulu, Netflix, Sling, or anything else haha. Don’t miss any of them either!

  • I definitely have looked into Sling TV. We still have cable but after splitting the bill 50/50 with our renter it’s not that much more than Sling, so we’ve kept cable for now. We will likely cut cable out of our budget when she moves out this Summer. We actually already have Netflix and a roku, so I think it will just take a little adjusting to get used to having something like Sling and using a digital receiver/DVR.

    • John Schmoll says:

      I remember you mentioning that in a previous comment DC. I think you’d actually be fine without Sling. So much content is available through Netflix and Amazon Prime or Hulu you’d be fine without it – for the most part.

  • Syed says:

    Thanks for the review I was looking into this product because we are planning to cut the cord next month. Sounds good but not sure if it would be worth it for us. We will try to subsist on Netflix and local channels for a while and see where things go from there.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Not a problem at all Syed. We’ve done just fine with Netflix and stuff we can get through the Amazon Fire Stick. If you get a good antenna you’d be set up for nearly everything.

  • Sarah says:

    We just got Sling in December and we like it, but the only other option we have is Netflix. My husband likes ESPN, I like HGTV and my girls watch Disney in the morning. I do agree with you in that it’s not perfect – it freezes quite often or the picture will be blurry. Honestly, I could do without it, but I do like that my kids happily watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in the mornings 🙂 #priceless lol

  • We don’t care about sports, so Hulu and it’s $8.99 keep us perfectly happy. Sounds like we’re lucky because Sling appears to add up big time. Well, depending on what you’re looking for anyway.

  • Jason B says:

    I’ve been debating canceling my cable for a minute. After reading this post, I will keep it for a while longer. I’m only paying $65 each month anyway. I like my sports and would be pissed if I missed parts of games do to buffering issues.

  • I’ve looked into it since some of those channels may interest me and my wife. We currently don’t have cable at all and just use an antenna. We don’t really have much time for TV anyway but would consider it in the future. Hopefully they fix the buffering issues.

  • Marilyn says:

    Thank you for this review. We’ve cut the cord some time ago. We currently have Amazon prime and Netflix but as our daughter has gotten older really wants the disney channel and cartoon network. I’m debating on sling but we’re not avid sports fan and rarely watch the games so I’m torn on weather it worth the 20.00 bucks for just those two channels.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Not a problem at all Marilyn. It could be worth it, but much of Disney’s programming can be had on other platforms so you have to see if Sling provides a value.

  • Josh says:

    We’re considering Sling, but the best internet money can buy at our location is only 7 Mb, so I’m a bit hesitant to begin with.
    Are the buffering/quality issues primarily with big ticket ESPN events, or are they across the board? The reason I ask is that our house’s primary use would be kid shows, Disney, etc with occasional HGTV, TNT/TBS, and ESPN mixed in. If buffering isn’t as big an issue on Disney, etc, it seems like Sling may be a good fit for us…?

  • Bill C. says:

    I ditched cable about 4 months ago and opted in for SlingTV. I am very pleased with the service and the only channel that is sometimes blurry is ABC which I pay for separately (5.00 monthly) due to NBA playoffs. My internet service is uVerse at 24MB and I have great HD picture quality and zero buffering problems.The Food Network and Travel channel allow you to view previously broadcasted shows up to approx 3 days back and I can watch anything I find interesting and without a DVR recorder. My stream box is Amazon Fire TV which I bought at a 50% discount including free delivery for a 3 month SlingTV subscription. I also watch on my Fire Kindle HDX and iPhone, meaning I can watch TV 24×7. I miss out on some sports games, but I am not strapped with a fat cable bill and a contract.

  • Adair says:

    What is the best way to watch shows live like the walking dead? I’m trying to cut the cord and I currently have Amazon and Netflix. I thought sling would be great. However after reading some comments I’m not so sure now.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Yea, I was hoping for a bit more with Sling but my main issues was with watching sports. Have you checked out if AMC allows you to watch Walking Dead online without a cable subscription? You might want to try that as I know *some* networks allow that. If not, something like Sling may be the best option though I admittedly don’t know how many episodes they carry. From what I remember, a few of the shows I noticed only had the 5 most recent episodes.

  • Bill S says:

    i was looking into Sling, but i cant seem to find TCM. have they discontinued carrying TCM as a channel option?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Good question Bill. According to their site TCM is still a part of the “Hollywood Extra” upgrade package for $5. You get 6 extra channels, with TCM and Sundance TV looking to be the best add-ons.

  • I’ve never had cable but when I saw that Sling TV was offering a free Roku box for a 3 month commitment, I figured it was worth a look since it was equivalent to the price of a Roku box. I got to watch some of the NBA Finals and my wife likes the Food Network. Buffering issues are valid but my internet connect is not the fastest. I’ll probably cancel after my 3 month commitment though as I really don’t watch much TV anyways. And when I do, free TV is fine

  • Lisa Winans says:

    I would warn anyone against using Sling. The customer service is awful. I subscribed to Sling use with my Roku devices. After their system upgrade it stopped working. It hasn’t worked in a month. I have sent emails and had endless phone calls. They have no idea when it will work again. They will not offer a refund because it would be possible to view Sling “in other methods”. I subscribed to use with my Roku, not my computer or IPad. Of course they will still allow people to download the app on Roku knowing that it isn’t working for many costumers.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Sorry to hear about your experience Lisa. I never had an issue with their customer service, it seemed fine on my end. But, to be fair, I didn’t use it on Roku. That being said, my experience was far from perfect so can understand your frustration.

  • James says:

    The main draw I see is that Sling has a contract with the regional Fox Sports Network (FSN, specifically) which would allow me to live stream all of the local major league teams. As you probably know, I can’t do that with expensive MLR.TV, NBA.Live or NFL Sunday Ticket packages because of black-out restrictions for local markets. What that in mind, do you think it’s worth the cost?

    • John Schmoll says:

      That must be a newer addition to what they offer as I wasn’t aware they did. That’d make it more tempting to me to consider using Sling. I’m in Big 12 country, so having access to games would be nice to have. I’d be willing to check it out to see if buffering issues were still prominent.

  • James says:

    I intend to try the free trial this weekend. I’ll post on any buffering issues we experience. Thanks again.

  • Donnie Trumpie says:

    Just started using Sling TV, and as others have mentioned, the buffering is severe even on a decent connection, even though other online streaming services work fine.

  • Beverly McMasters says:

    We like watching Nascar races. But we can’t get cable where we’re at. We can’t afford satalite. We have a Samsung Smart Tv. So we have Netflix that we pay 7.99 mo.for. Our internet service is through Centurylink telephone. We have some buffering and freezing up on a couple of shows when we watch them on Netflix. But not a lot. Do we have to have anything special box wise to go through Sling TV?

  • James says:

    As indicated by many, experienced some pretty recurring buffering issues during our 7 day free trial. Great for a sports package if they can fix that specific issue with the new Fox Sports regional channels on the blue package, but $25/mo. is a little steep just for in-market sports…

  • James says:

    One more comment: I thought it was a little strange that the blue package allows you access to the local major league sports teams through the Fox Sports regional channel, but doesn’t include ESPN, which I believe is included in the cheaper orange package.

    • John Schmoll says:

      That is a good point James, not certain why they’d do that…well I see they’ve got a third tier that includes everything but at $40/month that’s more than I’d care to pay.

  • Louise says:

    So what seems to be the best route for cutting cable if you have avid Hockey, Baseball and Football sports fans in the NE. I am desperate to get rid of Comcast

    • John Schmoll says:

      That’s a good question Louise. I know Sling recently added Fox Sports as a part of their offering so that might be something to look into. Beyond that, I’m not certain what else would work as most of the packages offered by the individual leagues black out local sports teams.

  • Tammy Rockwell says:

    Do not get this service. It buffers constantly and it has taken me months to get it cancelled. Their customer service is terrible and I have paid for 4 months of service that I have not used. Posting on Social media sites was the only way I finally got it cancelled.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Sorry to hear about your experience Tammy, I would be frustrated as well. The buffering is a known issue, though this is the first I’ve heard of having problems canceling – hopefully it’s not the start of something new.

  • We cut cable over a year ago, went to a digital antenna and Roku with Amazon Prime. We recently added Sling TV and Netflix.

    Sports are my sticking point…college football and baseball. I bought the MLB package last year and renewed this year, but will cancel that because it’s depressing to watch my team now (NY Mets). I’m hoping Sling gives me more access to college football games because I’m a junkie and will watch all I can.

    We’ve had the same buffering issues as everyone else, hoping it improves sooner than later. If football games are really bad, I will likely cancel, otherwise we will tough it out.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Sounds like you’ve got a pretty good set up Brian. I love my college football too, but I’m traveling a lot this fall so I can thankfully get most of my games thanks to hotel tv.

      That being said, I’ve seen Sling has added Fox Sports, so that should help but they do need to fix the buffering issue.

  • Mfavor says:

    Tired Sling Tv last year for “football season” the buffering was terribly frustrating so we cancelled. Seen they had added options so signed up again just a few moments ago for a 7 day trial period and will be cancelling again the buffering issues have not been fixed 🙁 and a bit pricey for fox southwest but would probably pay if the buffering issues were addressed

  • Carolyn says:

    I was thinking about Sling till reading your reviews. We currently have netflix and cbs access and that is costing up $16 a month. Now I’m intrigued with hulu but not sure about cancelling and what’s included in the base price.

  • Ed says:

    I had buffering problems when I first got sling but no longer. I use a roku to stream sling at first it was in a cabinet and had buffering problems. When I pulled it out it was hot so I unplugged it. When I hooked it back up I layed it by the tv and no buffering. The next day it was buffering again. So I unplugged it let it cool down buffering went away. Now I let it hang behind the cabinet just held by the HDMI cable. It doesn’t over heat and no buffering. I’m watching a football game right now. I got Google fiber hooked up yesterday did a speed test and wireless I get 48.7 mbps by the tv. I still have at&t hooked up it is 15 mbps wired don’t know what the wireless speed is. I see no difference in the picture with either connection. I also had buffering problems with netflix before I let the roku hang.

  • Aaron says:

    Here’s one for you, John. As Sling is a service of DISH, does it entitle one to use a DISH subscriber account to log into the various network apps (FXNow, ESPN, etc)? Looking for a silver lining side effect to not having DVR functionality.

    • John Schmoll says:

      That’s a good question Aaron. I’ve not seen anything on it, but I’d imagine it’d be a no as that would allow anyone to switch over and get all the benefits of a Dish membership without the added costs. Hopefully they’ll clean things up with Sling in the near future so that would be a possibility. 🙂

  • Scott Barton says:

    You people realize that your not actually cutting the chord from DishTV don’t you—DishTV is the parent company of Sling Tv so when you decide to cut the chord and get rid of Direct and Dish and TimeWarner make sure your not getting a package deal from the company your leaving. Sling TV belongs to Dish TV don’t get fooled by these ridiculous idiots

    • John Schmoll says:

      That’s a fair point Scott and agree, to a certain extent. That being said, I think it may be missing the larger issue. You’re still getting rid of a monthly contract that binds you for a certain period of time for some crazy price – and at the whim of them raising prices all the time.

      At least with Sling you can leave whenever you want without having to pay a fee. I think many who cut the cord could care less who they’re getting service from as long as they don’t have that contract and are paying substantially less. That’s also not to mention the fact that Dish was among first to market with an option like this. It’s not perfect by any means, but at least it’s a step towards a hopefully leveled playing field that gives us fair/money saving options.

  • Mike says:

    I have a 30mps internet and with Netflix and with Amazon, I have a 1080p picture and with Amazon I can get the 4K Ultra Picture. But Sling doesn’t stream in HD? That would be the only complaint that I would have.

  • Susie says:

    Honestly the only reason why I have sling tv is for the PAC-12 network. I have directv and it’s not available there so I pay the $25 a month and I’m able to watch all the soccer I’d otherwise miss. Plus this is cheaper than actually switching to Dish Network so I guess it works out.

  • Glori B says:

    My son plays college football and I recently learned that Direct TV no longer carries Pac 12 Network. We are huge sports fans…….what is the best way to get all the sports channels without paying the HUGE cable/satellite costs?

    • John Schmoll says:

      That’s awesome Glori though sorry to hear they’re not carrying it any longer. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any good options for the Pac-12 Network. The best solution I know of is Sling and add the “Blue” package which, I believe, is $25 per month total. It doesn’t have the Pac-12 Network, but it does have FSN which carries many Pac-12 games. Sorry not to be of more help.

  • Gwyneth says:

    I tried out Sling for two weeks and I did okay with it. I didn’t subscribe, however, bc my husband wouldn’t even try it. What I’m actually wondering is if when the weather is bad you still get channels on your antenna? Thanks!

    • John Schmoll says:

      Glad to hear it worked out decent for you Gwyneth though hopefully y’all can move to something that can help you cut the cable bill. 🙂 That’s a great question! There have only been 2-3 times over the course of the year where reception was not optimal due to weather, which is honestly on par with what we used to experience with DirecTV when we had them. Those 2-3 times were due to pretty bad weather so it hasn’t been very concerning.

  • Kcgirl says:

    Guys, I think cable is ripping me off. I want to let go but need to know which steps…I’m older. For example, I tried to cut back with comcast cable but Internet alone is $80 a month. Verizon won’t allow use of new promos since I use phone service already. I can’t watch TV without cable service. Should I buy the digital converter box and which brand is best? Must haves: local news, CNN, Weather Channel, I like AMC, TCM, espn, USA, Free, MPT, TN, tbs, FX, syfy, spike, Ae, life, history, DSC, TLC, animp, own, tvlnd, hgtv, vh1, cnbc, E!, com, Bet, tvone, wild, natgeo, ID, AHC, BBC, We, aspre, diy, cook, oxgn. The added NFL as an option to lower costs for good customer but it went from $200(lowered amt. from $230; to $265!). I can’t do this anymore but I’ve grown accustomed to watching my fav shows and having access to them. It’s part of my cable package.

    Can you put a concise step by step outline (I’m a visual learner) on how I can cut the cord and still be happy with little sacrifice to my viewing habits, after divorcing cable in 30 or 60 days?

    • John Schmoll says:

      I can definitely tell you that cable is ripping you off KC girl, they do in virtually every case. That being said, I’m not certain what would get you all of those networks. I’s look at Sling and Hulu to get you started.

  • Tony D says:

    I have Netflix, Hulu and antenna tv. Purchased a DVR for the antenna tv and its working out fine.
    The only problem after cutting out SATELLITE my internet provider informed me that I was using to much GBs. They will cancel my account or I would have to get a commercial acount at 250 per month.
    Solution: reset hulu to down load from HD to lowest setting, now using .3 GB per hour instead of 7
    CenturyLink – not really unlimited!

  • S says:

    I have Hulu and Amazon Prime. I decided to go with the seven-day test of Sling because I miss live sports.

    It is NOT ready for prime time. I have a top end Internet connection, but the connection is constantly dropping. The error message says the sling.exe has stopped working.

    The customerbase to watch live sports is HUGE, but I don’t quite think this is ready given the number of restarts during one sports game. I don’t have this happen on any of the other streaming platforms.

    • John Schmoll says:

      You’re not the only one to have that experience with Sling unfortunately. We just finished trying a free trial again, and like you, have top of the line internet and it’s buggy and has buffering issues.

      I’d agree, it’s not ready yet. I’m glad they’ve come out with it as it’s a first step, but it needs a good bit of improvement.

  • Justin says:

    I would recommend for everyone to try. I just tried this for The Walking Dead season premiere, and have been watching for several hours now. A channel had stopped once for maybe a few seconds and got blurry maybe twice for a few seconds each. This streamed for me better than Netflix does half the time. My internet is very basic (like 10mb/s dl and 11mb/s upload, at least when i tested it online while streaming). In conclusion I don’t know if this is from a recent update to the service or what but the so called buffering issues didn’t exist for me and I am very happy with this service.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Sounds like you’ve had a much better experience than I’ve had Justin. We’ve tried it multiple times, just this last week in fact, and on multiple devices and they still have buffering issues. We have the highest level of Internet speed as we work from home so it doesn’t make sense. That being said, here’s to hoping they can get it straightened out as there’s certainly room for growth in this space.

  • Dave says:

    I was so sick of my $150.00 cable bill. Cut the cord and started to use Netflix along with a regular TV antenna which gave us the networks. However, I’m getting tired of Netflix and the way they will suddenly take the series that you are watching off the site. Also, you have to wait too long until they give you the next season. I found a great on-line third-party site which keeps your TV programs up to date and has a great selection of movies; just as good as or better than Netflix—totally free. However, the only reason I am trying Sling TV is for the sports. I can’t get the ESPN’s or TNT and TBS for basketball on the other avenues I have. Plus, my third-party site usually doesn’t get the shows on HGTV or A&E. I am currently using Sling TV on the 7-day trial. I watched the NFL game last night and for the most part, the streaming was fine. A couple of minor stutters in the broadcast, but not to the extent that some of your reviewers have said. Jury is still out, but since I plan on cancelling Netflix, the difference would mean I would only be paying $12.00 for Sling TV, which may be worth it for the sports.

    • John Schmoll says:

      That’s a good point Dave, as that would essentially cut the bill in half. Cutting Netflix isn’t an option for us as our young kids love too many shows on it. I’ve found Sling to be hit or miss on sports, but too often it’s been pretty bad so not worth the $20/month to me.

  • Dorothy says:

    We currently pay $90/month for unlimited internet, cable, and landline. We need the Internet and my husband needs his sports. The kids and I would be perfectly happy with options like Hulu and Netflix. We have a landline because the package was cheaper with it Than without. But we keep cable because of the sports. Is there any other option for just quality sports out there (ESPN, Fox Sports) so we can get rid of the rising cable costs??

    • John Schmoll says:

      I think the best option would be to try out Sling, albeit with its issues. You could take advantage of the free 7 day trial and see how it works for y’all. Outside of that, I don’t know of any other options unfortunately.

  • Steve says:

    Unlike many here, I have had a great experience with Sling. We cut the cord this summer and I was wondering how I would watch my college football team in the fall. I tried both Sling and Playstation Vue. Vue did not work for me at all. I could not get their “DVR” service to work, and their menu system confused me. (I am pretty tech savvy.) So far, after one month, Sling has been smooth. I don’t like that their Orange and Blue packages have different channels. Sometimes my team is on ESPN, sometimes on FS1. But they are really good about allowing you to switch between Orange and Blue as many times as you want, for no extra charge if you do it via chat (and I assume by calling them). In addition, they are the only streaming service which carries Pac-12 Network (for an extra $5/mo)! And while neither FS1 nor ESPN have “DVR” functioning, you can use your Sling subscription to view Watch ESPN, which has most all their games shortly after the game is over. We’ve got a Roku 2 (the latest version which is essentially Roku 3) and have only occasional minor stuttering problems. I have to say they have exceeded my expectations and I am a fan.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Glad to hear it’s working out for you. We’ve got near commercial speed Internet speed as we work from home and have issues each of the few times we tried out the free trials. Agreed on the different channels, but at least they make it relatively simple for you to switch.

  • Mike says:

    So I still have to pay $80/month to my cable provider for internet only access, and $40 dollars for Sling TV plus extra for add-ons, I’m really not saving anything so I might as well continue paying $120/month to my cable provider. The only thing that would save me by having Sling would be the elimination of a contract. I don’t see a deal here. If you stay at home and want cable you’ll have to have access by a local ISP or mobile device. That’s still at least $80/month for decent speed services. Ill stick with what I have…cable. it’s not competitive.

  • Steve says:

    At those rates, Mike, I agree with you. Our internet access is only $40/mo. Of course that will go up to $50 or $60 when the one year deal runs out. And I only get Sling during football season (2 months out of the year- $20-$25/mo because I switch back and forth between the blue and orange plans). Otherwise, we watch OTA channels (DVR’d with a Channel Master) and Netflix. That’s much better than $120/mo for us.

  • JP says:

    Great write up. I have been using Sling for the past month and a half. So far using it across Iphone, Xbox1, Firestick and occasional ipad.

    Iphone has been horrible with buffering issues even worse is the Xbox 1. I have a 55mb Fios link and still no matter what time of day it still has issues directly connected to the router. The concept is great, the GUI really needs more work if your not careful you will shoot across the menu and miss what you want.

    Firestick has been somewhat decent but still has alot of buffering issues.

    I have the Full stack plus the Brazilian GLOBO channel so monthly is about 60.00. So far not worth the money. Amazon Prime has been more usefull and will look for alternatives to GLOBO as well.

    • John Schmoll says:

      I love the concept too and completely agreed on the interface – it could use a lot of help. That being said, it’ll be cool to see what comes out of an offering like this when it becomes more advanced.

  • Audra says:

    Yeah it was definetly not worth it. I tried the free trial for a 7 day period. I was literally never able to watch anything not even once. So I ended up being charged 50 dollars for no viewing time. It was my fault for missing the 7 day window by half a day, which I’m usually extremely good about. But I will not ever try them again.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Sorry to hear that Audra. You should contact them, explain the situation and ask for a pro-rated refund. We just tried them again recently and missed our window by a few hours. They gave us a pro-rated refund, which was everything but maybe $1-2. We weren’t expecting to get a refund, but were pleasantly surprised.

  • Christine says:

    Review and comments have been enlightening. I really would like to go with TiVo but it doesn’t work with PlayStation Vue which isn’t even beging discussed and my ultimate goal is to have one remote and to DVR the OTA programs which is what we really miss. My son in law is recommending Channel Master and Sling TV. After reading reviews I don’t feel any better about Sling TV than I did before and Channel Master isn’t cheap either. Your thoughts?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Glad to be of help Christine. I’ve not heard of Channel Master, unfortunately. I’d recommend trying out Sling since they offer a free trial and see how it works for you and go from there.

  • Steve says:

    Christine- we’ve got a Channel Master DVR+ and love it. They’re currently running a Black Friday special- for $249 you get a DVR+ with a 1 TB internal hard drive. Of course, you will need a good antenna to get the channels you want. And unlike many others here, we’ve had a really good experience with Sling. We access Sling on our Roku 2 (latest version) though, not through the DVR+. I cannot speak to the experience through the DVR+. Hope that helps.

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