Who has time to watch TV in 2019? No one. At least, not in the classical sense.
More and more people are cutting the cord. In fact, the statistic is rising every year. There was an estimated 33 million cord cutters at the end of 2018.
That’s a huge loss for the major networks.
Who’s getting our our hard-earned dollars? Netflix? Hulu?
Believe it or not, Sling TV is a major competitor in the cord cutting game. The Digital Worm decided to take the service for a trail run and here’s what we found.
Why Sling TV?
Sling is a great deal. The average cable in this country is well over $100 at this point. For $25 a month, you can get a lot of the same channels.
This includes channels like TBS, TNT, Syfy, and others. There are three tiers you can choose from with Sling. This includes Orange, Blue, and Orange+Blue together.
Sling Blue and Sling Orange are $25 a month each. The combination offer is $40 a month. There are pros and cons to each version.
Sling Orange restricts you to one stream, while Blue has more channels and allows you to watch on up to three screens at a time. However, nothing owned by Disney is on Blue, such as the Disney Channel or ESPN. This includes a triple-monitor setup.
The best package for you is going to depend on what you want to watch.
You can also watch Sling on your phone or tablet.
For the purpose of our exercise, The Digital Worm is watching on our business computer, which is a dual monitor setup.
Full disclosure: We decided to try out this trial offer because we wanted to watch the college basketball tournament for free. The games are on CBS, which is not included, along with TBS, TNT, and Tru TV, all of which are included with Sling Blue.
As we just stated, we wanted to watch some basketball. We wanted to watch all the basketball.
Sling TV delivered here. With so many games on TNT, Tru, and TBS, we could watch pretty much everything we wanted. If we wanted to watch a game on CBS, then we just jumped over and watched there. Easy peazy.
On top of the “basic cable” options, there are also options for multiple add on packages. They mostly cost an extra five or ten bucks a month. If you’re into these offerings, the extra cost could be worth it.
- Sports Extra: NBA TV, NHL Network, more ESPN channels (Orange only), NFL RedZone and Golf Channel (Blue only), more
- Comedy Extra: MTV, Paramount, Logo, TV Land, CMT, more
- Kids Extra: Boomerang, Nicktoons, Teen Nick, Disney Junior and Disney XD (Orange only), more
- News Extra: BBC World News, HLN, The Blaze, MSNBC and CNBC (Blue only), more
- Lifestyle Extra: VH1, Cooking Channel, Hallmark, DIY, FYI, Lifetime Movies, more
They also offer some premium channels like Showtime and Starz.
For us, we think the Sports Extra channel is definitely worth the extra cash.
Sling offers a guide like you will find for any basic cable or satellite service. Where is really shines is in the option for on demand viewing. Several of the channels offer full episodes to some of their shows as well as complete seasons.
If you’re behind on a show, there is a decent chance Sling will have it for you to watch.
The interface is super smooth. There was never loading or buffering. We really appreciated the dark backgrounds, especially for late night viewing.
There are commercial breaks, as there are for any normal TV. This includes the on-demand stuff. But it’s not a big deal. We’re all used to ads at this point. When you have multiple viewing options, you can always switch back and forth from one screen to another.
The only way to avoid ads is to pay extra for the DVR package and then you can fast forward through them.
For us, the biggest con is the ads. We’ve spent a long time viewing streaming services. Netflix, as well as most of its major competitors, offer some form of ad-free viewing.
But Sling is all about providing a real TV service. And if you want to watch traditional TV, you have to deal with ads. In our opinion, Sling has cut these down to a minimum on their on-demand service.
The other major con is that we don’t watch a lot of TV. In our opinion, the best content is coming from Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. They have the power to create really interesting content that is different from what major networks can provide.
Another large concern for us is AT&T, which is coming out with their own streaming service last this year.
More From The Digital Worm:
AT&T owns Warner Bros., which also owns DC Comics. They also own NBC and the CW. A lot of content will disappear from Netflix and possibly even services like Sling. For more information, check this out.
Overall, Sling TV is a great service. If you have cable or satellite and you’re looking to save some cash, we definitely recommend it.
Are we going to continue to use it after the free trial is over? Unlikely. We simply don’t watch enough regular TV to make it worth it. However, when football season starts in the fall, we may look into getting it along with the sports package.
Pro sports slow way down in the summer. So right now, it’s just not the deal we’re looking for. If you’re into watching regular TV on a daily basis, this is the best possible service for you. Check it out. You won’t be disappointed.