I mentioned that we recently cut off our TV subscription with DirecTV, and I touched on a few of the things I’ve been using to supplement the entertainment offerings in our home. Today I’m going to delve a little deeper into SlingTV. I signed up for the free 7 day trial of Sling TV to see if this was going to be the right option for our family. The answer, not quite yet, I’ll get into why, but it may definitely be the right answer for your family.
Let me preface this by saying that my husband and I are not big sports fans. I am obsessed with the Olympics, and I tend to like watching swimming with my daughter (who is a swimmer), but other than that we don’t generally tune in for sports. If you are a sports fan though, you are definitely going to want to check out Sling TV.
Here’s where Sling TV rocks. First, you don’t have to buy any extra equipment, or even rent any, and you don’t need someone to come out to install. If you have a computer or a smart phone, you can get started watching it right away. If you want to get a Roku or already have one though, then even better. We already had the Roku, so setup was super simple. You can also get some killer deals on streaming devices when you buy a longer subscription to
The concept is also pretty genius right now. Pay for the channels you actually want, instead of paying for an endless supply of channels you don’t actually use. This is where they are really going to peak the interest of the cable cutting generation. Where they are messing up right now though is the base package. First, the base package is still a little bit too expensive. It’s $20 for a core group of channels including ESPN, Disney, Food Network, TNT, tbs and others. I’d say to really get people to sign up it needs to be sub $10/month, even if they cut out some of the channels in the core package to make that cost cheaper. The other option I’d like to see is the option to not have a core package at all, and have the ability to choose just one of the sub packages. For example, I really could do without all the channels in the core package, but would gladly just pay $5/month for Universal Sports (remember, Olympics type sports obsession here).
The user interface was pretty friendly. I was able to find the swim meet I was looking for fairly quickly. I was concerned that I would miss the actual meet because of the live nature of Sling (as in, it’s not a DVR) but to my pleasant surprise there are a few channels they offer with a couple days of what they call “replay”, and Universal Sports just happens to be one of them! Not only didn’t I have to pay a ton of money for a cable subscription, but I was able to have DVR-like functionality on my swim meet.
I do with there was more of an easier guide list to check out all the shows that were currently airing. Sometimes a girl just has to browse. The current user interface has you scanning through the channels and then seeing the shows offered now and later on that channel. I just want a list of all the shows. It really needs to have more of a TV listing interface for people to really feel like they aren’t missing out on their cable subscription.
Overall, I’m not going to continue my subscription right now (again, just not enough I want to watch to justify spending $25/month, just for the occasional swim meet). If there are shows you absolutely love on the channels offered, though, or if you are a big sports fanatic, then it’s definitely something to check out.
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