Take Back TV – I Hope

I did what the slogan for Sling TV says, and we’ll see if it pays off. I took back my TV.

Sling TV is the first service of its kind, offering a small package of live TV in a streaming service on the internet. Sports included! For me, that clinched it, and I signed up today after my Amazon Fire Stick arrived. I now have access ESPN and ESPN 2 along with a host of other cable TV favorites without the annoying cord. But I’m wondering if it will be worth it, and if it will come with its own set of annoying caveats.

I’m watching the Nationals play the Mets as I write this, which is cool because I haven’t watched live sports in my house since I last had cable in 2008. When I signed up for cable internet last, they tried to sell me on a package with cable included. I told them they were wasting their time, and the sales associate asked what would make me sign up. “Give me an a la carte sports package for five to $10 a month.”

Sling almost meets that, except its base package comes in at $20. Combine that with my eight dollars a month for Netflix, and the $50 or so for my internet connection, it would probably be cheaper to go with a cable package. I also dropped Hulu to save a bit of money. But for me, I’m willing to pay a little more to ensure I’m not getting a ton of channels or features I’ll never use. I do worry that if I’m tempted to add more channels, or some other form of streaming entertainment, the price will defeat some of the convenience.

I went with Sling because I wanted just the sports. Channels like the History Channel, AMC and the Food Network are bonuses. I don’t really need DVR capability or local channels. I hope that the combination of a splash of live sports and the binge-ability of Netflix make for all the entertainment options I need. I flirted with purchasing either MLB or NBA TV, but the unpredictable blackouts made it seem pointless.

A few things I worry about with Sling beside the price maybe not being worth it in the long run? I wish I could pause live TV. You get spoiled with that ability on Netflix. I worry more about the connection quality though, especially with the new Fire Stick. The Sling app doesn’t come on Apple TV, which I already own. I experienced some constant buffering today, both when watching Netflix and ESPN off of the Fire Stick.

We’ll see how it goes. I hope to write a bit more Sling in the future.