Sling TV is no longer invite only and has officially launched in the US. The Fire TV and Fire TV Stick apps have not been released yet, but you can sideload the Android app while you wait for the official Fire TV app. Sling has also announced that AMC will be added to the core channel package at no additional charge.
AMC is not yet available, but will be added soon. Also, Sling TV has revealed the details of their “Sports Extra” package which adds additional sports channels for an extra $5 a month. The full channel line up is now:
Core package ($20/mo):
ESPN, ESPN2, AMC (coming soon), TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, ABC Family, Disney Channel, CNN, El Rey, Galavision, Maker Network
News and Information Extra ($5/mo):
Bloomberg, HLN, DIY, Cooking Channel
Kids Extra ($5/mo):
Disney Junior, Disney XD, Boomerang, Baby TV, Duck TV
Sports Extra ($5/mo):
ESPN News, ESPN U, SEC ESPN Network, ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Goal Line. Universal Sports, Bein Sports, Univision Deportes
I’m not sold on bundling. Would like to see a per channel charge (full a la carte or mix and match pricing). This just seems like how cable began – offering bundles for a reasonable price, just to slowly rise over the years (citing additional channels/infrastructure costs/channel X wanting to charge more).
People always treat bundling as a bad thing because they think they are wasting money on channels they don’t watch but most people are going to pay less with bundles than on a la carte.
No matter what channel it is it won’t be watched by everyone who buys that bundle but even if they don’t watch it they still get their monthly carriage fee for that subscriber. This means they have many times the subscribers that they would on a standalone basis so they can take a much lower carriage fee to generate their income targets. If you look at some of the premium channels offered for a standalone fee by tv providers you will see they come in at price points of atleast $5 so at best your going to get 4 channels for your $20 which may suit people with the current lineup but if it expands to include more will quickly be a problem. of course that $5 is best case, looking at CBS service that suggests a higher price point would be likely for most. So while it seems bad bundling is better value for most people and is also generally better for most of the channels too
Bundling in theory is great. But, depending on the ‘bundle’ it’s a different story in the real world though. Netflix/AmazonPrime are the ultimate bundlers. Sling is a crash and burn bundle that offers absolutely no value beyond POSSIBLE convenience, and even with that, $20 is a steep fee to pay.
Joe is correct to an extent. A per channel/service fee is preferred by the public. However, it costs the provider ALOT more to deliver one or two channels/services than a group of channels/services, which usually includes a few less popular channels/services and keeps the fee affordable for the more popular channels/services included in the bundle/package.
The Sports Extra turned out to be disappointing. Was hoping they could pull in Fox Sports 1 and maybe some of Fox’s other channels. Basically just squeezing another $5 for Disney-owned channels (plus throw-ins Universal and BeIn).
If you want Fox Sports its available in XBMC for free. fox sports 1 and 2.
I still think that the package for $20 is high. needs more channels and all of them should offer DVR. I mean if you get Dish or Directv you GET a DVR the only way you don’t is you have to ask for very specifically not to. And when i subscribe to any cable or satellite company they don’t say oh I’m sorry you can’t DVR these channels.
You can dvd anything. Here with this i don’t see anyway to DVR stuff only some stuff what is on demand and then a few channels offer rewind, FF and such but no way to really DVR.
its 2015 DVR is just normal.
What needs to happen is more channels and then on top of that DVR recording and availability with all channels
I honestly have never had/used/wanted a DVR yet. Really no need with the internet, 95% of anything I would want to see is there anyway. Heck, I don’t have the time to watch what’s on now, much less take the time to find out what will be on when and setting it all up and then remembering having it and then watching it…too much like work. Was OK for VHS recording but that was 20 years ago too.
But yes, $20 is too high. At best (in my opinion) some more BASIC cable channels should be tossed in and the price $9.99/mo. $20/mo is highway robbery really. Basic cable (here) is only $20/mo with about 35-40 channels I think I had before I cut the cord 7 years ago.
Can you elaborate on how to get Fox Sports 1 and 2 via XBMC? A Google search didn’t come up with anything. And is it in high definition?
Agreed. Not value oriented at all. Think about it….$9/Netflix + $8/Hulu+ + $8/AmazonPrime = $26 already. Plus the cost of the internet (gotta have faster speeds). No, not a value at all, at least by the #’s.
All about live sports – it’s what drives cable bills up to the levels they’re at. ESPN is ~$7-$9 of every cable bill. Take this for $20, add an antenna and you’re in decent shape for live sports. A lot of analysts said if Disney finally budged, a standalone ESPN would be $30 per month. Getting it for $20 with a few other channels isn’t perfect, but for those who were paying $60-$100 for cable and pretty much only watching ESPN and OTA it’s a bargain.
A pretty AWFUL lineup indeed…….
While I tend to agree for the most part, my wife/daughter are thrilled with the bulk of the channels. Not $20/mo thrilled, but they like the line-up. Oh…and I looked for AMC on Sling, tonight. Nadda found. Was hoping to check out the new series ‘Better Call Saul’.
Well, nobody here is missing out on much. I have this for my Roku2XS and I cancelled the 7 day FREE plan, yesterday. NOT ready for prime time. At least for Roku. Slow response to commands, PQ isn’t horrible but not Netflix good either, is not easy to navigate the UI.
On top of all that, it really actually blows. I have been spoiled by streaming and the watch what you want when you want mantra. With Sling, you watch what they want you to watch at the time they want to show it. For broadcast TV that is no issue, but for anything cable related, it just doesn’t cut it in this day and age any longer. Heck, I watch the Nightly News at 10:00PM, I watch CBS Sunday Morning on Wednesday night. THAT is what the masses wants.
Don’t forget, you are only allowed to stream to one device at a time. Even Netflix realized this as a problem and added the ability to stream to 4 devices simultaneously.
Good point! I forgot about that.
I’ve been using the sling tv 7 day free trail and just want to comment on the quality. I side loaded the app on my fire tv right when the trial started, which was 2 days before sling tv went public. At first, before it went public, it worked great. Channels would change fairly quickly and would buffer and load fine. Once it went public, the service have been terrible. Constantly freezing, buffering and just plain not working. Not sure if this might have something to do with the app not being optimized for the fire tv or not. All I can say is that currently it is not watchable, and I have a very fast internet connection. I will not be paying for it.
We’re 2 for 2 so far…
What I’ve noticed with Sling TV is that it constantly freezes with the sports channels, ie. ESPN, SEC and so on. Channels like TBS, Boomerang they reload and continue to play with out freezing. But Sling TV has the capabilities to add the WATCHESPN app to your account and the app works much better. So it’s not a total washout with the sports package.