Hey there, have you tried Sling TV yet?
If you’re thinking of cutting the cord and moving to streaming live TV.
Sling TV may seem like an attractive option with its low price point and selection of channels.
There are some major reasons why Sling TV is just not worth the switch.
Before you go canceling your cable subscription, you need to know the truth about why Sling TV is so bad.
In this post, we’ll go through the 6 biggest reasons Sling TV will leave you longing for your old cable company again.
But first, a little background on Sling TV and how they’ve positioned themselves as a cable alternative, when the reality is anything but.
- Sling TV: Bad Reasons 📺❌
- Alternatives to Sling TV 📺✅
- Confusing packages and fees 😵💫
- Reason 1: Limited Channel Selection Compared to Other Streaming Services
- Reason 2: Technical Issues Like Buffering and Outages
- Reason 3: Lack of DVR Features and Ability to Rewind/Pause Live TV
- Reason 4: Restrictive Device Availability Compared to Competitors
- Reason 5: Confusing Packages and Extra Fees
- Reason 6: Poor Customer Service
- Alternatives to Sling TV With Better Features
- Tips to Improve Your Sling TV Experience
Reason 1: Limited Channel Selection Compared to Other Streaming Services
Sling TV was one of the first live TV streaming services, but compared to newer options, the channel selection leaves a lot to be desired.
Limited Basic Channel Package
Sling TV’s basic “Orange” package only includes about 30 channels, mostly focused on entertainment and sports.
No local broadcast channels are included at this lowest price point.
To get major networks like ABC, NBC, and FOX, you’ll need to upgrade to the “Blue” package for $5 more per month.
And even then, you’re still missing out on channels available with other streamers like YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV.
Add-On Packages Required for Many Popular Channels
Want channels like Comedy Central, MTV, and Nick Jr.?
Be prepared to pay for extra “Lifestyle” and “Kids” add-on packages.
For DVR, a “Cloud DVR Plus” package is also needed.
By the time you’ve added on several of these extras to get the channels you really want, you’re paying nearly as much as other streaming services that include more in their base plans.
Reason 2: Technical Issues Like Buffering and Outages
As an internet-based streaming service, Sling TV relies entirely on your internet connection.
If there are any hiccups in your Wi-Fi or broadband service, you’ll experience annoying buffering, error messages or complete outages.
Buffering occurs when your internet connection can’t keep up with the streaming data, causing the show or movie to pause while it loads more content.
This can happen a lot, especially if you have a slower internet plan. Outages mean Sling TV goes completely down for a period of time, leaving you with no access.
Sling has experienced several major outages, some lasting for hours.
To minimize issues, make sure you have a fast, reliable internet connection with at least 25 Mbps download speeds or higher for the best performance.
Place your streaming device close to your router or modem and connect over Ethernet if possible. However, even with a great connection, Sling TV’s technical problems can still rear their ugly head.
Their infrastructure seems to struggle at times to handle the bandwidth demands, and outages tend to happen more frequently than with other live TV streaming services.
Sling TV certainly isn’t alone in experiencing technical difficulties, as all streaming services face them to some degree.
But Sling seems particularly prone to buffering, error messages and multi-hour outages that will leave you missing your favorite shows or sports events.
For many subscribers, the frequent technical issues are too frustrating to deal with and a major reason for canceling the service.
If a reliable, buffer-free streaming experience is most important to you, you may want to consider other options.
Reason 3: Lack of DVR Features and Ability to Rewind/Pause Live TV
One of the biggest downsides of Sling TV is the lack of DVR features and ability to pause or rewind live TV.
Unlike traditional cable or streaming services like YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV does not offer any DVR storage or playback controls for the majority of channels.
No DVR or On-Demand Library
Unless you pay for the expensive add-on DVR package, Sling TV does not provide any DVR storage or on-demand library to record and watch your favorite shows later.
You’re stuck watching whatever is on live at that moment. For most people, the ability to record and re-watch content on their own schedule is essential.
Sling TV seriously lacks in this department.
Can’t Pause or Rewind Live TV
Even with the live TV you are watching, Sling TV does not let you pause, rewind or fast forward.
Once a show has aired, you’ve missed your chance to view it.
This can be really frustrating, especially if you get interrupted while watching or miss some important scenes.
The inability to pause or rewind live television really highlights how basic Sling TV’s service is compared to other streaming providers.
Reason 4: Restrictive Device Availability Compared to Competitors
Sling TV has limited availability on streaming devices compared to other live TV streaming services.
They are missing some major platforms, which can be frustrating if you have certain devices in your home.
No Support for Fire TV
One of the biggest downsides to Sling TV is that they do not offer an app for Fire TV or Firestick, Amazon’s popular streaming devices.
Many cord cutters have a Fire TV, so not supporting it cuts out a large portion of potential customers.
Both Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV offer apps for Fire TV, so if you have one, Sling TV may not work for you.
Limited Roku Support
Sling TV is available on some Roku devices, but not all models are supported.
Their channel is not available on older Roku sticks and Roku TVs.
Some users have found a workaround by using the Sling TV web app on their Roku, but the experience is not optimized and can be clunky.
For full Roku support, Hulu Live TV or YouTube TV may be a better choice.
No App for PlayStation or Xbox
If you want to stream Sling TV on your gaming console, you’re out of luck. They do not offer an app for PlayStation or Xbox.
Reason 5: Confusing Packages and Extra Fees
Sling TV advertises itself as an affordable streaming service, but between the confusing channel packages and extra fees, the costs can add up quickly.
Sling TV has two main packages: Sling Orange and Sling Blue. Each package has different channel lineups, so you have to choose which one has the content you want.
Of course, the best way to get everything is to subscribe to both packages, which doubles the monthly cost. On top of the base packages, Sling TV charges extra for things like a DVR, which many streaming services offer for free.
Reason 6: Poor Customer Service
One of the most common complaints about Sling TV is their poor customer service.
Many customers report long wait times, unhelpful responses, and a lack of accountability.
Long Hold Times
Calling Sling TV’s customer support often means being on hold for 30 minutes or more.
Their phone lines seem constantly overloaded, and they don’t appear to have enough staff to handle the volume of calls.
If you have an urgent issue, like service outage, the long wait can be incredibly frustrating.
Even when you do get through to a live person, the support staff seem poorly trained and unable to resolve most problems.
They follow a basic script and lack the knowledge or authority to troubleshoot unique issues.
Many customers report being passed from agent to agent, often having to repeat their problem each time.
The support staff also seem quick to blame problems on customer equipment rather than issues with Sling TV’s own service or apps.
Alternatives to Sling TV With Better Features
Sling TV may have been an early streaming pioneer, but its features and service have not aged well.
Here are some alternative live TV streaming services with better features to consider switching to:
YouTube TV offers most major broadcast and cable channels for $50/month.
It has an easy-to-use interface, unlimited DVR storage, and allows three simultaneous streams.
YouTube TV is available on many streaming devices like Roku, Fire TV and Android TV.
Hulu with Live TV
For $55/month, Hulu with Live TV provides over 60 live channels and Hulu’s on-demand library of shows and movies.
It offers 50 hours of DVR storage and allows two simultaneous streams.
The interface is clean and simple to navigate. Hulu works on many streaming devices as well as gaming consoles like Xbox and PlayStation.
AT&T TV Now
AT&T TV Now starts at $55/month for 45+ channels.
Cloud DVR provides 500 hours of storage and there are three simultaneous streams allowed.
The channel lineup is quite good but the interface can be clunky. AT&T TV Now works on most major streaming devices.
FuboTV is a sports-focused streaming service with packages starting at $60/month for over 100 channels.
It offers 250 hours of DVR storage, two simultaneous streams and works on most streaming devices.
FuboTV lacks ESPN channels but has NFL Network, NBA TV, and many regional sports networks.
In the end, while Sling TV was an innovator, the competition has caught up and surpassed it.
Any of these alternatives would provide a better, more modern streaming experience with more features and channel options to enjoy.
Tips to Improve Your Sling TV Experience
So you’ve decided to cancel your expensive cable subscription and switch to Sling TV.
Great idea in theory, but in reality, Sling TV leaves a lot to be desired.
Here are some tips to help improve your experience with this budget streaming service.
Choose your channel package wisely
Sling TV offers two basic packages Sling Orange and Sling Blue with some channel overlap but also some differences.
Make sure the package you choose includes the majority of channels you actually want to watch.
You can also add on extras like sports, news, and kids channels for a few bucks more per month. Compare channel lists carefully before committing to a package.
Consider getting an indoor antenna
Sling TV doesn’t include many major local broadcast networks like ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC.
An inexpensive indoor antenna can pick up most local stations for free.
Place the antenna near a window for the best reception.
This complements Sling TV nicely and provides access to live events like sports, news and award shows.
Take advantage of the free trial
Sling TV offers new users a free 7-day trial of their service.
Use the trial period to thoroughly test the service on all your streaming devices to ensure it works well and provides the channels and features you need.
Check if the streaming quality is high definition and if any buffering occurs.
You just read about some of the major reasons why Sling TV isn’t the best streaming option out there.
Their lack of local channels, unreliable access, limited device support and frequent buffering issues are enough to make anyone think twice.
At the end of the day, you have to weigh the pros and cons for your needs and budget.
For your budget and TV-watching requirements, Sling offers three affordable plans, including the $40 per month Sling Orange and Sling Blue packages.
More than 100 channels are available on YouTube TV, compared to between a third and half on Sling TV.
With its affordable streaming options and appealing kids’ and sports add-on packages, Sling TV is a good option. However, Hulu + Live TV is an excellent deal because it offers a surprising number of well-liked entertainment, sports, and local channels at a reasonable cost.