Sling

For well over 8 years, I have avoided paying for cable TV.  There was a time I was paying over $100 for the privilege to have channels I never watched and increase my couch potato actions to make sure I was using what I paid to have.  Unfortunately, there is good content on several cable TV channels.  I have heard the argument that paying for channels you don’t need allows less popular channels to exist.  Shouldn’t supply and demand dictate?  And the excuse by cable companies that they cannot unbundle is just their way of making sure they maximize profits now without regard to the long term damage created towards their customers who are turned off by their tactics.

Enter Sling.  They have a streaming service that provides some al-la-cart choices, lower cost, and the ability to start/stop the service as needed in my life.  In the winter, I am more likely to catch a show or sport event.  In the summer, it is time to be outside and not watch TV.

While not perfect, it has really come a long way.  Their Windows 10 application (UWP-based) is actually decent.  The web browser works.  Their iOS (testing on iPhone and iPad) and TvOS (tested on Apple TV) apps work.  Their DVR service is handy.

If you are an aggressive TV watcher, then it might frustrate still, unless you would like to reduce your costs as much as possible.  For the casual watcher, it does a good job.  I have been able to watch the Olympics on NBCSN and Olympic Channel.  I had been watching the World Cup Alpine Ski racing up to the Olympics to get caught up with the various athletes and their disciplines (Downhill, Super-G, GS, Slalom, Combined).

This is a taste of the future – a centralized (single provider – not separate apps for each piece of content – that is a hassle!), lower cost, a-la-carte service that is accessible from multiple devices.