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Hands-on Review Of Sling TV On Roku, Android, And G-Box Q – Also New Details Of The Upcoming Sports Package

Sling_Television_logo_white_webreadyWe are very excited to finally post our hands-on review of Sling TV. We have tested Sling TV on Roku 3, Nexus 7 Android Tablet, and the G-Box Q. Sling TV works smoothly across all platforms with no issues.

UPDATE: We are reciving reports that Sling TV for Android TV boxes like the G-Box Q no longer works. Full details can be found HERE.

In short, here is an overview of Sling TV after testing it out for a week in our house.

Sports Extra Package Details:

From Sling TV: “Sling TV will soon include a “Sports Extra” add-on pack to feature more of your favorite ESPN networks.” We do not know which channels will be available, but one can hope for access to all of the Sling TV channels.

All Sling TV packages will have access to WatchESPN. Your access to channels on WatchESPN will depend on which ones you subscribe to.

When asked if WatchESPN would be available at release, and if you could use WatchESPN on one Roku and use Sling TV app on a different Roku at the same time, we received this reply “WatchESPN access will be available at a later date, but is not available now. We’ll keep you updated. When it is available, you can only watch Sling TV or Watch ESPN, but not both at the same time because your Sling TV credentials are single-streaming.”  I do expect WatchESPN to be available when it is available to the public.

The ESPN and ESPN2 feeds on Sling TV are taken from WatchESPN so no commercials are shown.

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That is all we know right now, but it is exciting to hear more ESPN channels are on their way. I would pay $25 for just getting all the ESPN channels and consider the rest a bonus.

Overview of Sling TV:

You cannot pause and rewind all channels. Some will allow you to do that, but most will not. When asked about it we received the following statement “At this time, those functions are only available on Scripps channels. More to come.” Hopefully this is an issue that will be fixed before the public release.

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WatchESPN will be available in all packages.

The quality of Sling TV is similar to WatchESPN and Hulu.

All channels will have some on-demand content. Some shows only have one or two episodes; others have full seasons for free.

There are currently 20 channels, and will be 21 at release with Maker Content being the 21st channel.

If you are interested in watching your favorite actor, or work by a specific director, Sling TV VOD has an option which allows you to search all available shows for their work.

The controls for limiting the bandwidth used are simple to use (they are also very forgiving for people who are having a bad internet day like I was).

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The Sling TV app will aggressively cut you off as soon as you start a second stream on a different device.

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Controls on the Roku 3 Remote.

Clicking the OK button brings up the on screen guide and channel selection.

Hitting the back button with no menu brings you to the last used channel.

Hitting the star key brings up the menu for settings etc.

Options on all devices.

Smart zoom to always keep the content in wide screen (works very well).

An 1-888 number for tech support is available for Sling TV subscribers.

A closed caption option that seems to work very well in my limited testing.

You can name the device, but I am unsure of the reasoning behind that at this time. Hopefully it will allow parental controls on individual boxes; so the family room could be on a stricter setting than the master bedroom or office box.

Video-On-Demand:

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From Sling TV: “As we move forward, our VOD catalog will continue to expand. Specifically, every channel will soon include more VOD titles. This gives our consumers the ability to watch when, how and where they want on their schedule and on their devices.”2015-01-23 19.43.06 (Medium)

 

The rental terms are very similar to those of Amazon Instant. You have 30 days to start watching your rental and 24 hours after you start to finish it.

There is also a movie section to rent new and older movies.

There is a great selection of categories to find the movie you want.

Summary:

We are very pleased with the technical experience of Sling TV. It plays smoothly, and even on the days we had poor internet (we pay for 10 down, and one day during filming we only got 3 down) it worked well. The experience of moving between devices was smooth, and it remembered which channel you last watched on your other device.

If you need live sports this is the best way to get ESPN; especially with the soon-to-come Sports Extra package, making this the perfect way for sports fans to cut the cord from the $100 cable bill.

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15 Responses to Hands-on Review Of Sling TV On Roku, Android, And G-Box Q – Also New Details Of The Upcoming Sports Package

  1. Avatar
    Joe Siegler January 26, 2015 at 10:21 pm #

    Er, “new details of the sports package” is deceptive. All of that info has been known since the service was first announced.

    Although I did find out on Twitter that MLB Network isn’t going to be part of the launch lineup, it could come later:

    https://twitter.com/DFishDesign/status/559543298507821056

    • Avatar
      Admin January 27, 2015 at 9:17 am #

      If you watch the video in our review you will see every channel included in the line up at launch except Maker Channel. That will be added shortly before launch. As for what is new… I don’t think anyone talked about the fact that you can’t use WatchESPN and Sling TV at the same time with a Sling TV login. Watch the video for more details.

  2. Avatar
    Charles B January 27, 2015 at 7:44 pm #

    Is sling TV having issues already? I hope not.

    • Avatar
      Admin January 27, 2015 at 8:40 pm #

      I am unable to log in right now. It just keep hanging but I bet it is just a short term issue. These type of issues are common at launches and should be expected.

  3. Avatar
    Dan February 3, 2015 at 9:26 am #

    Just signed up for the 7 day trial and get “An error has occured. Please try again in a few minutes. (2-4)”. Anyone having this issue?

  4. Avatar
    Adam February 4, 2015 at 5:37 am #

    Tried logging on last night, but got an error message. Any feedback on what this is and how to correct?

  5. Avatar
    Randy February 5, 2015 at 6:54 pm #

    Will Samsung be releasing a Sling TV app for there smart TVs ?

    • Avatar
      Admin February 6, 2015 at 8:39 am #

      They will on select Samsung TVs but I have yet to see a list of what TVs will get it.

  6. Avatar
    Lee February 7, 2015 at 10:23 pm #

    I was invited, and I signed up 4 days ago. I have not had a chance to play with it a lot. It was working fine until this morning when the Disney Channel wouldn’t load.

    Since this is a product that is trying something that hasn’t been done before I’m willing to have some patience with them for a month at least.

    I am also interested in the $5 sports package. I have subscribed to MLB.tv for the past 3 seasons so MLB Network wouldn’t be a big draw for me. But a Regional Sports Network (Fox) would surely suck me in. But from what I know of contract negotiations I don’t see that happening.

  7. Avatar
    johnny turner February 19, 2015 at 9:58 am #

    Once I started closed captioning, I cannot turn it off while on SlingTV. It functions properly and easily turns on and off with regular TV. Can you help me with any any information about this glitch? thank you.

    • Avatar
      Admin February 19, 2015 at 10:06 am #

      What device are you using?

  8. Avatar
    Michelle March 28, 2015 at 5:47 pm #

    Any chance there is a program guide that is published on the internet so that you can see what is on say at 7:00pm on all the channels as oppossed to having to flip through each one individually

    • Avatar
      Admin March 28, 2015 at 7:18 pm #

      I would expect all the program guide apps for your phone will soon include Sling TV.

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