Apple TV with Sling TV

Jdreyes

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 20, 2015
17
7
Just received my Apple TV via the Sling TV promotion (only $89!!!). Set up the TV last night, and it was actually an easier setup than I thought it would be. Not sure why the Sling TV app was only rated 3 stars in the App Store, it worked perfectly for us. We subscribed to Sling to save some money, and it appears to be a good decision thus far. Here are some quick things I noticed:

- Channels loaded within 3-5 seconds, and generally were HD within 5 seconds.
- Layout is generally the same as the iPhone app (to be expected).
- IMO the Guide section could use some work; It would be much easier to scroll up and down instead of accross.

I will have to admit, we have two older generation Apple TVs and weren't planning on getting a new one. However, this deal was too hard to pass up when looking for cheaper cable options. The new tvOS provides a better experience with the TV, and sling works great on it. I can't wait to have even more options to play with on the apple tv, but even now it is still a great option for someone looking to save money and is in the Apple ecosystem.

I do have to mention a couple somewhat obvious things - This might be different if you have a slower internet speed (I think everyone knows that). Also, the Apple TV still ships directly from Apple despite it being a Sling promotion. This takes a little time. And frankly, neither Apple nor Sling customer service has any idea with how to go about it yet. Sling places the order and has no pull on any information regarding the product, and Apple cant look the product up until it ships since it is a third party order. Kind of a black hole that can get frustrating.
 

fpnc

macrumors 68000
Oct 30, 2002
1,927
96
San Diego, CA
In my opinion, unless you like sports or absolutely require CNN the Sling bundles are overpriced. You can get a similar range of network content for much less with Hulu or some other $10-a-month-type service.

The Sling bundles are pretty much the same type of plans that you can get with standard cable TV, so many customers end up having to pay a significant premium for a lot of content that they may never watch.

For example, I'd be glad to pay $10 a month just for Turner Classic Movies but Sling offers you no way to get that network unless you pay $20 for the basic package (which I'm really not interested in) and then an additional $5 for the Hollywood extras. I also think it is a bit odd to have to pay $20 a month for content that is supported by advertising (again, just like basic cable, but without the local network channels).

I think everyone is waiting for an a la carte service, but the cable companies and content providers seem to want to prevent that from happening.
 
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Jdreyes

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 20, 2015
17
7
In my opinion, unless you like sports or absolutely require CNN the Sling bundles are overpriced. You can get a similar range of network content for much less with Hulu or some other $10-a-month-type service.

The Sling bundles are pretty much the same type of plans that you can get with standard cable TV, so many customers end up having to pay a significant premium for a lot of content that they may never watch.

For example, I'd be glad to pay $10 a month just for Turner Classic Movies but Sling offers you no way to get that network unless you pay $20 for the basic package (which I'm really not interested in) and then an additional $5 for the Hollywood extras. I also think it is a bit odd to have to pay $20 a month for content that is supported by advertising (again, just like basic cable, but without the local network channels).

I think everyone is waiting for an a la carte service, but the cable companies and content providers seem to want to prevent that from happening.
I agree that everyone is waiting for an a la carte, but I dont agree whatsoever with the statement that its overpriced. Cable is like the Pareto Principle, 20% (Probably less) of the people are going to actually watch all 2,642 channels, while the other 80% is going to mostly watch the channels that Sling is offering.

You cannot compare it to Hulu. Hulu's setup is completely different. They are focused on an On-Demand model, and do not currently offer live TV (although there are plans to offer it next year). Especially for sports fans, but in general, people want to see the content live. This is why they pay for Sling. There is a price for live over an on-demand model like Hulu, and I dont think $20 is a bad price for that luxury. Apples and oranges.
 

aced411

macrumors 6502
Jun 2, 2007
379
91
In my opinion, unless you like sports or absolutely require CNN the Sling bundles are overpriced. You can get a similar range of network content for much less with Hulu or some other $10-a-month-type service.

The Sling bundles are pretty much the same type of plans that you can get with standard cable TV, so many customers end up having to pay a significant premium for a lot of content that they may never watch.

For example, I'd be glad to pay $10 a month just for Turner Classic Movies but Sling offers you no way to get that network unless you pay $20 for the basic package (which I'm really not interested in) and then an additional $5 for the Hollywood extras. I also think it is a bit odd to have to pay $20 a month for content that is supported by advertising (again, just like basic cable, but without the local network channels).

I think everyone is waiting for an a la carte service, but the cable companies and content providers seem to want to prevent that from happening.
Glad it's working out for you. I was happy to see it came out on Apple TV. I gave it a shot the day they launched the new app. By the time I added enough packages to get close to what I have with Vue, it ended up costing more ($35 vs $30). On top of that on-demand is lacking, there's no DVR, virtually no tv anywhere compatibility and the single stream vs multi stream differences were frustrating. I did not care for the UI either. I'm not saying it's terrible or anything. The stream quality was pretty good and the device support is awesome. I've just been spoiled by Vue.
 

fpnc

macrumors 68000
Oct 30, 2002
1,927
96
San Diego, CA
I MUCH prefer On-demand rather than live and I suspect that many other people are the same. Hulu gives you a LOT more content for just $8 per month (and no commercials with the $12 option). Like I said, unless you want the live sports the Sling service has limited value. You basically get FOX Sports and CNN for $20 (and a few other networks that are already available elsewhere). As for CNN, there are lots of "free" news services that are available on the Apple TV.

Further, like I said you also get ALL of the commercials, so much of the content is double dipping over what you can get for free over the air.
 
Last edited:

Shark5150

macrumors 65816
Sep 24, 2014
1,224
1,106
Dallas, Texas
I love it. I didn't need the ATV promotion, but I signed up for the $20 beta version. Very pleased. Streaming quality is great and the live TV channels offered perfectly compliment my antennae channels. I'm officially a cable cutter! No regrets....yet!
 
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Elastic Love

macrumors regular
Sep 2, 2010
141
100
Anyone having issues with the streaming quality while watching live TV? Most times it's unwatchable and I have to reduce the quality to the lowest setting. I have a super fast 75/10 connection via Ethernet to the box so I cannot explain why the live programming is so poor. It works fine watching on demand content and it also works perfectly on my iPhone and iPad. It's so bizarre that I can't isolate the problem.

Anyone else having this issue with sling on Apple TV?
 

AL2TEACH

macrumors 6502
Feb 17, 2007
292
31
Denver, CO.
Anyone having issues with the streaming quality while watching live TV? Most times it's unwatchable and I have to reduce the quality to the lowest setting. I have a super fast 75/10 connection via Ethernet to the box so I cannot explain why the live programming is so poor. It works fine watching on demand content and it also works perfectly on my iPhone and iPad. It's so bizarre that I can't isolate the problem.

Anyone else having this issue with sling on Apple TV?
Might work better if you had the Apple TV hooked up with wi-fi.
 

Vermifuge

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2009
1,992
1,492
I'll admit I had become spoiled with DVR and on Demand but recently the cost of that lifestyle did not match the benefit. My bill was approaching $150 a month and I wasn't even getting premium access(HBO SHO ETC). I have already given up the boxes to unused TVs and services. Sure I could call my provider YET AGAIN and threaten to quit but I just got tired of the game.

I already subscribe to Netflix and recently I have been watching a lot of programing through free apps such as Pluto.TV Crackle, Viki, Viewster and NHK World (all through the 4th Gen Apple TV) So I canceled my TV service and got an internet only service that came in under $40 a month. After 3 months I was still missing programing from channels like AMC, USA and SyFy. I was tempted to buy a few series through iTunes... When Sling was released for the Apple TV I immediately grabbed the beta trial for $20 a month... I still wanted SyFy but that was recently added. (Sport Ball & Disney are unimportant to me)

PROs.
All the channels I care about at the right price point.
The ability to rewind most programing back to the beginning for viewing

CONs
Frequent buffering and video interuptions
No true On Demand
Can't use service to access apps like AMC or SyFy directly.

As a result I'm now using about 400 - 500 GB of data a month to watch HD programing (About 20 GB a day) this falls within the current limitations of my ISPs monthly caps but I hope this will improve. The buffering issues are not related to my ISP or data plan. I get flawless HDTV streaming with Netflix, NHK, Pluto, CNN, Viki, Viewster, Crackle ETC. the buffering is on Sling's side.
 

iPhilPHX

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2009
196
81
Phoenix, AZ
Since cutting cable I find the only thing I typically use Sling TV for is MotoGP. I think I will simply cancel once the season is over and take it up again once it resumes next year. The only other sporting event I want is the Tour de France, and various other cycling events, for which I find NBC Sports Gold to be worth the price considering it stays in effect until some of next year's Spring Classics. I HAVE caught a few cycling broadcasts on Sling, but not enough to justify keeping it. It's not a bad service, getting better, but for me it's not worth paying for year-round.
 
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aced411

macrumors 6502
Jun 2, 2007
379
91
Anyone having issues with the streaming quality while watching live TV? Most times it's unwatchable and I have to reduce the quality to the lowest setting. I have a super fast 75/10 connection via Ethernet to the box so I cannot explain why the live programming is so poor. It works fine watching on demand content and it also works perfectly on my iPhone and iPad. It's so bizarre that I can't isolate the problem.

Anyone else having this issue with sling on Apple TV?
Yes, I've tried the trial twice now and it's just too unreliable. On a regular basis over a 300mb connection it'll drop to mega blurry quality or buffer. I am a Playstation Vue subscriber (which works fantastic btw) but I badly want to watch TV on Apple TV instead. I was willing to get past the clunky user interface but I don't know how you guys can pay the $20-$40 a month for TV that is almost unwatchable.
 
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Creek0512

macrumors 6502
Jun 15, 2012
452
388
I think everyone is waiting for an a la carte service, but the cable companies and content providers seem to want to prevent that from happening.
We have had a la carte television for years via DVDs, BluRays and now Digital. Unsurprisingly, when one season cost $40, most people decide that subscription bundles like cable, Netflix, and Hulu are better values.
 

duggram

macrumors 6502
Apr 17, 2008
375
11
SlingTV has been a really cool thing for me. I like sports, and some documentary/travel stuff they have, and my wife can see the home and cooking channels too when she wants. And if I want to see something on Sling while I'm on the road or at work, I can use my iPhone or iPad to watch it. For over the air channels I use a Leaf antenna and get very good HD pictures (we watch mostly PBS and my sports when available). Cutting the cord was easy and worth it for us.
 

Vermifuge

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2009
1,992
1,492
SlingTV has been a really cool thing for me. I like sports, and some documentary/travel stuff they have, and my wife can see the home and cooking channels too when she wants. And if I want to see something on Sling while I'm on the road or at work, I can use my iPhone or iPad to watch it. For over the air channels I use a Leaf antenna and get very good HD pictures (we watch mostly PBS and my sports when available). Cutting the cord was easy and worth it for us.
PBS has a pretty good app that lets you watch most of the important stuff.
 

mellofello

macrumors 65816
Feb 1, 2011
1,247
510
I tried it and experienced perfect picture quality all the time. I Also loved the interface.

The thing that made me cancel was the commercials. It was quite jarring, After years of DVR , then years of being a cord cutter, and "acquiring" my TV shows.

Can't ever go back to watching unskipable commercials on anything but sports, and live events.
 

MistrSynistr

macrumors 65816
May 15, 2014
1,320
1,421
The fact Sling TV just announced they are adding NFL Network and NFL Redzone is a done deal now.

You can get all the live football games on Sling, considering that have ESPN for Monday Nights.

I think that was the only hold up from people converting over from Cable TV...this is awesome.
 

boston04and07

macrumors 68000
May 13, 2008
1,570
505
Looks like Dish's long-awaited Sling AirTV is coming out next month:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1269746-REG/sling_211714_airtv.html

This will allow you to stream OTA channels to the app and includes a free program guide. I wonder if the USB port will allow you to connect a hard drive and turn it into a DVR?
Good catch!! That is very, very interesting, especially since I haven't heard anything about this since the initial rumors last spring. If this thing is actually what it was rumored to be it could be a game changer for a lot of people.
 

javigarrido

macrumors newbie
Oct 29, 2015
26
14
I've cancelled my subscription after 5 days.

- I don't like the interface
- There're lots of sport channels, and I don't watch them at all. So I don't know why they don't do a package with the main tv channels for people that don't watch sport tv.
- I got the Espana package with 3 Spanish tv channels, and half of the time it can't connect, and when it does it, the quality is awful, worse than a vhs. SD at super low bitrate, absolutely unwatchable.

I didn't like the experience. But so far is the only cord cutter option available using an apple tv.

I'll wait for DirecTV Now in a few months and see how it goes. If not I'll keep buying tv shows in itunes. At least I own the shows and can watch it anywhere and however I want.
 

tonyr6

macrumors 65816
Oct 13, 2011
1,402
456
Brooklyn NY
I'll wait for DirecTV Now in a few months and see how it goes.
I agree Sling TV I cancelled right before my 7 day trial was up. I am using PSVue now which has no app for the ATV but it is not so great either as the DVR guide is utterly useless because programs can start up to 10 minutes late and end late. However the PQ does remain sharp unlike Vue but because of the bad DVR timers I am dropping it too. DirecTV streaming service can't come anytime sooner.
 

aced411

macrumors 6502
Jun 2, 2007
379
91
I came back to SlingTV after I got sick of waiting for a Vue Apple TV app. Sure it's nice to be able to activate a bunch of TV apps but the experience of looking for content is a mess without a guide. Once I saw Sling updated their app to be more stable I decided to give it another shot. Works much better (but not perfect). As soon as Vue hits apple tv I'll switch back.
 
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