Sling TV splits into 'Orange' and 'Blue' tiers, adds NBC, BBC America & other channels

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in General Discussion
Sling TV on Thursday announced a slew of changes to its streaming service, including several new channels and the creation of "Orange" and "Blue" tiers, the latter bringing multi-stream support out of beta.




Orange is mostly the same as the previous base service, costing $20 month for 28 channels, which can only be streamed on one device at a time. Blue costs an extra $5, but bundles 43 channels with an emphasis on Fox and NBC content, and the ability to stream on three different devices.

Sling launched a beta multi-stream plan in April, which at the time cost $20 like the normal single-stream option but with a different channel selection, which was also smaller than what Blue would end up having.

An "Orange + Blue" package is available for $40, but many channels -- like HBO, Epix, and Cinemax -- are still in separate add-on packages costing between $5 and $15 per month. Sling's Latino content has been expanded with a "Caribe" package featuring Cuban and Puerto Rican material, plus a $10 standalone service.

The above-mentioned NBC content is new to Sling. The company has also added several other American networks, among them Syfy, Bravo, USA, BBC America, and some of Comcast's regional Sportsnet channels.

Earlier this month, Sling finally released an app for the fourth-generation Apple TV. The service was already accessible on many other platforms, such as iOS, Android, Roku, Chromecast, and even the Xbox One. Subscribers can get an Apple TV for $89 if they're willing to prepay for three months of Sling.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    TurboPGTTurboPGT Posts: 355member
    With this on the AppleTV and iOS, do we really need the "skinny" cable package from Apple? Is this not it?
    dasanman69
  • Reply 2 of 16
    tinfoiltinfoil Posts: 6member
    Has anyone tried the service - and if so, are you a happy user? I've tried signing up twice (Amazon Fire, then Apple TV) and the lag and stuttering made it unpleasant to watch - so I've cancelled each time. I love the idea of the service - but the tech issues drove me away.
  • Reply 3 of 16
    $20 a month to watch ad-infested over the air channels that you can get for free with an antenna. No thanks.
  • Reply 4 of 16
    iSRSiSRS Posts: 28member
    tinfoil said:
    Has anyone tried the service - and if so, are you a happy user? I've tried signing up twice (Amazon Fire, then Apple TV) and the lag and stuttering made it unpleasant to watch - so I've cancelled each time. I love the idea of the service - but the tech issues drove me away.
    I have not yet (will wait until there is content I want to watch in the fall on).

    But I had Comcast Stream TV, which is their version of this (except they don't have set top box apps) and it was 

    a

    stut

    tering

    mess

    To put it in perspective, the cost of the service was $15/month plus about $1.50 in taxes/fees. This was about 15 local channels, live and on demand, cloud DVR, plus HBO. They invited me to join a focus group on it, which I did. The focus group was running February through August of this year. Each month you participated in the group, you got a $10 amazon gift card. So my net was live tv, cloud DVR (meaning I didn't have to wait until the next day on the network apps or Hulu, or need CBS All Access) and HBO for just over $6/month

    I cancelled it and reactivated my HBO Now and CBS All Access through iTunes. The service was so bad, I literally chose to pay $15/month more for less content.
  • Reply 5 of 16
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 2member
    $20 a month to watch ad-infested over the air channels that you can get for free with an antenna. No thanks.
    You can't get any of the channels over the air. At least pretend to know what you are talking about when you post. 
    gatorguyTurboPGT
  • Reply 6 of 16
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 2member

    tinfoil said:
    Has anyone tried the service - and if so, are you a happy user? I've tried signing up twice (Amazon Fire, then Apple TV) and the lag and stuttering made it unpleasant to watch - so I've cancelled each time. I love the idea of the service - but the tech issues drove me away.
    I have and it works well over bonded DSL which is approximately 20 Mbp/s. The app has some nice features like being apple to see a grid of what's on each channel almost all at once. One scroll down gets the rest. It is not the same as a grid based text guide as it only shows what is on right now, which is much handier than scrolling through a never ending guide.

    The price is cheaper than cable and you can quit anytime you want (no contracts) and they give you 7 days to try it out. During the trial you can load up with as many channels as you want. They bill you after 7 days for the first month.
    muppetry
  • Reply 7 of 16
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,224member
    TurboPGT said:
    With this on the AppleTV and iOS, do we really need the "skinny" cable package from Apple? Is this not it?
    If Apple just does the same thing as Sling, I see no point. In fact Sling is really bringing nothing new to the same table.  It's the same old bundle packages.  I still have no interest in it.  I'll continue to get most of my content from my antenna, recording into my TiVo where I can hit one button and skip all of the commercials.  It costs me zero per month.

    Nothing really has changed at all.  Now you're just paying some other company for your channel bundle and really paying more for each channel in that smaller bundle.  
    If Apple is going to offer the same exact thing as we've had all these years, just now it's moving to streaming on the internet, then Apple is wasting their time.  

    Now if Apple did something more along the lines of Netflix, offering its own content you can't get anywhere else and commercial free like Netflix, that would be the direction to go in. When you own all your own content, there is no world wide content restrictions.  You can release it world wide at once.  It doesn't come and then disappear.  Create a bunch of new content and have a low subscription cost of like $4.99 just because there wouldn't be a whole lot at first.  It would take a number of years to build up your own content. 
  • Reply 8 of 16
    jbdragon said:
    TurboPGT said:
    With this on the AppleTV and iOS, do we really need the "skinny" cable package from Apple? Is this not it?
    If Apple just does the same thing as Sling, I see no point. In fact Sling is really bringing nothing new to the same table.  It's the same old bundle packages.  I still have no interest in it.  I'll continue to get most of my content from my antenna, recording into my TiVo where I can hit one button and skip all of the commercials.  It costs me zero per month.

    Nothing really has changed at all.  Now you're just paying some other company for your channel bundle and really paying more for each channel in that smaller bundle.  
    If Apple is going to offer the same exact thing as we've had all these years, just now it's moving to streaming on the internet, then Apple is wasting their time.  

    Now if Apple did something more along the lines of Netflix, offering its own content you can't get anywhere else and commercial free like Netflix, that would be the direction to go in. When you own all your own content, there is no world wide content restrictions.  You can release it world wide at once.  It doesn't come and then disappear.  Create a bunch of new content and have a low subscription cost of like $4.99 just because there wouldn't be a whole lot at first.  It would take a number of years to build up your own content. 

    I don't know about your cable company but mine does not offer any bundle for $20/$25. So cost VS channels argument is mute. Streaming is for time when you don't have a preference for what you want to watch and other circumstances like news, LIVE sports and local TV. Netflix is awesome, but I don't always want to browse an infinite catalogue. Being able to turn on "whatever" and have a few choices to browse through without scanning for 10 minutes first has been the only thing I missed since cutting the cable 8 or 9 years ago. 

    Netflix is not the model to follow. It's content is one or more seasons out of date and does not always remain as part of their library. It depends on their licensing agreements. On that front Starz was able to negotiate better movie agreements IMO. 

    OTA is great and all but not everyone can install an antennae on their apartment building. Sling allowing you to stream to 3 devices for $25 is also great. I disagree with you assessment. Other added bonus; I can turn it on and off with out penalties and I don't incur a fee for a cable box. 

    In my mind this Sling update is great. The old packages weren't all that appealing when all it offered was Fox or ESPN content for the most part. The old packages were confusing and forever the viewer to make weird choices. Heading to the sign up page now. Hopefully they still have the 7 day trial available. 
    gatorguyTurboPGT
  • Reply 9 of 16
    My parents completely cut their cable once Sling was available on Apple TV. As of now they are extremely happy with it. They went from paying $270 a month to paying $80 a month (including internet) and they bought an HD antenna on amazon which works great too. Only thing we noticed is that on Sling live TV is lags behind by a minute or so but honestly, we can live with that. Highly recommended.
  • Reply 10 of 16
    rwesrwes Posts: 143member
    I tried Sling back on 11/15/2015 for 7 days and liked it, but was giving up too much at the time, compared to my cable subscription. And there was no tvOS app; I didn't continue it. Didn't want to be (AirPlay) mirroring iPad/iPhone and reaching for said device to navigate around.

    With the tvOS app launch, I switched my cable subscription (previously $120/month (with one cable box only, triple play promotion)) to essentially Internet only (60 Mbps - $70/month) and added the Sling multi-stream, just after it was announced (now, the Blue package). I was giving up syfy and one or two other channels, which have shows I really liked, but figured I'd use friends (who weren't/aren't cord cutting) cables sign-ons. With the announcement of the Blue tier today, I can say, for me, at my location (northeast/NJ), it's a better overall deal than what my cable provide (which I really like - hint, it's not Comcast) offers.

    $120/month - tied to their not so great old school cable box interface
    vs.
    $90/month (got in before it was bumped to $25) - with the Sling interface which I prefer and which will be updated, I'm sure, over time because of increased competition. PlayStation Vue, Hulu (2017), etc etc
    edited June 2016
  • Reply 11 of 16
    meteorameteora Posts: 15member
    I've had Sling TV for about 35 days so far. I have used it on my Xbox One, my iPhone, and the Chromecast. It's a really great idea and they've been adding more channels lately. I could seriously see myself never going back to cable.

    Except, well....

    Sling TV is L A G G Y as hell. On every single device I use. I have a 150mbps connection (which tests at ~165mpbs when wired in) so this should be a simple streaming process. However, it seems like the stream 'trips' over itself and repeats before getting stuck. This happens a lot, and when it's not happening it's just frozen. Don't get me wrong, there are times I can actually enjoy it - but those times are in about 5 minute increments at max before it stutters and lags. In 2016 this should not be happening. We have streaming services left and right, including live video streaming from the likes of FB, Skype, FaceTime etc. I'm completely shocked at how bad the service actually runs and have cancelled Sling until sometime in the future when I can hear reviews of this being resolved.

    They know this is a problem. They even have "Technical/Streaming Issues" as one of their cancellation reasons. Great idea - extremely poorly executed.
    edited July 2016
  • Reply 12 of 16
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 15,920member
    meteora said:
    I've had Sling TV for about 35 days so far. I have used it on my Xbox One, my iPhone, and the Chromecast. It's a really great idea and they've been adding more channels lately. I could seriously see myself never going back to cable.

    Except, well....

    Sling TV is L A G G Y as hell. On every single device I use. I have a 150mbps connection (which tests at ~165mpbs when wired in) so this should be a simple streaming process. However, it seems like the stream 'trips' over itself and repeats before getting stuck. This happens a lot, and when it's not happening it's just frozen. Don't get me wrong, there are times I can actually enjoy it - but those times are in about 5 minute increments at max before it stutters and lags. In 2016 this should not be happening. We have streaming services left and right, including live video streaming from the likes of FB, Skype, FaceTime etc. I'm completely shocked at how bad the service actually runs and have cancelled Sling until sometime in the future when I can hear reviews of this being resolved.

    They know this is a problem. They even have "Technical/Streaming Issues" as one of their cancellation reasons. Great idea - extremely poorly executed.
    Huh. I had Sling for well over a year, and used with both Roku boxes and an Nvidia Shield over a 75mbps connection.  I've not experienced issues with lagginess. In fact it's been relatively rare for streaming issues of any kind. I actually had more reception problems with DirectTV than I've had with Sling. YMMV of course and apparently it does. 
  • Reply 13 of 16
    My $.02:

    The key difference between the two packages is swapping out the Disney-owned channels (ESPN, Freeform, Disney Channel, etc) for products from NBC-U (USA, Bravo, Syfy, Comcast regional sports, etc) and Fox-owned channels. 

    What at is interesting to me is the package without the Disney product allows more than one stream, which suggests Disney was blocking Sling from allowing more than one stream per subscription. 

    I I have used it very successfully for about a year, and this service cushioned the fall from dropping DirecTV for OTA. Wife especially had developed strong relationships with shows on cable networks. 
  • Reply 14 of 16
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,357member
    i have used SlingTV for quite a while. The app itself has had to mature over time. It is likely the most powerful thing either my Fire Stick or older Roku box has to run. The Roku version of the app has gotten very good and is pretty darn spry now in terms of execution.

    The Fire Sticks and app work but seem to really take a while to get going in a manner that approximates using it as it should work with the guide, video, available on demand streaming and other items all working. It could be the Fire Sticks aren't quite powerful enough or the app just needs more work.
  • Reply 15 of 16
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,258member
    $20 a month to watch ad-infested over the air channels that you can get for free with an antenna. No thanks.
    If you haven't tried, don't just troll. $20 package doesn't have anything over the air. Did you get OTA:CNN, ESPN, TBS, TNT, DIY, Cook, HGTV, Travel?...even though I don't like Sling offer, but I don't jump into conclusion without even trying like an idiot.
    edited July 2016
  • Reply 16 of 16
    azentropyazentropy Posts: 39member
    Turns into the same issue as with cable/satellite.  I like sports, so want both FS, FS regionals and ESPN (plus NBA, MLB, NFL, Tennis Channel which they don't offer).  I'd need to get both packages which starts jacking up the price.
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