A Better Way to Watch TV
Pay TV has been losing subscribers steadily for several years. The response of cable companies has been to raise prices on the same old product. Dish Network’s response is to create a new, cheaper product that follows customers to where they are now going for their video entertainment. Read on to see how it works, and if Sling TV can save you money…
What Is Sling TV?
Customers, particularly younger ones ages 18 to 35, are increasingly “cutting the cord,” canceling the cable service and going to the Internet for their entertainment. They’re also rejecting the cable TV industry’s paradigm of ever-larger and more expensive bundles of channels. So Dish Network had to come up with a product that works over the Internet, has a low entry price, and lets customers roll their own channel package.
Sling TV isn’t all of that, but it’s miles closer to consumers’ ideal than take-it-or-leave-it cable TV plans. Launched in January, 2015, Sling TV offers two basic bundles of channels - a 25-channel “Orange” bundle for $20/month or a 40-channel “Blue” bundle for $25. (Dish Network is headquartered in a suburb of Denver, Colorado, home of the orange-and-blue Broncos NFL team.) Then there’s the All Channels bundle: Orange and Blue for $40/month.
Customers can tailor their base bundles with special-interest add-ons that cost just $5 each. The Sports Extra bundle includes 12 sports channels, for example. There are Kids Extra, Comedy Plus Extra, and Lifestyles Plus Extra bundles, too. Other $5 Extra bundles target movie lovers, world news junkies, and even cricket fans (the sport, not the insect). The Broadcast Extra bundle (available in certain metro areas) includes the ABC network, Univision, and UniMas.
HBO costs $15/month and Cinemax is $10; both include on-demand programming as well as the live stream of content. In a limited number of markets, Sling TV offers live streams of broadcast Fox Network affiliates for local news and content.
Although that's exactly how many customers use it, Sling TV is not intended to replace traditional cable packages, according to the company. Instead, it’s a complement to Netflix, Hulu, and other subscription streaming services. Sling TV can be streamed via Android and iOS devices, Apple TV; OS X and Windows computers; LG and Samsung smart TVs; and Nexus Player, Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Xbox One devices. On January 5, 2016, Channel Master added Sling TV to their DVR+ product.
No Strings (or coaxial cables) Attached...
A 7-day free trial is another way in which Sling TV differs from the cable TV industry. You can sign up with a credit card, and if you cancel during the first week your card won’t be charged. Thereafter, your card is charged once a month. But there are no contracts and you can change or cancel your Sling TV bundle at any time.
You might associate Dish Network with satellite TV service. But Sling TV does NOT require a satellite hookup. You will, of course, need some form of high-speed Internet access to use Sling TV. If you have a TV/Phone/Internet bundle, you may save money by removing TV from the bundle, and streaming your shows and movies via the Internet, to your television, computer, tablet, or mobile phone's screen.
There's a subtle point there… remember that I said Sling TV follows you where you go? Most pay-TV services tie you to your living room TV set. Some offer a limited slice of programming on mobile devices. But you can travel with your laptop, tablet or smartphone, and watch any show that's part of your Sling TV package.
You will need some form of streaming media gadget, if you want to watch Sling TV content on your TV at home. Sling is currently offering the ROKU 2 for free, if you prepay three months of Sling TV service. Other streaming devices that will work with Sling include the Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, or an XBox One console.
Sling TV has been called “the beginning of the end for traditional pay TV.” It’s more flexible, cheaper, involves less commitment from the customer, and best of all, it’s mobile. You might want to give it a try. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 16 Sep 2016
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- A Better Way to Watch TV (Posted: 16 Sep 2016)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved