When we bought our home in the boondocks, we knew that certain services would be limited. The nearest grocery store's about half an hour away and cable channels are a no-go unless we want to shell out an absurd amount of money to the monopoly provider in our neighborhood.
We eventually obtained internet access through a complicated mash-up of high-priced local services, add-on Wi-Fi, and magical voodoo prayer dances. We hoped to combat the television obstacle with one of those streaming services.
That's easier said than done.
It turned out that each service had varied access to different channels and programs. For example, History Channel shows were split up randomly among streaming providers, and I couldn't find a single destination where I could watch Vikings AND Pawn Stars AND Ancient Aliens (I like comedies, obviously).
We tried signing up for a couple different services, but still noticed gaps in our programming. My favorites from Food Network and the Travel Channel were nowhere to be found, and hit shows like The Walking Dead were ruined for me with weekly spoilers on Facebook.
Chelsea – confined largely to the couch for the first few months of her pregnancy – got hooked on Flip or Flop, but the streaming company only offered one season of the show. What a tease! The boys starting requesting Mickey Mouse Clubhouse after perusing channels at a few hotels we visited, but it was nowhere to be found on our set. Our best friend even refused to come over during football season because we didn't have access to the games. The biggest deal-breaker for us, however, was the lack of live news: we were completely cut off from the world during national emergencies!
I mean, I can't get on in life without a fix of my favorite emergencies.
But then we found a sponsor to rectify the situation.
Sling TV is an app that offers an alternative to cable. It's available on Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Fire Tablet, Apple TV, Roku, iPhone, iPad, Android TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, Android mobile devices, Mac, and Windows starting at just $20 per month. They also just released a deal through Apple TV where new customers can get an Apple TV device for $89 (normally $149) when you prepay for 3 months of Sling TV.
The service is divided into two options: Sling Orange (single-stream service) and Sling Blue (multi-stream service). Both offer some of our most-requested channels including AMC, CNN, HGTV, History, Comedy Central, the Travel Channel, and Food Network. Either option is more than enough to bring us back in the loop. Depending on which service you choose, additional networks vary (for example, ESPN and Disney are on Sling Orange while Fox Sports, USA and Nick Jr. are on Sling Blue). For those who need to have ALL the channels, add-on bundles such as the widely-encompassing “Sports Extra” or “Kids Extra” are $5 apiece, so a cord-cutting family could still have all of their favorites for about $30-$35. The service is not only cheaper than cable, but also offers a hefty amount of on-demand entertainment (no need to setup a complicated DVR) without any hidden fees or long-term contracts.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Cutting the cord but worried about losing live TV? There IS a middle ground!” quote=”Cutting the cord but worried about losing live TV? There IS a middle ground!”]
As with any television service, Sling TV has its nuances. Either subscription can serve as an easy out-of-the-box solution for us as a Roku family in a single-TV household, but you should definitely opt for three streams at-a-time with SlingBlue if you're a multiple TV household with family members who want to watch in separate rooms simultaneously. There are also a few channels that aren’t standard on either service and must be added as an extra package no matter which base package you choose.
All in all, Sling TV is a simple option for people who want to stay in sync with live television coverage. If your kids are young enough to have never experienced the vast world of unlimited channels, it's an even easier transition! For families who are actively in the process of stepping away from traditional cable, Sling TV can be customized to fit your needs.
Has your family cut the cord, or are you a life-long cable devotee?
This blog post is part of a paid #TakeBackTV Megan Media and Sling TV blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.