Useful Tips

Sling TV Reviews

The first time I read about SlingBox about a year ago. The idea to take a TV with me to any place where there is Internet immediately seemed very tempting to me, but alas, the lack of support for anything other than the most popular OS, all the practical value of this device nullified for me. And a couple of months ago, it happened! Quite by chance, I read, it seems on digg.com, about the release of a program for working with sling for poppy. And spun,) But I'll start in order

I will not hide, I sometimes watch TV. Leaving aside the discussion whether there is something to watch there, and how much the viewer destroys the brain, I will risk repeating it again - yes, I am watching it. And at the same time, I sit at the computer for a long time. Firstly, as a means of production, and secondly, as a center of entertainment, information and other joys. I think this point is quite understandable and in this aspect I am not very different from most "computer-dependent geeks."

Obviously, at first glance, the idea of ​​putting the TV in the computer, oddly enough, does not have an equally obvious solution. Of course I know about TV tuners for the computer, and at different times I tried both external and built-in. I have 2 claims to this decision, but both are quite serious. Firstly, this is clearly some kind of not elegant way. Agree, pulling an analog cable through the entire house, then screwing it into the tuner, and tuning all these channels is rather dreary. Although of course, it’s quite a working solution. But with the management of this economy is a complete disaster. All the tuners that came across to me suggested that we had another 20 century in the yard, and considered it normal and sufficient to give me the ability to switch channels from the remote control or directly from the program, but the channels are broadcast, well, in the advanced case, HDTV channels. But also ethereal. I don’t know what the manufacturers were thinking about and who they focused on their product, but around me, in the market of the North American United States, which is probably one or even the most attractive to them, a significant part of viewers do not watch television like that. I will assume that the target group for all of these devices is people who love to watch TV, do this with a good sense, feeling and arrangement. And these for quite some time now have received the coveted signal from some additional devices, from cable / satellite receivers controlled in a completely different way and physically different remote control. There is also a third reason - often quite dubious signal quality. Perhaps this is some kind of my local specificity, related to the fact that I did not connect the cable correctly, or they were too long and poor-quality, but this again confirms my claim # 1. Not elegant somehow that's all.
The idea of ​​distributing TV to a laptop in some more correct way is not new, and of course it asks. I even tried to build something similar by connecting one computer to the TV, capturing the signal there and sending it over the local network to another machine. This slingbox is just about that. A small, noiseless device connects to a signal source, captures a picture / sound, compresses this case and sends it to a computer over the network. Theoretically, both local and global. Those. It is assumed that in any place where there is a fairly fast Internet, you can have a TV in your computer. And of course, to view it remotely, you need the appropriate program, as expected, called SlingPlayer. In general, this is all that can be said about the monitored device in 2 words. About as much information is provided in the attached manual and on the manufacturer’s website. I certainly exaggerate, there is still quite obvious information about connecting wires and clicking Next buttons in the installer. But the style of presentation and presentation of the material shows that it is all oriented to the audience of “housewives” dealing with microwaves and coffee makers.

Of course, I express my opinion after getting to know the product and using it for about a month. It is sold here everywhere. In all the major electronics trading networks, finding a slingbox is not difficult. He lies there modestly, does not cause excessive demand, and the staff can say little about him. In general, a strange exotic, in the opinion of an ordinary consumer of TV products. But back to the very device. Bright and catchy red packaging hides a very nondescript device made of some dull plastic, creaking and bending in the hands and evoking a very full impression of a typical device made by Chinese craftsmen. In short, I didn’t have a desire to put it under / on the TV, but on the contrary arose and realized the desire to hide it away, out of sight. In terms of a TV connection, everything is almost fine. There are inputs (and outputs) for all types of analog TV signals, and there is even an HDMI input into which, as it turned out, the HDMI cable cannot be inserted. However, HDTV support is proudly announced, although it doesn’t work right out of the box. In order to introduce an HDTV signal into a sling, you need to purchase an additional adapter, to the input of which you apply a component signal, and connect the output to this HDMI input on the box.

In addition to physical connection to TV sources, you need to make this box with your network. There is only one option here - a wired connection. There is no WiFi here, unlike for example AppleTV.

After all the wires are plugged in, the process of setting up the player on your computer begins. In the simple case, if you have one local network and DHCP distribution of addresses, everything is located by itself and configured in 2 minutes. Otherwise, you’ll have to suffer. Especially if your computer is connected to several networks at once. In this case, the connection turns into a rather sophisticated dance with a tambourine, which of course does not scare the advanced user, but still makes your brain strain.

After all behind to use a sling it is a pleasure. A very nice player works almost fine. Almost, because when it closes, it hangs from time to time. But I think this is the specifics of a purely Mack version and the mass user on other OSs will not face a similar problem. By the way, there is a version for PocketPC, so you can probably watch TV on your Pocket. I have not tried this, but in the forums I read that it works for someone.

Management is carried out either by the remote control (software) or by the buttons “favorite channels” and “favorite actions”. During the setup process, sligplayer will ask what we are watching TV through and set up everything you need to control your cable box, satellite receiver or TV directly. Physically, control is carried out with 2 IR emitters that are mounted in the area of ​​your TV box. No other communication is supported. I mean that neither RF nor BT will be able to steer through the sling.

The main function “watch TV on a computer” works almost well. Those. the picture is quite high-quality, although for HDTV, 640x480 slings with quite noticeable compression are quite distantly related. But I repeat again, it is quite possible to watch. The compression ratio and transmission speed are set in the player itself. I settled on medium compression and 1200kbps. The improvement of these parameters did not lead to an improvement in the picture, but on the contrary introduced jerks and loss of frames. The aspect ratio (4x3, 16x9, etc.) in theory should be determined by itself, in practice it must be set directly with your hands, which is of course not difficult (2 clicks) but slightly annoying. An attempt to turn on stereo sound causes a very unpleasant psycho-acoustic effect of the “bifurcation” of sound. I don’t know what the matter is there, but it seems to me that the right channel is shifted by several tens of milliseconds in relation to the left. I’m not able to listen to this, so I switched to mono, where everything in this sense is in order. Another complaint about the sound is that from time to time there is a slight delay between the picture and the sound. It appears on its own and after a while itself disappears. Attempts to play with various advanced settings, this effect was somewhat minimized, but not completely repaired.

I said that watching TV through a sling is quite possible, but this applies to the situation if your computer is on the same local network with slingbox. All my attempts to get him to work on the WAN through NAT were unsuccessful. Court reports on forums where this kind of problem is one of the central ones discussed, slingbox opens the oncoming connection to a dynamically selected port, which is not good at all.

To summarize, I can once again confirm that this is a completely working solution for the local network, which allows delivering TV to your computer in quite decent quality. At the same time, there remains a clear feeling of some general dampness of the product, a mass of small and large flaws and a certain student level of performance. However, I do not lose hope that the next versions of the player and updated firmware of the receiver itself will solve some of the problems in the future, and will bring SlingBox to a more decent level of functioning.

So which devices can I use to view?

Create an account on DISH and use this information to enter the application on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick, Google Nexus Player, Xbox One, the new Chromecast via

Recently, Sling and LG have announced a partnership that will bring live streaming to any of the Korean webOS smart TVs.

Want to watch it right on your laptop?

A complete list of supported products can be found on the Sling website.

The system is more eloquent than applications such as TWC TV or Xfinity, and although the latter is almost universal, you are trying to remember whose name and email address you use to log in can ruin the session before it starts.

It is also worth noting that Sling TV cooperates with T-Mobile, offering subscribers unlimited streaming video on their T-Mobile smartphones and tablets without eating their LTE data.

What channels are included?

Channel packages can be a bit confusing, but it helps if you imagine them as a lunch break in cafeterias.

So far, channels on the $ 20 base plan (now called Sling Orange) have included ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, TNT, TBS, HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Travel Channel, CNN, Cartoon Network, ABC Family,

Sling Blue owns many of the same channels, but allows you to watch several people at a time and costs $ 25 per month.

Once you have selected your main package, it's time to see the dessert options.

If you want to use some of the premium channels, Sling TV offers both HBO and Cinemax for $ 15 and $ 10 per month, respectively, but they require a subscription to the Best of TV package.

In addition to the two basic subscriptions and premium options listed above, 11 additional packages are available for an additional $ 5 each month:

  • Heartland Extra will add The Cowboy Channel, PixL, Family Net, Sportsman Channel, Outdoor Channel, World Fishing Network and RFD-TV.
  • Kids Extra, with Disney Jr, Disney XD, Boomerang, Duck TV, Baby TV, TeenNick, NickToons and Nick Jr.
  • Sports Extra, which includes the SEC network, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, Universal Sports, Univision Deportes, beIN Sports, ESPN Buzzer Beater, downloaded ESPN bases, ESPN line, campus insiders and external television.
  • Additional comedy, including MTV, TruTV, Spike, MTV2, CMT, Logo, TV Land, GSN and El Rey.
  • Lifestyle Extra, with cooking channel, DIY, truTV, WE tv, FYI, LMN, VH1, BET, Vibrant, Oxygen and E!.
  • Hollywood Extra, which includes real-time content and on-demand video from EPIX, EPIX2, EPIX3, EPIX Drive-In, Sundance TV, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and HDNet Movies
  • World News Extra, with Fusion, HLN, News 18 India, Euronews, NDTV 24 × 7, France24, RT, BBC World News, MSNBC, CNBC and TheBlaze.
  • Deportes Extra includes Azteca, beIN Español, beIN HD (English), Univison, Univision Deportes and UniMás.
  • Películas & Novelas Extra includes Aztec Corazon, Cinelatino, De Peliculu, De Peliculu Clasico, Paudes, Univers Tlnovelas, Univiz and UniMas.
  • Broadcast Extra (available only in select cities) includes ABC, Univision and UniMas.
  • CentroAmerica Unlike other packages here, CentroAmerica can be purchased on its own for $ 10 per month, or part of Orange or Blue packages for $ 5 per month.

These channel lines are distinguished by the fact that they offer additional niche programming for a few extra dollars per month.

functionality

Now, remember when you asked about Slingbox?

Sling TV allows you to pause, rewind and rewind live broadcasts on some channels (pay attention to the word “some”) and gives you the opportunity to watch shows a few days after they go live.

Like Slingbox, Sling TV allows you to watch its services on most mobile devices anywhere in the world.

It all said where Sling TV faces small problems when you take streams from a smaller screen and put it on a larger one.

However, throw it from your mobile device to the big screen using Chromecast, and everything goes wrong - the quality fails and comes out, while the sound goes from the pristine quality of the cable to the cracked distorted mess.

One of the features that I felt was a huge weak point on each platform, however, there was the ability to search for the show you want to watch - the search exists on each platform, but it is not complete and often returns results,

Try to find “Game of Thrones”, for example, and Sling TV spills out dozens of results - random news shows featuring the Game of Thrones segment, behind the scenes look at the creation of the game of thrones, all but the show

Cloud DVR on Sling TV

While searching is a headache, Sling TV offers a cloud-based DVR service similar to the one we saw on the PlayStation Vue.

The program costs $ 5 a month and is currently only available on Roku devices, Roku TVs, Fire TVs and Fire TV Stick Amazon and Amazon tablets.

Sling TV Orange?

One of the biggest problems with Sling TV was that two viewers in the same family couldn't watch the stream at the same time - at least that was when it started last year.

But Sling TV is now available in two forms: Sling Orange, which follows the old model service, allowing one person to watch the stream at a time, and Sling Blue, which allows many people in the same family stream at the same time.

Sling TV on Roku

While Sling TV really did well on iOS (which we'll see in a minute), it also played great on the Roku OS, especially if you're using Roku 3, Roku 4, or one of the newer ones.

By and large, the experience at Roku was all that I liked in the cable box: simple functionality, a clean layout and a clear image.

Starting from the main screen, the Sling TV interface loads in seconds.

After loading, the stream was crisp and clear.

The only contrast to the traditional cable, at least for now, is the amount of content available on Sling TV.

Comparatively, 40 or so channels offered on Sling TV are just a drop in the bucket compared to the more than 800 that I have on DirecTV.

Sling TV on iOS

Sling TV on iOS is a completely different experience.

Using the iPhone 5S for testing, I took Sling TV with me for the glove of daily errands.

It's problematic when you get home, continuing what you look on your phone is not as easy as starting your Roku.

Attempting to use both the phone and Roku at the same time will not work (unless you are subscribed to Sling Blue).

In general, I found that the iOS interface is less pleasant than an application with many applications, but still impressive.

Sling TV on Amazon Fire TV

The interface on Amazon Fire TV looks almost identical to the service on Roku, that is, clean and convenient.

The service looks a little clearer than it did on Roku - Sling probably set the highest default image quality on Amazon devices - but it looks like it hits a few more snags.

Sling TV on the Xbox One

When I heard that Sling shot at five platforms after five months, I had doubts that he could keep up with the pace of development.

If you have already used this service in any of the consoles, you probably know what to expect from here.

The channel interface is brought up by clicking the stick in any direction, and the menu button (previously known as the start) opens the menu for videos on demand.

One important change is that Sling - unlike some Xbox One apps - actually uses Kinect to accept voice commands and allows you to connect both video on demand and certain channels to your home screen.

During testing, I noticed a rather small delay (38 ms compared to 30 on my tablet), which caused the service to stop and stutter several times.

In general, the service looks great and is functionally stable on the Xbox One, but its performance, as users note in the comments, will definitely depend on the speed of your connection.

Best Sling TV Packages

Roku Express - Get the free Roku Express (retail price: $ 29.99) when you pay Sling TV for two months.

Roku Ultra - Get $ 50 from Roku Ultra (retail price: $ 99.99) when you pay Sling TV for three months.

AirTV Player - Get AirTV Player + Adapter for $ 50 upon prepayment for three months Sling TV (cost of $ 129.99).

Internal antenna. Клиенты, которые имеют право на использование антенны OTA (в зависимости от географического положения), могут получить бесплатную внутреннюю антенну Winegard (розничная цена в размере 59,99 долл. США) при предварительной оплате в течение двух месяцев Sling TV.

LG B7 Smart TV. Получите кредит LG Sling TV за 210 долларов США, когда вы покупаете телевизор LG OLED B7 от Costco, Sam’s Club или BJ онлайн и в магазинах.

Лучшая покупка — получите расширенную бесплатную пробную версию Sling TV, когда вы покупаете устройства для потоковой передачи, смарт-телевизоры и антенны от Best Buy в Интернете и в магазинах.