I cut the cord with Sling TV and I almost switched to YouTube TV — here's why I didn't

Jul 25, 2022
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You guys have such a unique way of saying nothing in a long article. I fall for the click bait every time! So Sling or YTTV? The answer of course is ...it depends.
 
Mar 12, 2022
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I've had all of the streaming services, at least for a trial. Starting with Playstation Vue, the one that failed because most folks thought you needed a playstation to use it, or that it had something to do with gaming!

Sling was one of the few that gave me persistent streaming issues, from "splats" to pixilation to the dreaded swirl.

I have an opinion that it tends to lock you into one of their servers and even if the server or network load is unusable, it doesn't switch. I'm not sure WHAT triggers a server change, but certainly going from one streaming device (fire tv to roku) should have done that.

The problem is entirely on their end, because I can stream 4k/60 on 750Mb/s download speeds without batting an eye, and yet Sling and their 720p picture quality couldn't manage it?

That's why it's only $35, but really if you like sports or have kids, it's $50+.

Youtube tv is SO close to being good. It fails in two odd areas. One as the article notes is the "recommendations" seem to lean hard into high cost channels (add on or part of the package), and things that involve you giving google money.

That's something new, that seems to be pervading google culture over the past 2 years...creeping profit grabs.

The other problem is why I don't use it at all, and probably won't ever, and it's the dumbest thing. I fall asleep watching tv all the time. It sooths me. When your show is over, youtube tv will play another show seemingly at random, because sometimes its a show in your dvr, sometimes it isn't.

And it keeps on going. So shows you haven't actually watched will be marked as watched in the dvr, leading to some interesting times where you try to figure out why you don't remember it, and I have a data cap with comcast, and youtube tv streaming on at 1080/60 for hours while I'm snoozing runs me over my data cap and costs $30-50 extra on my internet fees.

People have asked for this to either not be done at all or to make it an option, pretty much since it launched. Nope.

Sling TV at least stops at the end of your show and waits for you to tell it what to play next. Most of the streaming services do. Even regular youtube lets you shut off autoplay.

As of this year, I haven't had a streaming live tv service of any kind since the end of last years NFL season. And I don't think that I'm going to.

It seems like most of the "live" content that I want to watch is available on other streaming services that I already have, like peacock, paramount+ and hulu. The NFL seems headed in that direction as well, with the imminent news of sunday ticket on something other than satellite.

Looks like ESPN monday night games remain elusive. But I'm not paying $65/mo to watch four games, at least two of which will stink.
 

thane108

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Nov 14, 2014
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Strange criteria in making your decision. Most people make the decision based on channels. Sling TV doesn't do local channels - you have to get those over the air. So, if that doesn't work for you because of location or residential antenna restrictions, you do with youtubeTV. If you don't care about local channels or can get them with an antenna, then you take the savings with Sling TV. It really is that simple.
 
Jul 25, 2022
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I have another good reason to stay with Sling
Reelz (On Patrol: Live)
I am a big fan of Live PD
YTTV doesn't have Reelz
 

Rich 1944

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Aug 1, 2021
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Strange criteria in making your decision. Most people make the decision based on channels. Sling TV doesn't do local channels - you have to get those over the air.
OTA channels are really not a problem. They all offer current episodes the next day or a few days later On Demand. I record from On Demand using PlayOn TV which automatically skips commercials. PBS streams live from their website as well as On Demand. Also, Live Local News is available using News On or/and you can use an antenna. There is a device that integrates Sling with antenna channels in one box
 
Jul 25, 2022
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I once looked into using Sling to cut the cord because I only watch a small number of channels. Unfortunately, Sling's claim of TV a la carte is total BS. Just like the cable companies, they want to sell you "packages" of channels. In order to get the <10 channels I wanted, I had to subscribe to both Orange and Blue plus the Sports add-on. The total cost added up to considerably more than I currently pay for Xfinity from Comcast which gives many more channels. YouTubeTV has all of those channels. The only thing keeping me from making the switch now is the endless wait for Verizon Home 5G internet service in my home city which will make the switch cost effective (I get both TV and internet from them).
 

Rich 1944

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Aug 1, 2021
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I once looked into using Sling to cut the cord because I only watch a small number of channels. Unfortunately, Sling's claim of TV a la carte is total BS.
Spectrum has the closest thing to al la cart streaming. Your Choice of 15 channels from their first level channel selection is called Select. It also includes the OTA channels and PBS. The price is, I think, about $25 but the fee for the Broadcast channels almost doubles the cost. It used to be an $8 broadcast fee but keeps going up.

In addition to the small number of channels you watch in different Sling packages, it doesn't solve the problem because the Broadcast channels are holding back their good shows and putting them on Peacock Premium, Paramount Plus, or direct to Prime or HBO Max.
 
Jul 25, 2022
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Spectrum has the closest thing to al la cart streaming. Your Choice of 15 channels from their first level channel selection is called Select. It also includes the OTA channels and PBS.
Not useful to me. Spectrum is not available in my city because the local powers that be gave Comcast an exclusive license to operate a cable TV system here. The only other choice for internet is CenturyLink which doesn't offer fibre at my address so they're slow as snail poop over phone lines.
 
Jul 26, 2022
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I'm still hanging on to cable because of sports, but we're nearing the tipping point where there will be no point in subscribing to these channels, whether through traditional cable or a service like Sling TV. The big change is with scripted series. Good new ones usually debut on streaming services now, not basic cable or broadcast. TBS looks to be writing off the format and other channels will follow. True, that still leaves news, sports, reality, "Law & Order" reruns and the broadcast procedurals. Maybe a lot of viewers will hang for those. But the future is clear.
 

Disgusted666

Prominent
Aug 1, 2021
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I've had all of the streaming services, at least for a trial. Starting with Playstation Vue, the one that failed because most folks thought you needed a playstation to use it, or that it had something to do with gaming!

Sling was one of the few that gave me persistent streaming issues, from "splats" to pixilation to the dreaded swirl.

I have an opinion that it tends to lock you into one of their servers and even if the server or network load is unusable, it doesn't switch. I'm not sure WHAT triggers a server change, but certainly going from one streaming device (fire tv to roku) should have done that.

The problem is entirely on their end, because I can stream 4k/60 on 750Mb/s download speeds without batting an eye, and yet Sling and their 720p picture quality couldn't manage it?

That's why it's only $35, but really if you like sports or have kids, it's $50+.

Youtube tv is SO close to being good. It fails in two odd areas. One as the article notes is the "recommendations" seem to lean hard into high cost channels (add on or part of the package), and things that involve you giving google money.

That's something new, that seems to be pervading google culture over the past 2 years...creeping profit grabs.

The other problem is why I don't use it at all, and probably won't ever, and it's the dumbest thing. I fall asleep watching tv all the time. It sooths me. When your show is over, youtube tv will play another show seemingly at random, because sometimes its a show in your dvr, sometimes it isn't.

And it keeps on going. So shows you haven't actually watched will be marked as watched in the dvr, leading to some interesting times where you try to figure out why you don't remember it, and I have a data cap with comcast, and youtube tv streaming on at 1080/60 for hours while I'm snoozing runs me over my data cap and costs $30-50 extra on my internet fees.

People have asked for this to either not be done at all or to make it an option, pretty much since it launched. Nope.

Sling TV at least stops at the end of your show and waits for you to tell it what to play next. Most of the streaming services do. Even regular youtube lets you shut off autoplay.

As of this year, I haven't had a streaming live tv service of any kind since the end of last years NFL season. And I don't think that I'm going to.

It seems like most of the "live" content that I want to watch is available on other streaming services that I already have, like peacock, paramount+ and hulu. The NFL seems headed in that direction as well, with the imminent news of sunday ticket on something other than satellite.

Looks like ESPN monday night games remain elusive. But I'm not paying $65/mo to watch four games, at least two of which will stink.
I have a POS Walmart exclusive 3rd-parties Roku w/YT-TV, both of which are so arrogantly dismissive of their horrendous incompetence it's beyond criminal. After 2 carriage wars over ad revenues, YT-TV not only raised their rates and doubled their dumb-down ads but added an up to 3-minute 2-note/2-bar syncopated clacking cacophonic interlude before and/after their lobotomizingly gratuitous decadent promos of big-tech criminal conglomerate CONcast/NBCU Bravo/Peacock programs & other stupidly distracting ads following each 5-minute segments of actual programming on MSNBC. & CNN. Roku's remote not only eats batteries but doesn't work most of the time. It takes 5-10x to mute the ads & more to unmute. Rewind & FF often bring back programs unsynced which worsened to skipping/buffering/coming back garbled until it finally freezes so completely you can 't even turn the POS off without hitting the power button 20x. You must unplug the POS to fix the syncing but if you unplug at the Roku page you'll have to sign into YT-TV via PC again. YT-TV has ARBITRARILY changed my playback area to podunk towns 500 mi away (with limited programming & no local news) 4x in the last year; it took weeks for them to fix the first 2 (which is their yearly limit), I was on my own for the last 2, which took about 80 hours to figure out how to get my metro area back. No amount of feedback left on for YT on the TV or PC or emails to Walmart, Roku, & TCL will rectify any of the problems.
 

Uniblab

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Jul 1, 2009
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As much as it pains our streaming editor to admit it, cord-cutting is (for him) more about three arguably boring things than anything else.

I cut the cord with Sling TV and I almost switched to YouTube TV — here's why I didn't : Read more
If you are in the correct market - geographically- OTA is free and since im in the NY area, its what I use. I have a cheapo DVR for recording but I rarely use it since HULU rebroadcasts most of what I want to see after 24 hrs or so. The only limitation that I have come up against is that if I dont catch it within a few days, they are no longer available for my tier unless I subscribe to a higher tier.

IMHO, YouTube TV isnt what its supposed to be. A higher priced service that you still have to buy broadband with. You now have a minimum of two bills. If youtube was lesser in cost, I could see it as a good buy. But I remember youtube TV service being priced higher than broadband by about 20 dollars or so. It doesnt make any sense. Just pay your broadband and get a few channels from them. The bottom line is that Youtube TV is like most others in that the are rebrodcasting other folks content. Its not like Netflix where a subscription gets you content that is unique to netflix. Netflix is priced correctly since its an addition to broadband and not priced like it is. Have you thought about other ways to get the channels you like?
 
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