TV Battle: Sling vs. Xfinity

I can’t speak to other people’s motivations for cutting the cable TV cord, but for my husband and I, we were planning an outdoor NFL Sunday viewing party.

I rented a projector from work, and was looking into how we could use our Chromecast to stream the games. In the course of my research, I came across a deal from Sling where, by prepaying for 3 months of service, we could get a Roku streaming stick tossed in.  We had lazily talked about looking into streaming-only options for replacing the expensive Xfinity package we had, and this seemed like a good start. We also utilize Hulu and Netflix, and with Sling/basic channels to serve our live TV fix (i.e. Monday Night Football and ‘The Walking Dead’ are basically our must-see shows), we embarked on the cable-cutting.

Positives:

We soon adapted more readily to the Roku than we had to the Chromecast (the remote it comes with, plus not tying up two devices by having to stream from one, was a major plus), and really loved the channels that were available like an HBO channel, Hulu, Netflix, everything was in one spot. Basically, we learned to love our Roku, and have since upgraded to a Smart TV, which…kind of negates the need for Roku or Chromecast, tbh. As for Sling…well, read on.

Negatives:

As a major channel-flipper (I never know what I want to watch unless it’s an appointment-TV viewing time), I found myself watching a lot less TV because it was cumbersome to have to log in to Sling, wait for the guide to load, wait for the delay between selecting Next and actually moving to the Next selection, etc).  There aren’t any DVR capabilities, and only extremely limited past-episode viewing (so don’t plan on spacing out of ‘Portlandia’ for a few weeks, and watching them later–they won’t be accessible).

Also, I never thought I would say I miss commercials, but some channels don’t play commercials during breaks. So on ESPN, for example, while the network went to commercial, the ESPN logo would float on the screen while horrible elevator music looped.

Overall?

While we were able to cut down on the TV side of our bill, we wound up having to increase our Internet to handle the streaming. Considering the amount we were playing for Sling, plus the increased Internet (and that some of the discounts came off since we weren’t bundling with a better TV package), we were literally paying about the same as when we had the full Xfinity double play package with DVR and HD.

This week, we finally made the call and cancelled and Sling and crawl back to Xfinity. On the plus side, we were able to contract for BETTER service than we had previously and we’re paying about $10 less per month than when we tried using Sling.

The irony of it all.

Have you tried cutting cable and switching to streaming? What was your experience?

What do you think?

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