In an attempt to fix some service issues that I had been experiencing with Comcast, I contacted them on the phone to swap out my cablemodem with a new DOCSIS v.3 model that I had picked up. The rep on the phone insisted that I was paying too much, and proceeded to make changes to my account to fix how much I was paying. Long story short, my cable bill shot up to over $300/month. This fed me up enough to find a way to finally join a growing number of people and “cut the cord”. My issue was that I wanted to find a way to cut the cord, without losing access to the content that my family enjoys. This is where I turned my attention to the SlingTV.
I know there are plenty of alternatives out there like Netflix, Hulu, and others for pulling in full seasons of shows. We’re already subscribers to both Hulu and Netflix, but wanted to be able to watch sporting events, and other live content or premieres that just isn’t available through normal streaming services. I did some research, and settled on the SlingTV, the newest version of the Slingbox. This model looked easy to use, and accepted HDMI in for ease of connectivity:
At a cost of $299, this cost would be recovered in only 1 month of my current cable bill, so the choice to try it out was obvious. The next thing I needed was a video source. I know many people that pay for cable that have no intention of cutting the cord anytime soon. I offered to pay the extra $10/month for an additional set-top so that I could connect the SlingTV.
*Note: Make sure you place the device at a location that has good upload speeds to the Internet. If you’re watching HD content and you want a smooth picture, you’ll want at least 5Mbps of consistent upload speed for the best viewing experience. It will work on less bandwidth, but won’t look as good. You’ll probably want to test a location’s bandwidth before agreeing to purchasing another set-top and finding out it doesn’t work as expected.
The other component to viewing content on your TV was just released this month, and is something that Slingbox users have been waiting for with great anticipation, and that’s the release of an updated Slingplayer App that allows the content to be pushed to Chromecast devices. The great thing about this is that you can then throw your live TV content to any TV equipped with a Chromecast that you have access to. We have one at work, 3 at home, at the in-laws, etc. All remote control options are controlled via your phone or tablet device. Channel lineup is very easy to use, but specialty menus such as some on-demand content can be somewhat clumsy to navigate. You can even get a DVR and record and watch the recorded content remotely as well.
The end result is that I can finally cut the cord to Comcast video content and not feel like I’m throwing money out the window every month. There are video hiccups from time to time, but that is to be expected when pushing content over the public Internet. So far I have been very happy with the results.