Last night, in a fit of rage, I made my way to the Time Warner Cable website and added cable TV to my internet service. For the service and a cable card it will cost me an additional $52 a month. With my own DVR I will be recording three shows at a time with minimal fuss.
I have no regrets.
But I do blame the shit out of SlingTV for sending me back to cable’s slimy arms. SlingTV is supposed to be the promised land for cordcutters who want to be legit. The service offers 25 to 40 of the cable channels people actually watch for less than $30 a month. All you need to access it is any kind of set top box and a solid internet connection.
SlingTV just isn’t dependable, though. I have every kind of set top box and a solid connection, and last night, I got flashbacks of trying to watch internet video circa 2002. Mr. Robot was a choppy non-sensical mess that looked like a RealVideo. Do you remember RealVideo? You are one of the lucky ones if you don’t.
This isn’t the first time SlingTV has failed me as I try to watch a show that I review every week. The service has failed every Wednesday for weeks. I tune in on my Xbox One S, the video chokes and stutters, and then it gets ugly and pixellated. Frequently, it hops back a few seconds and then plays those seconds over and over again.
Simply Googling “what the fuck is wrong with SlingTV on Xbox” suggests that it’s exclusively an issue with the Xbox app. Which is maddening, but I can deal. I’m getting some solid TV for a reasonable price and I’ve got all those other set top boxes.
But things weren’t much better when I moved to the Roku 3 or the SlingTV. Chromecast is another popular playback option, and usually the suggested playback method of choice when running into the issues I ran into. But if you think it is an improvement over the Xbox One than you live in a fantasy world I would like to be invited to.
Reality is less nice. Which is why I spent prime Mr. Robot time instead writing this bitchfest and seeking out other irate SlingTV customers on Twitter.
SlingTV is a great idea. It’s a dream of what we could have, and there are rumors SlingTV and its competitor, Playstation Vue, are effective and popular enough that cable companies considering better channel options.
But as a service I would recommend to people? It is an utter failure. I’ll be cancelling as soon as I pick up my cable card from Time Warner.