Your Digital Media Has Never Looked So Good

 
RealisticDave
Topic Author
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:54 pm

Sling---and its problems

Mon Oct 05, 2015 12:02 pm

I've had Sling since February, and I have both a Roku 2 and a Roku Stick. Seems to make no difference which TV I'm on with Sling. For the first few weeks (maybe even a couple of months), Sling was a major problem. Repeatedly "loading," received black screens for (sometimes) a minute or two, picture was often quite poor, regardless of speed setting, etc. But I guess they've done some upgrades or other work to their system because---in general---since around the beginning of summer, most of the time everything works well. But there are still some problems that occur, and I'm quite certain that the cause is Sling. I understand that download speed is limited by Sling's servers, and has nothing to do with my actual download speed for Roku in general. (FYI, my ISP provides a realistic speed of 50 at our computers, and the Speedtest app on both Rokus are usually about 20-25, depending upon test server.) Never have any problems with other channels (NetFlix, Hulu, Pub-D-Hub, etc.), and I stream sporting events on Watch ESPN and BYU-TV with no problems at all.

But these are my Sling problems---does it happen to others, or is is just me?:
1. Usually on weekends only, I can be watching a soccer game on BeIn, OneWorldSports, or UDN, everything will look just fine, great picture, and then---simply does an autonomous reboot. Screen goes black for 10 seconds, then it reloads Sling, and goes back to the channel that I had been on. If I was watching live TV, I'd only miss about a minute before it's reconnected. But if I'm watching a recorded (or delayed) program, it, of course, returns to the live feed. Thus, if it's recorded, I need to go back to that program, and 'step through' up to the point that I was at before the reboot occurred. On a delayed program, if I was watching the first half and it reboots back and connects live in the second half, then I've already seen the score and it ruins things for me. As noted, I've tried to keep track of when this happens, and Monday to Friday, rarely if ever. But Saturday and Sunday---likely prime viewing time and busy Sling servers?---this happens repeatedly. Yesterday, it happened during the KHL hockey game on OWS, and twice during a soccer game on BeIn.
2. Sling speeds vary from time-to-time, which causes the picture to degrade for a period. I normally have my settings at "High," up to 2.8Mbps, and when I check speed at that setting, it mostly stays at 2.6Mbps. But for brief periods, the speed will slow down to under 1.0, which causes a fuzzy picture and messes with text (score boxes and the like) so that it's almost unreadable. This happens most any day, but more often on weekends. Not a major problem, because it usually only stays that way for less than a minute, then restores.
3. On-screen program guides. Maybe on entertainment channels the guide is accurate, I rarely watch one of those channels. But on sports channels such as BeIn, OWS, and UDN, the program guide is often wrong, both content and time. I have a tablet next to me with a TV programming app (I use Zap2It, but there are others), and the information shown on it is about 99% accurate. And it's not that the channels are making last minute changes---I can look at the schedule of upcoming games on my tablet days ahead and it's accurate, so why can't Sling program their on-screen guide to have accurate info?

I don't call myself an expert, but IMO all of the above items are Sling problems. I read something a while back that Sling tries to 'spread service' across servers during busy times, to try and keep decent signals during busy times (like weekends), and I'm thinking that they need to add more servers or upgrade existing ones to handle more traffic? And maybe consider an improved method of populating their on-screen guides?

Not going to cancel Sling anyway, because there aren't alternatives for online viewing of the games I want to watch, but I'd like to see Sling commit to ongoing improvements!
 
Tekneek
Posts: 165
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:51 am

Re: Sling---and its problems

Mon Oct 05, 2015 12:13 pm

I have experienced the spontaneous reboots and agree that they appear to primarily happen on the weekends. I wonder if it is a response within the Roku application that happens when things get out of sync with the server.
 
RealisticDave
Topic Author
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:54 pm

Re: Sling---and its problems

Mon Oct 05, 2015 12:24 pm

Actually, I don't think that the problem is with Roku at all. As I mentioned, it happens on both Roku 2 and Roku Stick. But, I received the free Firestick when I signed up for Sling last winter, and I hardly ever use the Firestick. But, I did plug it in and try Sling on weekends, and it does it on the Firestick as well. So, either the Sling app on all devices is faulty, or it's a problem with the signal that Sling is putting out. One thought I had is that a momentary signal that goes down to almost zero (or an actual hit with no signal) causes the reboot? I don't know enough about how it all works, just that it should work better.
 
logandiana
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:52 am

Re: Sling---and its problems

Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:37 pm

Its Sling. I have pretty much the same set up only I have Roku 3 boxes. I thought it was the roku at first (see my post about roku restricting speed), but now am certain it is Sling. I have the same crashes and reboots, but I watch Sling just about every night of the week and it happens. It's usually at a pivotal point in a show I am watching. Like the other day on the Food Network I was watch Chopped, the teen tournament. Every week for 5 weeks, someone gets voted off. The last week is the final four. On the 5th week, the last show of the tournament, guess when Sling cuts out?? The final 3 minutes of the show!! We were so furious. We had to go online to figure out who won.
And you can forget about trying to watch Fear the Walking Dead or something like that! We just have to watch it the next day, because we bought the season on Vudu.
I have contacted Sling about it. They say they are committed to making it better and are working to make improvements. I asked them how hard they are working on it and I haven't heard back...
When I first got Sling I didn't ever have these problems, it just seems like its recently over the summer. IMHO i think that Sling got too big too fast and now is catching up to get server speed up to par with their subscribers.
 
Tekneek
Posts: 165
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:51 am

Re: Sling---and its problems

Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:50 pm

I did not say it was the fault of the Roku, I said something it does when the communication with the server gets out of sync. The reference to Roku was because this is a Roku forum.
 
RealisticDave
Topic Author
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:54 pm

Re: Sling---and its problems

Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:46 am

Tekneek wrote:
I did not say it was the fault of the Roku, I said something it does when the communication with the server gets out of sync. The reference to Roku was because this is a Roku forum.


Sorry, I misunderstood. I'm not 'techie' enough to totally understand how everything works together. I learned troubleshooting during my 30+ years with AT&T, and I simply try to isolate things to find the source of a problem. I've had enough feedback from others now that I'm confident that the problem isn't my ISP feed, either of my Roku boxes (or the Firestick which I rarely use), or something else that I have control over. As long as it's happening to others, the problem needs to be corrected by Sling. Hopefully they are working on the issues and will upgrade or add equipment, as needed.

Thanks again for the comments.
 
matty032
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:28 am

Re: Sling---and its problems

Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:31 am

I use the stick with a 20 meg TWC connection. All my Roku channels are flawless, except Sling Tv. It constantly crashes out to the black Sling TV screen, then back to menu. :evil:
 
mrjlturner
Posts: 379
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:57 am
Contact:

Re: Sling---and its problems

Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:45 am

I've experienced these same "lockup & reboot" issues w/ the SlingTV channel on my Roku 2XS boxes. I think it is a memory buffer overrun issue with the channel. Seems that the major issue w/ ROKU is that there is no easy "doorway" to get to the channel developers to offer feedback & get support for such issues.
My ROKU Info:
Roku Premier+ (Wireless | Static IP) - HDMI (1080P)
Roku Premier+ (Wireless | Static IP) - HDMI (1080P)
Spectrum Internet (100 Mbps / 10 Mbps)
Netflix; Hulu Plus; Amazon Prime
 
User avatar
Elijah_Baley
Posts: 3120
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:40 am
Location: Poquoson, VA

Re: Sling---and its problems

Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:39 am

After looking into all the options for what I wanted to do I decided that Sling was the best option to get what I wanted which was the SEC network on WatchESPN. The second best was to add a basic tier to my cable internet but that would cost an additional $35.00 a month to start and increasing to $50.00 after a year and Sling is only about $27.00-$30.00. (after tax and the sports section to get the SEC) For the first year that is not a huge savings for the first year but it is a saving.

I examined the Sling channel and I find it woefully lacking. It looks like it was written with usability only an afterthought. I cannot even find out what is on the channels at a given time a date. I cannot see any way to really use the channel for watching live TV as, without a guide, I would not know what was of interest.

However I did not get Sling to watch live TV I got it for the SEC on WatchESPN and, for that, it works great. Once I enabled WatchESPN with Sling all the SEC games, that I could not get before, opened up and the full NCAA soccer schedule is available for my consumption and that is what I wanted.

Sling is worth the price to me but I very much doubt I will use the Sling channel for anything.
Two Roku Ultras, three Roku 3s and a Roku 1
"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside." Mark Twain
Van Roy's Law: An unbreakable toy is useful for breaking other toys.
 
dfgsrzwer
Posts: 1429
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:07 pm

Re: Sling---and its problems

Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:17 pm

Sling has almost always* worked flawlessly for me...watching on demand or as "background noise" live while my main attention is somewhere else. Whenever I really want to watch it live, you can bet that it will have problems. This isn't coincidence or confirmation bias; I'm sure that it is because thousands of other people want to watch some high profile first run episode/event at the same time I do, and the servers can't handle it.

*no app streams flawlessly all the time, and thinking Sling is worse than others IS comfirmation bias; admittedly though since Sling costs more it is going to be noticed more often

Edit-on a side note it has been down for over an hour now about 24 hours after my above post
Charter Spectrum 60; d-link dual band router
Roku 4210, 3710; Xbox One, 360; Samsung BD player
Samsung tablet; Windows Vista laptop; LG phone
Toshiba DVD-R; Sony AVR; Panasonic AR
1080p and 720p TVs
 
DarkJedi
Posts: 183
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:50 pm

Re: Sling---and its problems

Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:18 pm

I have had sling for a couple months on a Roku HD. Sling is what made me believe I could finally cut the cable. I have experienced the same issues as the OP, and they are especially noticeable during prime time and weekends, however they are not limited to those times. The past couple days for some reason ABC Family fails to load during the day and takes 2-3 (sometimes more) tries, and then sometimes drops/freezes. During the MLB playoffs on TBS Friday I had several freezes or spontaneous restarts (I had to restart myself on the freezes). I watched only the last part of one game and all of another and this happened at least 6 times during that 3.5 hour period. The problem is not unique to these situations, though, and happens literally all the time.

For comparison sake, I do have Time Warner Cable for just locals ($10/m, I only get two on antenna) and I have the TWC app - never any problems (and the UI is much better). I also stream some other channels (including BYUTV and Watch ESPN) without issue.
 
4d3fect
Posts: 135
Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:27 pm

Re: Sling---and its problems

Sat Oct 10, 2015 7:39 pm

Let's face it folks, Sling on Roku sucks. Every time there's an interesting point in the game, FREEZE! They got my twenty, but that's it.
TCL 4K Roku TV S403 / 7101X
Wired ethernet 100 Mbps give or take
 
dfgsrzwer
Posts: 1429
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:07 pm

Re: Sling---and its problems

Sun Oct 11, 2015 2:19 am

4d3fect wrote:
Let's face it folks, Sling on Roku sucks. Every time there's an interesting point in the game, FREEZE! They got my twenty, but that's it.

As I said, that is just confirmation bias. You are forgetting all the other apps that froze up on you at various times. It does have its problems, and they are server problems that are due to too many people at once using them due to its "live" format, but let's not exaggerate.
Charter Spectrum 60; d-link dual band router
Roku 4210, 3710; Xbox One, 360; Samsung BD player
Samsung tablet; Windows Vista laptop; LG phone
Toshiba DVD-R; Sony AVR; Panasonic AR
1080p and 720p TVs
 
RealisticDave
Topic Author
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:54 pm

Re: Sling---and its problems

Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:37 am

Well maybe I am biased, but Sling---like any company---supposedly wants my business? If the problems are due to "too many people at once" using the servers, then perhaps they should either invest in more equipment---or try and find a company that wants to make improvements and sell to or merge with them? South American World Cup qualifying matches this past week on BeIn were 'rebooted' a number of times. The Chile-Brazil match Thursday evening wouldn't even come up towards the end, needed to find out the result on FotMob on my tablet. USA-Mexico match 'only' rebooted a couple of times Saturday evening on UDN, but on a happy note, the Russian Grand Prix (UDN) played flawlessly Sunday at 6 AM!

Made a decision after reading all the comments about other people who are having problems: I'm going to stick with NetFlix, Hulu, and only do live sports on WatchESPN and BYU-TV during evening hours and on weekends. Then, during off-hours, I can go back and watch all the footie and hockey on UDN, BeIn, and OneWorldSports. Works for me...
 
4d3fect
Posts: 135
Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:27 pm

Re: Sling---and its problems

Sun Oct 11, 2015 9:26 am

dfgsrzwer wrote:
4d3fect wrote:
Let's face it folks, Sling on Roku sucks. Every time there's an interesting point in the game, FREEZE! They got my twenty, but that's it.

As I said, that is just confirmation bias. You are forgetting all the other apps that froze up on you at various times. It does have its problems, and they are server problems that are due to too many people at once using them due to its "live" format, but let's not exaggerate.

Just my .02, I'm sure YOUR experience with sling is just peachy. They got my money, they're happy, as one might expect. Next year if I think I'll need NLDS playoffs I'll find some other way.
TCL 4K Roku TV S403 / 7101X
Wired ethernet 100 Mbps give or take

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 40 guests