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Oled Screen Burns : Information About Preventing This Problem

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Child playing at home to illustrate oled screen burns

How to Avoid OLED Screen Burns

Technology never seems to be without its faults.  No matter how advanced it gets, there are always limitations or issues that can cause problems. When it comes to television technology, there have always been certain problems that come up again and again. One of those is screen burn.

Screen burn can ruin your viewing experience, and for a while, the technology successfully avoided this issue. However, there is a new TV technology called OLED that offers some amazing advantages over the older technology, but it revives the old concerns about screen burn.

If you are a fan of this new technology but are worried about OLED screen burns, then you need to continue reading. Learn more about OLED technology, and then find out about screen burn, including how to avoid it.

What Is OLED?

OLED stands for organic light-emitting diode. It uses LED technology to release an organic film that responds to electricity to produce images. So, an OLED TV is still an LED TV, but with an organic twist. This one small change offers some advantages:

  • Lighter weight
  • Better picture quality
  • More energy-efficient
  • No backlight bleeding because there is no backlight
  • Faster response time
  • Better pictures in low light
  • Deeper blacks due to the ability to turn off individual pixels
  • Increased viewing angles

Overall, an OLED provides the best possible picture quality because of how it works. When comparing to LED and LCD, it comes out on top because of all these advantages that add up to clearer, sharper images with more realistic colors and less muddiness due to backlight or black issues.

It is also important to note one major drawback of OLED. These TVs are expensive. They are difficult to produce, which drives up costs. Manufacturers have a lot of waste and a lot of TVs that do not make it through production to the market. They have to pass these costs on to consumers. So, you pay more. In addition, this means the manufacturer wants to maximize profits, which is why OLED TVs are not available in smaller sizes. They can earn more off larger sets. Of course, there is also the screen burn issue to think about, which is another major disadvantage.  

What Is Screen Burn?

Screen burn is when an image is "burned" into the screen and remains after viewing. This is due to uneven wear of the pixels, light components aging and losing their brightness, or light components having color reproduction issues. The cause of screen burn is usually an image remaining on screen for too long. It most commonly occurs with channel logos, banners, scoreboards or anything that remains on the screen for some period of time. It may alter colors, cause dullness or leave an image outline on the screen. This is a permanent issue that will not go away.

It is important to note that sometimes images may remain on the screen due to a glitch of some sort. Restarting your system will often clear this up. This is not screen burn. In addition, there are times an image may look burned into the screen, but eventually, it goes away. Again, this is not screen burn. Screen burn will not go away once it occurs.

The biggest issue with screen burn, aside from ruining your viewing experience, is that it is a problem that is not usually covered by the warranty. So, this means you just have to learn to live with the issue or pay to get it fixed yourself.

How Can I Prevent It?

The only true way to prevent screen burn is to avoid watching static images for a long period of time. For example, if a channel has a constant logo, if there are banners constantly in the same place or there is a scoreboard always present, such as when you are gaming, then you need to take breaks and change the screen often. There is no set time in which screen burn can occur. You just need to be mindful.

Typically, you will see warning signs that your TV may suffer from screen burn in the future. Image retention is the first sign. This is an image that looks burned in, but it goes away after switching the screen. If you see this happening, it is a sign that you are going to have screen burn issues soon if you do not start changing your viewing or gaming habits. Typically, as time goes on, the image retention will last longer and longer and be more difficult to get rid of. This is just an indication to you that the pixels are wearing out and you really need to be more careful and take proper steps to avoid permanent screen burn.

There are other things that may help as well. You can turn down the brightness setting. Some TVs have a screen shift setting or pixel shift setting that alters the screen to prevent burn-in. If your TV has this, then use it. You should also use screen savers when possible for times you aren't watching, but the TV is on. It may also help to refresh the screen if this setting is available on your TV. Some TVs even have a reminder to refresh the screen. Refreshing runs a line down the TV for about an hour to restore the pixels and cause even wear, which will stop burn-in.

How to Fix Screen Burn

There really is no way to fix screen burn without doing some serious repair work. If you correct the issue by adjusting settings or running refresh technology, then your problem really wasn't screen burn. As mentioned, screen burn is permanent. It is complete damage of the pixels that you cannot solve in a simple manner. It would require the replacement of parts, which is costly. In the end, you would probably be better off just buying a new television because costs of repair often run as high as buying a new one.

Your best bet is to avoid the problem in the first place. Remember that you should avoid static images. Use your television's settings and programs to help prevent the issue. You may also consider not buying an OLED in the first place.

Should Screen Burn Stop You From Buying an OLED TV?

You won't have screen burn issues with LEDs. However, it does happen with LCDs and plasma TVs, if you still have one of those. Many people may buy an OLED without even knowing this is a possibility since normal LEDs don't have this problem. It can be pretty discouraging once you spend the money on this new technology and end up with a screen suffering from burn-in that will cost you quite a bit to get fixed.

If you are a gamer and will play the same games on your TV every day for hours, then you probably want to buy a TV that does not have screen burn issues. There are many different static images in gaming that will eventually lead to screen burn. You do not want to have to stop your game constantly or not be able to play simply to avoid screen burn.

The same is true if you tend to watch one channel all the time. The logo can burn in easily. This is especially true if you watch a news channel that has tickers and banners that are fairly static. In these cases, you will most likely end up with screen burn issues, so it is probably best going another route with your TV choice.

On the other hand, an OLED offers a better viewing experience. If you are mostly concerned with how the picture looks and getting the best quality, and you aren't someone who watches television for hours and hours each day, or who sits and watches the same things, then an OLED could be the best option. Casual viewers or those who change channels often will get a better overall experience from an OLED, so it would be a good idea to choose this option.

You really have to think about your personal viewing habits when it comes to deciding if an OLED is the right choice for you. You don't want to end up with screen burn, but at the same time, it may not even be an issue for you.

Conclusion

Screen burn is bad news. Nobody wants to deal with stuck images that can take away from the TV's overall picture quality. However, this problem happens. When it comes to OLED TVs, it is actually something that you can prevent, but if you aren't aware of the issue, you could end up with burned-in images without even realizing it could happen.

Your best bet before buying an OLED TV is to make yourself familiar with screen burn. Understanding how it happens can go a long way toward helping you to prevent it from occurring. Remember, the biggest thing is to avoid static images of any kind. Also, know that if screen burn happens and it is really screen burn, then you cannot fix it or make it go away without doing repairs. In many cases, what you think is screen burn could end up just being image retention, which is a warning sign to be more careful.

Overall, screen burn is a real issue, but one that you can avoid. However, if you worry about it, then it might be a better choice to choose a different type of TV and not buy an OLED.

Sling TV vs Roku Which Provides The Best TV Experience

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roku ultra to illustrate sling tv vs roku

Sling TV Vs. Roku: A Comparison

The idea of cutting the cord is something that is becoming very popular. Many people are deciding to end their cable or satellite TV services in favor of streaming content via the internet. People like the freedom that streaming offers. It can allow you to customize your viewing experience much more than using cable or satellite. Because so many people are now doing this, there is a lot of competition, which means a lot of options for you.

You also need to decide what equipment you will use and then start choosing streaming services. There is a lot involved in the process, especially if you don't understand how streaming works. We want to take a look at your options, specifically Sling TV and Roku. As you will find, we cannot do a direct comparison of these two because they are very different in function and purpose. However, we will look at them as they relate to streaming experience and compare what they offer to you. First, though, we will discuss some streaming basics so you can understand more about the functions of Sling TV and Roku.

Streaming Basics

The idea of streaming boils down to getting watchable content via the internet instead of through a cable line or from a satellite service. When people started the movement to cut the cord, they were doing so to save money. However, that is probably the biggest misunderstanding about streaming. It is not free in most cases. Sure, you can find free content and watch only that, but for most people, paid services are needed. So, streaming may or may not save you money.

The better reason to choose streaming over cable or satellite is because it is more flexible and offers customization. You get a lot of choices and can really define your own experience based upon your viewing habits. You do have more control over the cost as well, but this can also be a downside because it is possible to spend more than if you subscribed to cable or satellite.

To stream, you will need internet access. It is important that you have a good internet connection. You need high-speed access, and it has to be a strong, consistent signal. If you lose your connection, you lose your access to content.

You also need a device with a platform and services or apps to provide content. Roku is a streaming device and platform found on other devices. Sling TV is a streaming service or app. To use a streaming service or app, you have to have a device. The device is what connects to the internet and allows you to stream content. To get any service or app, you need to have a device to give you that internet access and a platform that will allow you access to the service or app.

Let's use a basic setup to explain. You have your television which has a Roku device attached to it. Usually, this is done through an HDMI port. When you turn on your television, the Roku will power up and present you with a home screen. On this screen you may have a few pre-installed apps, such as Sling TV. You also have the option to download more apps and services. You use the Roku platform to open the apps. Once an app is open, you use that app to find the content you want to watch.

Most apps or services require a subscription. This means you have to pay a monthly fee to use them. There are some free apps that you can use, but those generally offer dated content, whereas the paid options provide more current content and a larger selection of content.

Now that you understand the basics of streaming and have an idea of how different Sling TV and Roku are, we can look a little more at each of them. Keep in mind that you do not have to have both of these. There are other options you can use in both devices or platforms and apps or services, which we will talk more about in the comparison section.

About Sling TV

Sling TV is a streaming service. It is usually downloaded as an app onto a streaming device. You will have to have a subscription in order to use this service. This is very similar to the setup you have with a cable or satellite TV service. In fact, Sling TV, while a stand-alone service, is part of Dish Network. You will choose a base package that is composed of specific channels. You can then add on smaller packages to customize your channel lineup to your tastes.

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The base packages offered are Orange, Blue and Orange + Blue, which is just both of the other packages. The Orange package and Blue package cost $25 each. If you get the Orange + Blue, it is $40. These are monthly subscription costs.

With the Orange package and any Orange-specific channels, you can only watch them on one device at a time. So, if you have the Orange package and want to watch TV in the living room, your son cannot watch it in his bedroom at the same time. The Blue package allows streaming on up to three devices at one time.

The Blue and Orange packages share some channels. They are as follows:

  • A&E
  • AMC
  • AXS TV
  • Cartoon Network/Adult Swim
  • Cheddar
  • CNN
  • Comedy Central
  • EPIX Drive-In
  • Flama
  • Food Network
  • Galavision
  • HGTV
  • History
  • IFC
  • Lifetime
  • Local Now
  • Newsy
  • TBS
  • TNT
  • Travel Channel
  • Tribeca Shortlist
  • USA Network

Orange package-specific channels include the following:

  • Bloomberg TV
  • Disney Channel
  • ESPN
  • ESPN 2
  • ESPN 3
  • Freeform

Blue package-specific channels include the following channels:

  • BET
  • Bloomberg TV
  • Bravo
  • El Rey Network
  • Fox
  • Fox Regional Sports
  • Fox Sports 1
  • Fox Sports 2
  • FX
  • FXX
  • Nat Geo Wild
  • National Geographic
  • NBC
  • NBC Regional Sports
  • NBC Sports Network
  • NFL Network
  • Nick Jr.
  • Syfy

You can add on additional channels in add-on packages. Like the base packages, the channels included are already chosen, but they are based on themes. For example, the sports add-on package includes the following channels:

  • NBA TV
  • NHL Network
  • NFL RedZone

You can also choose add-on packages that concentrate on comedy, kids, news, lifestyle, heartland, Hollywood and international. You can also get a Sling TV base package if you speak Spanish for an extra $10 a month. There is also a Spanish add-on. The add-on packages all cost $5 each per month.

As with cable, you can also add premium channels. They cost between $5 and $15 each per month, and include the following options:

  • Cinemax
  • CuriosityStream
  • EPIX
  • HBO
  • Showtime
  • Stars

Sling TV does not offer local broadcast channels except in some markets where ABC can be added for an additional cost. This service does provide live viewing options, along with some programming that can be watched whenever you want.

Pros and Cons

There are many things to love about a Sling TV subscription, but at the same time, there are some things that customers are not completely happy with. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of this service.

Pros

  • Allows you to customize your channel lineup to suit your needs
  • Does not require a contract commitment
  • You can change your subscription or cancel it at any time
  • Provides access to a variety of channels in one app
  • Found on many devices and app stores
  • Easy to set up and use

Cons

  • Packages are already set with channels, so you may get channels you do not use
  • Cost can get expensive if you have a lot of add-ons
  • ban
    Some channels are not accessible in all areas

About Roku

Roku is a streaming device. If you get a Roku device, you need something to hook the device to so you can use the service. This could be a TV or computer. Some televisions come with Roku built in so you do not need an external device. To use Roku, you have to sign up, but that is free.

When you start up the service, you will see that it comes with some pre-installed apps. These include the most popular streaming options, Hulu, Netflix, Sling TV and Amazon Prime. Roku also has its own channel that offers some movies and television shows, but do keep in mind these are older.

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The costs to use Roku are variable. You will have to pay for the device, which retails for $54.99. You can buy this directly from the Roku website or from retailers that sell electronics online and in stores. You can also buy a television with Roku built in, which will cost significantly more. The cost to get a Roku device is just a one-time fee.

However, once you have Roku, you will probably need to spend money to get content. There are many free options. If you don't care about seeing the latest releases in movies and television or don't really have shows that you have to watch, then you could get by with just free apps. Most people, though, will use paid services, such as Netflix and Sling TV, to get more recent content and to have access to more content options. Do keep in mind that some of the apps offered by Roku do require a cable or satellite subscription to access their content.

When you first use Roku, you have to sign up for an account. This is free. You can do it on the device or online. This allows you to personalize your Roku setup and saves the apps you have downloaded, so you can use your Roku service on any device.

To make use of Roku, you will turn it on and turn on your computer or television. The Roku screen comes up, and you simply choose the app you want to use and begin watching.

Pros and Cons

We want to look at what is good and what is not so good about Roku to give you a better overall idea about this device option.

Pros

  • Offers a stable platform
  • Provides access to many different apps, including the most popular apps
  • One-time cost
  • Can offer streaming services with no monthly fees
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • May not provide access to some channels or content without a cable or satellite subscription

Comparing Sling TV Vs. Roku

When it comes to comparing Sling TV vs. Roku, it is impossible to do a direct comparison because they are so different in function. As you know, Sling TV is a service whereas Roku is a device. You can use them together, or you can use just one without the other.

Sling TV can be used on the following devices besides Roku:

  • Apple TV
  • Chromecast
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Amazon Fire Stick TV
  • Xbox One
  • Android TV
  • Channel Master
  • Samsung Smart TV
  • Android and iOS phones, tablets and computers

So, you do not need Roku to get it. However, Roku is a very popular streaming device. It is quite user friendly and has far fewer issues than some of the other options.

Roku also offers access to a range of other streaming services that you could use instead of Sling TV. One of the downsides with Sling TV is that it requires a monthly cost that is a little more than some other popular options, such as Hulu and Netflix. However, when looking at the app options for streaming, you will notice that you often get what you pay for. For example, Sling TV offers content from many channels that are not offered on either Hulu or Netflix. Plus, you can watch live TV, which is not available with Netflix. It is available with Hulu, but for added costs, which are more than Sling TV.

For a more structured look at the comparison between the two, it helps to just break them down by specifications.

Sling TV

  • Offers access to specific channel lineups
  • Streaming app
  • Must be used with a streaming device
  • Requires a monthly fee

Roku

  • Streaming device
  • Offers access to a variety of streaming apps
  • Requires internet service for operation
  • Provides free viewing options

Cutting the Cord With Roku and Sling TV

If you decide that you are ready to forgo cable or satellite and jump on the streaming bandwagon, then you can do so using Roku and Sling TV. The first thing you will need to do is get a Roku device. Remember this will cost around $55.

Once you have your Roku device, you need to sign up for an account. This requires choosing a username and password, along with entering some personal information. During signup, if you do it online, you can also choose some apps to download automatically and sign into services that you already have subscriptions to, such as Sling TV.

If you have not yet subscribed to Sling TV, you should do that now, too. You can do this online at the Sling TV website. Remember a subscription will cost you at least $25 a month. Signup is similar to Roku, except you also have to enter your payment method.

Sometimes Sling TV runs specials where you can get a Roku device during sign up for a discounted price. If you are going to use both of them, then this could help you save money and get a great deal.

Once you have both the Roku and your Sling TV subscription set up, all you need to do is turn on your television or computer, choose the Sling TV app icon, sign in and start watching content. It is that simple to get started with streaming content.

Also, keep in mind that you can adjust your Sling TV subscription as you want. This allows you to try out different packages and add-ons without a long-term commitment. You can easily find what options suit your viewing style the best to get the most value from the service.

We also encourage you to try out other streaming services as well. Sling TV may offer a great lineup, but other providers also offer different options, including original programming. Just be cautious. If you are cutting the cord to save money, you need to watch how much you are spending on streaming services. It is very easy for you to get out of control and end up spending more on streaming than you would with cable or satellite.

Conclusion

While we cannot do a normal comparison of Sling TV vs. Roku, we do hope that we helped iron out the details about both of these streaming options. It is important if you want to start streaming content that you understand the basics of how things work. Knowing that Roku is a device that is needed to use a streaming service, such as Sling TV, will make it easier for you to get started.

Keep in mind that prices are always changing. In addition, the options and channel lineups can also change. The pricing given here is accurate as of the publication date. Always check pricing before you make your final decision.

Best Device For Sling Tv : Available Now in Market

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fire tv with 4k ultra hd and alexa voice remote as one of the best device for sling tv

What Is the Best Device For Sling TV?

What is the best device for Sling TV? Fortunately, there are a number of options depending on the type of television you have or want to purchase.

Sling TV is a streaming television service operated by Dish Network. You can view approximately 150 channels typically offered on standard cable TV packages. Channels include movies, news, sporting events, children’s shows and similar programming. Pricing options include Blue or Gold levels, or a combination package containing a range of different options and premium channels to meet your viewing preferences.

Sling TV is similar to a television or cable provider because it supplies programs from various channels, though there is no contract or minimum service level. They transmit their signal over the internet as a streaming service. However, you will need a device to decode and present shows on your television screen.

Some television manufacturers support Sling TV through an app in their built-in smart TV device. You can also connect a separate streaming device to carry these channels or even watch programs on your phone, tablet or computer. We will explore some of these options to help you make your decision.

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Roku is a popular streaming TV unit and may be the best device for Sling TV depending on your circumstances. You can purchase a Roku TV produced by Hitachi, Sharp, TCL, Element, Insignia, Philips, Hisense or RCA. These manufactures offer a wide range of units based on screen size and image quality to meet your budget. Built-in Roku TV hardware streams Sling TV channels from a single source.

What if you already have a TV? Roku offers many options. The Roku Express and Express+ base models work well for smaller TVs in your bedroom or kitchen. Both units have similar features, but the Roku Express+ connects to older TVs with composite cable ports. The $29.99 Roku Express is very affordable and similar in price to the Google Chromecast reviewed later. The Roku Express+ costs a bit more at $35 due to the analog connection hardware.

The Roku Streaming Stick at $49.99 and Streaming Stick+ for $69.99 take you to the next level with voice remotes and a slim USB design. Streaming Sticks work particularly well with wall mounted sets. You can even take them on the road due to their small size using the Hotel & Dorm Connect feature. Student and business travelers take their Roku account and content with them, and the unit automatically connects them to the new TV set.

The Roku Streaming Stick+ costs more due to its Ultra High Definition 4K performance. You may not need this feature because most cable channels carried by Sling TV only transmit at 1080p High Definition resolution.

The Roku Ultra priced at $99.99 is the high-end unit of the brand best used with your main television. You will enjoy the voice remote, and other people in your home can appreciate the quiet provided by the headphone jack for private listening.

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Amazon Fire TV devices offer another excellent choice for Sling TV streaming. Similar to the Roku TV, you can purchase the Fire TV Edition from Toshiba in 43-inch, 50-inch and 55-inch sets. Use your voice to launch the Sling TV app using the remote paired with Alexa.

Maybe your existing smart TV does not support Sling TV. No problem, simply plug the $39.99 Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote into your HDMI port. Enjoy telling Alexa to launch Sling TV using only your voice and tell Alexa to pause the program when you are interrupted. Voice commands even allow users to advance or replay portions based on length of time, such as “Alexa, fast forward four minutes.”

Amazon offers a high-end Fire TV device with 4K Ultra HD for $69.99. You can stream 4K content from other sources, but may not need it for most Sling TV 1080p channels and content.

Apple TV

Apple TV is another candidate for the best device for Sling TV. You can choose between two units, the Apple TV 4K for $179 and Apple TV for $149. Sling TV runs well on the lower-priced Apple TV model, and the Siri Remote also supports voice commands to simplify your viewing experience.

Apple TV is a good choice for the iOS household. Besides viewing Sling TV, you can watch movies from the iTunes library, watch the videos you took using your iPhone and play other streaming services.

Google Chromecast

Google offers a simple and inexpensive way to stream Sling TV. Chromecast is a small device that plugs into your HDMI port. You do not need a separate remote since it runs from an app on your smartphone or tablet. The Chromecast costs $35, and the upgraded Chromecast Ultra supports Ultra High Definition 4K programming for $70.

The unit is easy to transport but lacks the Hotel and Dorm Connect feature contained in the Roku Express. You must manually set up a new connection each time you reinstall it.

Chromecast may be a good option if you want to avoid adding a separate box and remote, as the minimalist approach keeps your TV uncluttered.

Google Android TV

Google Android TV

Google Android TV, a different solution than Google Chromecast, is an interesting option for Sling TV streaming. Android TV presents programming content in an organized way, especially when searching for a specific show, background information or type of programming. The remote control supports also voice search. Google Assistant drives access to programs plus all other features associated with this technology.

Android TV is built-in to the Sharp AQUOS and Sony BRAVIA television models, or you can add the $99.99 Mi Box manufactured by Xiaomi to your existing TV.

The NVIDIA SHIELD priced at $179 supports Sling TV using Google Android TV technology. Gamers may enjoy combining their favorite titles with streaming television channels.

This technology is relatively new, so devices are limited. The Google Android TV may be a good Sling TV streaming solution for gamers or people using Android apps.

Samsung TV

The best device for Sling TV may be a Samsung TV. Samsung offers Smart TV in most of their models. Select your favorite Sling TV channels using the Voice Assistant on your remote control, or control your set using the Samsung app loaded on your phone or tablet. Easily find all your Sling channels, apps, movies and over-the-air TV stations in your set.

Samsung is known for their high-quality products. You will find your favorite Sling TV programming on a wide range of models from Full HD, UHD, Premium UHD and QLED Smart TV models.

LG TV

LG has over 60 Smart TV models, and all of them support Sling TV streaming. The Smart TV app controls Sling TV similar to other models in this review. LG is a good choice for a Sling TV device if you want to control it only using your TV set.

Many 2018 LG smart TV models support both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice control commands to enhance Sling TV viewing. Check out LG’s OLED and Super UHD sets to see this feature.

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Do you primarily use Sling TV for most of your programming? If so, the Sling AirTV Player costing $129.99 bundled with the AirTV Adapter is the best device for Sling TV exclusive use. The device is produced by Sling and optimized for their product, making access to other streaming services with the device limited. The remote control quickly accesses Sling programming, and the interface supports easy navigation between Sling channels.

The AirTV Adapter sets this unit apart from the competition. Simply plug the over-the-air antenna in the unit, and the AirTV Player conveniently merges these channels with your Sling channel schedule.

AirTV is an Android application so you can run the thousands of titles available in the store. Simply press the Google button on your remote to run this content.

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You do not need a TV or add-on device to stream your favorite Sling TV channel. The Sling TV app is available for all iOS and Android devices. Simply download the app to your phone, tablet or computer, log in to your account, and enjoy all the channels available to you.

Comparison 

What Is the Best Device For Sling TV?

You can find the best device for Sling TV based on the television you have and viewing habits. You do not need additional equipment if your current smart television supports Sling TV. Roku and Amazon Fire TV offer a variety of devices with different price levels, features, and resolution. Take the Roku Streaming Stick and Streaming Stick+ with you when you travel. Apple TV fits well in homes using multiple Apple iOS devices while Google Android TV supports the Android-based environment. Google Chromecast provides an inexpensive way to stream Sling TV and use your phone as a remote. The Sling AirTV Player coupled with the AirTV adapter works well if you only plan to stream Sling TV, and this is the only option that combines Sling TV channels with over-the-air content in a single programming guide. You can even bypass your TV completely if you want to view Sling TV on your tablet, phone or computer. Simply download the Sling TV app, log on and enjoy your favorite programs.

Sling TV Vs. Cable: Two of The Most Popular Options

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little girl watching tv to illustrate sling tv vs cable

According to some pop culture experts, we’re experiencing a renaissance: the golden age of premium television. With astonishing commercial and critical success, original programs from cable channels, such as HBO, AMC and FX, are winning awards and drawing huge audiences. Streaming services, such as Amazon, Hulu and Netflix, are not only in this mix but in some cases, they’ve surpassed traditional broadcast and cable.

Thanks to devices that connect to high-speed internet, it’s easier than ever to access these shows at home, through many different sources and devices. With so many choices, it can be difficult to determine which is best for your household. Two of the more popular premium television subscription options are Sling TV and cable. There are several factors to consider when weighing Sling TV vs. cable. We’ll look at how each works and the pros and cons of both.

What Is Cable?

Cable is a subscription-based service that delivers a television signal to your home using buried coaxial cable, as opposed to traditional, over-the-air broadcast television, which uses antenna technology. It may surprise you to learn that cable was developed in the late 1940s and became commercially available in the 1950s. As technology advanced and the cost of starting cable channels decreased, the service skyrocketed in popularity and use in the 1980s. Dozens of different providers distribute cable throughout the U.S depending mostly on the region. Some major players in the cable distribution business are Mediacom, Comcast, Cox and CableOne.

What Is Sling TV?

Sling TV is an over-the-top (OTT) streaming service that is accessible by opening an app on an internet-connected device, such as a smart TV, smartphone, tablet, computer, or set-top box like a Roku or Apple TV. Sling was created by DISH TV in the early 2000s to serve a growing market of people who were unhappy with high cable or satellite subscription prices. With the rise of streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, a movement known as “cord-cutting” emerged. Cord-cutters rejected cable and satellite plans, deciding instead to pay lower monthly fees to streaming services individually, and watch local programming free over-the-air (if at all.)

Sling TV was designed to have a much lower monthly price than cable, in hopes of bringing cord-cutters back to premium channels. Sling TV is a streaming platform similar to the others mentioned. It is accessible using an app on smartphones, set-top-boxes, smart TVs, or tablets. Subscribers choose from three simple plans with streamlined lineups to receive cable channels.

Positive in Cable

Infrastructure, Accessibility and Reliability

We’ve bundled these three topics together because they are so closely related. While cable has technically existed almost as long as television, it rose to prominence in the 1970s and 1980s. Because of this, cable companies have had decades to expand their footprints, running cables through the ground and reaching even seemingly remote locations. That long-standing and ever-growing infrastructure has created incredible accessibility. Some form of cable TV is available nearly everywhere, which you could not say of high-speed internet.

That infrastructure has also led to great reliability. Since cable lies buried deep in the ground, it is rarely affected by weather and rarely “goes out.” Short of catastrophic events or power outages, cable generally delivers as promised. If there are issues, most major cable companies have local service technicians available to investigate problems and repair them.

Wide Range of Channels

Thirty-plus years of business have also enabled the cable industry to cultivate a wide selection of channels, due in no small part to long-standing deals and business relationships that have spanned decades. As the cable TV business model has evolved, so have the business models for the channels themselves. Many offer multiple channels to expand or spread out their programming, such as MTV with MTV2 or ESPN with ESPN2.

Since it’s very common for a large media corporation to own several television properties, they will often negotiate for cable providers to take all their subsidiaries or risk not receiving their most popular offering. As we look at the channel lineups of Sling TV vs. cable side by side, you’ll see this is a big pro for cable.

Negative in Cable

Price and Contracts

It is not uncommon for cable packages to cost north of $100 per month. While cable companies do frequently offer promotional or sign-on discounts, and most major providers have “lower-tier” packages, they’re carefully constructed to leave some popular channels in the higher-priced offerings.

You may also find add-on charges to be a negative with cable. Your regular package likely won’t include premium channels, such as HBO or Showtime, and if you want to add them, you’ll see your bill get much larger quite quickly. Even more upsetting to some cable subscribers are “hidden” fees. You may pay for installation or service, but you may also pay monthly fees for rental of equipment, such as DVRs.

To qualify for promotional discounts, cable companies often require subscribers to sign on for two-year contracts with penalties to pay if they wish to cancel early. Some cable companies “bundle” their television service with internet or phone service. While this does technically lower the price of the television service itself, it still requires long term commitments and large monthly checks from subscribers.

Lack of Channel Choice

While cable generally offers a very impressive and broad range of channels, customers may be frustrated by the fact that they are paying for channels they never watch and would rather replace with others. Because of their carriage deals with the channel groups’ owners, cable does not give you the ability to “mix-and-match” and customize your lineup.

This is often a sticky issue with sports packages. As cable’s channel lineups have expanded, they have been able to offer regional channels that cater specifically to college games of interest to people in a given area. But those channels are usually on a higher-tier plan or part of a premium add-on bundle with a high price tag.

Pros

  • Infrastructure
  • Accessibility
  • Reliability
  • Wide range of channels

Cable has the advantage of having been the dominant premium television provider for over 30 years, which has led to these factors

Cons

  • Price
  • Contracts
  • Lack of Channel Choice

While cable scores highly with its accessibility, reliability and large channel lineup, it does have some key disadvantages

Positive in Sling TV

Price

Sling has three plans, all under $50 a month. They start at just $25 a month, with extra “add-on” and premium channel bundles starting at just $5 a month each. Even with the highest-priced plans and a few add-ons, the monthly price is still a long way from the cost of cable.

Customizable Plans

The three plans Sling TV offers are:

  • Sling Orange-the classic plan of over 20 channels, including ESPN and Disney
  • Sling Blue-a plan of over 30 channels that includes many FOX-owned channels, including FOX Sports and FXX
  • Sling Orange + Blue-both plans combined
These plans have a concise channel lineup. While it’s not a truly “mix-and-match” or “a la carte” menu of channels, subscribers have comparable choices and can combine the two plans at a less expensive rate.


Month-to-Month Payment

As opposed to two-year cable contracts, Sling TV customers simply pay month-to-month, starting with an automatic withdrawal on for the first month when they first sign up. After that, there are no built-in price hikes or commitments, and cancellation is easy to do online, should they ever wish to stop the service. That may seem like a small and practical thing, but many cable companies insist that subscribers cancel over the phone so they can attempt to sway them or offer them a temporary discount to keep their plan.

Out-of-Home Access and DVR

Since Sling TV is an internet-based service, it has the luxury of being able to make itself available across most internet-connected devices on the market today. That doesn’t just mean you can watch Sling TV on your smartphone at home, but anywhere you have a strong enough internet connection to support the stream.

This is very useful if you’re a frequent traveler, or someone with a long commute by bus or train. If you subscribe to Sling Blue or Sling Orange + Blue, you will have “multi-stream access.” That means that someone can be watching a program on a device at your home, while you watch a different show on a different device remotely. With Sling Blue, you receive up to three streams. With Sling Orange + Blue, you can get up to four.

To make this feature even more appealing, Sling TV offers a digital video recorder (DVR) feature. The DVR is a virtual, cloud-based system that allows you to record and store up to 50 hours of HD programming. You can automatically schedule it to record new episodes of your favorite shows and have them available on-demand, and across devices.

Negative in Sling TV

Reliance on the Internet

One of the negatives of an internet-based streaming service is that it depends so heavily on a strong and consistent internet connection. While this may sound like a non-issue in this day and age, consider that even with a strong wired internet connection, significant signal loss occurs when one connects multiple devices across a wireless network. You can typically expect to receive 30 to 40% of your wired internet signal strength on a wireless network. If you’re in an area where internet speeds are slow, or if you access the internet through a DSL line via a phone jack, you may not be able to access Sling TV at in high definition, or at all, from time to time.

This also, of course, affects Sling TV subscribers’ ability to access their content with mobile devices. Before, we mentioned the convenience of being able to access content on a long commute. If you’re riding a subway or other type of metro transit to work, passing the time while watching a program you’ve saved to your DVR or streaming a live sports event sounds great. Unfortunately, if you’re taking one of those forms of public transportation, you’re not likely to have a strong, free, public wireless internet signal to connect with.

Even if you have a large or unlimited data plan with your device, it may not have reliable enough coverage to give you a pleasant viewing experience. Ironically, this is a bigger problem in larger cities, where 5G/LTE/Broadband companies can’t keep up with the demand from users who are constantly streaming from their networks.

Fewer Channel Options

We looked at how cable providers have been able to amass such a collection of channels over time. Since Sling TV is still an emerging platform, and many companies see it as a direct threat to the traditional cable television model, that limits the number of channels Sling TV has on its roster. While Sling TV’s add-on packages make up for some of this, subscribers may still find some big holes in their desired channel lineup.

Along similar lines, Sling TV users may be frustrated by the single-stream nature of the Sling Orange plan, especially if multiple family members are trying to access programming at the same time. Sling Blue’s multi-stream plan can help with this, but since not all of Sling Orange’s channels are part of that lineup, viewers who need multi-stream capabilities may have to upgrade to the more expensive Stream Orange + Blue plan to get the streaming power they desire.

Lack of Local Stations

Due to complex FCC regulations, the broadcast rights for local television stations must be negotiated market by market. With over 210 television markets in the United States, Sling TV is not able to provide local channels to each. In most cases, Sling can offer programming from the major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, etc.) but not locally-generated content like news and lifestyle programs.

While this may not be a major concern for some, it can become an issue during breaking news or severe weather events. Not having local stations available across the board is a disadvantage.

Pros

  • Price
  • Customizable plans
  • Month-to-month payment
  • Out of home access and DVR

Sling TV has some very appealing things going for it. Notably:

Cons

  • Reliance on the internet
  • Fewer channel options
  • Lack of local stations

We’ve looked at some fantastic selling points for Sling TV, but there are some downsides. They include:

So, Which Is Better?

It may sound wishy-washy, but the answer is essentially “it depends on you.” Let’s look at the following primary factors for many viewers:

  • Price
  • Picture Quality
  • Mobile Access
  • Channel Selection

If Price Is Your Main Concern… You’ll find the Sling TV pricing plan to be cheaper than almost any cable plan, oftentimes even including some of Sling’s add-ons. In many cases, Sling’s price may be half of cable’s or less.

If Picture Quality Is Your Main Concern…

Grading on picture quality technically could go either way, but only if you have an invincible internet connection. Cable gets the edge here, for all its previously mentioned infrastructure, accessibility and reliability. The quality and consistency of Sling TV’s resolution are tied too closely to the subscriber’s internet speed, which may be completely out of his or her control, depending on the situation.


If Mobile Access Is Your Main Concern…

For the most part, cable providers are hesitant to provide unrestricted mobile access to their subscribers. Sling TV, on the other hand, has leaned into this concept and embraced it whole-heartedly. It doesn’t look like any cable provider of note will be able to offer a full mobile package any time soon, and it will probably come at a premium cost if and when it comes at all.

Sling TV’s out-of-home capabilities make it the winner in this department, hands down. It’s been one of their most appealing features since they launched, and the number of mobile devices that can be used to access content has grown greatly since then.


If Channel Selection Is Your Main Concern…

Channel selection is tricky because it could go either way. If you want to have as many channels as possible at your fingertips, cable is clearly the better option. If you want to make sure you can watch your local channels, cable is more than likely your best bet. If you want to be able to pick and choose a smaller lineup of channels that suit your interests, Sling TV wins with its more customizable packages.

There is ultimately no definitive right or wrong answer to the “Sling TV vs. cable” question. In the end, it boils down to what matters to you. If you want to save money, Sling TV is for you. If you want more channels, cable is for you. If you want mobile access, Sling TV is for you. If you want a more consistent, reliable signal, cable is for you. The great news for consumers is that the premium television landscape is more competitive than ever before. Since cable is no longer quite the dominant force in this field that it once was, most cable providers are becoming more flexible and customer service-oriented in an effort to keep their subscribers from cutting the cord. Sling TV’s features and lineups have evolved over the years, and they continue to expand. You have more options than ever, and those options are only becoming more and more customizable and friendly to television lovers everywhere.

Vizio P Series Vs. M Series: The TV Comparison About Each Series

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vizio m series led lcd internet smart tv to illustrate vizio p series vs m series

As you begin shopping for televisions, it can be difficult to make a choice. There are so many options, and sometimes there seems to be little difference from one to the other. This is especially true when you start comparing televisions from the same brand. However, making such comparisons can help you a great deal to get the best value and overall product.  After all, even the different brands have some variances among their products even when they look very similar.

Sometimes the little differences can make a huge difference. So, it helps to compare within brands when you are looking at the different series offered. You can think about a series as being similar to how different car models often have different trim package options. For example, a specific model may have a sports version and a hatchback version. This is how a series works. The main build is the same, but the features are different from series to series.

We want to help you out as you try to navigate the differences between the different series from Vizio. Trying to gather information and compare two TVs can be time-consuming. That is why we took two options from Vizio and compared them. We will look at the Vizio P series vs. M series to get you the details on how these two series compare. Next, we will give you an overview of each series, including a short review. Finally, we will end with a comparison and a recommendation on which series would make the best buy.

About the Vizio P Series

(VIZIO) RED P-Series 55" Class 4K HDR Smart TV (2018)
  • Dolby Vision HDR: premium 4K HDR picture with a dramatically expanded range of color,...
  • Ultra color spectrum: delivers over 1 billion colors, displaying every hue and tone with...
  • Ultra bright 1000: with up to 1000 nits of peak brightness, this P series TV produces a...

The Vizio P series comes in sizes ranging from 55 inches to 75 inches. They sell for $799.99 to $1,899.99. The TVs in this series are all 4K HDR Smart TVs. They feature Active Full Array Pro, UltraBright 1000 and Ultra Color Spectrum for brilliant image quality. They also have Google Chromecast built-in and run on the SmartCast operating system. This series has a bezel-less screen design.

When looking at the picture quality, this series provides you with the ultra HD experience that offers you four times the resolution you get with full HD. This means details are crisper and the viewing experience is of higher quality. The TVs can also upscale content to 4K smoothly. They offer you depth and brightness that excel beyond expectations, giving you deep blacks and bright whites for amazing contrast. The series features up to 120 dimming zones that allow for this detail in the highlights and shadows to sharpen the overall image quality. Not to mention that with over one billion colors, the display is vivid and life-like.

Furthermore, picture stabilization helps to remove blurring for a clear picture. The overall smoothness is enhanced thanks to the 240 Hz effective refresh rate. Finally, the octa-core processor delivers fast speeds for a seamless performance.

The SmartCast operating system allows you to use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to control the TV with your voice. This OS also has some built-in apps for streaming. For additional apps, you use your smartphone to download the Vizio SmartCast mobile app. From the app, you can download and manage your smart TV. With this series, you can also do more. Some of the additional tasks your TV can handle include the following.

  • Share photos and videos
  • Listen to music
  • Mirror your laptop or mobile device
  • Browse the web
  • Stream social content
The P series comes with a nice selection of connection options to give you a chance to add-on or connect whatever you need. The connections include:​
  • RF antenna tuner input
  • One USB port
  • One component/composite video input
  • Stereo analog audio output
  • Optical digital audio output
  • One HDMI version 1.4, 1080p
  • Ethernet port
  • Four HDMI version 2.0, HDCP 2.2

P Series Reviews

The P series gets fairly good reviews with one glaring issue that you will find across all Vizio series. First, you should know that these TVs do live up to the promises from Vizio for image quality. They handle blacks well and manage contrast nicely. The picture is clear and sharp. The colors are on target as well. Overall, this is a good value because where it falls price-wise, you can get a good deal for your money.

This series does stand out as far as dimming. With brands like Samsung and LG, you won't get full-array local dimming unless you are willing to pay a lot for it. With this series, you get it at a good price. It greatly improves the image quality, specifically the black and white handling. With HDR, it improves even more. Add this to the 120 Hz refresh rate for even more excellence in the picture quality. Furthermore, the processing matches those higher-end brands quite well.

The smart TV aspect of the P series is lacking. The operating system is not user-friendly. You have to control all smart TV functions using an app you download on your mobile device. You cannot do it on-screen. In fact, the on-screen options are quite limited. In addition, the SmartCast OS is slow and just not as responsive as alternatives. However, since you have five HDMI ports, you can always buy a streaming device to plug in and remove this issue.

About the Vizio M Series

VIZIO SmartCast M-Series 65" Class Ultra HD HDR XLED Plus Display...
  • View extraordinary color depth and range with remarkably sharp Ultra HD
  • LED backlight adapts brightness level to focus on peak brightness for heightened contrast
  • Intuitive control allows you to command your TV and entertainment system from your remote...

The Vizio M series comes in sizes ranging from 55 inches to 70 inches. They are marked for sale from $699.99 - $1,299.99. These are 4K HDR Smart TVs. Each features excellent picture quality thanks to technology that includes Active Full Array Plus, UltraBright 600 and Dolby Vision. The smart TV operating system is SmartCast, which is Vizio's own platform. All the TVs also have Google Chromecast built in. They all have a bezel-less screen design.

You can expect amazing detail from the M series with clarity that comes from the eight million pixels. When comparing to the 1080p technology, 4K offers four times the resolution. This translates into clearer, sharper images. In addition, the brightness is better, and the contrast with deep blacks is stunning. Even the color looks better and truer.

The M series is also able to scale content to 4K from HD and Full HD. The Clear Action 360 feature allows you to get a more stable picture with fewer issues or blurring. The 120 Hz effective refresh rate also adds to the smoothness of the overall picture. Finally, the TV is running on an octa-core processor for ultimate power and precision.

The smart TV functions use SmartCast, which is a limited platform for streaming. This can be advanced through downloading the SmartCast mobile app. This app lets you manage your smart TV functions. You can download more apps and customize your experience better. In addition, your smart TV allows you to do these other functions.

  • Share photos and videos
  • Mirror your laptop or mobile
  • Stream web content
  • Browse the web
  • Listen to music

When it comes to connections, you get enough options to hook up whatever external devices or add-ons that you want. Here are your connection options included in the P series.

  • Optical digital audio output
  • RF antenna tuner input
  • One USB port
  • Ethernet port
  • Four HDMI, version 2.0
  • Stereo analog audio output
  • One component/composite video input

M Series Review

Overall, the M series offers a nice picture quality at a good price. It is a good value because you get a lot for your money when it comes to the quality of the display. The black handling is done well, producing great contrast. Vizio provides full-array local dimming at much lower price points than its competitors. This means you get more and pay less. The dimming helps a lot with making images sharper and more realistic. The contrast between the shadows of blacks and the highlights of whites is increased for a nice picture that is more pleasing. In addition, it looks better in HDR, and you don't have as many uniformity issues.

Now, there are a couple of issues to talk about with this series. First, the refresh rate promised by Vizio in the specifications is not accurate. These TVs have a 60 Hz refresh rate. This can cause some reaction issues and lead to blurry images in scenes with a lot of movement.

Another big issue is that the SmartCast platform just isn't easy to use. You need the mobile app if you want to use this TV as a smart TV. Some people won't be happy with this requirement. There are too many other options on the market offering a better smart TV interface that makes it simple to stream. This could be something that causes issues for people who do not subscribe to cable or satellite and rely on streaming services. The best option is to hook up an external streaming device.

Vizio P Series Vs. M Series

Before we start talking about the similarities and differences in our comparison of the Vizio P series vs. M Series, let's give you a rundown on the specifications for each.

​Product​​​​​

​Details


Vizio P65-E1 P-Series 65' Full Array LED Smart TV

  • 55 inches to 75 inches
  • $799.99 to $1,899.99
  • 4K HDR Smart TVs
  • Active Full Array Pro
  • UltraBright 1000
  • Ultra Color Spectrum
  • Google Chromecast
  • SmartCast operating system
  • Bezel-less screen design
  • Up to 120 dimming zones
  • 240 Hz effective refresh rate
  • Connections:
    • RF antenna tuner input
    • One USB port
    • One component/composite video input
    • Stereo analog audio output
    • Ethernet port
    • Optical digital audio output
    • One HDMI version 1.4, 1080p
    • Four HDMI version 2.0, HDCP 2.2

Vizio M-Series M552i-B2 55' 1080p HD LED LCD Internet Smart TV

  • 55 inches to 70 inches
  • $699.99 - $1,299.99
  • 4K HDR Smart TVs
  • Active Full Array Plus
  • UltraBright 600
  • Dolby Vision
  • SmartCast operating system
  • Google Chromecast
  • Bezel-less screen design
  • 120 Hz effective refresh rate
  • Connections:
    • Optical digital audio output
    • RF antenna tuner input
    • One USB port
    • Ethernet port
    • Four HDMI, version 2.0
    • Stereo analog audio output
    • One component/composite video input

To begin, the sizes of both series are pretty comparable. You can get the P series up to 75 inches whereas the M series is only offered up to 70 inches. Five inches may not seem like a huge difference, and it may not be to some people, but to many, that five inches will be a deciding factor. So, it is worth keeping in mind. You should think about your space and whether the extra five inches would even fit if you are thinking about choosing the P series just because you can get a bigger sized set.

Moving to look at the price, you’ll notice the P series sells at a slightly higher price point, but you will soon learn why that is. It is important to note that often pricing directly reflects what a TV can do. It isn't a good idea to make a decision on price alone. You could pass up a better option that would be a better value by just considering the price.

Let's dig into the specifications that tell us about how the TVs from these two series function. The main thing you will see is the P series is better than the M series on many points when it comes to overall function. It is a higher-level series and has always been intended to offer something better to consumers.

With both series, you get the Active Full Array, but you get the Pro version with the P series and just get the Plus version with the M series. Pro is going to be more responsive and deliver better image quality overall. Since the whole point of your television is a to find the best viewing experience, this is something to consider heavily.

Another example of a slightly better specification is the P series has UltraBright 1000 whereas the M series only has UltraBright 600. This will affect colors. It may not be a huge deal right now as shows and movies may not seem different between the two sets, but as technology advances, it soon will become important. For the longevity of your purchase, keep this in mind.

The P series has a 240 Hz refresh rate. The M series has a 120 Hz refresh rate. The refresh rate directly affects how smooth your picture is. When viewing TV shows and movies, you may not realize the difference, but if you play games on your TV, then you should look into this more. The difference is pretty big and could impact your gaming experience.

All of these differences add up to a significant difference in the picture quality. Viewing on the P series will have an edge over viewing on the M series. It depends on how much value you put into the overall picture quality. For some people, this is the most important factor. For others, the subtle differences and improvements may not be as huge of a deal. This is especially true if either series would be an upgrade for you. For example, if you have never had a 4K TV, then you will probably think both pictures look amazing.

Both series offers decent picture quality overall, but you may notice the P series is better than the M series if you have discerning tastes. If picture quality is very important to you, then this is something to note. It is especially worth noting that there is not a huge price difference between the series, so this could be the main tipping point that leads you to choose the P series over the M series.

Beyond the picture quality specifications, the only other difference is in the connections. The P series offers options in the HDMI connections. You get one version 1.4 port and four version 2.0 ports. With the M series, you get four version 2.0 ports. Depending on what you want to connect, this could be an issue, and again, it could play into your final decision. Connections may not seem like a huge deal, but once you start using your television, you will want to be sure it has all the connections you need. It is well worth your time to do some research into what you need before making a final decision.

Everything else about these series pretty much lines up evenly. Since they are both from Vizio, you get the brand's smart TV interface, which consumers do not feel is really all that great. Of course, you can always use another interface if you want. If you are looking at Vizio, though, that is something you know going in since all the brand's smart TVs use it.

Conclusion

The comparison between the P series and the M series pretty much shows a distinct winner. The P series comes out on top. However, you will pay more for TVs from this series than those from the M series, so it isn't an even playing field when you take that into consideration. Honestly, though, if picture quality is your main focus, it is worth going with the P series, but you still won't do worse if you do buy from the M series because they are also exceptional TVs.

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