I tried Sling TV last month, and I did like it. For personal reasons, I have been perusing the streaming services with live channels. Sling’s interface works well, the DVR was easy to use, and the channel lineup was good for the price. And already having an antenna for local channels, it would be an ideal compliment to my broadcast/TV service for which I use a TiVo box as well as Plex running on my Synology NAS (Sling TV does not offer local channels). However, I almost immediately discovered a serious lack of product support that caused me to cancel the service, where otherwise I may still be subscribed to Sling here in 2023.
My home network is heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem. I leverage several HomePods, mostly for music but sometimes as television speakers. Primarily I use the HomePod in my bedroom as a television speaker when I watch television before I go to sleep. An Apple TV device provides my entertainment connectivity to my bedroom television, and the Apple TV links to the bedroom’s HomePod.
One the first night I had Sling TV, though I had already used it in my living room (which has an LG soundbar), late evening was the first time I tried Sling TV on the Apple TV connected to the bedroom television. After I launched the Sling TV app, signed in, and opened a channel, I was surprised there was no sound through my HomePod. I checked the connection, and the HomePod was there and online. I even restarted both the Apple TV and HomePod, still no sound! And no sound only with Sling TV, as I tried another app, and there was sound via the HomePod.
A quick Internet search revealed that the Sling TV app on Apple TV does not support Apple HomePods, and has not for several years. Though I could find no official notice, it appears Sling has no plans to fix the issue. This is really unfortunate as Sling’s TV streaming service is really nice and, again, a great compliment if you leverage a broadcast antenna for local channels like I do.
For the record, the Apple TV apps for Amazon Prime, Plex.tv, Hulu, Disney+, ESPN+, and AppleTV+ all work fine via Apple TV leveraging a HomePod for television audio. It’s a shame Sling TV allows itself such a competitive disadvantage.