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Slingbox Users Furious About Ads

Sunday, March 29th, 2015 by | Filed Under: TV Tech

Slingbox users are up in arms over the addition of ads to the Slingbox desktop player. If you aren’t familiar with Slingbox, the device works with your TV, cable box or DVR to send programming from those devices to an app. That app allows you to watch your programming on your computer, smartphone, or tablet.

Unlike many services, Slingbox will let you watch anything from your home DVR on your mobile device. You can watch live TV, play and manage DVR recording, and also watch on a second TV using streaming boxes like Apple TV, Chromecast or Roku.  This device comes in models costing between $100 to $299, but there is no monthly fee after that initial purchase. You still have to pay for your cable, but you can watch all the channels anywhere you want.


This is not to be confused with Sling TV, a subscription streaming service that does not require you to purchase a particular device.

Slingbox recently added banner ads to the bottom of the player you use to watch content on the desktop of your computers. It looks similar to the way that YouTube and other players feature advertising. Slingbox users are furious about the addition of the ads.

Many users posted in the forum for Slingbox that ads ruin the entire viewing experience.


The reasons behind the addition of ads is probably simple. Since Slingbox doesn’t charge a subscription fee, they count on revenue from the purchase of the Slingbox device to keep their service up and running. As more and more services offer similar streaming to apps, the demand for Slingbox devices falls.

The company has to find cash to keep the service running and banner ads are a way to add revenue. Slingbox can’t insert commercials into the content, so displaying the banner ads at the bottom of the player may be their only option to generate revenue.

 ~ Cynthia

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16 Responses to “Slingbox Users Furious About Ads”

  1. Paul says:

    Much as the Slingbox users in this article, I found it frustrating that I could not get rid of the “Like what you see here? Subscribe to ….” Box that established to the top of my phone’s screen, but worse than the Slingbox ads in that it covered a large portion of the text in the article (on an already smallbsmartphone screen.”

    I am aware that it likely would have gone away if I subscribed, but there was no other way to close it and let me read the article as it was meant to be read.

    • MarkJ says:


      I would say your comment explains why the person writing the tip was so sympathetic to the SlingBox position. They themselves are doing the exact same thing and for the same reason. Not to maintain their revenue but to grow it.

    • cynthia says:

      Paul, you should be able to close the subscription offer by tapping the x in the corner of the box.

  2. NO SLINGBOX ADS! says:

    Slingbox cant charge a subscription fee because it is not their content!! You the slingbox owner stream your own content.

    The Slingbox owner has purchased the box to stream their own content privately. Once the box is purchased it is really nothing more to do with Sling Media.

    It is not their content it belongs to the slingbox owner. This is what makes these ads so outrageous.

  3. IRgEEK says:

    I’ve been a loyal Slingbox customer since they started and the ads are BS! In the browser is one thing, but when in full screen/theater mode it *COMPLETELY* ruins the ‘home theater’ experience.

  4. Peter P says:

    I fully agree with the outrage of other Slingbox owners: I paid for a device (and it does not come cheap). If Slingbox gets away with this then why would Samsung, Sony etc not start the same on TVs? As others said Slingbox has nothing to do with the content I stream. If they cannot make ends meet with the sale of their hardware then there is a problem with their business model. Forcing customers to accept advertisements is stupid and will chase their customer base away. As for myself I have moved to Netflix and Hulu and will stop using my Slingbox. Sorry Slingbox this was a really DUMB idea.

  5. Mike says:

    I am DISGUSTED with Sling Media. I curse them every time I open my Sling Box app on my computer and am forced to sit through 30-60 seconds of ads. I will never buy another Sling Media product. EVER!

  6. Steve says:

    I have been a slingbox user since they started. The banner ads ruin my workstation and are a complete invasion of my space. I will never buy one of their products again. With short term decisions like this I wouldnt expect the product line to be around much longer. New slingbox purchasers do their research and will read posts like these.

  7. Jon says:

    I agree. You buy the box free and clear. Slingbox is a good product gone wrong and if they don’t update the web/software to get rid of the ads I say a class action lawsuit is around the corner.

    • cynthia says:

      The catch with that Jon, is because of the declining sales, there’s no income coming in to enable the company to keep the service running. So the end of ads would mean the end of the service. Even with the ads, it seems unlikely that SlingBox will be able to keep going much longer.

      • Frankue says:

        Here in Canada, Bell Canada uses Sling software on their backend web servers for Remote PVR functionality of their satellite boxes, perhaps even for their Fibe service (I don’t know). Bell Satellite uses Dish Network hardware, thus I assume the Dish is using the same web backend as Bell. So Sling Media does have alternative revenue sources, and doesn’t “need” to insert ads into their frontend products. However, shareholders probably demand so.

  8. steve says:

    Oh poor SlingMedia…what a load of bull having to watch ads after paying serious money for the device…this is another incursion onto private property (my computer)by the business sector…it really is offensive. Perhaps they should find efficiencies in other areas of the company, like staff and bloated salaries, for instance.

  9. Joe says:

    My Audio is out of sync on my SlingBox Pro on my Windows 10 system and the only way it seems to fix it is to buy a new Slingbox, but I’d rather the audio be out of sync then spend a bunch of money on yet a new Slingbox just to then be forced fed Ad’s!!! So I refuse to buy a new Slingbox. Is there anyone else in this area?

  10. Marty K says:

    Is there an alternative? I am in!

    Was going to but a new sling box but never will now

  11. Hoo says:

    I had researched and decided on a Sling product, but have been frightened off

  12. Dale says:

    I too have used slingbox said as I work overseas. My wife has one and I have one hooked to separate DVRs. We will never buy another one due to these ads. There are too much new technology out there to become victims to Slingbox. I used to tell other expats to get one but now I tell them not to bother…

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