Sling TV is an American over the top (OTT) media streaming company that streams TV channels live online. By doing so, they allow users to potentially replace their expensive cable or satellite subscription with their service. In our review of Sling TV, we’ll go over the service to provide you with an in-depth view to help you decide if the service is right for you. Sling TV acts as a virtual content provider so users may watch from anywhere. As internet speeds continue to increase and costs go down, many see the service as a great alternative to cable. Best of all, Sling TV is offering a 7 day free trial to help you get started.
The Sling TV streaming service was launched at the Consumer Electronics Show on January 5th, 2015. The company is owned by the Dish Network, which I’m sure helped them get the licensing rights to many popular TV channels. When Sling TV launched they were one of the first services to stream live TV. The cable and satellite industry was not yet aware of the full impact online streaming would have on their business models. Since then, the companies have begun to pay more attention. Members of Sling TV pay a monthly subscription fee, based on the channels they want. They may also drop or add channels without the need for a contract. The service is only available in the United States. If you plan to travel outside the US, you will need a VPN to access the service.
Sling TV Packages and Channel List
Prices for this service start at $20 a month for the Orange package. For that amount, you get more than 30 channels. As opposed to paying for channels you don’t want or need, you pay significantly less than you would with cable. In other words, you can watch cable channels without the cable cost. There are several packages available and you can combine them, so lets take a look at them. The “Extra” packages are all $5 a month per package. You can sign up for free trial, so feel free to try Sling TV free for 7 days so you can test the service.
Let’s start by taking a look at the Sling TV core channel packages:
- Sling Orange ($20) – the Sling TV Orange package gives you access to popular TV channels to stream live shows, sports, news, and more for just $20 a month. The channel lineup includes ESPN, AMC, CNN, HGTV, Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, History Channel, Disney Channel, ESPN2, ESPN3, TNT, Food Network, TBS, BBC America, Freeform, IFC, Tribeca Shortlist, A&E, Viceland, Lifetime, Travel Channel, AXS TV, Newsy, Cheddar, Bloomberg Television, Local Now, Flama, and Galavisión.
- Sling Blue ($25) – the Sling TV blue package focuses on local favorites and regional sports. Sling Blue includes Fox and NBC regional sports channels where available. This package costs just $25 a month. The channel lineup includes Fox, NBC, Fox Regional Sports networks, NBC Regional Sports networks, NFL Network, AMC, FX, CNN, HGTV, Comedy Central, USA, Cartoon Network, History Channel, TNT, Bravo, Food Network, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, NBC Sports Network (NBCSN), TBS, BBC America, FXX, SYFY, Nick Jr., IFC, Tribeca Shortlist, A&E, El Rey, Viceland, truTV, Lifetime, Travel Channel, AXS TV, BET, National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, Newsy, Cheddar, Bloomberg TV, Local Now, Univision, UniMás, Flama, and Galavisión.
Live local channels are available in some areas as follows:
- Sling Orange – The broadcast extra package includes ABC, Univision, and Unimas in Chicago, Fresno-Visalia, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham, and San Francisco.
- Sling Blue – Fox and NBC affiliates are available in select markets.
You can also purchase additional channel packs a la carte:
- Sports Extra ($5) – Campus Insiders, NBA TV, NHL Network, Outside Television, Pac-12, Univsion Deportes, beIN Sports, ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Buzzer Bearer, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN-SEC Network, ESPN-SEC Network+, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, Motorsport TV, NFL Redzone, and the Golf Channel.
- Comedy Extra ($5) – Though you may not consider some of these channels comedy, it includes, TruTV, CMT, GSN, Logo, MTV, MTV2, Spike, TV Land, and El Rey.
- Kids Extra ($5) – Disney Junior, Disney XD, Nick Jr, Nicktoons, Teennick, Boomerang, Sling Kids, BabyTV and DuckTV.
- News Extra ($5) – Includes BBC World News, CGTN, Euronews, France24, HLN, NDTV 24×7, News18, RT Network, TheBlaze, Fusion, CNBC, and MSNBC.
- Lifestyle Extra ($5) – This one includes VH1, BET, DIY, FYI, Hallmark Channel, We TV, Cooking Channel, LMN, Vibrant, Living, and Afro.
- Hollywood Extra ($5) – Epix, Epix2, Epix Hits, Epix Drive-in, Sundance TV, TCM, Fandor, and HDNET Movies.
- Heartland Extra ($5) – World Fishing Network, Sportsman Channel, Outdoor channel, RFD-TV, PixL. amd FamilyNet.
- Broadcast Extra ($5) – Unimas, Univision, and ABC. The first two are part of the Blue package.
Premium Channels – These include Cinemax for $10/mo, Showtime for $10/mo, HBO for $15/mo, and Starz for $9/mo.
You can add kids extra, comedy extra, news extra, and lifestyle extra for $10/mo. That is a savings of half, if you want all of them.
Sling TV Features
DVR – In addition to live TV, Sling TV offers Digital Video Recording (DVR) at a rate of $5/mo for 50 hours of storage. Though the service does not have expiration date on the length of time it keeps shows or movies, it does not allow you to skip commercials, either. Also, it does not allow you to DVR Disney-owned channels like ESPN, ESPN2, Disney Channel, Freeform, and more. Though this is a pain, it may give you an excuse to watch the show live instead of waiting until later. This is available on Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Android mobile devices, Apple TV, Roku, and Xbox One. Service for iOS, Windows 10, and AirTV are going to be out soon.
On Demand – Quite a few of the Sling TV channels offer movies or TV shows that you can watch on demand. That is a real benefit if you happened to miss a movie or TV show. It is also helpful if you want to watch episodes again before the new season. Because some shows like Game of Thrones have so few episodes, many find it helpful to review past seasons again or come up with new theories. Keep in mind though that some channels may not offer every episode of every season.
Channel Guide – If you are familiar with the channel guide you have seen on cable or satellite providers, you know what this is. At this time, it is only available on Roku and Android TV devices. However, you can expect to see it spread to the other platforms soon.
The list of devices that you can use to watch Sling TV is quite large. We will give you the most well known, but the full list is available on their website. They include, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Chromecast, Android TV, iOS, LG web OS, Android, Windows, Mac, Xbox, and more. You can see there are many different options to choose from. If you have questions, their FAQ section is good.
Here’s a full list of devices that officially support Sling TV:
- TV & Video Players – Apple TV (4th generation), Amazon Fire TV, Roku LT and higher, Chromecast, Android TV, Mi, LeEco, AirTV Player, ZTE, Channel Master, and LG webOS 3.0
- Phones and Tablets – iOS 9 and higher, Android 4.4 and higher, Amazon Fire with Android 4.4.2+
- Gaming Consoles – Xbox One
- Laptops and Computers – Windows 10, Mac OS X Lion 10.7 and higher
As we finish this Sling TV review, we can say that the service offers good options to those who want to cut the cord. Even with quite a few extra packages, you could save some money. Additionally, you don’t have to be limited by the monopolies of the major cable companies or satellite dish providers. If you have thought about cutting the cord and dumping cable or satellite service, we highly suggest you give Sling TV a shot.