Flexibility, Premium Content, Live TV at a Price we Can Afford
We Asked, Sling TV Delivered!
When I speak to people about my Cable TV Alternative setup, one of the first responses I get is:
What is Sling TV?
So let’s take a deep dive on this question, as I look to provide the most comprehensive post on the topic available. Sling TV is a cord cutter’s dream come true. At only $20-per-month, thier live TV package comes with 16 channels, including ESPN, History, AMC, CNN, TNT, HDTV and the Disney Channel.
Keep reading to learn about their 7-day free trial.
In the world of streaming services, things are changing every day. I can’t go one day without finding something new on my Netflix queue, and there’s always something popping up on Hulu. But perhaps the biggest change to the streaming community as of late has been the addition of the new service: Sling TV.
Produced by Dish Network, Sling TV is a streaming service unlike any other competitor. Instead of streaming on-demand video, Sling TV gives you access to 24 streamable live channels for $20 a month (with a 7 Day Free Trial). In addition, you can add on extra channel packages for $5 more a month.
“Our strategy is to have a low price basic package and then you can take these genre packs. If you have kids, buy a “kids pack” and get 6 or 7 other kids channels. If you want more sports, ESPN, ESPN2 is in the basic package, you can get more sports. ” ~ Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch
The best part about Sling TV is that you pay month-to-month; which means that there are no lengthy contracts or termination fees. If you want low-cost, low-commitment, television; Sling TV is right up your alley!
They even offer Sling Latino for Spanish speaking cord cutters (only $12 a month).
Today we’re going to take a look some of the channel packages offered by Sling TV see how that will affect your content as a cord cutter. Without further ado, let’s get started!
Sling TV Pricing
In the beginning, Sling TV had only one subscription plan for $20 and a handful of $5 add-ons, but recently Sling TV rolled out its new three tiered pricing plan. Those three options are Orange, Blue, and a combined package.
Here’s what each plan has to offer:
- Orange – This plan is the most similar to the original Sling TV plan, and at $20 it’s the cheapest. This plan will give you access to 28 television channels; including ESPN 1 & 2. This is a great option for people who want a bare bones package with a small number of channels and an even smaller price.
- Blue – At $25 this plan is slightly more expensive. However, once you subscribe, you’ll know where that extra $5 went. This option gives you 18 additional channels, include both FX networks, Fox Sports, NBC Sports and Nick Jr. The only downside is that you won’t get ESPN network; but if you’re not a sports fan then it’s of little concern to you. But if you are a sports fan, you might want to check out the third option.
- Combined – Offering a slight discount for the trouble, the combined package is the best of both worlds. This package gives you everything from both Blue and Orange package; which means ESPN, FX, and NBC Sports can co-exist as one big happy family. The downside is that, at $40 a month, it’s the most expensive package; veering Sling TV dangerously close to the cable bill you’ve been trying to kill. However if you’re looking for a great cable TV alternative and replacement, the combined package of Sling TV makes a great central piece to your online streaming strategy. And if you love sports, you’ll finally catch every game from every sport you could ever hope for.
Sling TV Deals – Get your streaming device with your Sling TV subscription and save big bucks!
- 50% off a Roku 3 with Voice Search (reg. $99.99) + 50% off when you prepay three months OR Free Roku 2 (reg. $69.99) when you prepay for three months of Sling TV. Click here to learn more
- Save $50 on a Device at Best Buy when you Prepay for 3 Months of Sling TV
T-Mobile Discount: 30% off a full year of Sling TV for all T-Mobile Users. Learn more
Basic Channels – $20 per Month
As previously mentioned, Sling TV comes with a set of basic television channels; which are as follows:
- ESPN, ESPN 2
- Also granting you access (via the Watch ESPN App) to extra channels (most notably the SEC Network+ channels if you have SEC Network in your subscription).
- AMC, TBS, A&E, TNT
- Food Network, Travel Channel,
- CNN, Bloomberg Television,
- History Channel, History Channel 2
- El Rey, HGTV, IFC, Polaris, Galavision, Lifetime
- Disney Channel, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network
Blue Package – learn more
- FOX Sports, FS1
- AMC, TNT, FX, TBS, A&E
- HGTV, Food Network, Lifetime, Travel
- Cartoon Network, Adult Swim
- History Channel, Nat Geo
- IFC, Viceland, CNN, True TV, Newsy, Bloomberg
- El Rey, Local Now, Univision, UniMas, Polaris, Maker, Golavision
If you’re a sports fan, you can already see the advantage to Sling TV. Thousands of cord cutters every year have been forced to go without some of the biggest sporting events of the year because they didn’t have ESPN or TNT; but with Sling TV that is a thing of the past.
Aside from that, Walking Dead fans are probably very excited to see AMC on that list; and the kids are no doubt amped up about Cartoon Network making the cut. With this basic channels package, there is bound to be something for everyone!
If you’re now left wanting a little more, you have a slew of add-on packages to choose from – a la carte:
Sports Extra – $5 per Month
If getting ESPN 1 & 2 was not enough, then you might want to check out Sling TV’s Sports Extra Package. With the Sports Extra Package you get:
Universal Sports Network
- BeIN Sports
- Univision Sports
- ESPN U
- SEC Network
- ESPN News
- Bases Loaded
- Buzzer Beater
- Goal Line.
If you don’t know what Bases Loaded, Buzzer Beater, or Goal Line is don’t worry. These channels are typically offered to DirectTV customers, and since Sling TV is owned by Dish it was only natural to bring it over.
Those three networks are run by ESPN only run during their respective sports seasons (Bases for baseball, Buzzer for basketball, Goal for Football). Those networks will give you unparalleled access to college sports and is a MUST HAVE for any sports fanatic
Kids Extra – $5 per Month
When the kids can’t decide on what to watch, you just might want to have the Kids Extra Package up your sleeve. Kids Extra is full of children friendly programming and includes the following networks:
- Disney Junior
- Disney XD
- Baby TV
- Duck TV
Boomerang is a great network to introduce your kids to the old cartoons you grew up watching and the Disney Networks are always perfect go-to’s in a pinch.
Hollywood Extra – $5 per Month
- Epix, Epix 2, Epix 3 & Epix Drive-In
- Sundance TV
Peliculas & Novelas – $5 per Month
- Uni Mas
- Cine Latino
- de Pelicula
- de Clasico
- tlNovelas Univision
Columbia Extra – $5 per Month
- Nuestra Tele, Nuestra Tele Noticias
Lifestyle Extra – $5 per Month
- Cooking Channel
- DIY Network
- True TV
- WE TV
World News Extra – $5 per Month
- NDTV 24×7
- News 18 India
- France 24
HBO – $15 per Month
Game of Thrones fans rejoice! HBO is no longer locked into a toxic relationship with cable, and finally the premium channel is available without a cable bill. For $15 a month you get HBO live AND on-demand; which helps the add-on stand out from the other packages.
Even if you don’t dig on Game of Thrones, there is still a plethora of original content and movies no available anywhere else; so there is bound to be something for everyone.
Sling TV on Multiple Devices
Early on, one issue that we foresaw is that unless you create more than one account, you can only watch Sling TV on 1 device at a time. We suspected this to change soon, but we did not expect it to happen this quickly.
To be clear, until recently, you were able to link more than one device to your account, but you were not able to watch on two devices simultaneously.
As of March 2016, Sling TV new program in beta, called Multi-Stream; ant it allows for streaming to up to 3 devices at a time. This new service also comes with different channels. Most notably, Fox and Fox Sports, have been added to the base package, but ESPN has been removed. This puts cord cutters at a bit of a cross road. Deciding which direction to take, will greatly depend on which sporting events you can’t live without. If you need ESPN, than you option is simple (original basic package). But if you dont need ESPN, do need multi-stream functionality, and would love to Fox Sports 1 (FS1) – then you will want to go with their new package. Luckily for us it’s still just $20 a month – no matter what you choose.
To read an in-depth review of Sling TV’s new Multi Stream service, take a few minutes to read “Streaming to multiple devices is no longer an issue with Sling TV’s Multi-Stream package“.
Sling TV DVR
Sling TV Supported Streaming Devices
- Streaming Devices: Roku, Amazon Fire TV & Stick, Apple TV, Xbox One, Nexus Player, ChromeCast (Get a free ChromeCast if you pay 3 months in advance)
- Mobile devices: Android & iOS phones and tablets (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch), Mac computers & PC
- Coming soon: PC and Mac laptops, Samsung and LG Smart TVs, Android TV devices & select 2015 Sony and Sharp Smart TVs
- Support for PC and Mac laptops coming soon.
- Not yet available: PlayStation (3 or 4)
November 3, 2015 Update: “Sling TV fans have made it clear since the beginning that Chromecast is a must-have device, and we agree,” said Roger Lynch, CEO of Sling TV. “With Chromecast, Sling TV customers now have the ability to move their entertainment experience from their mobile device to the big screen seamlessly.”
September 29, 2015 Update: “Chromecast has been
one of our most requested devices since we first launched Sling TV in February. And today, I’m happy to officially announce that we plan to add Chromecast to Sling TV’s supported device lineup in the coming weeks.” Roger Lynch, CEO of Sling TV #TakeBackTV
Sling TV Technical Support
If you ever need technical support for Sling TV here are your options. Support is best handled by their phone number: 888-893-9069, but they are also on Twitter @SlingAnswers
Sling TV FAQ
Does Sling TV have commercials? Yes just like normal Cable Television there are commercial breaks. Time to get more snacks…
Can I pause, fast forward or rewind? No, the live TV programming acts just as you would suspect. But the on-demand content does have some flexibility there. So if you can wait the required 3 days.. then you can buzz through a lot of those pesky commercials.
Here is a great blog that outlines all the Sling TV on-demand options – based on channel
How fast does my Internet speed need to be? We don’t have an exact answer for you, but did find out that “The same Internet speed is required to watch Sling TV that is needed to watch similar content on platforms like Netflix and Hulu.”
Does Sling TV stream in HD? Just like with Hulu and Netflix, Sling will deliver the best picture possible given your internet speeds. So the short answer is – if you are able to get HD with those previously mentioned services, you should have no problem accessing HD content with Sling TV.
Sling TV Review
I will say, all in all, Sling TV is one of the best streaming services on the market to date. It breaks the mold by bringing back live television, plus that wonderful channel flipping experience, and it gives users the freedom to mold their entertainment experience to their personal preferences.
“…think about what you like to watch, and add up how much it will cost with Sling TV and other streaming services compared with cable or satellite TV” Sean Captain of tom’s Guide
The only thing I wish Sling TV would add is OTA coverage. Although we like to get most of our media from streaming, a huge portion of America’s favorite shows are still on the big broadcast networks like ABC, CBS, or FOX.
Regardless, Sling TV still makes for an essential piece to the cord cutting puzzle and is a MUST HAVE for anyone that loves streamable media but hates huge cable bills! Start your 7-day free trial today!
What questions have I not answered? Please sound off in the comments section so that I can continue to build on this post, making it the number one resource online for Cord Cutters.