Category Archives: 4. The Future of TV

Where is the industry going, why are people canceling cable and what does the future of TV look like

What is Sling TV? Review, Channel List, Cost, and More

sling tv review

Gone are the days where cable TV providers were “the only game in town”. Today, we have a variety of options for getting the entertainment we crave. Even when it comes to live TV, there are ways to watch without cable TV. Sling TV is one great option. But what is Sling TV? How does it work? Find out more in our full Sling TV review!

 

What is Sling TV?

Sling TV is an online streaming service that provides access to live TV channels. It’s a viable alternative to cable TV, because it provides a wide variety of TV channels which you can watch live. There’s also a limited on-demand selection to watch.

Sling TV is a paid service, with plans starting at $25 per month. So it’s not free – but it’s definitely cheaper than cable, and the Sling TV cost is competitive with other streaming services. You can choose a base package and then add on extra channels, offered in packs of 5-10+ channels.

Sling TV is the oldest and most-established streaming service of its type. It started back in 2015, and now boasts more than 2.2 million subscribers. Find out more about this service in our full Sling TV review below.

 

How Sling TV Works

Sling TV works over the internet. You will need to have reliable high-speed internet access in order to use the service. You’ll also need a compatible streaming player, like a Roku or Apple TV. You can also use your smartphone, smart TV or computer. Here are the basics of how Sling TV works:

  1. Sign up here for Sling TV (you can start with a free 7 day trial)
  2. Select your base channel package (23-40+ channels)
  3. Select add-on packages (5-10+ channels for extra $5 a month)
  4. Sign into your account
  5. Start watching LIVE TV on your computer
  6. Sign into Sling TV on other devices
  7. Enjoy live TV streaming on all your favorite devices
  8. You pay month-to-month, and are free to cancel your subscription at any time

It’s that easy! With Sling TV, you can be set up and watching your favorite shows in a matter of minutes. And if it doesn’t work out for you, you can cancel at any time since there is no contract.

Of all the streaming services, Sling offers one of the most customizable channel lineups. You start off with a small (and cheap) base package for $25 per month, and then add on specific types of channels that you like – instead of being forced to buy a larger bundle of channels you may or may not actually watch. This is one of the big perks of a Sling TV membership.

 

Sling TV Technical Features

What is Sling TV offering in terms of technical features?

Streaming quality – full HD 1080p. Streaming quality will depend on your internet speeds.

Frames per second – some channels offer 60fps, while most are covered at 30fps (this video demonstrates the difference between 30fps and 60fps).

Device compatibility – works on most devices. Sling TV devices include Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android and iOS mobile devices, computers, AirTV, Xiaomi Mi, select LG and Samsung smart TVs, and Xbox One.

DVR recording – a cloud DVR feature is available, but it costs extra. Currently, it’s $5 a month and comes with 50 hours of recording storage.

Simultaneous streaming – varies depending on your package. Sling Orange offers only 1 stream, while Sling Blue has 3 simultaneous streams.

 

Sling TV Channel Lineup

The Sling TV channels list will depend on which package you choose. There are several different options, as outlined below.

Base Packages

Sling Orange – includes 30+ networks for $25/mo. Channels include ESPN, AMC, CNN, Cheddar, HGTV, Comedy Central, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, History, Disney Channel, ESPN2, ESPN3, TNT, ACC Network Extra, Food Network, TBS, BBC America, Freeform, IFC, EPIX Drive-In, Tribeca Shortlist, A&E, Viceland, Lifetime, Travel Channel, AXS.TV, Fuse, Newsy, Cheddar Business, Bloomberg Television, and Local Now.

Sling Blue – includes 40+ networks for $25/mo. Channels include FOX, NBC, FOX Sports, and NBC Sports in select markets, and nationwide coverage of NFL Network, AMC, FX, CNN, Cheddar News, HGTV, Comedy Central, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, History, TNT, Bravo, Food Network, FS1, FS2, NBCSN, TBS, BBC America, FXX, SyFy, NickJr, IFC, EPIX Drive-In, Tribeca Shortlist, A&E, Viceland, TruTV, Lifetime, Travel Channel, AXS.TV, Fuse, BET, National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, Newsy, Cheddar Business, Bloomberg Television, and Local Now.

Sling Orange + Blue – Includes 45+ networks for $40 per month. This package combines everything in Sling Orange and Sling Blue, for a 20% savings.

Other Channel Packages & Features

In addition to these base packages, Sling also offers a wide variety of add-ons. These can expand your Sling TV channels list with specific types of channels. They can be added onto either base package – however do note that the lineup varies slightly depending on which package you have. These include:

Cloud DVR – $5/mo for ability to record live TV

Cloud DVR – $5/mo – adds the ability to record live TV to watch later. Comes with 50 hours of storage. Costs the same for both base packages.

Hollywood Extra – $5/mo for extra movie channels

Hollywood Extra – $5/mo for Fandor Festival, REELZ, HD Net Movies, Sundance TV, Turner Classic Movies, Cinemoi North America, The Film Detective. Selection and pricing is the same for both base packages.

Heartland Extra – $5/mo for extra outdoors/rural lifestyle channels

Heartland Extra – $5/mo for World Fishing Network, Sportsman Channel, Outdoor Channel, Ride TV, RFD-TV, PixL, The Cowboy Channel. Selection and pricing is the same for both base packages.

Comedy Extra – $5/mo for more funny channels

Sling Orange + Comedy Extra – $5/mo – adds MTV, TruTV, Paramount Network, MTV2, CMT, Logo, GSN, TV Land, Revolt

Sling Blue + Comedy Extra – $5/mo – adds MTV, Paramount Network, MTV2, CMT, Logo, GSN, TV Land, Revolt

Kids Extra – $5/mo for more kids programming

Sling Orange + Kids Extra – $5/mo – adds Disney Junior, Disney XD, NickJr, NickToons, TeenNick, Boomerang, BabyTV and DuckTV.

Sling Blue + Kids Extra – $5/mo – adds NickToons, TeenNick, Boomerang, BabyTV and DuckTV.

Sports Extra – $5-$10/mo for extra channels to watch sports online

Sling Orange + Sports Extra ($5/mo) – adds NBA TV, SEC Network, SEC Network+, Pac12 Network, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, NHL Network, BeIn Sports, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Bases Loaded, Stadium, Outside TV and Motorsport.tv.

Sling Blue + Sports Extra ($10/mo) – adds NFL RedZone, NBA TV, NHL Network, GOLF, BeIn Sports, Pac12 Network, Stadium, Outside TV, Olympic Channel and Motorsport.tv.

News Extra – $5/mo for extra news coverage

Sling Orange + News Extra – $5/mo for BBC World News, TheBlaze, HLN, Weather Nation, Fusion, Euronews, News18, RT, CGTN

Sling Blue + News Extra – $5/mo for MSNBC, CNBC, BBC World News, TheBlaze, HLN, Weather Nation, Euronews, France24, News18, NDTV 24×7, RT, CGTN

Lifestyle Extra – $5/mo for extra entertainment channels

Sling Orange + Lifestyle Extra – $5/mo for VH1, BET, Cooking Channel, DIY, FYI, Hallmark Channel, WEtv, Lifetime Movies, Halmark Movies & Mysteries, Hallmark Drama, Vibrant TV Network, ZLiving, Afro

Sling Blue + Lifestyle Extra – $5/mo for VH1, E!, Oxygen, Cooking Channel, DIY Network, FYI, Hallmark Channel, WEtv, Lifetime Movies, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Hallmark Drama, Vibrant TV Network, ZLiving, Afro

Premium Channels

Sling TV also offers premium channels. These are available as add-ons to expand your Sling TV channel lineup.

Note: Sling TV usually offers HBO and Cinemax, but recently the channels have become unavailable due to a contract dispute. We’ll update this guide if they become available again.

Starz – $9 per month

Showtime – $10 per month

EPIX – $5 per month

CuriosityStream – $3 per month

Docurama – $5 per month

Grokker – $7 per month

Here TV – $8 per month

CONtv – $5 per month

UP Faith & Family – $5 per month

PANTAYA – $6 per month

Outside TV Features – $5 per month

Dove Channel – $5 per month

Stingray Karaoke – $7 per month

NBA League Pass – $29/mo for entire league, $18/mo for 1 team

In addition, Sling also offers some international packages, including a package of Spanish-language channels.

 

Sling TV Cost

The Sling TV price depends on the package you select. Prices are detailed in full above, but here’s a recap:

Sling Orange – $25/mo, no contract

Sling Blue – $25/mo, no contract

Sling Orange + Blue – $40/mo, no contract

Add on packages – $5/mo, no contract (Sports Extra is $10/mo, the rest are $5).

Premium channels – $3-$15/mo, no contract. See full list above.

Overall, Sling TV pricing is quite competitive. Most similar services run $40/mo or more, so Sling TV’s base package at $25/mo is great. It’s an even better deal when compared to cable TV, which runs on average $100+/mo and growing rapidly.

 

Sling TV Pros & Cons

There’s a lot to consider when choosing a streaming service. What is Sling TV offering compared to the competition? Here’s a wrap up:

Pros:

  • Very affordable starting packages
  • Easy to customize channel lineup
  • No contract
  • Huge number of channels available
  • Good coverage of sports (NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, etc.), news, and entertainment
  • Works on almost all devices
  • The most popular live streaming service (and the oldest)
  • Free 7 day trial available

Cons:

  • Bad coverage of local channels like NBC and FOX (only covered in a handful of areas)
  • Cloud DVR costs extra
  • Missing a few popular channels, like FOX News

Overall, third-party Sling TV reviews are positive. The most common complaints are often about poor customer service. Do keep in mind that this service has changed a lot over the years. If you’re reading a Sling TV review, make sure it’s been updated recently, otherwise it’s likely out of date!

 

Is Sling TV Worth It?

Sling TV is a great service overall. It’s the largest and oldest live streaming service, with a customer base of more than 2 million people.

We mostly recommend Sling TV for folks who want to customize their channel lineup. Most competing services only sell large bundles, forcing you into a bundle of networks you might not actually want. Sling makes it easier to select channels that you’ll actually enjoy.

Sling is also one of the most budget-friendly streaming platforms. Most services start at $40/mo, while Sling comes in at $25/mo. With that said, once you start adding more channels, the price can quickly rise.

Ultimately, the decision is up to you. What is Sling TV offering that suits your needs, wants and budget? Consider the pros and cons.

If you’re on the fence, do remember that Sling TV offers a free 7 day trial for new customers. And since it’s non-contract, you can cancel any time.

Thanks for reading our Sling TV review! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and we’ll do our best to help!

What is Stadium? (Previously 120 Sports)

Stadium is a Digital Broadcast Network Dedicated to Sports Commentary and News

“Stadium is a multi-platform sports network that brings together exclusive live games, extensive highlights and daily studio programming. Welcome to the Game.”

StadiumWhen it comes to sports news and highlights, the vast majority of sports fans turn to ESPN for their information, but that’s slowly changing. In the quest for a better cable TV alternative, cord cutters have searched for or created their own apps and services that provide the sports news that you desire.

One such app that’s trying to disrupt that paradigm is Stadium, a digital broadcast network dedicated to sports commentary and news; which officially launched on June 25, 2014. Backed by an amalgam of different companies (Time Inc, Sports Illustrated, MLBAM, the NHL, the PGA TOUR, Campus Insiders and Silver Chalice), Stadium has various deals with the different professional sports leagues; which allows it to have access to the highly copyrighted footage that comes from all of America’s favorite games.

What’s on Stadium

Continue reading What is Stadium? (Previously 120 Sports)

Using Audio Books as a Cable TV Alternative

Audio Books as a Cable TV Alternative

Rethinking What it Means to be a Cable TV Alternative

As great as movies and television shows are, there’s nothing like a good book. With a good imagination and the right combination of words, there’s no limit to where you’ll be able to go. Although it doesn’t quite count as reading, an audio book can be a fantastic way to absorb great literature.

Ever since I purchased my Bluetooth headset (preferred device on Amazon), I’ve been listening to more audio books and podcasts non stop; as I clean the house, exercise, commute to work… I absolutely love it.

Not only can you listen to your favorite novel, but you can also learn about absolutely anything you want.  There are dozens and dozens of books on any topic you choose; and hundreds of podcasts…

Naturally, as a cord cutter, my natural instinct was to seek out the most cost effective way to acquire audio books. Keep reading and Ill show you what I found. Continue reading Using Audio Books as a Cable TV Alternative

Cord-Cutters Speak Out Against Big Cable

Cable TV Executives

A Letter to Cable TV Executives

Back in 2015 I started to ask fellow cordcutters a very simple question that I believe really tells us a lot about how people feel about their cable service.

CordCutters Speak OutThe question I asked was: “If you had a chance to speak to an executive at one of these large cable companies – what would you want them to know?

The responses I have received have been very insightful and I believe paint a clear picture of the change consumers want to see.

For a full list of the tweets used
to compile this list click here

Highest Paid TV Executives

Before we get into what Cord Cutters have to say, lets take a look at a list of the highest paid TV executives as of 2015:

  1. Former Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus
    • Total compensation (2015): $92,300,000
    • Salary: $22,600,000
  2. Comcast CFO Michael Cavanagh
    • Total compensation (2015): $40,646,246
    • Salary: $1,800,000
  3. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts
    • Total compensation (2015): $36,248,269
    • Salary: $2,928,748
  4. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson
    • Total compensation (2015): $25,145,914
    • Salary: $1,741,667
  5. Former Cablevision CEO James Dolan
    • Total compensation (2015): $24,574,453
    • Salary: $2,000,000
  6. Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam
    • Total compensation (2015): $18,343,660
    • Salary: $1,661,538
  7. Charter CEO Tom Rutledge
    • Total compensation (2015): $16,361,387
    • Salary: $2,000,000
  8. AT&T Entertainment Group CEO John Stankey
    • Total compensation (2015): $10,040,810
    • Salary: $941,667

Cord Cutters Speak Up

Below is a list of my favorite responses over the last 2 years – in chronological order:


25 Apr 2015
That overselling their systems, not having the tech backup to actually service subscribers, is what kills them.


 25 Apr 2015
They need to give their customers what they want. Affordable service because their real competitors are


25 Apr 2015
Do you honestly believe bits are a limited commodity and that data caps make sense?


Continue reading Cord-Cutters Speak Out Against Big Cable

What we learned from 2015 Stream Con

Stream Con is a three-day digital content and creator convention celebrating digital content and online video!

Stream Con

The digital revolution has brought us so many advances in the last decade that sometimes it’s hard to digest all the change. One of the biggest changes to our society has been the rise of online streaming, which has revolutionized the way we consume media and information.

In years past broadcast giants like ABC or NBC held the keys to a vast audience of millions of Americans, but now teenagers with a webcam and an idea can captivate the country by making a video and posting onto YouTube.

Most recently in New York, a gathering of YouTube/social media stars and fans commingled in a crowded convention center for the inaugural Stream Con; and here are a few takeaways: Continue reading What we learned from 2015 Stream Con

What is the “Netflix Tax”?

What are the implications of implementing an amusement tax on online services?

What kind of precedent does it set?

Netflix Tax

Earlier in the summer, it was announced that Chicago would implement an amusement tax on online services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Spotify; which was set at nine percent. The tax was levied to help pay serious budget shortfalls in the Chicago municipal government. Continue reading What is the “Netflix Tax”?

Let’s Take a Look at Channel Master DVR+

DVR-EPG

A DVR with free Over the Air TV Listings

Although cutting the cord gives you greater freedom and is far less expensive than cable you also lose the comfort of certain services and devices; like the channel guide and DVR.

Even the fiercest of cord cutters have to admit that being able to record live TV is pretty darn convenience. But what most cord cutters are not aware of is that there are a ton of third party DVRs and channel guides on the market that don’t require a cable television subscription.

One of the more interesting DVRs on the market is the DVR+ made by Channel Master. Unlike other DVRs on the market, the DVR+ requires no monthly subscription fee. All content is saved to an internal hard drive instead of cloud storage; which means you won’t be cut off from your content should your internet connection fail.

How much does Channel Master DVR+ cost?

Continue reading Let’s Take a Look at Channel Master DVR+

What is Net Neutrality?

Why Cord Cutters and Internet Lovers alike need to Fight for Net Neutrality

net-neutrality-100245449-largeAn issue in the news recently that I think bears addressing is Net Neutrality. If you’re a little confused about what that term means; don’t feel bad. There is a lot of vested interest when it comes to the issue of Net Neutrality, which consequently leads a lot of interpretations of what that term means.

Essentially, Net Neutrality is the concept that all information shared over the internet deserves to be treated equally and that no corporation or government has the right to deliberately slow down that data.

Video Streaming

Continue reading What is Net Neutrality?