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Sling TV Review for Cord-Cutters Ready to Ditch Cable

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Sling TV hits you by surprise when you look behind the relatively cheap base plans and find a buffet of add-ons.

In this review we summarize what Sling TV offers and dive into a user interface review.

Read on to find out how Sling compares to other popular streaming services in a similar price range and how you can use the platform.

Pros & Cons Of Sling TV

ProsCons
✔ Free on-demand content and 20+ free live channels❌ Customizability may be confusing for new cable cutters
✔ Huge selection of affordable add-ons❌ Key sports channels are in different price plans
✔ Thousands of movies-on-demand❌ The user interface has unnecessary duplicate content in multiple tabs
✔ Free AirTV device with 2-month prepayment
✔ 200 hour DVR upgrade included in Total TV add-on 

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Sling TV Overview

Sling TV is one of the cheapest ways to stream live TV online, but with one main disadvantage: too few channels. But that misses two important points. First, the channels they do offer are very good. Second, Sling TV’s customizable add-ons make it a service in a league of its own.

You can actually get 110+ channels with Sling TV for just $56.00 per month! Read on to find out which plan combination this comes with and see the bundles Sling offers with free gadgets like their AirTV.

More, Sling TV offers a free 3-day trial (only available through their app; doesn’t work with browser) with its paid plans, along with a free on-demand content library that can be accessed without registration. Some live channels are also free to watch.

The sports channel selection is impressive with ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3 included with Sling Orange, and Fox Sports 1 and the NFL Network included with Sling Blue. Both plans can be combined, meaning you can get access to all of these and more.

sling tv mobile home
Sling TV’s homepage on an Android device.

Sling TV’s local channel access is disappointing compared to full-line services like FuboTV. But for the price, it is good. Fox and NBC are available in select markets.

You can watch Sling TV on most Apple and Android devices, as well as popular smart TVs like Samsung, and even VR sets like Oculus Go. There’s only one major gaming console they don’t support — PlayStation.

The highest number of simultaneous screens you can view from one account is four, and you can get started with as little as $10 per month for your first month with a cloud DVR upgrade.

Sling TV’s basic plans are comparable to Philo in price, though we think Sling offers a much better channel selection. And with the bundles and add-ons, Sling TV rivals Hulu and FuboTV.

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Sling TV Plans

There are two basic price plans with Sling TV. These are Sling Blue and Sling Orange. Both of them cost $35 per month, but you can combine the two for $50 per month.

Both Blue and Orange also come with 50 hours of free cloud DVR.

Here’s a summary of the two Sling TV plans:

  • Sling Blue has 40+ channels (see all Sling TV channels) you can watch from three devices at one time. It’s news and entertainment-oriented, but also sports-friendly with Fox Sports 1 and the NFL Network. This plan is a better all-rounder for families with the likes of truTV and National Geographic in the network list.
  • Sling Orange gives access to 30+ channels (see all Sling TV channels), but only on one device. Still, it’s a live TV streaming plan designed for sports fans with ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3 to name a few sports channels included. And that’s without the Sports Extra add-on.
Sling plans

Combine Sling Blue + Orange and get a total of 50 channels for $50 per month with the option to add another 60+ for $21 per month. Still, there are better value Sling bundles — see our discussion of customizable Sling TV add-ons below.

If you’re an existing Sling TV subscriber and want to cancel your plan, How To Cancel Your Sling TV Account.

Sling TV International & Latino

There are two other Sling TV services.

Sling Latino plans start from $10 per month. They are different ones that are region focused. For example, there are plans centered on Spain (20 channels) and Mexico (10 channels). There are a total of six Slinbg Latino channel bundles to choose from.

The core plan includes top channels like Discovery and Nat Geo in Spanish, as well as BeIn Sports and Sony Cine. Sling Latino subscribers can watch three screens from three devices at once.

Sling International offers customized live TV plans in the following categories:

  • Arabic
  • Bangla
  • Bengali
  • Brazilian
  • Cantonese
  • Cricket
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hindi
  • International Sports
  • Italian
  • Kannada
  • Malayalam
  • Mandarin
  • Marathi
  • Polish
  • Punjabi
  • Sonyliv
  • Tamil
  • Telugu
  • Taiwanese
  • Urdu

Sling even offers a Tamil Gold Plan for $25 per month — online cable-free TV channels in one of the world’s oldest languages!

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What Does Sling Offer For Free?

There are two different Sling TV deals with free devices and another two with huge discounts. If you want to watch more local channels than Fox and NBC, you’ll be glad to know that one of Sling TV’s freebies is an HD Antenna worth $44.99.

The condition with all Sling freebies is that they’re only available when you pre-pay a Sling subscription for two or three months, depending on the offer, and free trials don’t apply.

Here are the offers:

  • Free HD Antenna With Sling: When you pay 2 months in advance, you get the HD antenna worth $44.99 with which you can watch local channels ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC in available in your region.
  • AirTV 2 + HD Antenna for $49: When you pre-pay 3 months of any chosen Sling TV plan, you can get this package of devices for $100 less than what they’re worth. The AirTV 2 device also allows you to stream local channels without cable, subject to regional availability.
  • AirTV Anywhere + HD Antenna for $99: Worth $244.98, but available at a discounted rate when you pay 3 months of Sling TV up-front. AirTV Anywhere also lets you record programs from local channels.
  • Free AirTV Mini: When you prepay 2 months of Sling TV, you get this 4K smart streaming device worth $79.99 with built-in apps, Chromecast, and voice controls. The AirTV Mini also supports Netflix alongside Sling.

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All Channels On Sling TV

If you combine Sling Blue and Orange, you get a total of 50 channels, but here’s a visual comparison of which channels come with the plans. For a more detailed breakdown, see our review of their channels and packages.

🔵🟠🔵 + 🟠
A&E✔️✔️✔️
AMC✔️✔️✔️
AXS TV✔️✔️✔️
BBC America✔️✔️✔️
BET TV✔️✔️✔️
Bloomberg Television✔️✔️✔️
Bravo✔️✔️
Cartoon Network✔️✔️✔️
Cheddar TV✔️✔️✔️
CNN✔️✔️✔️
Comedy Central✔️✔️✔️
Comet✔️✔️✔️
Discovery Channel✔️✔️
Disney Channel✔️✔️
E!✔️✔️
EPIX Drive-In✔️✔️✔️
ESPN✔️✔️
ESPN2✔️✔️
ESPN3✔️✔️
Food Network✔️✔️✔️
FOX*✔️✔️
FOX News✔️✔️
Freeform✔️✔️
FS1✔️✔️
Fuse✔️✔️✔️
FX✔️✔️
HGTV✔️✔️✔️
History Channel✔️✔️✔️
HLN✔️✔️
ID✔️✔️✔️
IFC✔️✔️✔️
Lifetime✔️✔️✔️
Local Now✔️✔️✔️
MotorTrend✔️✔️
MSNBC✔️✔️
National Geographic✔️✔️
NBC*✔️✔️
NBCSN✔️✔️
newsy✔️✔️✔️
NFL Network✔️✔️
Nick Jr✔️✔️✔️
Stadium✔️✔️✔️
Syfy✔️✔️
TBS✔️✔️✔️
TLC✔️✔️
TNT✔️✔️✔️
Travel Channel✔️✔️✔️
Tru TV✔️✔️
USA✔️✔️
Vice✔️✔️✔️
*Local channels subject to regional availability

Local Channels

While we have a separate local channel guide, here are the most important details.

You only get local channels with Sling Blue — these are Fox and NBC in select areas. Still, if you opt for a prepaid plan and get an HD antenna or AirTV device, you may be able to stream CBS, NBC, and Spanish-language channels without cable on Sling TV too.

To understand how local channels on Sling TV work, see our guide.

Sling TV Sports
Sling TV organizes all of its sports content under one tab that is subdivided by sport.

Sports Networks On Sling (+ RSNs)

Across the Blue and Orange packages, Sling TV offers a total of 7 sports channels. Sling recommends the Orange plan for sports plans, because it has the more prominent sports channels, though it’s only fair if you know what you’re missing with the blue.

Here’s a breakdown of the sports channels across the two plans (without add-ons):

🔵🟠
FS1ESPN
NBCSNESPN2
NFL NetworkESPN3
StadiumStadium

With the exception of Stadium, the sports channels between the two plans are different. This can be annoying, and considering that the combo of Sling Blue and Orange is $50 each month, this might be the time to compare Sling with the likes of FuboTV, Hulu Live TV, and YouTube TV.

Then again, there’s a twist. Sling TV has a Sports Extra add-on with 10+ sports channels that change the game and still keep Sling at a cheaper monthly rate than all of the previously mentioned streaming services.

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Sling TV Add-Ons

The add-ons are what make Sling TV stand out from its competitor streaming services, even those that cost more than twice as much per month.

Sling TV’s customizable add-ons may seem like a pain in the brain at first, but it allows you to pick and choose what additional channel categories you want to add to your Sling Blue, Orange, or Blue + Orange plan.

There are a total of 8 channel add-on bundles with 60+ channels, and premium network add-ons with 25+ more channels.

You can even get a discount when you want more than one add-on. The standout offers are:

  • Total TV Deal: All extras (over 60 extra channels) with the upgraded 200-hour cloud DVR included for $21 per month. Note that the Kids Extra add-on is only available with Sling Blue, while the AMC+ add-on is only available with Orange. If you get the combo plan, you get all 8 add-on channel packs.
  • 4 Extras: If you don’t want to spend $21 per month more, you can opt-in for four of Sling TV’s most popular extras for $13 per month.

That’s not all. You can also get premium movie network add-on packs and single-channel add-ons, along with NBA League Pass and NBA Team Passes for basketball fans.

See the Sling TV add-on guide to find out what channels are included in add-on packs like the sports, comedy, news, movies, and AMC bundles.

Are Sling’s Add-Ons Worth It?

Well, let’s do the math. If you get the Sling Blue + Orange plan for $50 per month and go for the Total TV Deal on top, you’re paying $71 per month.

For what?

Sling tv mobile guide
You’ll find the add-on channels in your Sling TV guide, like here on mobile (Android).

120+ channels, multiple streams on up to four devices, 200 hours of cloud DVR, with sports networks to cover entire seasons of football, soccer, baseball, and more. Meanwhile, there are a dozen of kids’ channels and general family-friendly programs and movie networks.

This leaves us to compare Sling TV to the likes of Hulu’s live TV plan and FuboTV’s mid-range plans:

  • See how Sling TV compares to Hulu with its add-on boost.
  • Find out whether YouTube TV can offer enough for $64.99 to keep Sling TV on the shelf.
  • Check out FuboTV’s Elite plan and see if it’s worth $8.99 more than the Sling TV mega plan.
  • See if Sling TV’s bundle is worth $1.01 more than DirecTV Stream’s Entertainment plan. (Note: this comparison is to AT&T TV NOW, which has become DirecTV Stream.)

If you’re not keen on add-ons and want to keep your expenses lower, see our Philo vs Sling TV review.

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Sling TV In Action: User Experience

When you sign up and log in to your Sling TV dashboard, you have six main menu options:

  • My TV: Rows of categorized TV channels and programs based on the likes of genre and release date. You can also create your own custom row of live TV channels here. The most popular rentals are also shown here, so some of the sub-menu content overlaps.
  • On Now: Similar to the ‘My TV’ tab, this sub-menu shows you categorized programs, but only what’s currently on. If you prefer a visual of titles, you may prefer to use this over the Guide tab.
sling guide
This is the Guide tab with Sling’s free version.
  • Guide: The classic TV guide with each channel taking a row where programs are shown by start and finish time. You can scroll through the page to see each channel’s program plan and change the day for which you want to see the guide. You can also filter channels by clicking on the ‘All Channels’ filter icon. The Guide tab has a list view and a block view of channels, too. When you pick a channel, you can choose to record a program, start it from the beginning, or watch in live in-time.
  • Sports: Again, this page categorizes sports programs by type of sport like baseball, boxing, or football. You can see what sports are on live, categories of sports channels in your Sling TV plan, as well as sports on-demand.
episode guide sling tv
Episode and season guide layout.
  • On-Demand: Sling TV has thousands of titles in its on-demand library, even though it’s mostly known for the cable-free live TV feature. From movies to TV series and documentaries, you can find many on-demand titles to choose from.
  • Rentals: Movies that are not included in the on-demand library are available to rent.

Aside from these main menu options, you can also use the search bar to find titles by name.

What Settings Can You Control In Your Sling Account?

There’s a settings menu labeled with ⚙️. It has six sub-menus where you can manage your Sling account settings:

  • Account: Here you can manage your username, password, and subscription plan.
  • Parental Controls: If you have kids using the Sling TV account, this menu allows you to filter any content that’s considered inappropriate based on ratings. You can also lock rentals and add-on purchases.
sling tv parental controls
Parental controls under ‘Settings’.
  • DVR: Your recorded titles and DVR settings can be managed from this menu. If you have the basic 50 hours of DVR space, you can also upgrade to 200 hours here.
  • Support: Contact Sling TV’s customer support via this sub-menu. There’s a URL that takes you to the online help center.
  • Closed Captions: Toggle closed captions as default for all available titles.
  • Device: A device manager where you can see which devices you’ve used Sling TV with. You can also rename devices in this menu.
  • Connection: Check your bandwidth use and set limits to your maximum bandwidth.

If you have an OTA antenna with Sling TV, you’ll also have a settings menu for Over-The-Air Channels, where you can manage the local channels you have access to.

Note that these sub-menu labels may be different with some devices, but the features are the same.

How To Add Channels To Your Custom List

To create a custom list of live TV channels, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to Sling TV
  2. Go to My TV > My Channels
  3. Click Add Channels
  4. Select the channels you want to add to your favorites by clicking on the icon
  5. Click Done.

Now you’ll have your favorite channels categorized with each channel showing you what program is currently playing, whether it’s a new stream on live TV, what time it started, and what program is up next.

Sling TV’s Performance and Specifications

As far as our streaming experience goes with Sling TV, we couldn’t find 1080 HD streams available. Most streams are available in 720p HD, and lower resolutions of 480p when the internet connection is slow.

The minimum recommended internet bandwidth for Sling TV streamers depends on the device and the number of devices used on a single broadband:

  • Mobile/Tablet – 3.0 + Mbps
  • PCs/Mac/Laptop – 5.0 + Mbps
  • Multi-Device Households – 25 + Mbps

Despite the lack of 1080p streams, Sling TV offers a free AirTV device that supports 4K streams with other apps, and some live TV channels are also supported up to 60 frames-per-second.

New Sling TV Interface

Sling TV’s new interface is now available on both Amazon Fire TV (+ stick) and Roku.

The old interface provided four main areas: My TV, Guide, Sports, and On Demand.

The new interface removes the Sports area. But the Guide is now subdivided into several useful categories: All, A-Z, Favorites, Recents, Sports, News, Movies, Kids, and Free. We find the Recents function particularly useful (perhaps because we are too easily distracted).

For general viewing, this new interface is better than FuboTV’s (although they do still have the advantage of being able to filter by sport). But this new interface is a distinct improvement and should have competitors scrambling.

Sling TV on Amazon Fire TV
Sling TV’s new interface running on Amazon Fire TV.

TV Everywhere

Sling TV allows you to use other apps to watch supported content. But they provide a relatively limited selection:

  • beIN SPORTS
  • Bravo
  • CNBC
  • Disney
  • E!
  • EPIX
  • ESPN
  • FOX Business
  • FOX Network
  • FOX News
  • FOX Sports
  • Freeform
  • FX
  • FXM
  • Globoplay
  • Golf Channel
  • Longhorn Network
  • MSNBC
  • NBA TV
  • NBC
  • NBC Sports
  • NBC Universo
  • NFL Network
  • Olympic Channel
  • Oxygen
  • REELZ
  • SHAHID
  • SYFY
  • USA

Supported Devices By Sling TV

Here is the list of supported device types for Sling TV users:

  • AirTV Players
  • Amazon Fire Devices
  • Android Devices
  • Android TV
  • Apple TV
  • Google Chrome
  • Chromebook
  • Chromecast
  • Google Nest
  • iOS (iPhone, iPad)
  • LG TVs
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Oculus Go
  • Portal TV
  • Roku & Roku Ultra
  • Safari Browser
  • Samsung Smart TVs
  • TiVo Stream 4K
  • Windows 10
  • XBOX
  • Xfinity Flex

For exact models, refer to www.sling.com/help/en/tech-questions/device-questions/supported-devices.

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How To Watch Sling For Free

You read it right. There is a free version of Sling TV and you can even access it from your browser. You don’t even have to sign up — just head over to:

http://sling.com/deals/sling-free

Once you’ve accessed the link, Sling will present you the option to go to watch.sling.com. Here, you’ll see every menu tab, except the “On Now” tab.

When we accessed the free Sling TV library and free channels, we mostly saw unknown titles. Then again, you get 20+ free live TV channels and access to ABC News Live without cable, so it’s hard to complain.

For costing no money, free Sling TV has a pretty decent range of watchable content. Another streaming service you can try for free is Peacock.

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FAQs

Is Sling TV any good?

What makes a streaming service good depends on what you want from it. Sling TV is one of the most customizable streaming providers with on-demand and live TV content, so you can shape it as you like. You can pay $35 per month and get 30+ channels, pay $100 per month and get 130+ channels with premium networks, or find somewhere in-between.

Is Hulu better than Sling?

When we compare Hulu + Live TV vs Sling TV, the latter wins on paper. Sling TV has cheaper options, yet still offers a wider range of channels, four simultaneous streams, and 200 hours of DVR if you pay just $6 more than Hulu. By the time you get such features with Hulu, you’re paying over $100, though you do get a slicker platform and Hulu’s exceptional on-demand library.

Is Sling TV better than YouTube TV?

Sling TV and YouTube are in close competition, only if we consider the bundles we can customize with Sling TV for under $64.99. If we also account for YouTube TV’s Sports Plus plan for $74.98, the channels offered are in a similar range. User experience and additional features like DVR and multi-screen streaming are good comparison points, though YouTube is arguably slicker than Sling TV.

Does Sling have local channels?

Yes, Sling TV offers two local channels without cable online. These are Fox and NBC, subject to local availability. Sling TV also offers free streaming devices like the AirTV and an over-the-air HD antenna with which you can access even more local channels OTA.

Does Sling TV have DVR?

TV, Sling TV offers a DVR with the ability to record live TV programs. You get 50 hours of storage space with all plans, though there’s an add-on for 150 hours of additional space that’s also included with the Total TV add-on. See the add-on guide for more.

Can I watch NBC on Sling TV?

Yes, you can watch NBC on Sling TV in select locations where it’s available. Fox is another local Channel you can watch with Sling TV. When you log in, you can find the local channels under the Guide menu in your Sling TV dashboard.

Can I watch the Super Bowl on Sling TV?

No, you can’t watch the Super Bowl on Sling TV, because you need CBS, a local channel to stream it. Unless you get an HD antenna with Sling TV’s device plans and CBS is available in your region, you’re better off checking out the CBS Sports app on your device.

Can I watch Yellowstone on Sling TV?

Yes, you can watch Yellowstone on Sling TV, since the program is available on Paramount Network, TV Land, and CMT. In order to watch Yellowstone, you’ll need to get a Sling plan with the Comedy Extra add-on, since that’s how you get access to TV Land, CMT, and Paramount Network via Sling.

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