Know The Basics
Sling TV has been one of the most popular options for those who have cut the cord but still want access to live TV since it launched in 2015. The service was designed to be a solution to a common complaint with cable TV – paying a high monthly fee for access to a lot of channels that you probably never watch. Instead, Sling TV gives you a base package that you customize according to your interests.
Like cable, you can look through a list of whats currently airing and choose what youd like to watch. Unlike cable, you can choose to suspend service at any time and pick the service back up again when you choose, without paying penalties and fees.
One of the best features of Sling TV is the My TV section. This is where you can keep a collection of your favorite channels and TV shows, along with a watchlist to keep track of what youve been viewing. When you stop watching partway through a show, you can go to the Continue Watching ribbon, choose that show, and continue watching where you left off.
In addition to live TV, Sling has a DVR option that allows you to pause and rewind while watching. You can also record shows and watch them later. Those recorded shows can be found in your My TV section, along with a schedule of shows that youve lined up to record. When your DVR space is maxed out, your oldest recordings will be deleted to make room for the new recordings.
One major drawback to Sling TV is the confusing and limited availability of local programming. Live local channels are only available in select areas and availability is dependent on Sling TVs contracts with local channels. This can be a big issue for many users (looking at you, sports fans) when programming is location specific. Sling is aiming to resolve that issue with AirTV, covered more in the New Features section below.
Currently, Sling TV is available on most devices, including:
- Apple TV, 4th generation
- Amazon Fire
- Android TV
- Xbox One
- mobile phone with iOS 9 and higher
- mobile phones with Android 4.4 and higher
- Apple computers with Lion 10.7 and newer
- PCs with Windows 10 and newer
Pick a Color
Sling offers two options for basic packages – Sling Orange and Sling Blue. The two packages are similar, and have a lot of overlap, but there are some key differences that will help you make your decision.
Sling Orange will look familiar to anyone who used or considered Sling TV in the past, as the package is very similar to original plan. You can use Sling Orange for $20/month which lets you stream on one device at a time. Sling Orange includes 28 live channels.
Sling Blue has a fee of $25/month and lets you watch on three devices at a time. While there is some overlap in channels, this option is noticeably missing Disney owned channels, including ESPN, but does offer a few additional channels including Fox, NBC, and Bravo.
Use the guide on the Sling website to see the chart of exactly which channels are offered on each plan to choose between the two.
Cant choose between the two? You also have the option of combining the Orange and Blue packages, with a $5 discount, for the reduced price of $40/month.
Include Add Ons
The Sling Orange and Sling Blue packages make a great base, but might not offer all of the channels youre looking for. An extensive list of add ons let you personalize your package to get the content youre most interested in, for an additional monthly fee. Choose from the following list of extras:
- Best of Spanish TV
- 4 Extras (including Kids, Comedy, News, and Lifestyle)
- Plus Location and Language Specific Channels
Check Out the New Features
Recently, Sling has been making helpful updates, to make the service more user friendly. A grid guide has been added, making it easier to see exactly whats on at the time. The grid also includes filters to look at listings based on channel or genre. For now, this feature is available on Android platforms.
Updates to the On Now section are improving the recommendations for recently released TV shows and movies. Sling has been working on their algorithms to offer a better look at new content.
The Cloud DVR is another new feature that users with an iPad, iPhone, or Windows 10 device will appreciate. The Cloud DVR features gives you more control over when and how you watch shows youve recorded, by allowing you to watch previously recorded shows from your device after connecting to the cloud. Your recordings will stay in the cloud as long as youre a Sling TV subscriber and as long as you have the space to store them.
Sling TV recently took the dive into pay-per-view events with a UFC fight. The companys director of content acquisition has spoken up about their intention to offer more pay-per-view events in the future.
AirTV might be the most anticipated recent upgrade to the Sling TV system. Created by Echostar, the AirTV device works with your OTA antennae and Sling TV to bring you live, local programming. The partnership, which began early this year, had some kinks to work out. The most recent update has made for a smoother user experience. This might be the solution to the issue of missing out on live, local programming after cutting the cord.
Finally, Sling TV is working hard to give users the most wide variety of channels possible. New channels are constantly being added, from major network affiliates to music channels to new subscription packs. Keep checking back in on the blog to find out what new options are available.
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