What is Sling TV?
Sling TV is a streaming provider that enables viewers to watch live television. The service is a subsidiary of television provider Dish Network and launched in January 2015. It currently has 2.8 million subscribers but is growing rapidly, with 214,000 new users joining the provider in the third-quarter of 2019.
The services main appeal is its price point. The service’s two basic $30/mo. packages, Blue and Orange, are significantly cheaper than most other live streaming providers, such as Hulu + Live TV ($54.99/mo.) and YouTube TV ($49.99/mo.) While combining the two Blue and Orange offerings is just $45/mo. However, unlike the majority of its competitors in the video streaming market, Sling TV does not offer a free trial. Instead, it provides a $10 discount on the first month of a subscription.
Sling TV’s interface, local programming options, and app performance are put to the test when compared to some of it’s top competitors. But for it’s attractive price point and availability of top cable channels it’s a great plan for cord cutting.
Sling TV plans and pricing
|Sling TV Blue||Sling TV Orange||Sling TV Blue & Orange|
|Number of channels||46||32||53|
|Live sports streaming?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Sling once led the pack as the cheap live TV streaming service, but not anymore. Philo entered the game for $10 cheaper and features a friendlier interface. Plus, there’s Pluto TV for free. Sling TV’s interface, local programming options, and app performance are put to the test when compared to some of its top competitors. But for its attractive price point and availability of top cable channels it’s a great plan for cord cutting.
There are 3 different packages with Sling TV. For those looking to cut the cord on a budget and only keep the channel(s) they care about, the Blue and Orange packages are perfect for only getting those specific channels. But for those looking to get all Sling TV channels and the ability to multi-stream, then combining the 2 packages is the best bet.
Both the Orange and Blue packages include the same 26 base channels. However, both also include their own unique sets of channels as well. Sling TV Blue package subscribers get 2 more simultaneous streams and 12 more channels for the same price as Sling TV Orange. Subscribers of the Sling TV Blue & Orange package get the complete set of channels and the capability of 4 simultaneous streams. Add-on channels or package “Extras” vary depending on which of the 3 package tiers account owners choose.
Sling TV look and feel
Sling TV’s streaming quality is on par with its competitors. Subscribers with internet speeds of 25 Mbps or higher should not expect many issues when streaming on multiple devices. The app uses a dark background and includes several tabs for users to navigate. The tabs appear in this order: My TV, On Now, Guide, Sports, and Rentals.
My TV serves as the home screen and displays horizontal rows of content for users to side scroll through. Favorited channels appear at the top, the next row is DVR content, followed by suggested content, and then on-demand titles. On Now serves a similar purpose, but is focussed solely on live TV channels.
The Guide mirrors a similar layout to traditional cable TV guides. Channels are not numbered and do not follow a particular order so users need to scroll to find content. Subscribers can see scheduled content up to six days in the future. There is a search bar for those who already know what they are looking for—but not as robust as YouTube TV’s search functionality.
The Sports tab carries over the My TV and On Now layout and organizes the sports by type. The Rentals tab can be manually organized by Rotten Tomato score or TV rating. Overall, finding things to watch requires a bit more patience, unlike YouTube TV or Hulu + Live TV. Sling TV’s streaming quality and channel lineup make up for this.
Sling TV supported devices
Sling TV is compatible with a wide range of devices. Its apps ensure the service can be watched on mobiles, gaming consoles, and various streaming devices, as well as on any web browser. However, it is worth noting that Sling TV does not work with Nintendo or PlayStation devices. Sling TV can be streamed across the following devices:
- Amazon Firesticks
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android iOS
- Android TV
- Apple iOS
- Apple TV
- Google Chromecast
- LG Smart TV
- Portal from Facebook
- Samsung Smart TV
- Xbox One
Check here for a full breakdown of devices compatible with Sling TV.
What to watch on Sling TV
Sling TV’s channel selection includes the following categories:
- Lifestyle and Entertainment
Sling TV: Kids Content
Kids can enjoy the likes of Nick Junior on Sling TV Blue, Disney Channel on Sling TV Orange, and Cartoon Network across all of the service’s packages. However, more is available by upgrading to Kids Extra for $5/mo., which adds the likes of Disney Junior and Nick Junior on Sling TV Orange, and Boomerang, NickToons, and TeenNick on both plans.
Sling TV: Lifestyle and Entertainment
Lifestyle and entertainment options are well served with A&E, Food Network, History Channel, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime, and Travel Channel on both Sling TV Blue and Sling TV Orange. And users can get even more by adding Lifestyle Extra for $5/mo. This add-on includes Cooking Channel, DIY Network, Hallmark Drama, and Hallmark Network.
Sling TV: Movies
There is not a great deal of content for movie lovers to enjoy with Sling TV’s basic packages. EPIX Drive-In is available to all subscribers, and Sling TV Blue features Paramount Network. The Hollywood Extra package provides access to several popular movie channels, including Cinémoi, HDNET Movies, Reelz, Sundance TV, and Turner Classic Movies, for $5/mo.
Sling TV: News
There are basic news stations available through Sling TV. Both the Blue and Orange options carry BBC America, Cheddar News, and CNN, while the Blue package contains FOX as well as MSNBC and NBC, in certain markets. Subscribers can get more by upgrading to News Extra for $5/mo., which includes channels like BBC World News, CNBC, and FOX Business.
Sling TV: Sports
Sports fans get a decent selection of channels through Sling TV. ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN 3, and Stadium are available to all subscribers, while Sling TV Blue also includes FOX Sports 1, NBC Sports Network, and NFL Network. Those who want more sports action can sign up for the Sports Extra add-on for $10/mo. extra with Sling TV Blue or Sling TV Orange. The package costs $15/mo. with Sling TV Blue & Orange. Sports Extra gives Blue subscribers access to FOX Sports 2, Red Zone from NFL Network, and The Golf Channel. Orange subscribers who purchase the add-on will be able to view several college football conference networks, NBA TV, and Tennis Channel. Both options carry beIN Sports, MLB Network, and NHL Network.
Sling TV features
DVR Storage on Sling TV
Both basic Sling TV packages come with 10 hours of Cloud DVR storage space for subscribers to record content to watch later. This can be upgraded to 50 hours of storage for an extra $5/mo. Users can record multiple shows at the same time, and recordings can be kept for as long as the account owner remains a Sling TV customer. Viewers are also able to fast-forward through commercials on shows they have saved in the Cloud DVR system.
Users and Viewer Permissions on Sling TV
Sling TV provides one account per user and does not enable subscribers to create multiple profiles, unlike competitors such as Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV, which both offer six personalized profiles. Sling TV Blue lets viewers watch from three devices simultaneously, but Sling TV Orange only allows one stream per account. Upgrading to Sling TV Blue & Orange increases the total to four simultaneous streams.
Customize Your Viewing Experience
Sling TV provides a range of settings for users to control the content available or modify the viewing experience. Its parental control settings permit subscribers to lock specific content based on rating and prevent in-app purchases like movie rentals and pay-per-view offerings. It also provides several closed captioning options, such as subtitle text color and size.
Sling TV Channels and add ons
The 26 base channels among Sling TV Orange, Sling TV Blue, and Sling TV Blue & Orange are some of the most popular live TV channels. Each tier also offers additional popular or unique channels. Account owners should choose the tier that most closely resembles the lineup they want. For those who want more options, there are various premium channels and package Extras to add on.
Sling TV’s most noteworthy add-ons are the international channels. There is content from many regions of the world to choose from that competitors may not have. US local channels are most noticeably missing. Competitors like Hulu + Live TV or AT&T TV do include a selection of local channels, but it’s worth noting they are a bit pricer. Although local channels are not available through the main or Extra package tiers, subscribers can purchase an additional HD antenna to catch signal from these networks.
Here’s a complete list of all available Extras and add-on channels:
- Starz: $9.00/mo. (6 extra channels)
- Showtime: $10.00/mo. (9 extra channels)
- EPIX: $5.00/mo. (5 extra channels)
- HBO: $15.00/mo.
- Cinemax: $9.00/mo.
- Curiosity Stream: $5.00/mo.
- Sports Extra: $10.00/mo. Includes MLB Network, NBA TV, SEC Network
- Comedy Extra: $5.00/mo. Includes MTV, CMT, TV Land
- Kids Extra: $5.00/mo. Includes Disney Junior, Nick Jr., Boomerang
- News Extra: $5.00mo. Includes BBC World News, HLN, RT America
- Lifestyle Extra: $5.00/mo. Includes Cooking Channel, Hallmark Channel, BET
- Hollywood Extra: $5.00/mo. Includes Sundance TV, TCM, Reelz
- Heartland Extra: $5.00/mo. Includes Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel, Ride TV
- International: $5.00/mo. Includes channels from Europe, India, China, and more
- Espanol: $5.00/mo. Includes Azteca, Cine Latino, NBC Universo
- Deportes: $5.00/mo. Includes LaLiga, Ligue 1, Superliga Argentina, and more
Sling TV Channel List
- ACC Network
- American Heroes Channel
- AXS TV
- BBC America
- BBC World News
- BeIN Sports
- Campus Insider
- Cartoon Network/Adult Swim
- Cheddar Business
- Cheddar Big News
- Comedy Central
- Cooking Channel
- Cowboy Channel
- Disney Junior
- Disney XD
- DIY Network
- Duck TV
- Epix Drive-In
- EPIX Hits
- ESPN 2
- ESPN Bases Loaded
- ESPN Deportes
- ESPN Goal Line
- ESPN News
- ESPN U
- Food Network
- Fox Business (Select Markets)
- Fox News
- France 24
- Free Speech
- Golf Channel
- Hallmark, Drama & Movies
- HDNet Movies
- History Channel
- Investigation Discovery
- Lifetime Movies
- MLB Network
- MTV 2
- National Geographic
- National Geographic Wild
- NBA TV
- NBC (Select Markets)
- NBC Sports (Select Markets)
- News 18
- NFL Network
- NFL Network RedZone
- NHL Network
- Nick Jr.
- Olympic Channel
- Outdoor Channel
- Outside TV
- Ride TV
- RT Network
- Science Channel
- SEC Network
- Sundance TV
- Teen Nick
- Tennis Channel
- Travel Channel
- Tru TV
- Turner Classic Movies
- TV Land
- UP Family
- We tv
The final cut
Sling TV provides a solid and affordable live streaming service to cord cutters. Both of its basic packages offer a range of entertainment, lifestyle, news, and sports TV channels for just $30/mo., or users can get the lot for $45/mo. The service also has a range of add-on choices so viewers can personalize their viewing options. It is worth noting that Sling TV does not provide a free trial, but instead offers new subscribers a 1-month, $10 discount on any plan.
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