Are you still watching television via satellite or traditional cable? Nowadays, the evolution of online video services has overtaken the old and much more costly ways to watch TV. Satellites are being replaced with high-grade streaming options, and cable is becoming quite expensive. With the ability to go wireless, streaming services are certainly faster, easier to set up, and more convenient. They provide high image quality for sports, movies, and shows, but also include many other options. Plus, most of them do not require you to modify your living room or home in any way.
So is Sling TV a new way to watch television or is it something you should avoid? How does Sling TV work? Keep reading to find out!
Sling TV: What Is It?
Sling TV is a quick and affordable way to watch quality TV in the U.S. With base services costing from $15 to $25 (monthly) and offering 30 to 50+ channels, Sling TV is perfect for those who do not want to pay a premium price but still wish to enjoy their favorite channels.
It’s a service that streams TV channels via the internet, thus allowing you to cut the cord and free yourself from those bulky cables and awkward receivers.
In fact, it was developed in 2015, meaning it was among the first of its kind and it gained a lot of popularity over the years.
The service is classified as an OTT or “over-the-top” way of watching television.
This means that the TV signal arrives from the internet, similar to Amazon or Netflix. Even though the service doesn’t receive signals and broadcasts from cable or satellite, it’s mainly focused on live TV streaming. That way, it mirrors the experience of watching TV via a cable company or older methods.
Additionally, Sling TV allows some on-demand options to rewatch shows or rewind them, but those features are fairly limited. Of course, there are many other OTT services like Hulu, YouTube TV, or DirectTV Now (AT&T TV Now), and more. Those services include different features and specifications. Overall, Sling TV appears to be among the quickest and most affordable.
Here’s How It Works
Firstly, there are three basic packages — Orange, Blue, and Orange + Blue. The base services each include a variety of channels, and there are plenty of add-ons and extras that you can purchase to unlock more channels and options. Bear in mind that the pricing that we’ve listed may change over time. What’s more, the service offers local channels, but that will depend on your location.
So let’s check out some of the features of each base package.
This entry-level package costs $15/month and offers approximately 30 TV channels. Some of the channels are major sports and news networks, like ESPN and CNN. Also on offer are popular entertainment channels like AMC, Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, History, Comedy Central, etc.
It’s a basic package, but a lot is included for only $15. The package only allows a single stream, though. For those who need a service that is available on several devices simultaneously, Sling TV offers that option in the other base packages.
The price of this monthly package is also $15. Sling Blue includes around 45+ channels. There are more channels on offer for the same price as the previous package, but this one does not offer Disney-owned networks. ESPN, Freeform, and any Disney network will not be included. However, the number of channels is increased, and some of them are Fox, NBC, Fox Sports, TLC, Bravo, TNT, NFL Network, etc.
Plus, this subscription allows three active streams so that you can use it on up to three devices. It’s a great choice if you’re not interested in ESPN and other Disney-owned channels.
Orange + Blue
This package combines the previous two and costs $25. It allows four multiple streams and offers over 50 channels. The selection is essentially a combination of Orange and Blue, offering the previously mentioned Disney networks, NBC, Fox, CNN, History, FX, Comedy Central, AMC, TBS, BBC, Nat Geo, and more.
The offer here is quite vast considering the price, especially since other services charge more for a similar number of channels.
Sling TV has some add-on services, including Cloud DVR and extra channels. The basic DVR package for recording is only $5, and it allows you to save multiple shows. Additionally, here is the full list of add-on packages which all offer over five or ten extra channels and cost $5 per month:
- Sports Extra — NBA TV, ESPNU, SEC Network, beIN, NHL Network, etc.
- Comedy Extra — MTV, Paramount Network, CMT, TRU TV, etc.
- Kids Extra — Disney Junior and XD, Nick Jr., Boomerang, etc.
- News Extra — The Blaze, SCI, BBC World, Fusion, RT America, Euronews, etc.
- Lifestyle Extra — VH1, Bet, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Drama, Lifetime Movies, etc.
- Hollywood Extra — The Film Detective, SundanceTV, TCM, Cinemoi, Reelz, etc.
- Heartland Extra — Destination America, American Heroes Channel, Outdoor Channel, Ride TV, etc.
And if you’re looking for premium channels, Sling TV is very generous regarding prices compared to its competitors. The channel packages (around 5+ per package) cost $5/mo and some of the networks are Starz, Cinefest, CDN, Epix, Showtime, DOGTV, and more.
Unfortunately, Sling TV doesn’t offer networks like HBO and Cinemax.
Setup and Requirements
Sling TV requires a wireless internet connection, and it works on computers (Apple, Windows) as well as iOS or Android devices. Additionally, it’s compatible with Xbox One and several hardware devices like the Amazon Fire TV Stick or Apple TV. Also, there’s support for Chromecast and Roku, and you can use it on select smart TVs. Some of the TVs that will be compatible with Sling TV are LG, Sony, and Samsung models.
Overall, the service is simple to set up. It requires you to register, purchase a subscription, and then install the proprietary Sling TV app. Depending on your streaming device, the optimal internet connection is between 3 and 25 Mbps.
The Verdict: Is Sling TV the Right Service for You?
Overall, this live TV streaming service comes with an impressive selection of channels for the price. With one of the three base packages, you’ll get plenty of networks, and you won’t have to pay as much compared to other streaming services. It offers many add-on content and premium channels, although it lacks some important networks. What’s more, the setup is not too complicated, but we’d like to see more compatible TV sets to make the service even simpler.
Nevertheless, if you go for the most expensive, Orange + Blue subscription, and purchase additional content to get loads of options, the service will still be cheaper than some of its competitors. So check out the Sling TV options and subscribe today!