Sling TV is changing the future of television. It’s a bold statement to be sure, but it’s one that’s true. Surrounded by an ever-growing selection of on-demand streaming services, Sling TV has separated itself from the pack thanks to its unique offering — a collection of popular live streaming channels previously only available to those with a cable contract.
What is Sling TV? Launched in early 2015 by Dish Network, Sling TV is a live streaming service that gives subscribers (sorry, US only) access to over 20 channels in its basic packages. These Sling TV channels include ESPN, ESPN2, TBS, TNT, AMC, and more, starting at just $20 a month with no contract. For more channels, there are also additional “skinny bundle” packages in various genres (e.g. sports, world news, etc.) that can be added on top of your basic subscription, typically for $5 a month (more on these below). You pay month-to-month, just like you do with Netflix and other streaming services, and you can cancel at anytime without penalty. There are no taxes or hidden fees, either.
T-Mobile customers, listen up. Sling TV now has a special deal just for you — take 30% off the Best of Live TV package for up to 12 months (you’ll still be able to cancel service any time you wish without penalty). That works out to only $14 a month for a great collection of popular channels when you sign up with your T-Mobile account. And with T-Mobile’s Binge On plan, you can stream Sling TV without it counting against your data plan. If you’re already a T-Mobile customer, learn more about this special deal and start a free 7-day trial.
This makes Sling TV the perfect cable TV alternative for both those looking to cut the cord and those who have never even had cable.
What Features Does Sling TV Offer?
The thing that makes the service so special is the live streaming of Sling TV channels. While services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Instant Video have gained popularity with their vast libraries of on-demand content, the cord cutting experience has sorely lacked options for those who just want to sit back on the couch and do some channel surfing. More notably, there haven’t been many good, legal, and affordable options for streaming live sports in the US until now. Sling TV fills these gaps and more beautifully.
But while live TV is Sling’s major calling card, the streaming service offers a whole lot of other great features that make this service remarkable.
- 3-Day Replay–Some Sling TV channels offer an innovative feature called “3-Day Replay.” This lets you scroll back and watch any TV show that has aired on that channel over the last three days. It’s a really cool feature, but not all channels allow you to do this.
- Pause, Rewind, and Fast-Forward–While it does not support DVR functionality, some Sling TV channels do allow you to pause, rewind, and fast-forward live TV, giving you a DVR-like experience.
- On-Demand Content–Many of the channels on Sling TV offer a good amount of on-demand shows and movies. Most notably, HBO, available as an add-on channel, offers the same on-demand library available to HBO Go and HBO Now subscribers, letting you watch just about every episode of nearly every show HBO has ever aired. Perhaps it’s not surprising that Sling CEO Roger Lynch recently said that the majority of their subscribers are watching on-demand content.
- Watch Anywhere–Sling TV lets you stream live TV just about anywhere you go. Watch Sling TV channels on your phone, tablet, PC, or TV, anywhere in the US. To watch Sling TV on your television, you’ll need to connect a streaming player, like a Roku 3 or Roku 2. Sling TV is currently running a special on both streaming players, offering 50% off the Roku 3 or a free Roku 2 when you sign up for three months of service.
Which Devices Can Play Sling TV?
What is Sling TV available on? You can watch Sling TV channels on your TV, phone (iOS and Android), tablet (iOS and Android), or computer (PC and Mac). As mentioned above, watching on your television requires the use of a streaming media player. Currently, Sling TV can be played on the following streaming players: All Roku players and the Roku Streaming Stick, Amazon Fire TV and the Fire TV Stick, Xbox One, and Google Nexus Player. And most recently, Sling TV announced they are available on Chromecast!
Don’t have a streaming player? You’re in luck. Sling TV actually offers special deals on the streaming devices it’s compatible with. When you prepay for three months of service, you can take advantage of one of the following deals:
- FREE Roku 2 (regularly $69.99)
- 50% off Roku 3 (regularly $99.99)
- 50% off Google Nexus Player (regularly $99.99)
- FREE Chromecast (regularly $35.00)
If you’re thinking about getting in on one of these limited-time deals, I suggest getting the Roku 3. It’s the best streaming player on the market right now (just ask CNET), and from my experience, it handles Sling TV better than any other device. I love the Roku’s remote, which has a headphone jack for private listening and voice search capabilities. You can even control your Roku from your phone if you download the Roku remote app. This is especially handy when you need to type for search and other functions. The Roku user interface is also incredibly simple and very fast.
What Sling TV Channels are Offered?
Now that you know the answer to “What is Sling TV?,” let’s talk about what channels you can get with the streaming service. Sling TV offers a few different kinds of packages — its basic “Best of Live TV” package that all subscribers get (aside from those who just want international channels), genre-specific add-on packs (these can be added on to the “Best of Live TV” package, usually for $5 each), and international foreign-language packages.
While the selection of Sling TV channels is always growing and evolving, here are their current offerings:
*Note–Sign up for a free 7-day trial and you can test out any packages you wish.
Best of Live TV ($20/month)–Watch ESPN online, ESPN2, AMC, A&E, TNT, HISTORY, Viceland (formerly H2), TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, IFC, El Rey, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Freeform (formerly ABC Family), Disney Channel, CNN, Bloomberg TV, Lifetime, Polaris+, Maker, Newsy, Flama, and Galavisión. Subscribers also get access to the WatchESPN app, including ESPN3 and an array of live and on-demand content. truTV (normally part of the Lifestyle Extra lineup) will be added to the Best of Live TV package during the NCAA tournament to help you watch March Madness online.
Multi-Stream Beta ($20/month, can be chosen in place of Best of Live TV if you prefer)–FS1 live stream, regional FOX Sports networks (depending on location), FOX (select markets), FX, CNN, HGTV, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, History Channel, TNT, TBS, IFC, A&E, El Rey, Viceland, Lifetime, Travel, truTV, Newsy, Bloomberg, Local Now, National Geographic, Polaris, Maker, Flama, Galavision, Univision.
HBO ($15 per month with Best of Live TV subscription)–Live HBO streaming and access to HBO’s full on-demand library (similar to HBO GO and HBO NOW). HBO subscribers also get up to three simultaneous streams of HBO, in addition to your single-stream that comes with Sling TV’s core and add-on packages. HBO can also be added on to Sling Latino or Sling International packages.
Sports Extra ($5 per month with Best of Live TV subscription)–SEC Network, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, Univision Deportes, beIN Sports, Outside Television, and college sports live cut-in and highlights networks (gametime-only) ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN Bases Loaded and ESPN Goal Line. And most recently, Sling TV added the Campus Insiders Network.
Cinemax ($10 per month with Best of Live TV subscription)–Get a true Cinemark live stream plus access to the network’s full on-demand library of content.
Broadcast Extra ($5 per month with Best of Live TV subscription)–Sling TV has recently added local broadcast channels in select markets. Currently, the Broadcast Extra package includes local affiliates for ABC, Univision, and UniMas in the following metro areas: Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham, San Francisco.
Hollywood Extra ($5 per month with Best of Live TV subscription)–Turner Classic Movies (TCM), EPIX, EPIX2, EPIX3, EPIX Drive-In, and SundanceTV.
Kids Extra ($5 per month with Best of Live TV subscription)–Disney Junior, Disney XD, Boomerang, Baby TV, and Duck TV.
World News Extra ($5 per month with Best of Live TV subscription)–HLN, Fusion, Euro News, France 24, NDTV 24/7, News 18 India, and Russia Today.
Best of Spanish TV ($5 per month with Best of Live TV subscription)–Univision, UniMas, Univision Deportes, beIN Sports en Espanol, beIN Sports HD (English), ESPN Deportes, Azteca, Cine Latino, De Pelicula, Clasico, Cine Sony Television, Pasiones, Univision, tnovelas, AZ Corazon.
Deportes Extra ($5 per month with Best of Live TV subscription)–ESPN Deportes, Azteca, beIN Sports en Español, beIN Sports HD (English), Univision, Univision Deportes, and UniMás.
Películas & Novelas Extra ($5 per month with Best of Live TV subscription)–Az Corazón, Cinelatino, De Película, De Película Clásico, Pasiones, Univision tlnovelas, Univision, and UniMás.
Sling TV also offers its Sling Latino service, which includes a number of different Spanish-language packages and channels. Click here to learn more about the channels available in the Latino service.
Finally, Sling TV offers a number of international, foreign-language packages. Sling TV offers a special 30-day free trial on all international packages. You can learn more about all of the following package by visiting the Sling International website: Arabic, Bangla, Bengali, Brazilian, Cantonese, Filipino, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Mandarin, Marathi, Punjabi, Taiwanese, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Vietnamese.
How Much Does Sling TV Cost?
Sling TV starts at just $20 per month. That gets you over 20 Sling TV channels in their “Best of Live TV” package, including ESPN, ESPN2, AMC, TBS, TNT, CNN, and more. Most of the genre add-on packages are just $5 each, as detailed above.
While Sling TV’s price is downright cheap, what really makes the streaming service a game-changer is there’s no contract. You pay month-to-month, just like you would with Netflix, Hulu, or any other streaming package. You’ll never be locked into an expensive cable contract again. It’s TV on your terms.
Can I Try Sling TV Free?
Yes, Sling TV currently offers a free 7-day trial on all domestic packages. You can try as many packages as you want during your 7-day trial, giving you a real chance to test out the streaming service to see if it’s right for you. Click here to sign up for your free 7-day trial.
Additionally, Sling International (the brand for all foreign-language packages) offers new subscribers a 30-day free trial. Click here to sign up for a 30-day free trial to Sling International.
How Can I Learn More about Sling TV?
For more information on Sling TV, click here to visit their website. Or if you have any questions, you can comment below and I’ll help!