What is Sling TV? Sling TV a live streaming service that has changed the future of television. It’s a bold statement to be sure, but it’s one that most Sling TV reviews will affirm. Surrounded by an ever-growing selection of on-demand and live streaming services, Sling TV has separated itself from the pack thanks to its unique offering — a true skinny bundle of popular live streaming channels at an unbelievably low price. Read on for more about Sling TV channels, packages, cost, devices, and more.
What is Sling TV?
Sling TV is a live streaming service that gives subscribers access to over 25 channels in its basic package (Sling Orange), 40+ channels in its intermediate package (Sling Blue), 60+ channels in its combined package (Sling Orange + Sling Blue), and upwards of 100+ channels if you add on all the expansion Sling TV packages. This US-only service was created by Dish Network.
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 any time without penalty. There are no taxes or hidden fees, either.
With such great features, it’s no wonder that most Sling TV reviews say it’s the perfect cable TV alternative for both those looking to cut the cord and those who have never even had cable.
T-Mobile customers, listen up. Sling TV now has a special deal just for you — take 30% off the Sling Orange 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. If you’re not a T-Mobile customer, is Sling TV worth it? Absolutely!
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–Some Sling TV channels do allow you to pause, rewind, and fast-forward live TV, giving you a DVR-like experience. And starting in December, Sling TV is now beta testing a cloud DVR for Roku users!
- Cloud DVR (beta)–One of the most common complaints in Sling TV reviews was that the service didn’t have a DVR. Now, that’s changing. Sling TV has just started beta testing a brand new cloud DVR to further improve the streaming experience in 2017. This cloud DVR won’t have the 28-day restriction on your recordings that PlayStation Vue imposes, and it will have some cool features, like conflict-free recording; pause, rewind or fast-forward your recordings; and manage your recording space easily. Currently, beta testing of the DVR is going on by invite only to Roku users and to Amazon Fire users, but expect the service to be rolled out to everyone in 2017 at some point.
- On-Demand Content–Many of the channels on Sling TV offer a good amount of on-demand shows, movies, and even some sports. 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 smart TV, anywhere in the US. To watch Sling TV on your television, you’ll need to connect a streaming player, like Apple TV, a Roku 3 or Roku 2, Chromecast, etc. Sling TV is currently running a special on both streaming players, offering a free Roku Streaming device when you prepay for just one month of service.
Which Devices Can Play Sling TV?
What is Sling TV available on? You can watch the entire Sling TV channels list 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, Chromecast, Channel Master, ZTE, and Android TV. And most recently, Sling TV announced they are available on Apple TV! That’s right, you can now watch Sling TV on Apple TV. That’s huge news.
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 various lengths of service, you can take advantage of one of the following deals:
- FREE Roku Express when you prepay for two months of service
- 50% off a Roku Premiere+ when you prepay three months of service
- 40% off an Apple TV when you prepay three month of service (regularly $149.99)
As for those looking to view Sling TV on their smartphone, if you’re a T-Mobile customer, listen up. Sling TV now has a special deal just for you — take 30% off the Sling Orange 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 is the Sling TV Channels List?
Now that you know the answer to “What is Sling TV?,” let’s talk about what channels you can get with the streaming service. There are a few different Sling TV packages available — it has two main packages “Sling Orange” and “Sling Blue”, as well as genre-specific add-on packs (these can be added on to the your basic package package, usually for $5 each), and international foreign-language packages. There is also a new “Multi Extra discount” package, which adds over 40 networks for just $10 per month!
While the Sling TV channels list is always growing and evolving, here is the complete current list of channels on Sling TV:
*Note–Sign up for a free 7-day trial and you can test out any packages you wish.
Current Sling TV Channel Base Packages 2017:
You’ll need to choose one of the three base Sling TV packages below. From there, if you want additional Sling channels, you can add on extra channel packs.
Sling Orange ($20/month)
Sling Orange is Sling TV’s most popular and most affordable package, with 30+ channels in total. Sling TV channels list for this package includes:
ESPN, AMC, CNN, HGTV, Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, HISTORY, Disney Channel, ESPN2, ESPN3, TNT, Food Network, TBS, BBC America, Freeform (formerly ABC Family), Adult Swim, IFC, A&E, El Rey, Viceland (formerly H2), Lifetime, Travel Channel, AXS TV, Newsy, Cheddar, Bloomberg TV, Local Now, Polaris+, Maker, Flama, and Galavisión.
Sling Blue ($25/month)
Sling Blue is another great package with a slightly different selection of Sling channels. This package offers more selection with 40+ different channels. It has many of the same channels as Sling Orange, with some notable exceptions. Mainly, Sling Blue offers NBC, NBCSN, FOX, Fox Sports and other networks from the FOX family, but does NOT include the ESPN family. 43 Sling TV channels in total, including:
AMC, CNN, HGTV, Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, History, TNT, Food Network, TBS, BBC America, Adult Swim, IFC, A&E, El Rey Network, Viceland, Lifetime, Travel Channel, AXS TV, Newsy, Cheddar, Bloomberg TV, Local Now, Polaris+, Maker, Flama, Galavision, FOX (select markets), NBC (select markets), FOX Sports regional networks (select markets), NFL Network, FX, USA, Bravo, FS1, FS2, NBCSN, FXX, Syfy, Nick Jr., TruTV, BET, National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, Univision, and UniMas.
Sling Orange + Sling Blue ($40/month)
This Sling TV package offers the best of both worlds, combing ALL the channels found in the two primary base plans. There are a total of 60+ channels! This is the full Sling TV lineup, and you can also add on additional add-on packs for even more selection.
Current Sling TV Channel Expansion Packs:
These channel packs offer genre-specific expansions, allowing you to fine-tune your channel selection for more of the content you want. These Sling TV packages are only available with a subscription to either Sling Orange or Sling Blue. In other words, you can’t just subscribe to the Sports Extra package, you have to have one of the basic packages to begin with. *Please note that these expansion packs vary in channel selection based on the base package you subscribe to*
Multi-Extra Discount ($10 per month)
This is the best deal for those looking to expand their channel selection. This package adds four existing add-on packages (Kids Extra, Lifestyle Plus Extra, Comedy Plus Extra and News Extra) for only $10 per month. This includes a total of 40+ new networks. Channels include:
Sports Extra (Starting at $5 per month)
A sports fan’s dream – offering 17 great channels for live sports, including:
NFL RedZone, NBA TV, SEC Network, SEC Network+, Pac-12 Network, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, NHL Network, beIN Sports, Golf Channel, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Buzzer Beater, Campus Insiders, Outside Television, Motors TV North AM, and Univision Deportes.
Kids Extra ($5 per month)
Perfect for the little ones in your life, 8 high quality kids channels to enjoy! This pack is a great way to watch kids shows online. This add-on is also available in the Multi-Extra Discount package.
HBO ($15 per month)
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.
Cinemax ($10 per month)
Get a true Cinemax live stream plus access to the network’s full on-demand library of content.
Starz ($9 per month)
Get Starz, plus Starz West, Starz Edge, Starz Comedy, Starz Kids & Family, and Starz Encore.
Comedy Plus Extra ($5 per month)
Lifestyle Plus Extra ($5 per month)
Hollywood Extra ($5 per month)
World News Extra ($5 per month)
Best of Spanish TV ($5 per month)
Galavision, Univision, Uni Mas, Azteca, AZ Clic, Univision Deportes, BeIN SPORTS en Espanol, BeIN SPORTS (English), ESPN Deportes, AZ Cinema, Cinelatino, De Pelicula, De Pelicula Clasico, Cine Sony, Pasiones, Univision tlnovelas, AZ Corazon, TeLe-Romantica, Cbeebies, FOROtv, Telehit, Bandamax, NTN24, TeleFormula, and BabyTV.
Broadcast Extra ($5 per month, in select markets)
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.
Other Sling TV Channels & Plans
There are also three small Spanish language extra packs, including Caribe Extra, Colombia Extra, and Espana Extra. 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, there are a number of international, foreign-language Sling TV 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.
What About Sling TV Local Channels?
Another unique thing about this service is that there are some Sling TV local channels that you can watch. Some of the channels on Sling TV, such as ABC, NBC, and FOX, are actually local broadcast channels whose content varies depending on where you live. While 95% of channels on Sling are available nationwide, these Sling local channels are only available in select markets. See the programming details below:
- FOX – FOX is available in the Sling Blue package, and is offered in the following markets:
- Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Houston, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; Dallas, Texas; Charlotte, N.C.; Detroit, Michigan; Gainesville, Fla.; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; New York; Orlando; Tampa, Fla; Philadelphia; Phoenix; San Francisco; and Washington D.C.
- Note that FOX is available on-demand nationwide; but live streaming is only available in the above-listed areas. FOX-hosted sporting events are not offered on-demand, however – only TV shows.
- NBC – NBC is available in the Sling Blue package, and is offered in the following markets:
- Chicago, San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Diego, and Hartford/New Haven
- ABC – ABC is available as part of the Broadcast Extra package, which is currently only available in:
- Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Raleigh-Durham, New York, Fresno-Visalia, Philadelphia, and San Francisco
- Univision & UniMas – Available as part of the Broadcast Extra package, in the same areas listed above.
Sling TV is rapidly expanding, and has plan to extend the reach of these Sling TV local channels. We’ll keep this guide updated as new markets are added.
Sling TV Review FAQ
To provide you with as much possible information as possible in this Sling TV review, I’ve included answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about the live TV streaming service. If you have additional questions that aren’t answered in our Sling TV review, please leave a comment at the end of this article.
Where Can You Get Sling TV?
Sling TV is only available in the United States at this time, and we expect that to remain the case for a long time to come.
How Much Does Sling TV Cost?
Sling TV starts at just $20 per month. That gets you over 30 Sling TV channels of programming in their “Sling Orange” package, including ESPN, ESPN2, AMC, TBS, TNT, CNN, and more. For a slightly different selection of channels, including FS1, FX, and NBC, the “Sling Blue” package is available for $25 a month, with 40+ channels in total. Or, if you really want to max out your channel selection, go with the “Sling Orange + Sling Blue” package, which includes all the channels from BOTH packages (60+ in total) for only $40 a month!
There are also various add-on packages that are genre-specific. These give you the ability to expand your programming selection in a specific way – i.e. by getting more sports channels, more Spanish language channels, etc. Most of the genre add-on packages are just $5 each per month, as detailed above. It’s the closest thing to a la carte that’s available at the moment.
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.
How Does Sling TV Work?
We get a lot of questions like “how does Sling TV work?” Well, Sling TV is an online streaming service, meaning that it works exclusively over the internet. No cable or satellite subscription is required to enjoy the live TV you love.
Essentially, the team behind Sling TV has purchased the broadcasting rights for all the channels they offer. This means that they can legally “broadcast” these channels over the internet to their subscribers. Instead of watching via a cable provider, you’re watching via an internet provider.
There’s no cable box, so you’ll need a compatible device. You can see our Sling TV devices section above for more info, but basically, you’ll just need a compatible device and an internet connection, and you’ll be good to go!
What Internet Speed is Needed to Stream Sling TV?
The internet speed you need to enjoy Sling TV is in line with what you need to watch Netflix, Hulu, and other popular streaming services — 5 Mb per second or more. If you have multiple people in your household using the internet at the same time (especially if they’re streaming), you’ll likely want to add 5 Mb per second per additional person to ensure the smoothest possible experience as you watch live TV.
How is the Sling TV Video and Audio Quality?
The picture and sound you get with Sling TV is very good, especially for streaming live TV. While the video quality is slightly lower than that you get with full HD cable (Sling tends to look a little softer), it still looks really good, and the audio quality is up to par as well. You get stereo-only audio on live TV, while on-demand, you can enjoy 5.1 surround sound where available.
As with all streaming, quality can be affected by your internet connection, so it’s important to make sure you have a reliable high-speed connection.
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 Sling 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.
What Makes Sling TV Different From Cable TV?
While Sling TV delivers many of the same live TV channels as a typical cable package, there are a number of differences.
First, there’s the cost. The Sling TV price of $20 to start, with no hidden fees, is much cheaper than most cable packages. So, you’ll likely save a lot of money with Sling as opposed to cable TV.
There’s also no contract. So, if you ever decide you want to cancel Sling TV, you can do so at any time with no penalty. It’s very similar to Netflix and other streaming services you might be familiar with in this way.
The Sling TV channels are also streamed over your internet connection, and you can enjoy the experience on your TV with a connected streaming device, phone, tablet, or computer, so it’s a really flexible experience you can enjoy in a number of ways.
Can I Watch Sling TV on Multiple Devices Simultaneously?
This is where it can get a little tricky. The short answer is — it depends on which Sling TV channels you have.
If you subscribe to the Sling Orange package, you can only watch that group of channels on one device at a time. Additional simultaneous streams are restricted at this time.
However, if you are subscribed to the Blue Sling TV package, you can stream those channels on up to three devices at the same time, which is great for households with multiple viewers who want to watch different things on different devices at the same time.
If you subscribe to both Orange and Blue, you’ll be able to enjoy the three simultaneous streams, but some Sling TV channels (like ESPN) will still only allow one stream at a time.
Additionally, if you have added HBO to your subscription, this premium channel allows three simultaneous streams.
Does Sling TV Offer a DVR?
For a long time, one of the biggest knocks was there wasn’t a Sling TV DVR. However, that is now changing in 2017.
Recently, Sling TV rolled out a beta version of its DVR to Roku users. Additionally, the company is now expanding this beta test to Amazon Fire TV devices, making the Sling TV DVR available to more subscribers. As of this writing, the DVR is not yet available on all devices, but it’s clear that the company is very focused on developing this feature and making it available on more devices.
Having said that, it is worth pointing out that many, but not all, Sling TV channels do offer on-demand content, and some offer the ability to pause live TV, as well as rewind and fast-forward.
Can You Use Sling TV Credentials to Authenticate TV Everywhere Apps?
Sling TV subscribers have the ability to use their subscription to authenticate certain TV everywhere apps, like WatchESPN and FXNOW.
Currently, Sling TV subscribers can authenticate the following apps (depending on which of the Sling TV packages you have) with their login info:
WatchESPN, FOX NOW, FXNOW, E! Now, NFL Network, MSNBC Now, USANow, Oxygen, NBC Universo, Bravo, SyFy.
This list is always subject to change as new Sling TV channels are added and new deals are worked out with network providers.
Is There a Sling TV Gift Card?
Want to gift Sling TV to a friend? Sling TV is now offering gift cards, so you can instantly give the gift of live TV to every entertainment lover in your life. Gift cards can be applied toward any Sling TV subscription, and don’t require any long-term contracts, credit checks or credit cards. WalMart stores carry $25 Sling TV gift cards, while Best Buy and GameStop will have $25-$100 gift cards. Don’t have time to run to the store? Buy a gift card online here.
Note that when you use a gift card, you can’t take advantage of a free device sign up offer (like the free Roku w/ 3 month prepay deal).
Sling TV Review: My Personal Experience
I’ve personally used Sling TV since around the time it came out nearly two years ago, starting with the free 7-day trial. And boy has it come a long way. Over the last year or so, Sling TV has done work to its user interface and its backend. The result? A live linear service that’s both easy and reliable to use.
With the Sling Blue package, my family is able to stream simultaneously on multiple devices, which usually consists of our living room TV and one or two mobile devices. And the on-demand libraries for many of the channels is helpful when we aren’t able to catch something live (although not every channel has the same on-demand availability).
I’ve found the Sling TV packages and features to meet most of my family’s viewing needs. I’m able to watch the sports I want, along with some of my favorite shows on stations like AMC, while my wife has her HGTV, and my kids have plenty of programming to keep them happy.
I prefer using Sling TV with Roku. I like the way it looks and behaves. Of course, that could be in large part to the fact that I prefer Roku devices in general. Regardless, I think Sling + Roku is a winning combination.
I’ve tested Sling TV alongside rival services PlayStation Vue and DIRECTV NOW. In fact, I currently have access to all three services. However, I pretty much use Sling TV exclusively. Well, as a Roku user, DIRECTV NOW doesn’t currently have Roku support, and the Vue interface on Roku is lacking. Sling TV just looks and performs so much better on Roku.
Of course, early on, the service had some growing pains. As a trailblazer in the world of live streaming, there were some falters during some highly viewed sports events early on. However, all in all, I find Sling’s streams to be very reliable. I used it during the Olympics, for example, and had no issues (whereas the NBC Sports app crashed on me countless times).
Of course, don’t just take my word for it. Try it out for yourself.
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!