Sling TV has shaken up the live TV streaming market by offering an inexpensive way to cut the cord from expensive cable and satellite packages. With competitive pricing starting at just $35 per month, Sling TV is one of the most affordable live TV streaming services available today.
In this comprehensive Sling TV review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about this popular streaming service, including channel lineup, DVR options, compatibility, pros and cons, and how it compares to alternatives like Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV. Read on for the full details to see if Sling TV is right for you.
Sling TV Overview
Sling TV is a live TV streaming service created by Dish Network in 2015. It offers a selection of popular cable channels delivered over the internet to your compatible devices. Here’s an overview of Sling TV:
- Cost: Starts at $35/month for “Sling Orange” or “Sling Blue” base packages. Add-on packs from $5-$15/month. No contracts or hidden fees.
- Channels: 30-50+ channels depending on package. Top networks include ESPN, CNN, TNT, Disney Channel, HGTV, Food Network, and more. Local channel availability varies by region.
- DVR: Cloud DVR with 10 hours storage is $5/month extra. Can be upgraded to 50 hours for $10/month. Limited On Demand library also available.
- Simultaneous Streams: 1 stream standard, up to 4 with add-on package.
- Devices: Compatible with Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS, Android, Xbox One, web browsers, and more.
- Free Trial: None, but will refund first month if canceled within first 7 days.
Sling TV allows users to stream live television channels over the internet at a much lower cost than traditional cable. While package options are more limited compared to other streaming services, Sling offers the lowest pricing in the market starting at just $35 per month. Read on for the full details in this Sling TV review.
Sling TV Plans and Pricing
Sling TV offers two base packages, Sling Orange and Sling Blue, each priced at $35 per month. You can also combine both packages in Sling Orange + Blue for $50 per month. Here is an overview of Sling TV’s packages and pricing:
- 30+ channels
- Top networks – ESPN, CNN, Disney Channel, AMC, TNT, Comedy Central
- 1 simultaneous stream
- 40+ channels
- Top networks – Fox Sports, NBC Sports, NFL Network, FS1, Bravo, FX
- 3 simultaneous streams
Sling Orange + Blue
- 50+ channels combined
- 4 simultaneous streams
Add-Ons (price per month)
- Extra Streams: $5 per month for up to 4 simultaneous streams
- Cloud DVR: $5 for 10 hours, $10 for 50 hours
- Sports Extra: $11 with Orange, $15 with Blue or Orange + Blue
- Comedy Extra: $6
- Lifestyle Extra: $6
- News Extra: $6
- Kids Extra: $6
- Heartland Extra: $6
- Spanish-language Extra: $5
There are no contracts, so you can cancel anytime. Sling TV is one of the most affordable live TV streaming services available, especially if you customize your package with the channels you want through the various add-on packs.
Sling TV Channels and Packages
The Sling Orange and Sling Blue base packages offer different selections of popular live channels at a low price point. While Sling lacks some major networks like ABC, NBC, and CBS, it includes top cable channels from ESPN, TNT, TBS, CNN, HGTV, and more.
Here is the Sling TV channel lineup for key networks broken down by package:
Sling Orange Channel Lineup
- ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3
- CNN, Bloomberg, Newsy
- Comedy Central, Paramount Network, TV Land
- AMC, BBC America, IFC
- TNT, TBS, El Rey Network, FX
- Disney Channel, Freeform, Disney Junior, Disney XD
- Cartoon Network, Adult Swim
- HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel
- A&E, Vice, FYI, Lifetime, History Channel
Sling Blue Channel Lineup
- Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, NFL Network
- NBC Sports Network, NBC (select markets)
- Bravo, E!, Oxygen, Syfy
- FS1, FS2, Big Ten Network
- FX, FXX, Nat Geo, Nat Geo Wild
- BET, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, TV Land
- TNT, TBS
- USA Network, BBC America, IFC
The Sling Orange + Blue package includes a combination of channels from both lineups, including ESPN, Fox Sports, and NBC Sports networks.
In addition to the base packages, Sling offers a variety of extra channel packs to customize your channel selection:
Sports Extra ($11-$15) – NFL RedZone, NBA TV, MLB Network, NHL Network, PAC 12 Network, Tennis Channel, beIN Sports
Comedy Extra ($6) – MTV, MTV2, Logo, CMT, GSN, TV Land
Lifestyle Extra ($6) – VH1, Cooking Channel, Hallmark Channel, WEtv, DIY
News Extra ($6) – BBC World News, HLN, Fox News, MSNBC, Cheddar, Newsy
Kids Extra ($6) – Nick Jr, NickToons, TeenNick, BabyTV
Heartland Extra ($6) – Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel, PixL, World Fishing Network
Spanish Language Extra ($5) – CNN Espanol, History Channel en Espanol, Discovery en Espanol
This “a la carte” style add-on approach gives you flexibility to further customize your Sling TV package with the channels and genres you want. Overall, Sling provides one of the most affordable channel lineups compared to other live TV streaming competitors.
Cloud DVR and On Demand Library
Sling TV comes equipped with a cloud DVR to record and playback live TV. Here are the details on Sling TV’s DVR features:
- 50 Hour DVR – Upgrade to 50 hours of cloud DVR storage for $10/month.
- Record Multiple Channels – Record multiple shows airing simultaneously.
- No Storage Limits – No limits on number of episodes stored.
- Watch Anywhere – Stream DVR recordings on any compatible device.
- Protect Recordings – Prevent shows from being deleted.
- Replay, FF, RWD – Replay, fast forward, and rewind DVR recordings.
- On Demand Library – Thousands of shows and movies available on demand without DVR.
50 hours of DVR storage is sufficient for most users to record their favorite shows. While some competing services offer unlimited DVR, 50 hours is ample for the average household.
Sling TV’s On Demand library also provides a rotating selection of popular TV shows, movies, and kids content without having to record programs to the DVR. However, the On Demand catalog is not as extensive as services like Hulu.
Overall, Sling TV’s cloud DVR and On Demand library provide a solid solution for recording and watching your favorite shows on your schedule.
Sling TV is compatible with a wide range of streaming devices, smart TVs, gaming consoles, and mobile devices. You can stream Sling TV on:
- Streaming Media Players: Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast
- Smart TVs: LG, Samsung, Vizio SmartCast TVs
- Gaming Consoles: Xbox One, Xbox Series X
- Mobile: iOS, Android smartphones and tablets
- Web Browsers: Chrome, Safari, Edge, Firefox
Sling TV also offers apps for Windows 10, Android TV, and Amazon’s Fire tablets. With support for all major streaming platforms, it’s easy to watch Sling TV across devices.
The service is convenient for streaming at home on media players, smart TVs and game consoles. Sling TV also makes it simple to watch on the go with iOS and Android apps optimized for phones and tablets.
Some limitations are that Sling lacks an app for PlayStation consoles. And 4K streaming is only available through select devices like Roku. But overall, Sling has apps for the most popular platforms.
Unique Features and Add-Ons
Beyond the core packages, Sling TV offers several unique features and add-ons:
- Multiple Streams – Upgrade to stream on up to 4 devices simultaneously.
- TV Everywhere Apps – Use apps like WatchESPN with your Sling login.
- Local Channels – Optional addons for FOX and NBC in select markets.
- International Content – Extensive global, Indian, Chinese, and Spanish-language channels available.
- PVR Pause and Rewind – Pause, rewind, and replay channels up to 3 hours.
- Parental Controls – Lock channels with password and rating-based filters.
- Sling International – Switch between US and international content libraries.
- Protect Recordings – Prevent DVR recordings from being deleted.
- User Profiles – Personalize your experience with unique watchlists, recordings, and more for up to 5 profiles.
From multiple streams to global content, Sling TV offers innovative options to customize and control your live TV experience. PVR controls, parental locks, and user profiles also help tailor Sling TV to your household’s needs.
Sling TV on the Go
Sling makes it easy to watch your favorite live channels on the go. With the Sling TV mobile apps for iOS and Android, you can stream live television anywhere with an internet connection.
Key features of Sling TV’s mobile apps include:
- Stream Away from Home – Watch Sling TV on the go without location restrictions.
- In-App Browse & Search – Easily find live channels and On Demand titles.
- Chromecast Built-In – Cast Sling content right to any Chromecast device.
- Stream Over Cellular – Option to stream over mobile data apart from WiFi.
- Download for Offline Viewing – Download select On Demand movies and shows to watch offline.
- Parental Controls – Use touch or pin code to restrict ratings and channels.
Sling TV’s mobile apps make it easy and convenient to stream all your live channels, DVR recordings, and On Demand library on smartphones and tablets while traveling or away from your home WiFi.
Sling TV Pros and Cons
Here is a rundown of the key advantages and disadvantages of Sling TV:
- Inexpensive base packages starting at $35
- Custom “a la carte” add-on options
- Cloud DVR with 50 hours storage
- Apps for most devices including mobile
- Flexible no-contract subscription
- Top cable channels like ESPN, HGTV, CNN
- Low-commitment way to cut the cord
- No ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS (available in limited markets)
- Smaller channel lineup than competitors
- Lacks regional sports networks outside of Fox and NBC
- Can’t pause/rewind some live channels
- Occasional technical issues during peak hours
- No permanent price guarantee
Considering the low starting price point, Sling TV provides excellent value. While the lineup is smaller than other live TV streamers, you still get 20-50 of the most popular cable channels. Sling is ideal for budget-focused cord cutters who mainly want live sports, news and entertainment.
However, the lack of major broadcast networks and regional sports is a limitation. Technical issues can also occur during peak usage times. Overall Sling TV is an affordable service catering to casual live TV streamers, but lacks content breadth compared to YouTube TV or Hulu + Live TV.
How Does Sling TV Compare to Other Streaming Services?
Sling TV competes with other live TV streaming providers including Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, DIRECTV STREAM, and FuboTV. Here is an overview comparing Sling TV to key competitors:
| Features | Sling TV | Hulu + Live TV | YouTube TV |
|Price|Orange – $35
Blue – $35
Orange + Blue – $50|$69.99|$64.99|
|Cloud DVR|50 hrs (extra fee)|Unlimited|Unlimited|
|Major Networks|Select markets only|ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC|ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC|
|Supported devices|Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, iOS/Android, Web|Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, iOS/Android, Web|Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, iOS/Android, Web|
Sling TV is among the lowest priced live TV streaming services. But you get fewer channels and features compared to Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV. Those services offer ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox locals, unlimited DVR, and a larger channel lineup starting at $65-$70 monthly.
Sling stands out for its lower pricing and a la carte flexibility. However, Hulu and YouTube TV better replicate a traditional cable TV experience if you desire a big channel selection and major broadcast networks.
For Spanish-language content, fuboTV offers the most robust lineup while DIRECTV STREAM has competitive pricing for streaming close to a full cable channel lineup.
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In summary, Sling TV is cost-effective especially if you want a basic affordable package. But other options beat Sling in terms of content selection and features.
Sling TV Free Trial or Promotions
Sling TV does not currently offer a free trial. However, they will provide a full refund if you cancel service within the first 7 days.
While you don’t get an extended free trial, the refund policy lets you effectively sample Sling TV risk-free. Just be sure to cancel before the 7 days is up if you don’t want to continue service.
Sling occasionally offers device promos and discounts for pre-paying multi-month subscriptions, but no ongoing consistent promotions beyond the 7-day money back guarantee.
Is Sling TV Worth It?
Sling TV gives cord cutters an inexpensive and flexible way to stream popular live cable TV channels over the internet. While the service lacks major broadcast networks and sports regional networks, Sling provides excellent value starting at only $35 monthly.
The ability to customize your package with add-on channel packs provides a major perk lacking with competitors. Sling Orange or Blue can suit solo streamers, while the combined plan feeds larger households hungry for live TV at a reasonable price.
However, serious sports fans may find themselves wanting more comprehensive sports coverage and dedicated sports channels. And the lack of local ABC, NBC, CBS, and PBS channels limits Sling’s ability to act as a true cable replacement.
In the end, Sling TV is best suited for:
- Cord cutters seeking the lowest cost live TV streaming
- Occasional live TV viewers mainly interested in channels like ESPN
- Customizing channel packages with multiple add-ons
- Streamers wanting basic cable channels and flexibility
- Travelers needing live TV on the go with mobile apps
While it’s not a cable powerhouse replacement, Sling TV remains an excellent budget-friendly live TV streaming solution. The customizable packages and low pricing make Sling a top value aimed at casual live TV streamers.
Sling TV Review Summary
Here is a final summary of the key points in our detailed Sling TV review:
- Sling TV is one of the most affordable live TV streaming services starting at just $35 per month. No contracts and you can cancel anytime.
- Base packages include 30-50 popular cable channels like ESPN, CNN, TNT, HGTV, and more. Local channel availability is limited.
- Add-on “Extra” packs let you customize your channel lineup with genre-based channels starting at $6 per month. Sports, comedy, news, and more available.
- Cloud DVR can be added to record shows with 50 hours storage provided. An On Demand library is also available without DVR.
- Apps support Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox, iOS/Android, and more. Great for streaming at home and on the go.
- While affordable, Sling lacks major broadcast networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, and regional sports networks. Technical issues can also occur during peak usage.
- Best for budget streamers who want live cable channels at the lowest price. Ideal for casual viewers rather than sports/TV fanatics.
Overall Sling TV provides impressive value packing popular live cable channels into customizable budget-friendly packages. The affordable pricing and flexibility make Sling TV a top streaming choice for cord cutters.