We talk a lot about Sling TV, the leading online streaming service for live TV. As such, we get a lot of reader questions asking us how does Sling TV work. This is a perfectly reasonable question, especially for people coming over from cable TV that aren’t familiar with online streaming services. In this guide, we’ll attempt to answer this question and provide a detailed look at how Sling TV works.
What is Sling TV?
First and foremost: what is Sling TV, anyways? Well, simply put, it’s an alternative to cable TV that provides live access to many of your favorite channels. You can use it to watch live TV without a cable subscription. It costs $20 per month for 30+ channels, and does not require a contract. Our full Sling TV review has all the details.
How Does Sling TV Work?
Sling TV (free 7-day trial available) is an internet service, meaning it works over the internet. You’ll need a decent internet connection at your home in order to use it. Traditional cable TV subscriptions generally involve a cable box that plugs into the wall, while Sling TV involves a streaming device (like a Roku, Apple TV, etc.) that plugs into your TV and connects to the internet.
So, essentially, you sign up for Sling TV, and sign into your account on the device of your choosing (more info on Sling TV devices in the section below). Then, you can watch live TV on the device, in a similar fashion to how you’d watch with cable. There is an interface that will look something like the image below, depending on which device you use it on.
From the Sling TV interface, you can scroll through channels, sort by type of programming (news, sports, TV shows, etc.), browse through your saved favorites, access on-demand content, search, and more. It’s laid out a bit differently than cable TV, but it’s fairly intuitive and you’ll get used to it quickly.
What Devices Can I Use with Sling TV?
Sling TV works on a plethora of devices, and you can use it at home or on-the-go. Most of the time you’ll want to use it on a streaming device connected to your TV, so that you can enjoy the programming on your big-screen. If you don’t have a device to use, Sling TV will give you a free Roku if you prepay for a few months in advance. But, it’s also really nice to be able to watch while you’re travelling on your laptop or smartphone. The Sling TV devices include:
- Streaming devices including Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Android TV, Xiaomi, LeEco, and more.
- Phones and tablets, including iOS devices, Android devices and Amazon Fire devices
- Gaming consoles, including Xbox One
- Laptops and computers, including PC and Mac
New devices are added on a regular basis, as well! Sling TV regularly offers special deals on devices, like the free Roku mentioned above, or a discount on an Apple TV.
How Does Sling TV Work? Step by Step Instructions
If you’re looking for a quick rundown to answer the question of how does Sling TV work, this is the section for you. Follow these step-by-step instructions to begin using Sling TV today.
- Sign up for a free 7-day trial
- Choose your plan (there are plans starting at $20 per month for 30+ channels, with up to 100+ channels available in some plans).
- Choose any add-on packages if you want to expand your channel selection (optional)
- Sign into your Sling TV account on any compatible device (computer, tablet, smartphone, streaming device, etc.)
- If using a streaming device, connect the device to your TV
- Browse through the Sling TV menu to choose what you want to watch
- Sit back, and enjoy!
- You can also use Sling TV on several devices, so download the app for your phone or tablet, install the program on your laptop, etc. to watch later!
And remember, Sling TV is no-contract, so if you want to try it out, you can do so without committing to anything. With the free trial offer, you can actually test out the service for free!