Sling TV is a game changer where television is concerned. Sling TV removes the need to be saddled with a cable package that has more channels than you want and a higher bill than you need. Services like Sling TV allow you to “cut the cord” without having to sacrifice your favorite cable shows or networks, and there’s no contract, just like with Netflix. Still, many might think the idea of a cable replacement is too good to be true. That’s the entire point of this Sling TV review. I went through the painstaking task of testing out the service and finding out all of the details so you wouldn’t have to. All you need to do is keep reading and decide for yourself.
In this Sling TV review, we will cover all of the important basics including what Sling TV is, how much it costs, what packages are available, what devices Sling TV works on, and we’ll even through in a Sling TV channels list, for good measure.
What is Sling TV?
As amazing as the idea of Sling TV is, it’s still relatively new (it came out in 2015), so it would make perfect sense if you were unfamiliar with the service. More and more people want to cut the cord and one of the biggest questions I get asked about cord cutting is, “What is Sling TV?” The short answer to this question is that Sling TV is a live streaming subscription service that works as a replacement to cable.
Rather than giving you a big package filled with channels you won’t watch and don’t need, Sling TV cuts the fat. You get fewer channels in the basic package, but you also pay a significantly smaller amount. In fact, with the base package (Sling Orange) you receive around 25 Sling TV channels and it costs $20. They have other packages that offer more Sling TV channels, so when all is said and done if you purchase all of them, you will have over 100 channels, and it will still be cheaper than most cable bills. It’s all about flexibility — pay for what you want to watch.
When I was preparing for this Sling TV review, I signed up for the free trial. Sling TV gives you 7-days to test out the service. Signing up is as simple as putting in some basic information. It’s so easy that within 10 minutes I was signed up and browsing the Sling TV features. Another nice thing is that you don’t sign any contracts. Sling TV is a month-to-month service. You pick the package and/or channels you want and that’s what you pay each month. Cancelling is as easy as clicking a button.
Sling TV Features: Here’s all your Bells and Whistles
So, obviously the fact that you get live streaming channels is great, but Sling TV does offer some other special features that may be useful to you.
One feature I thought was pretty cool was 3-Day Replay. This handy feature doesn’t come on every channel, but on the ones it does, you can scroll back and see the full schedule for the previous three days. On the plus side, this is an awesome feature, but not all channels offer this, which is a negative.
Sling TV doesn’t provide the option to record or save any episodes you want to watch. However, when you are live viewing you do have the ability to pause, rewind, and fast-forward. While this isn’t the same thing as recording, if you’re trying to speed through a show or need to pause for a moment, these are handy features to be able to use.
Sling TV also offers on-demand content. So, while you can’t specifically record things and keep them, there is a good chance if you missed a show you can find it in the on-demand library. Also, if you add on specific channels, like HBO, the on-demand library will have as much of their content as the network provides. For instance, with HBO you’d have access to all of the HBO series episodes both past and current.
Sling TV offers mobile viewing. Really, you can watch Sling TV anywhere that has Wi-Fi. It is able to be used on a variety of devices, so that really allows you a lot of options about how and where you want to watch your favorite shows. The device list is nearly endless including cell phones and tablets (Apple and Android), computers, smart TVs, and then there are endless amounts of streaming devices. Some of the more popular options include Chromecast, Amazon Fire devices, Xbox One, and Apple TV.
The Sling TV Channels List
For me personally, this is really what it all comes down to. I couldn’t give a good Sling TV review if the channels available weren’t some of the best out there. Luckily, there are some channels here that I really missed when I cut the cord, so I really appreciated being able to have them back!
Sling TV Orange is the basic package that costs $20 a month. This package provides 28 channels with highlights being AMC, BBC America, Cartoon Network, CNN, Comedy Central, Disney, ESPN, ESPN2, Food Network, History, and Travel. You also get access to the WatchESPN app through all Sling TV packages, which is a nice addition for sports fans.
Sling TV Blue is a larger package, containing 40 channels for $25. It’s worth noting that there is a fair bit of channel overlap here. So, if you want more diversity, you might go with Sling Blue because you get the best of Orange, with some additional channels. Channels not included in the Orange package include BET, FOX and NBC (in select markets), FX, IFC, Nick Jr, Syfy, and USA.
If you don’t want to sacrifice channels from either package you can combine the Orange and Blue packages. This combo package is $40 and includes all of the channels in both packages. They also allow for add-on channels and niche packages regardless of the plan you choose. These packages are all $5-$15 per package/per month depending on the ones you choose.
These packages (and some of their channels) include:
- Best of Spanish TV: $5 for more than 20 channels including Cbeebies, Cine Sony, and Galavision
- Broadcast Extra: If you live in select markets you can get ABC, Univision, and UniMas for $5.
- Cinemax: Cinemax is $10 and gives you access to everything you’d get with the cable’s MaxGo service. This includes full access to all of Cinemax’s original content.
- Comedy Plus Extra: You get six channels for $5. Among them are TVLand, CMT, MTV, and Logo
- HBO: HBO costs $15 but is essentially like having HBONOW. The complete HBO catalog is included and always available.
- Hollywood Extra: If you want some movie channels you can get TCM, EPIX, SundanceTV, and others for $5.
- Kids Extra: You get eight channels for $5 including Disney Junior, Boomerang, DisneyXD, & Nick Toons
- Lifestyle Plus Extra: Here you get 10 channels for $5. You’ll get E!, Cooking Channel, FYI, and WE tv.
- Sports Extra: For $5 you access to SEC Network, ESPNU, Golf Channel, ESPNEWS, and six other sports channels
- World News Extra: BBC World News, HLN, MSNBC, and 7 other channels for $5
A variety of international channels are also available.
In this Sling TV review, we talked a lot about the features and benefits of Sling TV. On the whole, as far as streaming services go, Sling TV offers you something that very few subscription services do. You receive a true cable-like experience, being able to watch live streams of some of the most popular cable channels. My only negative is that I’m not in love with the ribbon-style channel layout. The interface can get a little inconvenient with the more channels you add. That said, if you’re without cable, Sling TV can offer the fix you need at a price you can afford.
Disclosure: Streaming Observer is supported by readers. Articles may contain referral links. For more information, see the disclosure at the bottom of the page.
Latest posts by Ashtyn Evans (see all)
- How to Watch C-Span Live Stream Online without Cable - January 19, 2017
- How to Watch the People’s Choice Awards Online - January 18, 2017
- How to Watch Bloomberg Live Stream Online without Cable - January 18, 2017