Sling TV Review: Channels List, Features, Free Trial and More

Sling TV Review

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 details of this service. We’ll answer the questions, what is Sling TV? Is Sling TV worth it? How much does Sling TV cost? What are the different Sling TV packages? We’ve also included details on the Sling TV lineup and the full Sling TV channels list. And don’t forget, you can try Sling TV free for 7 days to see if the service is right for you.

 

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. In short, here’s how it works:

  • Sling TV is an internet streaming service
  • It lets you watch live TV without a cable or satellite subscription
  • Prices start at $20 per month for 25+ channels (including ESPN, CNN, TNT, TBS, AMC, and more)
  • Multiple Sling TV packages available
  • No contract is required
  • You use Sling TV on streaming devices (Roku/Apple TV/etc.) or on computers and smartphones
  • You can get a free streaming device when you prepay for a few months in advance
  • Watch from anywhere with an internet connection
  • There is a free 7-day trial available

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 over 25 Sling TV channels and it costs $20. They have other packages that offer a bigger Sling TV lineup, 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.

Best of all, Sling TV is non-contract. That means that there’s no need to commit to anything more than 1 month at a time, and no need to sign a 12+ month contract. Sling also won’t nickel-and-dime you with random fees and charges, as the Sling TV cost is set and simple. The price won’t go up as there’s no “introductory deal”. This greatly simplifies the entire process.

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. SlingTV is a month-to-month service, with no contract required. You pick the package and/or channels you want and that’s what you pay each month. Canceling is as easy as clicking a button, so you can watch the NFL online and cancel at the end of the season if you wish.

 

Sling TV Features

In the most basic sense, Sling TV essentially provides you with live streaming of a wide variety of channels, similar to a basic cable subscription. Sling TV does offer some other special features that may be useful to you, as detailed below.

Full HD Streaming – As long as you have a good internet connection, you’ll enjoy clear, crisp images in full HD. Like all streaming services, the image quality only goes down if there’s a problem with your internet connection. 4K streaming is not yet available from Sling TV, just full HD 1080.

Live Streaming – All national channels included with Sling TV offer live streaming. In essence, this functions in much the same way as cable does; for example, whatever is airing for cable subscribers on ESPN right now, is also airing for Sling TV subscribers. The only exception is with Sling TV local channels, which we’ll discuss more later.

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 and watch these episodes on-demand. On the plus side, this is an awesome feature, but not all channels offer this, which is a negative.

Cloud DVR – Sling TV recently launched a cloud DVR feature that allows users to record and watch live TV, and store up to 50 hours. The feature is not included by default, but is instead sold as an add-on feature for $5 a month. This feature is brand new and does not work on all devices yet, but coverage is expanding rapidly. Additionally, even without the DVR when you are live viewing you do have the ability to pause, rewind, and fast-forward on most channels. 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.

Flexible Channel Lineup – The Sling TV lineup is impressive, and many of our readers have commented that they love the flexibility of it all. Instead of being forced to buy a 100+ channel package, of which you might actually watch 30 channels, you can start with a small and affordable base package from Sling TV and then add on additional expansions, if desired. This allows for a lot more flexibility and customization in your Sling TV channel lineup.

On-Demand Content – SlingTV also offers on-demand content. So, while the cloud DVR isn’t live for everyone at this time, 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.

Premium Channels – Select premium channels, including HBO, are also available to add-on to your existing Sling TV lineup. These channels are not included in the basic package but can be added on. HBO costs $15 per month extra and gives you access to the entire HBO library. You can also get Showtime, Starz, EPIX and Cinemax through Sling TV.

Mobile Viewing – Sling TV offers mobile viewing. Really, you can watch SlingTV anywhere that has Wi-Fi or cell signal. 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 Devices List

Wondering what the Sling TV device selection looks like? The service is now compatible with a wide range of devices, which you can use to stream live TV on Roku, Apple TV, and a huge list of the best streaming devices. See below for the full list of compatible devices:

  • Streaming players, including Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Chromecast, Android TV, Xiaomi, LeEco, AirTV, ZTE and Channel Master
  • Phones & tablets, including iOS devices, Android devices, and Amazon Fire devices
  • Gaming consoles, including Xbox One
  • Laptops & computers, including Apple OSX, and Microsoft Windows devices. There is a Sling TV application that you can download, or you can watch in the Chrome web browser
  • Google Chrome web browser, which means you can watch on Chromebooks and anything with a Chrome app

Sling TV is continually adding compatible devices, but chances are you already have one on the list above. If not, Sling TV has a great deal to consider:

 

The Sling TV Channels List

Sling TV channels

For me personally, this is really what it all comes down to. I couldn’t honestly 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! There are a couple different Sling TV packages available, as detailed below. Note that the picture above includes all channels from the Sling Orange + Sling Blue package.

Sling Orange (free trial available) – this is the basic package that costs $20 a month. This package provides over 25 channels with highlights including ESPNAMCCNNHGTVComedy CentralCartoon Network/Adult SwimHistoryDisney ChannelESPN2ESPN3TNTFood NetworkTBSBBC America, Freeform, IFC, EPIX Drive-In, Tribeca Shortlist, A&EVicelandLifetimeTravel ChannelAXS.TVNewsy, Cheddar, Bloomberg Television, Local Now, Flama, and Galavision.

Sling Blue (free trial available) – this is a larger package, containing 40 channels for $25 a month. It’s worth noting that there is a most channels that are in Sling Orange are also in Sling Blue, with the exception of ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, Disney Channel, and Freeform. So, there are some trade-offs both ways. For the ultimate selection, you’ll want Sling Orange + Sling Blue. The Sling Blue channel list is:

AMC, CNN, HGTV, Comedy Central, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, History, TNT, Food Network, TBS, BBC America, IFC, EPIX Drive-In, Tribeca Shortlist, A&E, Viceland, Lifetime, Travel Channel, AXS.TV, Newsy, Cheddar, Bloomberg Television, Local Now, Flama, and Galavision, FOX (select markets), NBC (select markets), FOX Sports Regional networks (select markets), CSN regional networks (select markets), NFL NetworkFXUSABravoFS1FS2NBCSNFXXSyFyNickJrEl Rey NetworkTruTVBETNational GeographicNat Geo WildUnivision and UniMas.

Sling Orange + Sling Blue (free trial available) – If you don’t want to sacrifice channels from either package you can combine the Sling Orange and Sling 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 Sling TV packages are all $5-$15 per package/per month depending on the ones you choose.

Sling Multi-Extra Discount Add-on (free trial available) – This is an add-on package that can be added on to any of the above channel packages. It adds 40+ channels for $10 per month, and essentially just adds the Comedy Extra, Kids Extra, Lifestyle Extra, and World News Extra packages that are discussed below. This is a great bargain for the price, as these channel packs individually would cost $20 a month.

Sling TV Individual Add-on packages include:

  • Cloud DVR: For $5 a month, you can get the cloud DVR feature to record and store up to 50 hours of shows.
  • 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.
  • Comedy Extra: You get seven channels for $5. Among them are TVLand, CMT, MTV, and Logo
  • Hollywood Extra: If you want some movie channels you can get TCM, SundanceTV, and others for $5.
  • Kids Extra: You get nine channels for $5 including Disney Junior, Boomerang, DisneyXD, & Nick Toons
  • Lifestyle Extra: Here you get 13 channels for $5. You’ll get E!, Cooking Channel, FYI, WE tv and many more.
  • Sports Extra: For $10 you get access to SEC Network, ESPNU, Golf Channel, ESPNEWS, NHL Network, NBA TV, and several other sports channels
  • News Extra: BBC World News, HLN, MSNBC, and several other news channels for $5
  • Heartland Extra: Adds World Fishing Network, Sportsman Channel, Outdoor Channel, RFD-TV, and others for $5 a month
  • HBO: HBO costs $15 but is essentially like having HBO NOW. The complete HBO catalog is included and always available.
  • Showtime: Showtime costs $10 per month, and adds 8 great Showtime channels for live streaming, as well as a huge on-demand library.
  • Starz: Starz costs $9 per month, and adds 6 Starz channels to watch live; plus on-demand content.
  • 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.
  • EPIX: EPIX will run you $5 a month for EPIX, EPIX 2 and EPIX HITS.

A variety of international channels are also available. For more information, see the full Sling TV channels list.

Remember, you can try it free for 7 days and test out any of the Sling TV packages they offer. Also, keep in mind that the Sling TV channel lineup is continually evolving and expanding. If you read older Sling TV reviews it’s quite likely that the information will be out of date.

 

Is There a Sling TV Free Trial?

Yes, indeed there is! Sling TV offers a free 7-day trial for any of their packages. Beyond that, there are also a few special deals that you may want to consider before signing up, such as A FREE streaming device when you prepay for a few months of Sling TV

And remember, Sling TV is non-contract. The free/discounted device deals require you to prepay for a few months in advance, but other than that, you will never have to commit to more than 1 month at a time, and it’s very easy to cancel Sling TV if you need to.

 

How Does the Sling TV DVR Work?

Sling TV has been rolling out a new cloud DVR feature, and fans are quite excited. Here is the info you need:

  • Not included in standard plan; must add-on for additional $5 a month
  • Includes 50 hours of storage
  • When storage capacity is reached, your oldest recordings will automatically be deleted to make way for new ones
  • AirTV players, Amazon Fire TVs and Fire tablets, Android TVs, Android mobile devices, Apple TVs, Roku™ streaming players, Roku TVs™, XBOX consoles and Windows 10 devices.
  • DVR functionality may not be available on all channels
  • DVR works on AirTV players, Amazon Fire TVs and Fire tablets, Android TVs, Android mobile devices, Apple TVs, Roku streaming players, Roku TVs, XBOX consoles and Windows 10 devices.

The Sling TV DVR is super easy to use. All you need to do is find a show or movie using the guide, select it, and press “record”. You can choose to record just that show, all future shows, or all future new shows (excluding reruns). The Sling TV DVR is quite new, so you won’t necessarily see this discussed much in other Sling TV reviews. You can check the FAQ for more info.

 

Is There a Sling TV Gift Card?

For those looking to give the gift of Sling TV, you’ll be happy to learn that there is now a Sling TV gift card available. It can be purchased in-store at select retailers, including Best Buy, GameStop, and Walmart. Denominations range from $25-$100 per card. That said, using a gift card might bypass the ability to get a Sling TV trial period.

 

Sling TV Review: Bottom Line

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.

Bottom line, is Sling TV worth it? Absolutely! Sling TV is the most affordable alternative to cable, offers a great channel selection, and is one of the best – if not the best – ways to watch live TV without cable. It comes highly recommended by us and thousands of happy customers.

Click here to try Sling TV free for 7 days.

Ashtyn Evans

Ashtyn Evans

Ashtyn Evans is a screenwriter and freelance writer from the Midwest. She owns nearly a thousand films on Amazon and holds streaming subscriptions to everything from HBO and Hulu to Showtime and Starz. Email her at ashtynevans@streamingobserver.com.
Disclosure: Streaming Observer is supported by readers. Articles may contain referral links. For more information, see the disclosure at the bottom of the page.
Ashtyn Evans

45 Comments on "Sling TV Review: Channels List, Features, Free Trial and More"

  1. monte elliott | October 19, 2016 at 11:14 am |

    I asked you to cancel my sling TV a month ago that we please cancel it and stop trying to get money out of my bank account

  2. Sorry typo
    ‘ if we decide to go with sling TV can we also get Fox News?

  3. linwood giles | January 5, 2017 at 2:09 pm |

    what about my internet does sling offer internet and tv or do i have to still go to verizon also ihave 5 tvs do i have to by five sticks

    • Eric Anthony | January 9, 2017 at 12:46 pm |

      You’ll need internet service through the local ISP of your choice to use Sling TV (and any streaming service for that matter). And yes, you’d need a streaming device connected to each TV you want to use.

  4. you mention sports add ons, is Yes TV network available in Buffalo, NY?

  5. M.A.Lafferty | January 23, 2017 at 5:01 pm |

    Sling TV told me I could add the Hallmark Channels by choosing the
    Life….package for $5.00 Could you please confirm it?
    Three comments: It is not how many channels but WHICH channels.
    Also, Why the all have available CNN when Fox News has been top rated for many years AND it is Fair and Balance and NEVER post UNCONFIRMED news

    • Eric Anthony | January 23, 2017 at 5:57 pm |

      Yes, Hallmark Channel is in the Lifestyle Plus add-on package for $5 an additional month, and comes with a few other great channels.
      As for FOX News, I’m hopeful that they will add it in the future.

  6. do I need anything extra (roku, ps3 etc) to watch

  7. Bethenia Mitchell | February 7, 2017 at 2:21 pm |

    Would like package that includes OWN but did not see it listed for either Direct TV Now/Sling TV. What about religious networks as well? Presently has Direct TV bundle and is ready to renegotiate contract. What is the different between Direct TV and Direct TV Now?

  8. Shirley Shea | February 10, 2017 at 9:03 am |

    would need to add Fox news and PBS to get my interest.

    • CATV Free | March 2, 2017 at 2:38 am |

      Hi Shirley. I use Sling on a Roku 3 streaming box and a Roku USB streaming stick. They both work great and I regularly use the ‘FREE’ PBS app on Roku as well as the ‘FREE’ Fox News and Fox Business apps. EVERYTHING is available from PBS if you have the app on your Roku AND it is on demand so you can pause or resume it if you like. With the Fox News app, the following is available for free and WITHOUT COMMERCIALS if you have the app installed: On Demand – Power Play, Special Report Online, Fox News Reporting. On Demand from all of Fox News shows (under ‘Latest Show Clips’) such as Chris Wallace’ Fox News Sunday-[1 hour program in 3 clips], Fox & Friends clips, Hannity [1 hour daily in 4 clips], 2 hours of The O’Reilly Factor [2 hours daily in 5 clips], Tucker Carlson, Bret Bair, The 5, Neil Cavuto, Shepard Smith, etc. You also get Fox News Digital Originals [LOTS of offerings], ‘Fox Topics’ which includes Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle, Opinion, Politics, Science, Tech and Travel. Lastly, if you care to, you get
      24 hours/day of Fox News live radio broadcasts. Drop cable or DirecTV, who owns Sling and get ANY antenna that is highly rated [doesn’t need to be expensive] for your local broadcasts, Sling w/ free Roku offer and then add PBS app, Smithsonian Channel app, Fox News app and choose from over 1,000 other apps. The Roku is the most versatile, easiest to use and most trouble free of all streaming equipment I have used [I used all except Western Digital box] and together with my over the air antenna and Sling, I do NOT miss anything I really want to see and my total expense each month excluding my cable internet is only $32.00 including Sling plus my Netflix subscription.

  9. Why doesn’t have telemundo has univison and other Spanish channels…

  10. Can I get Fox News Network with sling TV?

    • CATV Free | March 2, 2017 at 2:51 am |

      Stella, if you don’t already have a Roku streaming box or Roku USB streaming stick, you can currently get a free Roku Express streaming box by prepaying two months of Sling. Please refer to by post above directed to Shirley about the Fox News Roku app. It’s not live TV but to me, it is better since it is on demand and NO commercials. Many shows are available hours after their initial broadcast time with the occasional shows available in less than 24 hours time. If you need to supplement anything immediately, FoxNews.com is easy enough to navigate through to fill in the gaps.

  11. Jacki Dean | March 8, 2017 at 11:57 am |

    Good morning ,I am wanting to cut the cable cord but I still have some questions about Sling TV how many televisons can I have this on? and Is OWN part of the package?

  12. How many people can use at the same time? I have 2 children and they each have their own tv. If there are streaming devices installed on each tv, can we all watch different things?

  13. Can I watch MSNBC programs on demand (later)?

    • Eric Anthony | March 22, 2017 at 12:13 pm |

      I just logged into my Sling account to see what they have. It has on demand content for MSNBC but it’s very minimal. Right now, it looks like last night’s episode of For the Record with Greta and a couple episodes of Lockup are available. Keep in mind this probably changes daily though.

  14. Mary Shepard | March 21, 2017 at 9:40 pm |

    I was excited and wanted to try sling TV, but now I am terrified. If l cancel my cable TV and sling is anything like the reviews I have read, my family and I will be devastated. Now I don’t know what to do, as much as I want to switch to sling, these reviews have scared me away. I am so disappointed.

    • Eric Anthony | March 22, 2017 at 11:52 am |

      I personally really enjoy Sling and use it almost daily. The service has definitely come a long way since it’s initial launch. My suggestion would be to keep your cable while at the same time trying a free trial of Sling TV. That way, you can see if you like the service, and if so, then you can cancel cable. If you don’t like it, just cancel before the trial is up and keep your cable until something better comes along.

  15. Can Slingtv Aquire the Portuguese League games,if you do i’ll be signing up

  16. can yo get the Portuguese league games from Portugal if you do i’ll be a customer

  17. Al Scholting | April 5, 2017 at 2:57 pm |

    Will you be adding Fox new and Fox business anytime soon?

  18. Computer guy | April 16, 2017 at 7:44 am |

    Sling tv customer for 2 years now: This is a ground breaking service and one that broke the mold. Most issues I have ever seen is consumers using slow internet causing it to not work correctly. In the sling settings you can adjust the picture quality to fit your internet speed. What other service allows you to pick your channels and adjust it every month and change options anytime you want. No contract or late fees. They offer most channels that consumers want including movie channels. Instead of complaining about the service, take time to learn all it has to offer compared to satellite or cable.

  19. dawn hansen seaman | April 19, 2017 at 7:48 pm |

    do ya get a roku when ya sign up or do ya have to buy seperate

  20. I have sling but cannot play .press the channel nothing happens

  21. I signed up for Sling Free 7-day trial to watch “Better Call Saul’ Seasons 1 & 2.
    Guess what?
    They only has 2 episodes of Season 3 , which I can watch anytime for FREE on my cable!!
    Not what I expected!

    • Eric Anthony | May 17, 2017 at 12:47 pm |

      Seasons 1 and 2 are available on Netflix. Sling TV is more of a cable alternative. While it has a ton of on-demand content, it’s strength is in its live TV offering.

  22. Scott Harris | May 17, 2017 at 11:46 am |

    Can I use Amazon Fire Stick For Sling tv?

  23. Gina McCain | May 23, 2017 at 12:43 pm |

    Can I get The CW station live in DALLAS/FORT WORTH AREA?

  24. Mark Hoagland | May 26, 2017 at 6:18 am |

    I am using a Sony DVD player for my Netflix, can Sling be streamed the same way or should I get a steaming device?

    • Eric Anthony | June 1, 2017 at 3:48 pm |

      Mark,

      You’d need a streaming player. Unfortunately, DVD players tend to not support many apps, and their apps that they do have are often the last to get upgrades and updates, so they’re typically woefully outdated.

  25. I’m really nervous now. I am in day 5 of my 7 day free trial. I can only watch Sling TV on my desktop computer or Kindle 7 Fire. There are issues with Windows 10 and Sling TV. I have to guide with grid like on Diretv on my desktop. On my Kindle, I do have the grid guide but the times on the grid are 7 hours ahead of my time. When I called SlingTV about it, they said they would escalate my issue and I would receive an email back. I’ve never received an email back. I have the slowest speed internet that Century Link offers and it more than meets my needs. I don’t have a problem watching Sling TV with my internet speed. Hope it will be ok on my tv when I sign up for it. I will use the AirTVPlayer with a digital antenna to get local stations. I’m very nervous after reading all the negative comments here but I can’t stand using Diretv and their deceptive pricing anymore. And Cox Cable is no different and more expensive than Directv. What’s a consumer to do? Any advice? suggestions? Thank you.

  26. chailai jareunpoon | June 24, 2017 at 3:08 pm |

    how do i sign up for7 days trial . i have Comcast cable and internet $130/momth now but want to cancel because i only watch 4 channels. do u also have internet ?

    • Austin Meadows | August 19, 2017 at 6:47 pm |

      You can sign up for the free trial by clicking on one of the free trial links in this guide. You will need to have internet from a separate internet service provider.

  27. How do you watch it on smart tv’s

    • Eric Anthony | August 2, 2017 at 6:36 pm |

      Gary, it’s available on smart TVs that are powered by Roku or Amazon Fire TV (some of the TCLs, Hisense, Elements, and more.

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