What Is Sling TV?

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Sling TV first hit the market in 2015, and by the end of 2021, Sling TV had almost 2.49 million subscribers. A product of Dish Network, Sling TV offers American subscribers three premium television streaming packages with many customizable add-ons and options.

This Sling TV guide walks you through the subscription services, the frequent offers and perks and which devices are compatible with Sling TV.

Sling TV vs. Cable Television

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Based on an FCC report, the average cost for basic cable TV is around $70 per month. In contrast, Sling TV’s lowest streaming subscription package is $35.

Today, premier cable television services like DirecTV Stream feature apps that subscribers can install on numerous devices like phones, tablets, computers, and smart televisions, but this wasn’t always the case. Internet streaming services like Sling TV became popular because television watchers were no longer relegated to the cable television box to watch live sports, premium channels and more.

But even compared to streaming services like DirecTV Stream, Sling TV’s cheapest subscription package is $35, compared to DirecTV Stream’s $54.99 per month. In addition, sling TV provides an extra incentive to cut the cable cord because it doesn’t involve any monthly contracts.

With an internet connection, television lovers were free to watch the same networks like BET, ESPN and local channels with any Sling TV subscription. The caveat for any Sling TV subscription is that you heavily depend on the internet. So if there is an internet outage, this also blows out your Sling TV service.

Sling TV Subscriber Plans

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Television watchers have three different streaming plans to enjoy Sling TV.

  • Sling Blue
  • Sling Orange
  • The Orange and Blue plan

The Sling Blue Plan

This package costs $35 a month, along with applicable taxes. Members get 41 channels and some local channels. Furthermore, the Blue plan enables you to watch multiple Sling TV streams on up to three devices.

The Sling Blue plan comes with traditional cable networks, such as:

  • A&E and AMC
  • BBC America and BET
  • CNN, Fox, NBC, and MSNBC
  • Food Network
  • TNT and TBS

The Sling Orange Plan

The Sling Orange plan features 31 channels, and unlike the Blue plan, Sling Orange leans more towards sports networks, including ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3. The monthly cost is $35.

The Sling Orange and Blue Plan Combo

You can also subscribe to Sling TV’s Orange and Blue plan. For $50 per month, you get 47 channels. The Orange and Blue plan caters to the viewer who wants to maximize entertainment and sports channels.

This subscriber combo allows you to watch regional sports teams through the Comcast Sports network. The caveat for this is that regional blackout restrictions apply that might prevent you from watching your local sports teams.

The Orange and Blue Plan subscribers can watch live content and sports on up to three devices.

Add Ons

All Sling TV plans permit you to add custom network packages and premium channels such as:

  • Comedy Extra: For $6 per month, you get MTV, truTV, and eight other networks.
  • Lifestyle Extra: $6 extra per month grants access to the Cooking Channel, VH-1, three Hallmark channels, etc.
  • News Extra: Paying $6 extra per month unlocks the Law & Crime Network, HLN, and seven other news channels worldwide.
  • Sports Extra: $11 per month for NBA TV and nine other sports networks.

Other add-on options include the AMC package, Heartland Extra, and Hollywood Extra. In addition, all Sling TV subscribers can add individual premium cable networks like Starz, HBO, Showtime, and Epix movie channels, to name a few. Sling TV offers up to 32 premium channel packages.

Some American regions might get specific local channels as part of your Sling TV plan, which is an extra perk that Sling TV offers its members. You might have to invest in an HD antenna for additional local channels.

Stream Sling TV?

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One of the most asked questions around the web is how do I cut the cord and get started in adopting live-streaming service providers such as Sling TV?

Not only does Sling TV offer you a seamless transfer from device to device, but also an option to record content thanks to the cloud DVR’s portability feature.

Sling TV lets you manage several devices to live-stream channels. These channels include Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, Android and iOS devices, web browsers, Xbox Series X|S, and many more. 

In addition, the number of devices you can use to stream Sling TV’s content simultaneously heavily depends on which package you’ve subscribed to.

For example, Sling Orange subscribers can only stream on one device at any particular moment, whereas Sling Blue subscribers can stream on three devices simultaneously.

If you subscribe to the Sling Orange/Blue package, then you’ll have access to four simultaneous streams. That’s the best option for households with many members.

How Does Sling TV Compare to Its Competitors?

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Having begun in 2016, Sling TV has several competitors at various price levels. These include DirectTV Stream, YouTube TV, Hulu Plus Live TV, FuboTV, and Philo.

We’ve divided the services into the budget ($35 or under) and premium (over $50) services for ease of classification. With the recent streaming services price hike, we can still consider Sling TV a budget service provider.

From the two packages Sling TV offers at $35, Sling Blue provides the best-selling point for most people. The package comes with more channels than the Orange and allows up to three people to stream at once, while the former only allows one stream at any given time.

Alternatively, you could subscribe to the Sling Orange/Blue package for $50 per month, but you’ll only be getting an additional five “top” channels than the Sling Blue package (though this includes ESPN and ESPN 2). Still, if you’re paying that much, YouTube TV ($65 per month) or FuboTV ($65 per month) could be the better options because they come with way more channels (plus locals) and advanced DVRs.

Sling is the only live-streaming service that comes with several add-on channel packages. For an extra $5 or $10 per month, you get additional packages such as Comedy Extra, The Best of Spanish TV, Sports Extra, Hollywood Extra, and many more channels. Furthermore, it provides better ways to customize your channel catalog than the competitors.

Sling TV’s Perks and Features

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Before paying the total price for Sling TV’s plans, new members can enjoy either a free trial period or a discount on a premium plan and watch and record over 40,000 on-demand content and live television shows before paying the total price for these features. Sling TV customers also enjoy occasional free previews for premium networks like HBO and Starz.

The Free Trial

If you wish to capitalize on Sling TV’s free trial via the web browser, you can create your account online, but you won’t be able to enjoy the Sling TV trial via the web. Instead, Sling TV members must install the Sling app on a compatible device.

Once you install the app, enter your personal information, including credit card details, and select the seven-day free trial. After the trial, your Sling TV plan automatically charges your credit card.

As an additional Sling TV benefit, if you are a pre-existing Comcast customer with an Xfinity Flex plan, you are eligible to set up a Sling TV free trial plan with your existing Comcast credentials.

Xfinity Flex enables customers to install the Sling app on compatible devices. There you can create your account and begin your free trial. The same is also true for the following services:

  • Amazon account holders
  • iTunes account holders
  • Roku account holders

The Sling TV app is compatible with specific Amazon devices, Roku televisions and Apple TV devices. If you currently have an account with these services, you can install the Sling app and set up your free seven-day trial.

The Initial Monthly Discount

Sling TV’s Subscription Packages usually come with a $10 discount for the first month as an added incentive. Afterward, the customer is charged the regular subscription plan price.

Record on Sling TV’s Cloud DVR

All paying Sling TV members can record up to 50 hours of movies, television shows, sports, and more on Sling TV’s cloud-based DVR for free. And for an extra $5 per month, you can upgrade to the DVR Plus plan and record up to 200 hours of live television.

You might consider these additional features if you’re thinking about signing up for a Sling TV plan.

  • Alexa voice commands
  • Auto-complete search menu
  • Parental controls

Is Sling TV Worth Adding to Your Stream Rotation?

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Sling TV offers more affordable services than other live TV streaming options while maintaining a good channel flow and quality playback on the same level as the competition.

Having pointed that out, we can easily equate the service to the $35 per month registration cost. With over thirty channels on its Sling Blue and Sling Orange plans, Sling TV is undoubtedly among the most affordable TV live streaming options available.

Sling TV is a better budget option for people that want an affordable cable TV alternative. However, there are some drawbacks to consider when picking the service. Many people may consider the extended channel library, unlimited cloud DVR, and access to sports/news/local channels as a reason to get YouTube TV instead.

Overall, the provider stacks up pretty well against the competition and still emerges superior in most aspects that matter to the end-user.