Are you ready to cancel cable or ditch that expensive DirecTV subscription? If you’ve overpaid on cable for years but don’t know where to start with cutting the cord, Sling TV is the answer. It’s only $20 a month, you’ll get 30+ of the channels you actually care about, and there are no contracts. Plus, you can add-on any extra content you’d like.
So what is Sling TV? It is an over-the-internet TV service from DISH that offers the most popular, most watched essential TV channels to an array of connected devices with no contracts for only $20 a month. Basically, you’ll get live TV anywhere, when you want, with no contracts, equipment, or hidden fees.
Sling TV lets you watch the best channels on live TV including ESPN, along with On-Demand movies and DVR recording all online from an array of different devices. Some of these include your Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV, Fire Stick, SHIELD TV, Roku, Apple TV, Mac, PC, as well as both Android and iOS without a regular cable subscription. It’s TV wherever, whenever, without the useless 800 channels cable companies push on everyone. And yes, they now allow you to stream to multiple devices at a time.
We’ll go over the pros, cons, and tell you if it’s worth the $20 a month. This is our Sling TV review.
I used to have Cox Cable and bundled my cable, internet, and phone into a premium package all for $200+ a month. It was nice, but I also had over 1,500 channels I never watched. I was paying for stuff I didn’t need, and my cable bill was one of my biggest expenses each month. Sound familiar? That’s where Sling TV comes in, with a trimmed down TV experience giving you what you need or want, without everything else getting in the way.
Sling TV Review Summary
Sling offers all the basics in one easy solution for multiple devices. Trim down your cable bill, get rid of all the equipment under the TV or on your roof, and get TV anywhere you want. It launched in 2015, but now three years later it’s the best option on the market. Especially when you compare it to DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue, or YouTube TV.
Our Sling TV video review below will give you a quick glance at nearly everything Sling TV has to offer for $20 a month. The video is a little outdated, but still gives you a good idea of what to expect. Here in 2018, it’s the same only with a better user interface and more channels. We’ll show you some of the extra programming available as $5 add-ons, show you pause and rewind, and give you a taste of what you’re getting into. Again, this is all only $20 a month, with no contracts.
In short, Sling TV is for people who don’t want to sign contracts and be locked into paying huge monthly bills for hundreds of channels they’ll never watch. The base package for $20 a month gets you 30+ channels of the best TV. Then, you can pay a few dollars more for a bigger package, multiple device streaming, and another $5 to add DVR recording. We’ll explain all those packages below.
Bottom Line: The bottom line though, is Sling TV delivers just enough to make it absolutely worth $20 a month. It’s a blend between Netflix and cable, has plenty of content for the price, works on tons of devices, and if you don’t like it, just cancel. There are no contracts, so there’s no risk.
Sling TV Channels & Packages
Keep in mind that you need to look at Sling TV for what it’s worth. It won’t have everything or the most options in the world, but they’ve combined the best of everything into a few well-rounded packages. Packages that are affordable. You’ll get the news, TV shows, movies, sports, kid channels and more for one low price. It’s the essentials but in a good way. That, and it isn’t Comcast!
As you can see above, the base package is pretty clean, and you’ll get AMC for all that The Walking Dead. They’ve bundled 30+ essential channels for one low price. Add on HBO, a few sports, then DVR, and you’re still spending less than $40 a month for everything you need.
Being able to enjoy two ESPN channels, AMC (Better Call Saul), TNT, TBS, CNN, Food Network, Adult Swim, ABC Family and a few more all without a cable subscription is awesome. My favorite aspect is being able to watch ESPN anywhere, even on my Android smartphone or tablet. I can’t wait for College football season to start up again in 2018.
However, if that core package isn’t enough for you, or you’d like more options, you can add-on extras. HBO is $15 a month, Sports packs are $5 with a decent selection for college football galore. They have a ton of options for Spanish users too. Not to mention Disney, a Hollywood pack, EPIX, Showtime, world news or lifestyle channels.
And yes, you’re not getting a ton of channels here, but that’s the point. You don’t have to scroll through hundreds of channels to find what you want. It’s the basic but important stuff everyone truly wants, and that’s all. Here’s more info about some of the add-on options.
- Sports Extras ($10) – NFL RedZone, NBA TV, ESPN SEC Network, SEC Network+, Pac-12, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, NHL Network, beIN SPORTS, Golf Channel, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Buzzer Beater, Campus Insiders, Outside Television, Motors TV North Am, and Univision Deportes
- Kids Extras ($5) – Disney Junior, Disney XD, Nick Jr., NickToons, Boomerang, BabyTV, TeenNick, Sling Kids, and Ducktv.
- Comedy Plus Extra ($5) – MTV, Spike, MTV2, CMT, GSN, Logo, and TV Land
- Lifestyle Extra ($5) – VH-1, E!, Oxygen, Cooking Channel, DIY, FYI, Hallmark Channel, WE TV, Lifetime Movie Network, Hallmark Movies &, Vibrant TV, Mysteries, and Z Living HD
- Hollywood Extra ($5) – FX, Epix, Epix2, Epix Hits, Epix Drive-In, SundanceTV, Turner Classic Movies, and HDNet Movies
- News Extras ($5) – CNBC, MSNBC, theblaze, BBC World News, HLNFusion, Euronews, France 24, News18, NDTV 24×7, RT Network, and CCTV-News
- Broadcast Extra ($5) – ABC, Univision, and UniMás
- and more
Of course, Sling TV has a pretty good movie selection too. However, they’re pretty expensive and you’re better off finding something in the expansive and ever-growing On-Demand selection. Where you can restart a movie or show from the past on most networks. You can start movies on demand from HBO, Showtime, Epix, Comedy Central, FX, or anything else, as long as you have that channel or add-on. And some, even if it’s airing right now, you can hit the “restart” button to start the movie over.
Sling TV Cloud DVR (and FF/RW)
As we stated in our video review above a lot of the add-on packages have pause and fast forward, but some don’t. As a result, sometimes I find myself trying to pause a channel only to see a notification that it’s not available. All while others channels give me that option. It’s just a little inconsistent, but for $20 a month, it’s worth the tradeoff.
At the beginning, Sling TV didn’t have recording or DVR, and you couldn’t watch TV on more than one device. Neither is an issue anymore. In fact, for just $5 a month, you get Sling Cloud DVR where you can record anything you want, including live TV. It’s stored in the cloud, since you don’t have a cable box, and you can store 100 hours of content for one low price.
Basically, you can record up to 100 hours of content and watch it on any device. Everything is stored in the cloud, so you can access it anywhere and everywhere.
Sling Orange & Sling Blue (Multi-user streaming)
Next, we want to briefly mention something that’s really important, multi-user streaming. I want to watch ESPN in the living room, while my kids stream Disney channel upstairs. This is where Sling Orange and Sling Blue come in.
Sling Orange is a single stream, and only one device can view it at a time. So you can switch from upstairs to downstairs or a smartphone, but only ONE stream can be going at a time.
Sling Blue starts at $25 a month, instead of $20 a month, with nearly the same channels, but you get multi-user and multi-stream support. With Sling Blue three users can watch three different Sling TV streams at a time. Perfect for most families.
I’ve used Sling TV for over two years now, and it completely replaced the cable. I no longer have a $200 bill, and I still have everything that’s important to me. Pair that with Netflix, and I’m all set. I’ll continue to pay my $45 a month for a few add-ons and HBO. The overall interface is slick and lag-free, there’s no loading or buffering, and it’s a great overall experience. I also really enjoy the new channel guide.
Sling TV redesigned the interface to give users a more “cable-like” experience. Meaning if you want to channel surf, you can, with the grid layout of channels. Or, you can switch to “channel” mode which has a clean layout with big previews of each show or movie. You can see those in our image below.
Navigation is simple, easy, and straightforward across all platforms. You have a customized and curated “My TV” you get to make yourself at the top. Along with everything that’s on TV right now, rather than a list of channels. Then a regular TV guide, sports, and a movies column. This breaks it down to your favorites or other popular categories.
Tap near the middle top where it says Channel, and select Grid, to get a traditional TV guide layout.
In the early days, Sling TV was a little confusing, and somewhat frustrating. However, in 2018 the interface is extremely clean, simple, and easy to understand. You’ll have guides that are easy to scroll through or large previews with a YouTube-style layout that everyone is familiar with.
Basically, it’s not complicated and just works. It’s TV for the modern user. You can even browse ahead in the day to see what’s on, and even pause some channels, all while your current show (even another channel) is playing in the background. I can keep watching ESPN while I search for a movie to rent for the night, and more, all with ease. I also enjoy being able to watch movies from earlier in the day on EPIX, on demand.
If you’d like to try Sling TV right now, they’re offering a free 7-day trial. Then, a lot of HDTV’s from Samsung and LG have the Sling TV app built-in and come with a free 3-month trial.
Final Thoughts (Is Sling TV Worth It?)
In closing, Sling TV is absolutely worth the $20 a month to see if it’s right for you. After all, there are no contracts, so there’s no risk. However, we recommend everyone start with the multi-user streaming plan for $25 a month. Then, get one or two add-on packages, and HBO on top of it for an overall enjoyable experience for less than $50 a month.
Another big aspect of Sling TV is sports. The company has a deal with the NFL, NFL Network, RedZone, Fox Sports, FS1, ESPN channels, PAC-12 and more. If you’re a fan of sports but don’t want to take the traditional cable route, Sling TV could be your new best friend.
Sling TV has a system that works, plenty of options, and it’s available on almost any device. That includes right inside the Chrome Browser. Basically, you can watch live TV wherever, whenever, with ease. Not to mention it has lots of room to grow and improve. They took a big step toward loosening the grip cable providers have over everyone and aren’t slowing down anytime soon.
If you’re like me and noticed you watch Amazon Video or Netflix 95% of the time, and don’t use most of the 2,000 channels your cable company provides, you’d be crazy not to try Sling TV. Especially at just $20 a month.