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Sling TV Review: Channels, Packages and More [+ Free Trial]

 

While cable cutters will tell you how you can watch all your favorite TV for a fraction of the cost with streaming services, who wants to go to the effort of tracking down the individual applications for all the channels they used to watch on cable?

That is where streaming services like Sling TV come in. They bundle the most popular channels and make them available via a single app, for a single price-tag.

But how good is Sling TV and is it really worth your dollars?

Read our full review below.

Spoiler Alert! We think Sling TV has an excellent selection of channels sue to satisfy most cord-cutters. However, while Sling TV’s pricing plan might seem simple and affordable, there are a lot of add-ons to cater your service to exactly what you want, and they quickly add up. So not as affordable as it appears at first glance.

Overview

Our Rating: 4/5

Pros:

  • Good selection of channels
  • Flexible subscription options
  • Movie rentals available
  • Lots of native apps that are easy to use
  • Stable stream
  • Stream anywhere and to multiple devices

Cons:

  • Multiple add-ons can push prices up
  • Missing local programming and a few popular channels
  • Needs more DVR storage

Sling TV Packages & Pricing

Sling TV offers three primary subscription options, and then a variety of add-ons that let you tailor your package to what you like to watch. The service also has 3 days free trial option.

Sling TV Base Packages

Orange – $30 per month

With the orange package, you get 32 channels including some of the most popular including AMC, CNN, BBC America, Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, Disney, ESPN, Food Network, HGTV, IFC, and TBS.

Blue – $30 per month

This is a bigger package with 47 channels. You lose ESPN and Disney but instead, you get Discovery, Fox News, MSNBC, NBC Sports, NFL Network, Nick Jr, and SYFY.

Orange & Blue – $45 per month

Get all the channels available on both the Orange and Blue Sling networks for a total of 53 channels.

Sling TV Add-Ons

To these packages, you can add a series of Extra Bundles that cover specific areas that you are interested in. Each costs an additional $5 per month, or there are discounts if you add more than one to your package.

  • Comedy Extra – adds channels such as MTV, TruTV, Logo, and CMT.
  • Deportes Extra – includes Azteca, Univision, and Unimas.
  • Kids Extra – add children and family networks such as Disney XD, Nicktoons, and Boomerang.
  • Heartland Extra – get the Cowboy Channel, PixL, Family Net, and World Fishing Network
  • Hollywood Extra – get Sundance TV, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), and EPIX.
  • Lifestyle Extra – add the Cooking Channel WE, BET, and E!
  • Pelicula & Novelas Extra – for Azteca Corazon, De Pelicula, and Univision tlnovelas
  • Sports Extra – sports fans can enjoy ESPN U, MLB Network, NBA TV, NHL Network, and PAC 12 Network.
  • World New Extra – watch Euronews, BBC World News, and CNBC.

But wait, there’s more, you can add premium channels, such as Showtime, Epix, and Starz, though these are individually priced.

These packages add a lot of flexibility, but they can also make it quite confusing as there are so many options to consider. Moreover, while you might think that your original $30 package is quite affordable, as you keep adding extras to make sure you get all the channels that you want, Sling TV can quickly become quite costly.

Packages are also set up in such a way as to make your want more than one. For example, you only get ESPN with the Orange package, while you only get NBC Sport with Blue. Sports fans who need both will need to pay for the more expensive combined package.

So, while we give Sling TV an A+ in terms of the content that you can get through their service, we are looking at a B in terms of pricing.

Content

For a complete list of the channels available via Sling TV, scroll down to the bottom of this article. But highlights include:

  • Discovery and History for documentary buffs;
  • Comedy Central for those who like to laugh;
  • FX and SYFY for Sci-Fi fans;
  • CNN, NBC, Fox, and more for those who want all the news;
  • Disney and Nicktoons for kids;
  • ESPN and NBC Sport for sports fans.

You can also rent movies, in either HD or SD, at various prices depending on how hot the release is. For a Hollywood new release, you can expect to pay $4.99 for standard definition and $5.99 for high definition. You have 30 days to start watching your rental, but once you have begun you have 24-48 hours before it disappears.

But what is missing?

Local networks are unavailable. NBC and Fox affiliates are only available in major markets, and there are no local CBS or ABC channels available. Perhaps worse than this is that no regional Fox sports channels are included, which means you won’t always be able to watch your local team.

Some of the most popular premium channels that you are used to seeing on cable, are also missing. Most notable among them are HBO and the CW. Yes, you can get these channels through their own designated subscription services, but that is just one more expense.

So, again, while Sling TV has a great range of content available, it is more expensive than it may first seem to get your hands on everything you might want. There are also a few important things missing, most notably local channels and some premium channels.

Application & Functionality

Sling TV has an app for pretty much every device, which means that it is easy to use on whatever your like to watch on, whether that be your Smart TV, Android TV Box, iPhone, Computer, or Xbox One.

There are native apps for:

  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Android
  • Apple TV
  • Chrome
  • iOS
  • Roku
  • Windows Store
  • Xbox One

It might be a little surprising to see that Sling TV has an app for Xbox but not PlayStation, but that is because PlayStation is pushing their own streaming service PlayStation Vue so have blocked its availability – Sling TV can’t be blamed for that.

You can have Sling TV set up on your Smart TV and your smartphone, which means that you can be watching something at home, and then pick it up again on your smartphone on the commute (assuming you have the Wi-Fi).

The streaming is pretty stable on most devices, though seems to work best on iOS and PC.

You can also stream different content to more than one device at the same time if you have multiple family members using the service. With Orange, you can only stream to one device at a time, but with Blue, you can stream to three, and with Orange & Blue to four (just another way that they encourage you to upgrade from Orange to the more expensive Orange & Blue package).

You won’t get 4K on any of your devices, no matter what you are using, as Sling TV isn’t offering any 4K content. That is pretty standard for live TV streaming at the moment. However, it makes their movie rental service less attractive as you might be able to get those same films in 4K elsewhere.

The application itself is pretty intuitive to use, and actually resembles a cable TV set up, which some people will find comforting. Go direct to your favorite channels and existing DVR recording via “My TV”, channel surf via “On Now”, or browse the guide and set up your DVR recordings via “guide”. There is also a basic but workable search functionality if you are looking for something specific that you just know is on there.

The DVR is disappointing, not in its functionality, but its capacity. You only get 5 hours of DVR storage included in your package, and it costs yet another $5 per month to get up to 50 hours. While 5 hours might be enough most of the time, if you go away for a week, it won’t be enough to store all of your favorite shows.

Sure, you might be able to watch them remotely on your phone, but only if you are travelling in the United States and Puerto Rico, as Sling TV is blocked elsewhere for copyright compliance reasons. You may be able to bypass this my accessing with VPN, but, like all zoned streaming services, Sling TV does block some VPN services.

This means that you might also encounter problems if you use VPN at home for general protection. You may need to disconnect when using Sling, it just depends on whether they have identified your service as a VPN.

Overall, we would say that the application is functional and easy to use, and that the only real drawbacks are the lack of DVR storage with the standard packages, and the fact that you can’t rent movies in 4K.

The Verdict

So, what’s our overall verdict on Sling TV?

It has one of the best selections of TV channels available on the streaming market, though it is missing a few notable items, including local channels and some of the premium channels such as HBO.

Their packages are not the cheapest on the market, but represent good value for money considering how much content you get. However, there are a lot of extras that you can add-on to your package to get the channels that you really want. These all come with a small additional cost, but this can quickly add up.

The average cable bill in the US in 2019 was $50-$100. Get yourself the Orange & Blue package, add an extra $5 for additional DVR space, and you are already at $50 before adding any additional sports channels.

The application itself is compatible with pretty much all media streaming devices, and it is easy to use, largely mimicking the navigation of cable TV boxes. You can stream to multiple devices, watch at home or on the go, and even rent movies (though not in 4K, so anyone with a 4K TV might want to rent elsewhere).

Our only real complaint with the application itself is that you only get 5 hours of DVR storage as standard, and need to pay if you want additional space.

All in all, Sling TV is a great application if you want to replace your cable TV subscription with a TV streaming subscription. But if you want to get all the channels and functionality that you got with your cable box, expect to pay a similar amount.

Overall, we give Sling TC 4/5. If Cable was worth the subscription fee for you, Sling TV probably is as well.

Complete List of Channels Available via Sling TV

  • A&E
  • ACC Network
  • ACC Network Extra
  • AMC
  • American Heroes
  • Atlanta Hawks
  • AXS TV
  • BabyTV
  • BBC America
  • BBC World News
  • beIN SPORTS
  • beIN Sports Connect
  • BET
  • Bloomberg Television
  • Boomerang
  • Boston Celtics
  • Bravo
  • Brooklyn Nets
  • Cartoon Network & Adult Swim
  • CGTN
  • Charlotte Hornets
  • Cheddar Business
  • Cheddar News
  • Chicago Bulls
  • Cinefest
  • Cinemoi
  • Cleveland Cavaliers
  • CMT
  • CNBC
  • CNN
  • Comedy Central
  • Comedy Dynamics
  • Comet
  • CONtv
  • Cooking Channel
  • CuriosityStream
  • Dallas Mavericks
  • Denver Nuggets
  • Destination America
  • Detroit Pistons
  • Discovery Channel
  • Disney Channel
  • Disney Junior
  • Disney XD
  • DIY Network
  • Docurama
  • DOGTV
  • Dove Channel
  • Dox
  • ducktv
  • E!
  • Echoboom Sports
  • EPIX
  • EPIX 2
  • EPIX Drive-In
  • EPIX Hits
  • ESPN
  • ESPN 3
  • ESPN Bases Loaded
  • ESPN2
  • ESPNEWS
  • ESPNU
  • Euronews
  • Food Network
  • Fox Business Network
  • Fox News
  • FOX Sports 1
  • FOX Sports 2
  • France 24 (English)
  • Freeform
  • Fuse
  • FX
  • FXM
  • FXX
  • FYI
  • Genius Brands
  • Golden State Warriors
  • Golf Channel
  • Great American Country
  • Grokker
  • GSN
  • Hallmark Channel
  • Hallmark Drama
  • Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
  • Hallmark Movies Now
  • HDNet Movies
  • Here TV
  • HGTV
  • Hi-YAH!
  • History
  • HLN
  • Hopster
  • Houston Rockets
  • IFC
  • Indiana Pacers
  • Investigation Discovery
  • Law & Crime
  • Lifetime
  • Lifetime Movie Network
  • Lion Mountain TV
  • Local Network
  • Logo
  • Longhorn Network
  • Los Angeles Clipper
  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • MagellanTV History
  • Magnolia Selects
  • Memphis Grizzlies
  • Miami Heat
  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • MLB Network
  • MLB Strike Zone
  • Monsters & Nightmares
  • MotorTrend
  • MSNBC
  • MTV
  • MTV2
  • Nat Geo WILD
  • National Geographic
  • Nautical Channel
  • NBA TV
  • NBC Networks
  • NBC Sports Networks
  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • New York Knicks
  • News18
  • Newsmax
  • Newsy
  • NFL Network
  • NFL RedZone
  • NHL Network
  • Nick Jr.
  • NickToons
  • Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Olympic Channel
  • Orlando Magic
  • Outdoor Channel
  • Outside TV
  • Outside TV Features
  • Oxygen
  • PAC 12 Network
  • Paramount Network
  • Philadelphia 76ers
  • Phoenix Suns
  • PixL
  • PlayKids
  • Portland Trail Blazers
  • Pursuit Channel
  • Real Vision
  • REELZ
  • Revolt TV
  • RFD-TV
  • Ride TV
  • RT America
  • Sacramento Kings
  • San Antonio Spurs
  • Science
  • SEC Network
  • SEC+
  • Showtime (includes Showtime, Showtime 2, Showtime Beyond, Showtime Extreme, Showtime Family Zone, Showtime Next, Showtime Showcase, Showtime West, and Showtime Women)
  • Sportsman Channel
  • Stadium
  • Starz (includes Starz, Starz Comedy, Starz Edge, Starz Encore, Starz Kids & Family, an Starz West)
  • Stingray Karaoke
  • Stingray Qello
  • Sundance
  • SYFY
  • TBS
  • TCM
  • TeenNick
  • Tennis Channel
  • The Country Network Plus
  • The Cowboy Channel
  • TLC
  • TNT
  • Toronto Raptors
  • Travel Channel
  • True Royalty TV
  • truTV
  • Tumblebooks TV
  • TV Land
  • UP Faith & Family
  • USA
  • Utah Jazz
  • VH1
  • VICE
  • VSiN
  • Warriors & Gangsters
  • Washington Wizards
  • WE TV
  • Weather Nation
  • Willow Cricket HD
  • Willow Extra
  • World Fishing Network
  • Z Living HD

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