Sling TV Review
A relatively recent addition to the replacing cable options, SlingTV offers access to otherwise cable-only TV channels for a monthly fee instead of a long-term contract. In its early years of operation, SlingTV is still working out some kinks in performance but could be an alternative for those who love cable – but not the bill.
Standard cable channels are available through SlingTV, but SlingTV holds out on some prime channels – like HBO – for extra fees ranging from $5-$15. Even once users have subscriptions set and paid for, there have been complaints about streaming quality. Buffering and stuttering issues are too common relative to other options.
Sling TV Pros
Record your shows with your DVR in the cloud! With some shows still available a few days after airing, you don’t have to worry about being on time.
Sling TV Cons
Connectivity issues and limited channels in the basic plans make it hard to justify the cost unless you only have cable for the few channels already included.
Sling TV Bottom Line
With a few kinks worked out, SlingTV would be a real contender to replace a cable subscription, although if you’re looking for low-cost ways to get options for your entertainment, you might want to keep looking.
No More Cable With Sling TV
People forget that cable revolutionized the way in which people got access to their favorite TV programming. There once was a time when every house on the block had a TV antenna on the roof to pick up the signals from distant transmitters, but all that changed when cable companies with new technology offering access to more channels than ever before. The newest revolution in how entertainment is delivered to people has led to more and more viewers abandoning traditional cable providers in favor of streaming services, but unlike rooftop antennas that disappeared from the scene, cable providers are changing to meet the challenge. Sling TV is how Dish is competing with other streaming services.
Sling TV Basic Features
Sling TV is a streaming service offered by Dish Network. Streaming services make use of technology that eliminates waiting for content to download to your device before viewing was possible. Streamed content loads as you view, but immediately discards and replaces it with additional content. Streamed content is viewed rather than stored.
It is a subscription service with a monthly fee associated with it. Basic features of Sling TV allow subscribers to view live and on-demand programming from TV channels without having to pay for cable or satellite services. That last part might be confusing to some people because Sling TV is a subsidiary of satellite TV provider Dish Network.
The fact is that satellite and cable companies have decided it is better to introduce their own streaming services rather than lose subscribers to competitors. Unlike Netflix and its focus on movies, on-demand TV, and original programming, Sling TV offers the same live TV you would get from your cable or satellite provider.
You can access the service and watch programming through any of the following:
- Android and iOS devices
- Apple TV
- Amazon Fire TV
- Google Nexus Player
- Amazon Fire TV Stick
The service is available on only some smart TVs, including LG.
Sling TV A La Carte Programming
Different programming packages are offered depending upon the channels a subscriber wants the ability to access. Sling Orange and Sling Blue are the basic programming packages. Channels offered in the basic packages include the following:
- HGTV CNN
After selecting one of the basic packages, a subscriber can add channels for an additional monthly. Consumers should be aware that some channels are more expensive than others. For example, HBO is more expensive than Cinemax
Sling TV Pricing
Sling Orange and Sling Blue offer almost the same channels, but the big difference between them is that Sling Orange offers streaming to only one device while Sling Blue can stream to three devices. Sling Orange costs $20 a month and the cost of Sling Blue is $25 a month. A combination package including all channels in both basic packages is $40 a month.
Additional channels may be added to the basic packages, but you must pay for separately for each channel. Monthly subscriptions for individual channels added to a package range from $5 to $15 per month. Channels that can be added include Showtime and HBO. It can get expensive depending upon the number of channels added on. Other streaming services, including HBO GO, Hulu, HBO Now, Amazon Prime and YouTube Red should be looked to determine if their programming might satisfy a viewer at a lower monthly cost than Sling TV
Sling TV vs. Slingbox
Sling is quick to point out that Sling TV is offered by Dish Network and not by Sling Media. In fact, Sling TV will NOT work with a Slingbox.
A Slingbox requires cable or satellite service. There are no monthly charges for a Slingbox as there are for Sling TV
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How It Works
Go to sling.com and you’re a click away from your 7-day free trial. Submit your personal information and provide payment details to kick thing off. If you like what you see for just $20/month on the base package you can keep watching channels like ESPN and the Food Network. Upgrade to get additional channels in your package that stream right to your TV. Additional custom package options and channels are available as well, you can just keep building with the provided extras.
Plans & Pricing
SlingTV Orange, a likely choice for an individual user, starts at $20 per month. Unfortunately, this is where it can get expensive. If you want more than one person to be able to watch, you need to upgrade to SlingTV Blue, but you lose some channels such as Disney-owned stations. Once you have your basic package, you can pick and choose from add-ons, such as HBO for $15, or some of the 11 other options that range from $5 to $15. If you’re an avid cable-watcher now, your bill might look familiar!
Even the most stable of internet connections seem susceptible to buffering and stuttering issues as some users complain of service interruptions, but customers still get the cable experience with the potential savings of streaming services. Once you find your show, you can pause, rewind, and fast-forward live TV.
General questions can be answered within the knowledge base http://help.sling.com/
Email, chat and phone options are available within the Sling help center.