Sling TV was first launched in February 2015 and was the first live television service that came about with multiple channels. It has gone through a series of progressions and advancements since its launch and currently the most flexible option for those looking forward to cutting the cord. For those viewers willing to become free from the bond of the conventional cable and satellite television service, this is, by far, the best option.
1. Basic aspects
Even though this live television service only offered a few channels initially, the service provider makes the attempts to upgrade regularly, and the channels available right now are popular indeed. You can also get video-on-demand when you subscribe to this service from the channels that are available and movie rentals as well. However, the most promising aspect is that the viewers do not need the signup fee or contract. You can also go for a seven-day free trial option and test the service before taking the plunge.
2. The difference from the cable television service
How is Sling TV different from the satellite or cable television service? It is much cheaper than satellite television, even though it may offer fewer channels. You need a broadband connection of about 25 Mbps or higher to get started with the service. Instead of the satellite box, you have a streaming box or a stick, a game console with a new app of Sling TV, or a Smart TV to enjoy your favorite programs. You can watch the programs on the computer, mobile phone, or the tablet as well. Finally, you get the flexibility to cancel or resume the service anytime you want as you are free from the contracts. The viewers can watch one stream at a time with the Orange Package of the Sling TV although this is considered a significant drawback of this live television service. If you are an Orange subscriber of this service, you cannot watch the programs on more than one device at the same time. However, if you subscribe to the Blue package containing the NBC and Fox channels, the same service can be accessed in three devices at the same time. Finally, you are free from scanning those channels that you do not watch. The few channels you get in this live TV services are the good ones that you will love watching.
3. Difference between Orange and Blue
With all the channels available in this live internet television service, you can also pick the channels according to your preference. The TV service refers to its packages as Orange and Blue.
- Sling Orange Package: This is available for $25 per month and comprises twenty-two channels including Disney and ESPN. It is restricted to a single stream at one time.
- Sling Blue Package: You can access this package for $25 per month and get thirty-five channels including NBC and Fox channels without the Disney and ESPN and enjoy up to three streams at the same time.
- Sling Orange and Blue Package: Offered at $40 every month, this package includes all the channels of Orange and Blue. Although you can enjoy up to four different streams at the same time, it is restricted to one for the Orange package.
The number of channels available in this service has changed and updated over time, and is likely to grow in the future as well. While the notable option for the Orange package is sports channels, the Blue, on the other hand, is devoid of the sports channels, but includes the Fox and NBC as the significant options. For those viewers trying to keep the cost of the live television service low, you can pick from Orange or Blue. However, those who are not ready to step back from paying extra for availing more channels from both Orange and Blue can consider the combination option. Although the combination option is slightly more expensive than the individual packages, you are not divided between the sports channels of Orange and the network streaming option in the Blue package.
4. Compatible devices for Sling TV
There is a huge list of devices through which you can access the Sling TV packages, and the options are relatively large.
- Mac and Windows computers
- Android smartphones and tablets
- iOS devices
- Amazon Fire TV
- Xbox-One consoles
- Roku devices
- Amazon Fire TV Stick
- Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra
- Channel Master DVR+
- Nvidia Shield
- Select Smart TV’s
- TV’s and devices using Google’s Android TV
- Xfinity X1
If you do not have any of these devices, you can also try the discount for signing up with the pre-paid packages for three months, and when you do that, you can get a Roku Streaming Stick or Amazon Fire TV Stick for free.
5. Offering local channels
Although the selection of the channels depends on where you live and the subscription you avail, Fox and NBC are offered in certain markets. To boost the list of channels, Sling TV offers multiple add-on packs, many of which contain several packages. The average cost of availing these channels vary from $5 to $10 every month, but for channels like HBO, you may have to shell out extra. Even though some packages may be different, depending on the color of the Sling you choose, when you subscribe to the combination package, you will enjoy watching the programs of every channel that are included in the individual packages.
6. Single and multiple streams
Only a few subscription packages facilitate various streams in this live TV service. For instance, if you subscribe to the Orange package, the viewership is going to be restricted to one stream, but it can go up to three or four depending on the Blue or the combination package you choose. While you can switch from the streaming set-top box to the tablet with ease, you cannot watch the programs on both the devices at the same time.
7. Buddy referral programs
When compared with the other live TV services, Sling TV offers competitive rates to the customers, and the buddy referral program can lower the subscription cost further. For each referral that you provide, both of you can get up to $5 discount for three months to follow. Moreover, the friend you have referred can enjoy the benefit of a discount from the first month itself. While the discounts are available for a single billing cycle, the discount of $5 can be equated to obtaining a free month for the add-on pack.
8. Cloud DVR facility
If you are not willing to miss anything in the Sling TV, the cloud DVR feature comes to help. When you avail this feature for $5 every month, you will get an additional fifty hours of the cloud DVR storage facility although the Roku users can enjoy twice as much. Compared with the other live TV services, there is no limit of 28 days when it comes to the storage limit of the shows you have recorded. When you approach the time, Sling TV makes the adjustments automatically and deletes the oldest recordings that you have already finished watching. However, you can flag the content as “protected” if you do not want the service to delete automatically. The other features you get are the DVR folders to help you organize the content you have recorded and the option to set up the recorded content from the franchise page of Sling TV.
However, the DVR recording is only available for selected channels as you often come across the options in different channels where the facility of time-shifting is not available. The users can record several shows at the same time on those channels that support the recording facility. Although the non-availability of the recording facility is a major drawback of this live television service, the Sling TV providers have increased the number of channels with this feature.
9. Enjoying free content
If you decide to cancel the subscription of Sling TV whether permanently or for a while, you may still enjoy watching some of the content. The service provider offers free content with more than a hundred hours of movies and an array of TV shows, including Behavior, Wrecked, Detour, and Flip or Flop. However, the free facility can be enjoyed by the previous subscribers and those watching it on the Roku devices. However, the company is trying hard to extend this support on the other devices as well or may open up this service for everyone.
10. Watching the videos on-demand
With a good selection of movies during the launch or even in the future, the Sling TV watchers can avail HD facility with a minimum rental cost. The library has a robust collection of Disney films and the big-budget options as well. A new deal likely to come about soon with Epix, and allow the viewers to avail about two thousand VOD titles, old and new spanning across the popular programs. With different categories of titles, you can get an opulent combination of Foreign Films, Horror, Action, Thriller, Romance, Drama, Comedy, Adventure, and War & Westerns. You can also get a search feature when you want to find out if a specific title can make it easy for you to find the film you want to watch.
11. Experience of users
Instead of the guide graph in the home DVR, you can enjoy the timeline-based program guide, which is better and is filled with the thumbnail graphics for individual shows. The integrated search features make it easy to track the specific move in the on-demand video catalog. Apart from this, the user interface appears better on a phone or tablet than in the Amazon Fire TV or the Roku devices, and this is mainly due to the design of the TV which performs better in the tablet or mobile phone. While it looks beautiful on tablets or mobile phones, it is an ideal option for screens with 47 inches or even smaller.
12. Other options
To enjoy watching Sling TV, you must have a good internet connection which enhances the experience for the Sling TV watchers. You can choose to get a low, high, or the best quality stream although a slow internet connection can hamper even the best stream depending on where you live. Regardless of where you live, a fast connection can spruce up the experience of watching the favorite programs via this live internet television service. When you decide to switch to Sling TV from the traditional cable television, you must also take a step forward to boost the internet connection and make it steady.
Although you cannot enjoy the facility of time-shifting in this service, such as rewind, fast-forward or pause when the show is running, as it depends on the channel you are watching, and whether it supports this feature or not, Sling updates this support to all the new channels. Now, you can get this feature in many of the channels available. The good news is that the channels with time shifting facility will now allow you to move back to the history of three days of the programs so that you can easily watch the episodes of the programs you have missed.
13. Value for money
Sling TV is not an option for every viewer, but the hassle-free service without any contracts or commitments, and cancellation fees makes it an ideal choice for those who want to get started with the live TV action and come out from the cable television service. Even though there are cheaper live streaming TV services, you may not avail sports or other channels. Sometimes, the picture quality can drop while moving on to a new channel or the quality of the sound may not be appropriate; the quality of the picture is excellent on the small devices.
When you want to be a part of the cord-cutter team, you can start with the basic package of this live TV streaming service to enjoy all the action. You can go through the free trial period at first and then choose the package according to your convenience.