Do you still rely on conventional cable or satellite to meet your television entertainment demands? You should be asking yourself why you are still subjecting yourself to these old-fashioned video delivery methods. While cable companies require you to have a fixed-period contract with them, newer methods of video delivery are appearing that don’t require you to be tied down to such obligations.
With the introduction of fast, reliable Fibre internet connections around the world, never has streaming your video entertainment made more sense.
Sling TV is the latest and greatest provider in the world of video streaming. In this article we will provide an introduction to what Sling TV is, how much you can expect to pay and what you will get for your money.
Sling TV is a live subscription based streaming service that will give you access to over 25 different channels in its simplest (and cheapest) package, called Sling Orange. If you’re willing to fork out a little more cash you can expect more than 40 different channels in the Sling Blue package, more than 60 different channels in the combined Blue and Orange package, and over 100 different channels if you’re willing to go all the way and select all the glittery expansion packs.
Much like Netflix the subscription is based on a month-to-month basis, and starts at a very reasonable $20. For this price you can expect channels such as ESPN, AMC, TBS, ESPN2, Comedy Central, TNT, and many more channels. In addition you’re given the option of adding expansion bundles to your basic subscription, which are usually around $5 a month each.
These packages are examined in more detail later in this article. One more great benefit is that there are no hidden fees or taxes that you have to pay. You don’t need a TV license to stream live content!
At this point you may be wondering, “So what’s the big difference?”. How is this better than Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video or Hulu? While these services offer a database of videos that can be watched on-demand, Sling TV offers live streaming of channels.
Meaning you can sit back and enjoy good, old fashioned, high-quality, channel surfing without breaking any laws. This hasn’t been the case in the past, and it’s where the service really starts to shine, especially if you consider that all your live sports streaming needs are now met on a monthly subscription basis. However live streaming is not the only trick that Sling TV performs well, it also accomplishes the following effortlessly:
-On-demand video content: This is what Netflix, Hulu and other services offer and Sling TV has made sure they cover this segment of the market. Viewer can watch their favorite shows at whatever times suite their lifestyles. Perhaps it’s not a great surprise then that Sling TV reports that most of their traffic can be attributed to this service.
-Portability: Being a streaming service, you can use any of your network connected devices to watch live TV. You could use your smartphone, notebook, tablet, personal computer or your smart TV to stream live content. If you want to use a non-smart television set to watch Sling TV you will require an adapter, like Chromecast, Roku 2, Roku 3, Apple TV, or something similar.
If you act fast you could be in time to catch their special introductory offer, which includes a free Roku Streaming Stick after you’ve committed to a three months subscription of their service.
– 72-hour Replay: Don’t you just hate it when you’ve missed your favorite TV show because you were stuck in traffic or you had to take the dog to the vet? With this new feature you need not ever worry about that again.
Sling TV will allow you to re-watch the content that has been live-streamed in the past 72-hours. Giving you plenty of time to watch your favorite shows when it best suits your personal schedule.
– Pseudo DVR interface – While you can’t experience the benefits of DVR, you can rewind, fast-forward and pause some of the Sling channels.
Let’s have a look at the actual channels we can get with the different Sling TV packages available.
Sling Orange (monthly subscription $20)
– Local Now
– Bloomberg TV
– Cartoon Network
– Comedy Central
– Disney Channel
– Food Network
– El Ray
– Travel Channel
With 28 different channels, this package has proved to be a very popular choice. If you’re not very interested in the ESPN range of channels perhaps you would be better off selecting the Sling Blue package which removes the ESPN range and adds the following channels.
Slim Blue (monthly subscription $25)
– National Geographic
– National Geographic Wild
– Uni Mas
That makes a total of 43 different channels for your viewing pleasure, and at only $5 per a month more than the most basic package.
Note: FOX and NBC are available for select markets only and FOX sports is a regional channel that depends on your location. FXX is also available in the Sling Blue package as an on-demand channel.
Slim Blue & Orange (monthly subscription $40)
The option to combine the Sling Blue and Sling Orange packages is also available, this will allow you to enjoy the channels offered by both the packages, for a total of more than 60 different channels.
Now that we’ve had a look at the basic packages, what if you preferred a more customized viewing experience? Sling TV has found a way to cater to that too, in the form of their expansion packages that tend to your special and specific needs.
Sports (+ $5 to your monthly subscription)
If you consider yourself a sports fan this addition is major recommendation, some may even say it’s a must have for every serious sports fan. The channels added to your basic package includes:
– ESPN Bases Loaded
– ESPN Buzzer Beater
Kids (+ $5 to your monthly subscription)
A great addition to get your weekend dose of cartoons, and the kids will love it too! The following channels will be added to your subscription:
– Baby TV
– Duck TV
– Disney Junior
HBO (+ $15 to your monthly subscription)
This expansion package will give you Live HBO streaming, and the ability to access the complete on-demand library available from HBO. Up to 3 of your devices can simultaneously stream HBO content.
Cinemax (+ $10 to your monthly subscription)
This includes the live stream and complete access to Cinemax’s database of on-demand videos.
Comedy Plus (+ $5 to your monthly subscription)
We all love the occasional fit of laughter, and these channels will give you the best laugh for your buck:
Lifestyle Plus (+ $5 to your monthly subscription)
For the latest news on great lifestyles, these channels will be added to your base package:
– Vibrant TV
– WE TV
– Cooking Channel
– Hallmark Channel
– Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
Hollywood (+ $5 to your monthly subscription)
These movie channels will be added with this package:
– EPIX Hits
– HDNet Movies
World News (+ $5 to your monthly subscription)
To help you keep up with what’s going on around the world, these channels will be added to your Sling TV subscription:
– BBC World News
– Euro News
– NDTV 24/7
– News 18 India
– Russia Today
Best of Spanish (+ $5 to your monthly subscription)
– Uni Mas
– AZ Corazon
– Univision Deportes
– Univision tlnovelas
– AZ Clic
– BeIN Sports en Espanol
– BeIN Sports in English
– ESPN Deportes
– De Pelicula
– De Pelicula Clasico
– Cine Sony
In addition to these channels Sling TV also offers additional Spanish language expansions including Caribe Extra, Colombia Extra and Espana Extra. There’s also a variety of international language packs available, including:
Broadcast (for certain markets only + $5 to your monthly subsrciption)
These local broadcast channels are only available for certain markets:
This is available in the following areas:
– Los Angeles
– New York
– San Francisco
Those are the package details currently available with Sling TV. You can visit their website for more information (https://www.sling.com/).
Interestingly, it seems that Sling TV already has direct competition from AT&T’s DirecTV Now, which offers 100 channels for a $35 monthly subscription, this is possible because AT&T is in the process of buying Time Warner for about $85 million, according to TechCrunch reports.
The CEO of Sling TV, Roger Lynch, is the former vice president of advanced technologies for Dish Network. So far he has managed to provide high-quality video with almost no down-time of service to the end-user. The sound quality allows for 5.1 surround sound with their on-demand services while the live streaming is currently limited to stereo quality. The connection speed required from your internet line is reportedly on par with that required for other streaming services like Hulu and Netflix.
We can expect to hear a lot more about Sling TV in future, in fact tech-blogs are already saying that it is the future of television, which is quite a firm statement to make. It might be worth noting that you don’t necessarily have to purchase a subscription right away, you can also try a free 7-day trial that Sling TV offers on all their domestic packages.
So you can take a whole week to figure out if this solution fits into your life. Sling International offers a greater 30-day free trial period so that foreign-language subscribers have a month to make this same decision.
So overall then, what are you waiting for? At only $20 for a monthly subscription with no actual contractual obligation from you, this live streaming service is remarkably cheap to try out. Actually, though, it’s completely free for the 7-day trial.
This way everyone has the opportunity to test it out for themselves and come to a personal conclusion as to whether this solution works for them in comparison to other similar online video content subscription services. The fact that they are now reaching out to international markets seems to hint that they’ve had a relatively successful domestic introduction and can afford to expand their horizons into the world-wide market. But in retrospect, it is much easier to expand an internet based service to the entire world than it is to expand a cable or satellite based service.
In terms of the possible negatives of this live streaming subscription service, there are a few things you should be aware of. Firstly the on-demand video capability of Sling TV is easily outmatched by other services like Netflix, but that’s fine, because it’s not intended as the primary function of Sling TV.
Sling TV’s primary function is live streaming of the TV channels mentioned above under the different packages, and it does this exceptionally well. The second issue you should be aware of is that there have a few reports of drops in service quality during peak times, when the demand for a certain channel might be unusually high, for instance. This does not bode well for the sports fan who will be looking for subscribe to the Sling TV live streaming service primarily for the ability to catch their major sporting events with a live stream.
Then again, the ability to stream live TV channels anywhere, and at any time, might more than make up for this small inconvenience with other users. So it seems that the service will be great for some users and perhaps lacking in certain aspects for others. The only way to find out if it’s right for you is to head over to their website and subscribe to the free trial or a very cost-effective one-month subscription.