5 things to know before you sign up for Sling TV

|
5 things to know before you sign up for Sling TV
Image Credit: Clark.com/Sling
Team Clark is adamant that we will never write content influenced by or paid for by an advertiser. To support our work, we do make money from some links to companies and deals on our site. Learn more about our guarantee here.
Advertisement
  • Deal alert: For a limited time, get 40% off your first month of service with Sling TV. 

  • Sling TV has three main skinny bundles: Sling Orange and Sling Blue are normally $25/month each, but the Sling Orange & Blue plan is $40/month.

  • Sling TV channels: Sling Orange includes ESPN, Disney and CNN. Sling Blue features Discovery, NFL Network and FX. 

  • Broadcast networks like ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC are limited with Sling TV, so you’re probably better off purchasing an indoor antenna to pick up your local stations.

  • Cloud DVR is not included with any Sling TV plans, but it’s available for $5 a month.

If you’re ready to lower your $100 a month cable or satellite TV bill, Sling TV is one of the best options to consider.

There are a number of internet-based live TV streaming services available for $40 to $50 per month right now. They could be a great alternative if your existing provider is unwilling to negotiate a lower price.

RELATED: How to cut the cord and never pay for cable TV again

What is Sling TV and how does it work? Team Clark put it to the test! 

YouTube TV, DirecTV Now and Hulu with Live TV are a few of the newer competitors, but Sling TV has been around since 2015.

Starting at $25 per month, Sling TV offers dozens of popular cable and broadcast channels with no long-term contracts, hidden fees or rental equipment.

I signed up for Sling TV and was streaming a few minutes later! Here’s my review…

Sling TV: Table of contents

1. Sling TV packages and channels 

Sling TV’s packages are a bit confusing. First, there’s Sling Orange for $25 a month that includes about 30 channels like ESPN, CNN, Disney Channel, TNT, A&E and Lifetime.

Also for $25 per month, Sling Blue offers about 50 channels, but it doesn’t include everything in Sling Orange.

Here’s an example: You get ESPN with Sling Orange, but that network isn’t part of Sling Blue, which does have NFL Network and other sports networks.

The third option is Sling Orange + Blue, a combination of the first two plans, for $40 a month.

Advertisement

If you’re looking for the local broadcast channels, several are included with the Sling Blue package, but you’re probably better off buying a digital antenna for a lifetime of free over-the-air TV.

Sling Orange restricts users to a single stream, while Sling Blue allows you to watch on three screens at a time.

Sling TV packages and channels

Sling Orange ($25/month) Sling Blue ($25/month)
A&E A&E
ABC (select markets)
ACC Network Extra
AMC AMC
AXS TV AXS TV
BBC America BBC America
BET
Bloomberg Television Bloomberg Television
Bravo
Cartoon Network Cartoon Network
Cheddar Cheddar
Cheddar Big News Cheddar Big News
CNN CNN
Comedy Central Comedy Central
Comet Comet
Discovery Channel
Disney Channel
  E!
EPIX Drive-In EPIX Drive-In
ESPN
ESPN2
ESPN3
Food Network Food Network
FOX (select markets)
FOX RSNs (select markets)
Fox Sports 1
Fox Sports 2
Freeform
Fuse Fuse
FX
FXX
HGTV HGTV
History Channel History Channel
IFC IFC
Investigation Discovery (ID) Investigation Discovery (ID)
Lifetime Lifetime
Local Now Local Now
MotorTrend (formerly Velocity)
National Geographic
Nat Geo Wild
NBC (select markets)
NBC RSNs (select markets)
NBCSN
Newsy Newsy
NFL Network
Nick Jr.
Paramount Network
Stadium Stadium
SYFY
TBS TBS
TLC
TNT TNT
Travel Channel Travel Channel
Tribeca Shortlist Tribeca Shortlist
truTV
USA
Viceland Viceland
UPDATED: APRIL 2019

Sling TV extras 

Want even more channels? Sling has them! In addition to its Sling Orange and Sling Blue plans, you can add on extras based on genres — sports, kids, comedy, news, lifestyle, etc.

For example, the “Lifestyle Extra” adds VH1, Hallmark and several other channels for $5 per month.

There are also options to subscribe to premium networks such as Epix for $5/month, Starz for $9/month and Showtime for $10/month. HBO and Cinemax were pulled from Sling TV in November 2018.

But if you’re trying to keep your pay TV bill low, go easy on the “extras” that Sling tries to sell you!

Sling TV display on Roku (Image: Sling TV)
Sling TV display on Roku (Image: Sling TV)

2. Does Sling TV include DVR?  

Sling TV packages don’t come with cloud DVR included, but you can pay an extra $5 a month for it. The option allows you to record up to 50 hours of movies, episodes and full series.

I found the DVR function easy to use and loved being able to pause, rewind and fast-forward through my shows.

In May 2018, Sling expanded its cloud DVR to Chrome browser, Chromecast, Xbox One, LG Smart TVs and 2016 and 2017 models of Samsung Smart TVs.

3. Sling TV compatible streaming devices  

You can stream Sling TV on your smartphone, computer or tablet from anywhere, but what if you just want to watch it on the TV set in your living room? Not a problem!

Advertisement

I linked the Sling TV app with my Google Chromecast and started watching live TV within minutes.

Sling supports these devices: 

  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Amazon tablet
  • Android device
  • Android TV
  • Apple TV
  • Chromecast
  • iOS device
  • LG TV
  • Roku
  • Samsung Smart TV
  • Xbox One
  • Windows 10

Like all streaming services, Sling TV requires a high-speed internet connection. You should have a download speed of 5 Mbps for a single stream and 25 Mbps for households with multiple devices using the internet.

Read more about minimum internet download speeds and learn how to conduct a speed test!

Sling TV has various menus to help you find something to watch, but I prefer the grid guide. I found that it’s the easiest to browse and didn’t require much time to learn — it’s very similar to a traditional cable TV guide.

Just move up, down, left or right to see what’s currently on TV or coming up on each channel, up to a week in advance.

5. Sling TV free trial and sign-up offers 

Sling TV has a 7-day free trial for new subscribers, but the company is known to offer other deals on a regular basis, like 40% off for the first three months of service.

There are also frequent device offers. For example, you can get a free Roku Express ($29.99 value) when you sign up for Sling TV and prepay for one month of service. This offer is not available with the free trial.

Of course, deals like these can expire at any time! Click here for the latest offers from Sling.

Advertisement

Not ready to switch? Call your cable or satellite provider!

Sling TV isn’t going to be a great fit for everyone — especially if you’re used to having 100+ channels — but the free trial period will give you a week to see if it works for you.

My suggestion is to make a list of your favorite channels and find out how many of them are included in Sling’s bundles.

Before you make any moves, shop around and give your current cable or satellite provider a call to see if they offer a skinny bundle at a lower rate.

If that’s the case, you may be able to get more of the channels you want for less than you’re paying right now!

Team Clark has tested out all of the major live TV streaming services over the past year or so. We have a list of their pros and cons in our guide to the best live TV streaming plans and deals!

More Clark.com stories you may like: 

Advertisement
  • Show Comments Hide Comments