Sling TV Review
Sling TV is a video streaming service that provides a cable alternative to cord-cutters. Sporting live broadcast and national networks, Sling TV lets you customize your channel line up. Sling TV offers three unique packages: Sling Orange, Sling Blue, and Sling Orange & Blue. However, Sling Orange & Blue is the only package that really works as a cable replacement. It costs $45 per month, and you can cancel at any time. Sling Orange and Sling Blue function as incomplete halves. For example, if you take the Sling Blue option, you’ll lose channels like Disney, but if you pick Sling Orange, you’ll miss out on Discovery, among others. Live TV varies with your region, but Fox and NBC affiliates are available. You won’t be able to dial in CBS without an antenna. Also, to get the most of your experience, you’ll need to invest in add-on channels.
Sling TV Packages at a Glance
|Package||Price||Free trial length||Number of channels||Simultaneous streams|
|Sling Orange||$30/mo.||7 days||32||1|
|Sling Blue||$30/mo.||7 days||47||3|
|Sling Orange & Blue||$45/mo.||7 days||53||4|
How We Evaluated Sling TV
As the “streaming wars” persist and services vie for your affections, many have become fluid by nature — often adjusting their content, features, and prices. With each iteration packages are added, condensed, or prices rise.
There are two distinct types of streaming services — alternative and supplemental. Streaming services that offer live national broadcasts are more familiar platforms with traditional sensibilities. Unlike video-on-demand (VOD) services like Disney+ and Sundance Now that provide niche content but no live broadcasts, alternative services offer well-rounded packages sure to entice cord cutters.
We assessed Sling TV with these variables in mind and then stacked it up against other cable replacements.
Sling TV vs. Other Video Streaming Services
Key Sling TV Features
Customize with add-ons
For a little extra cash each month, you can punch up your Sling Orange, Sling Blue, or Sling Orange & Blue subscription with a few additional goodies. These come by form of genre-specific bundles, which may vary depending on your package. Available choices include Comedy Extra, Kids Extra, and Lifestyle Extra add-ons, among others. Comedy Extra consists of channels like CMT, MTV, and TV Land. With Kids Extra you get cartoons and shows from the likes of Boomerang, Disney Junior, and TeenNick. Lifestyle Extra has networks such as BET, Cooking Channel, Hallmark Channel, and VH1. There’s also a Sports Extra for $10 per month with 15 additional channels. Or for $12 per month, you can take advantage of Sling TV’s 4-Extras deal, which combines Comedy Extra, Kids Extra, Lifestyle Extra, and News Extra.
You receive ten hours of free DVR storage by default with Sling TV’s packages. If you need more space, you can always upgrade to 50 hours for $5 per month. Recording live TV is easy, thanks to the service’s user-friendly DVR controls. You can toggle DVR content with onscreen buttons and sliders. And you have the option to schedule recordings six days prior to broadcast, so there’s no need to bother someone else to record for you. Keep track of your DVR storage by navigating to the settings area of My TV screen.
Sling TV is compatible with several devices, including Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Android and iOS devices, Chromecast, LG Smart TV, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, VIZIO Smart TV, web browsers, and Xbox One. As of right now, the only gaming console compatible with the service is Xbox. PlayStation and Nintendo consoles don’t currently support Sling TV. However, with the PlayStation Vue service discontinuing on January 30, 2020, this might change in the near future.
The Bottom Line
Standalone Sling Orange and Sling Blue subscriptions tend to leave viewers without at least some of the channels they’re interested in. If you want the most satisfactory Sling TV streaming option, your best bet is the Orange & Blue package — you’ll receive the most content with this proportionate alternative to cable. However, there are services out there that do provide a better value, particularly if you take into consideration the cost of the additional add-on features you’ll most likely want to invest in to get the most out of your Sling TV experience.