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Sling TV: Everything You Need To Know

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Sling TV was one of the first Live TV Streaming services on the market. Having launched back in 2015. Prior to Sling TV’s launch, there were other Live TV Streaming services, but they weren’t very popular or very good. Sling TV ushered in the era of cord-cutting without losing channels and functionality.

To this day, Sling TV remains one of the cheapest options for cord-cutting and still having live TV available.

Despite its low entry-price, Sling TV can still be quite confusing. With the many different packages, and add-ons available. So here, we’re going to explain everything about Sling TV, and tell you everything you need to know about this service.

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What is Sling TV?

For those of you that might be unaware, Sling TV is actually owned by Dish Network. The name “Sling” is actually much older than the service. Dish used to sell “SlingBox” and “SlingPlayers”, which was essentially their version of TiVo. Then in 2015, Sling TV was born. Using a name that many people were already familiar with.

Dish Network doesn’t intend for Sling TV to replace its satellite service. It’s an additional service that it offers, to keep growing their customer-base, by adding cord-cutters. Something that many cable companies – like Comcast and Cox – have tried to keep on their service by offering an insane amount of channels.

Sling is the most robust streaming service on the market today, and you can get started for just $30. Which makes it so popular.

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How much does it cost?

The cost of Sling TV is a huge variable. While you can get started for just $35 with the Sling Blue or Sling Orange package, you can also drive that price up over $100 pretty easily. With the many add-ons that are available for Sling TV.

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Add-ons cost as low as $5, and can go up to $20. These add-ons include additional channels, as well as additional features – like Cloud DVR Plus.

Depending on what you’re watching, and what channels you want, you can definitely pay a pretty penny for Sling TV. Below, where we talk about channels and add-ons, you’ll get a better idea of how much Sling TV will cost you.

Update: On January 27, 2021, Sling TV announced a price increase of $5 across the board. So the Sling Blue and Orange plans are now $35 per month. While the combined plan is $50.

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What channels are included?

Sling TV is split into three groups, essentially. There’s Sling Blue and Sling Orange core plans, which are $30 individually or you can get both for $45/month. Then there are add-ons. Which will provide you with the less-popular channels for an added fee. Which we’ll explain more below.

Sling Blue

With Sling Blue, you’re getting 45 channels. You’re getting a ton of pretty popular channels, along with Fox Sports channels (not regional sports channels from Fox, only NBC though). For the most part, local channels are not included. Some markets will have NBC and Fox locals available, but those are very few. You can, alternatively, get an OTA antenna and get those channels without paying for a monthly service though.

Here are all the channels available with Sling Blue:

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  • TNT
  • CNN
  • Investigation Discovery
  • HGTV
  • Nick Jr.
  • History Channel
  • AMC
  • A&E
  • Food Network
  • TBS
  • Comedy Central
  • IFC
  • BBC America
  • Travel Channel
  • Cartoon Network
  • BET
  • EPIX Drive-In
  • Lifetime
  • Viceland
  • AXS TV
  • Fuse
  • Newsy
  • Bloomberg Television
  • Cheddar
  • Local Now
  • Comet
  • Stadium
  • NFL Network
  • Fox News
  • MSNBC
  • Bravo
  • FOX Sports 1
  • USA
  • TLC
  • Discovery Channel
  • FX
  • E!
  • SYFY
  • National Geographic
  • truTV
  • HLN
  • NBC Sports Network
  • FOX (Available in Select Markets)
  • NBC (Available in Select Markets)
  • NBC RSNs

Sling Orange

The main difference with Sling Orange, is that you are getting Disney channels. Like Disney, ESPN and such.

You get 33 channels with Sling Orange:

  • ESPN
  • TNT
  • CNN
  • Investigation Discovery
  • HGTV
  • Nick Jr.
  • History Channel
  • AMC
  • A&E
  • Food Network
  • Disney Channel
  • TBS
  • Comedy Central
  • IFC
  • BBC America
  • Travel Channel
  • Cartoon Network
  • BET
  • EPIX Drive-In
  • Lifetime
  • Viceland
  • AXS TV
  • Fuse
  • Newsy
  • ESPN2
  • ESPN3
  • Freeform
  • Bloomberg Television
  • MotorTrend
  • Cheddar
  • Local Now
  • Comet
  • Stadium

With Sling Orange and Sling Blue combined, you get both packages, or around 50 channels.

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What add-ons are available?

Sling TV offers a ton of add-ons, allowing you a sort of a la carte experience here. So if you want more sports channels, you can pay $10/month for it. Or get more comedy channels for $5/month. Among many others.

Sling is continuing to add more add-ons to its service. So we urge you to check their website as this info could be outdated.

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Multi-channel add-ons

You can also add on Cheddar’s multiple channels for free right now. Since they are free, you may as well add them to your package.

  • Comedy Extra (Orange), $5/month: MTV, TruTV, MTV2, Paramount Network, CMT, Logo, GSN, TV Land, and Revolt
  • Comedy Extra (Blue), $5/month: MTV, MTV2, CMT, Logo, GSN, TV Land, and Revolt
  • Kids Extra (Orange), $5 per month: Disney Junior, Disney XD, Nick Jr., Nicktoons, TeenNick, Boomerang, BabyTV, and Duck TV
  • Kids Extra (Blue), $5/month: Nicktoons, TeenNick, Boomerang, BabyTV, and Duck TV
  • Hollywood Extra, $5/month: Fandor, Reelz, HDNET Movies, Sundance TV, TCM
  • Heartland Extra, $5/month: World Fishing Network, Sportsman Channel, Outdoor Channel, Ride TV, RFD TV, PixL, Cowboy Channel
  • Lifestyle Extra (Orange), $5/month: VH1, BET, Cooking Channel, DIY Network, FYI, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Hallmark Drama, WE TV, Lifetime Movies, Vibrant Network, ZLiving Network, Afro
  • Lifestyle Extra (Blue), $5/month: VH1, E!, Oxygen, Cooking Channel, DIY Network, FYI, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Hallmark Drama, WE TV, Lifetime Movies, Vibrant Network, ZLiving Network, Afro
  • News Extra (Orange), $5/month: BBC World News, HLN, Fusion, Euronews, News18, CGTN, NDTV 24×7, RT Network, Weather 24 (new users will get a free six months of Weather 24, even without the News Extra add-on), American Heroes Channel, Destination America, Science Channel
  • News Extra (Blue), $5/month: Fox News, Fox Business, MSNBC, CNBC, BBC World News, TheBlaze, HLN, Euronews, France 24, News 18, NDTV 24×7, Russia Today, CGTN, Weather 24 (new users will get a free six months of Weather 24, even without the News Extra add-on)
  • Sports Extra (Orange), $10/month: NBA TV, ESPN SEC, ESPN SEC+, PAC 12 Network, ESPNU, ESPNews, NHL Network, BeIN Sports, ESPN Goal Line, Stadium, ESPN Bases loaded, Outside TV, and Tennis Channel, Longhorn Network, ACC Network
  • Sports Extra (Blue), $10/month: RedZone NFL Network, NBA TV, NHL Network, NBC Golf, BeIN Sports, PAC 12 Network, Stadium, Outside TV, Olympic Channel, and Tennis Channel
  • Best of Spanish Extra, $10/month:  EstrellaTV, Azteca, BeIN Sports Ñ, BeIN Sports, Cine Latino, Cine Sony, History en Español, Pasiones, INTI, CBeebies BBC, VME Kids, NTN24, Baby TV Español, El Financiero Bloomberg TV, ZeeMuno, ¡Hola! TV, Discovery en Español, Discovery Familia

Premium channel add-ons

You can also add plenty of premium channels to your Sling TV subscription. HBO is no longer offered. Sling TV has not said why, but the change happened after HBO MAX launched, so there’s likely a contract dispute between the two companies. Good thing is, you can still sign up for HBO MAX elsewhere.

  • CuriosityStream, $6/month
  • UP Faith & Family, $5/month
  • Pantaya, $6/month
  • Stingray Karaoke, $7/month
  • Dove Channel, $5/month
  • Outside TV Features, $5/month
  • Starz, $9/month
  • Showtime, $10/month
  • Epix, $5/month
  • Cinemax, $10/month
  • ConTV, $5/month
  • Docurama, $5/month
  • Grokker, $7/month
  • Here TV, $8/month
  • Comedy Dynamics, $5/month
  • DOGTV, $5/month
  • VSiN, $4/month

International Add-ons

This is where Sling TV really shines from the rest of the pack. With the many, many international add-ons available for your TV watching pleasure. No other Live TV Streaming service comes close in this regard.

  • Arabic Mini, $10/month: Arabica, BBC Arabic, Al Jazeera Mubasher, MBC Drama, Melody Classic, ART Cima, Melody Hits, MBC 3, MBC Wanasah, IQRAA TV, Noursat TV, Aghapy TV
  • Brazilian Mini, $15/month: TV Globo Internacional
  • Chinese Mini, $5/month: CCTV-4, CGTN, China Movie Channel, CCTV-Entertainment, Hunan Satellite TV, Zhejiang TV, Dragon TV, ShenZhen Television, Jiangsu International Channel, Phoenix North America Chinese Channel, Phoenix InfoNews, Beijing TV
  • Deutsch Mini, $5/month: P7S1 Welt
  • Français Mini, $5/month: France 24, TV5 Monde Cinema, TiVi5Monde, Trace Urban
  • Hindi Mini, $5/month: Aaj Tak, Zee Cinema, SAB TV, zoOm, Food Food, Times Now, News18, B4U Movies, B4U Music, Sony Mix, Sahara Samay
  • Italiano Mini, $10/month: Rai Italia, Rai News 24, TV2000 Italia, La7, Rai World Premium
  • Polish Mini, $15/month: iTVN, PolSat 1, 360TuneBox, DocuBox HD, FashionBox HD, Fast&FunBox HD, FightBox HD, FilmBox Arthouse, Gametoon, Nature Vision HD
  • Tamil Mini, $5/month: Jaya Max, Jaya Plus, JMovies, Raj Digital Plus, Raj News, Zee Tamil, News18, zoOm, News18 North East, Desi Bonus, Zee Purvaiya
  • Telugu Mini, $5/month: Maa Music, TV5 News, Zee Cinemalu, News18, zoOm, News18 North East, Desi Bonus, Zee Purvaiya
  • Willow Cricket Mini, $5/month: Willow Cricket, Willow Extra

So as you can see, there are a ton of add-ons available for Sling TV. To help you really build out the TV watching experience that best suits you.

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What platforms does Sling TV work on?

Sling TV is available on just about every platform you can think of. This includes the following:

  • AirTV
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Android
  • Android TV
  • iOS
  • Apple TV
  • Chromecast
  • Google Assistant Smart Displays (currently, only the Nest Hub series)
  • Google Chrome
  • Safari
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Facebook Portal
  • Channel Master DVR+
  • Roku
  • Xbox One consoles
  • Windows 10
  • Xfinity X1
  • Oculus
  • Select Samsung & LG TVs

That covers just about every platform out there and then some. Sling TV is currently available on more platforms than any of its competitors.

What features are available?

Every Live TV Streaming service offers a bundle of features with its service. This is a way for them to justify their prices – particularly those that are around $65/month. And a way to differentiate themselves, seeing as almost all streaming services have the same core channels available. With really only a handful that are different. So here are the features that Sling TV offers.

The Sling TV App Redesign

SLING TV New App Home Screen

On May 25, 2021, Sling TV began rolling out its new design of its app. Starting with the Amazon Fire TV, and it will be available on other platforms shortly there after. Here’s what is new:

  • Personalization: A new Home Screen allows users to easily discover the most relevant content. Users can now customize the Channel Guide by sorting A-Z or by favorites and filters based on what they’re looking for.

  • Ease of Use: New navigation makes it easier for users to discover what they are looking for, while keeping a familiar feel that users have come to know and love. Users can quickly browse through the Guide or see on-demand content. Users can easily pause, fast-forward, skip to live, or set a recording in a channel and manage all recordings with a dedicated DVR tab. The Smart Player Video Navigation gives users the freedom to go between favorite channels seamlessly with one click to see Recent Channels.

  • Beautiful Design: A more visual SLING TV experience features ribbons in different colors and sizes with expanded show visuals in the Guide to help users discover content faster. Users can also dive into their favorite channels by clicking on any channel logo to get more details.

Cloud DVR & Cloud DVR Plus

Sling does give every customer 10 hours of free Cloud DVR storage. Obviously, that’s not a lot, and really only enough to store a few shows a week, or even two games.

However, Sling does offer an add-on for this. For $5/month, you can get upgraded to Cloud DVR Plus, which gives you 50 hours of content. And if you have a Roku, you can get 100 hours with Cloud DVR Plus. It’s unclear as to why the difference between devices.

Like traditional DVRs, Sling TV does delete older recordings, to make space for new recordings. To prevent it from deleting shows you don’t want deleted, you can mark them as “protected” in the DVR. So you can prevent it from being automatically deleted. There are also DVR folders available for organizing the content you’ve recorded.

Cloud DVR is available on most channels. Though some of them will not be able to be recorded.

It’s also worth noting that Xfinity X1 and Samsung Smart TVs currently do not support Sling TV’s Cloud DVR service.

On-Demand content

In addition to recording content with the DVR, Sling also offers a pretty robust selection of titles available on demand. And if they are not available on demand, you can rent them. Rentals are priced at $3 for standard definition and $4 for HD. You also have 30 days to watch anything you rent. So you can watch it plenty of times.

Sling TV does break down titles that are available on demand into different categories. Making it easier to find something to watch.

Free content available

Another way that Sling really stands out from the competition is with its free content. You can watch more than 100 hours of movies and TV shows on Sling TV, without paying for the service. In fact, you don’t even need to provide a credit card number.

Sling TV started this in 2019, but it became very popular during the pandemic in 2020. With everyone being stuck at home for months, and needing some new content to watch, to stay busy.

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How can I get a free device, or a discount on Sling TV?

Sling TV does routinely offer up some pretty incredible deals for getting a free device like an AirTV, or Roku. As well as getting a month free. So it’s always a good idea to check out their site to see what their current deals are.

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At the time of writing this, you can get $10 off of your first month of Sling TV. Getting it for $20/month or $35/month for Blue and Orange combined.

It is also worth noting, that in order to get a free device like an AirTV, you generally do need to prepay for a month or two up-front. Which also means you won’t be able to use the free trial.

Is Sling TV worth it?

That is going to depend on what features and channels you need and watch. If all of your channels are included in the Sling Blue and/or Orange packages. Then Sling is a really great option, and pretty cheap too. But there is the annoyance of having to switch to your actual TV to get local channels – and the fact you need to buy an antenna for that. But that is one way that Sling TV is able to keep its prices pretty cheap.

If you’re a casual viewer of live TV, then Sling TV will do the trick. And the fact that you can pretty much pick and choose the channels you want to add to your package is an added bonus.

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