Sling TV ($35 at Sling TV) was the first live TV streaming service — appearing in February 2015 — and while it spawned a number of competitors it’s one of the cheapest, and the best, ways to cut the cable TV cord. In fact, we awarded it our Editors’ Choice among budget live TV streaming services, surpassing cheaper competitors and undercutting everyone else. If your main priority is saving money over cable, it should be the first such service to check out.
Wait a minute, you say. What the heck is Sling TV? It’s a service that allows subscribers to watch a collection of live and on-demand TV channels on their TVs, computers, tablets or phones. This is live TV, just like a cable or satellite TV service, except it’s streamed over the internet. Instead of a cable box, you connect a media streamer (like Roku or Apple TV) or game console, or just use the Sling TV app on your smart TV (or phone, tablet or computer) to watch.
Sling offers two tiers, Blue and Orange, and if you’re a sports fan then Sling Orange remains the cheapest way to watch live ESPN shows like SportsCenter. You can pay more to get additional channels or add extra storage to the cloud DVR, and if you care more about Fox Sports and NBC than ESPN, you can subscribe to Blue. Here’s everything you need to know.
How to watch more local channels on Sling TV
If you prepay for two months of Sling TV, you’ll receive a free indoor antenna, mini AirTV, or more. That’s a $39-$79 value. (You can also purchase the products separately.) The indoor antenna will help you pick up an Unlimited Local Channels on Sling Tv with Blue packages, including ones that might not be available on Sling TV.
What’s cool about AirTV is that it integrates with Sling TV, allowing you to watch all of your channels in one place. And it lets you access those local channels from your indoor antenna on all of your streaming devices. That means, for example, you could use it to watch Telemundo or Univision on your phone or laptop. If you’ve added cloud DVR to your Sling account, you can also use AirTV to record your local channels. It also comes with a Bluetooth remote with a built-in feature that helps you locate the remote when it inevitably gets stuck between your sofa cushions.
Are there commercials on Sling TV?
Yes. In general, you see exactly what you would see if you were watching these channels on cable, with a full load of commercials. The ability to fast forward, rewind or pause varies by channel.
Are there movies on Sling TV?
In addition to the movies that air on included channels such as AMC or TBS and on the optional Hollywood Extra channels, Sling provides on-demand movies for additional rental fees. The movies are both new releases and older favorites and generally range from $2.99 to $4.99.
Does Sling TV have on-demand content?
Video-on-demand (VOD) content is available through Sling TV via its Available Now feature. In general, you’ll find a healthy selection of movies, television shows, and documentaries through the service. However, it’s difficult to pin down exactly what’s available at any given time.
Sling TV’s on-demand content is not determined by Sling; rather, each channel chooses which content should be made available and for how long. You might see content stay there for a long time, or it might come and go. To see what on-demand content is available, use your Sling TV guide, which shows on-demand programming beneath the Schedule ribbon.