In this comprehensive review, we'll dive into the depths of Sling TV, exploring its features, pricing, and performance to answer the burning question: Is Sling TV the best streaming solution for you?
So, sit back, grab your remote, and let's navigate the exciting world of Sling TV together.
Sling TV Review Summary
Sling TV: A Thorough Examination of Features, Pricing, and Performance $40/month
Name: Sling TV
Description: Sling TV is an American streaming television service that offers a flexible and cost-effective alternative to traditional cable and satellite subscriptions. Operated by Sling TV LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dish Network, the service was first launched on January 5, 2015.
Offer price: Starting from $40 per month (Sling Orange)
Application Category: Streaming, Movies/Series
- Movies / Series / Live TV Selection
- Price Comparison
- Video Quality / Userability
The basic Sling TV package starts at $40 a month for either the Sling Orange or Sling Blue package, with the option to get both for $55. The service allows users to stream live sports, news, popular shows, movies, and more. In addition, Sling TV offers over 120,000 titles on demand as part of its customizable channel packages.
Sling TV's app-based platform can be accessed on various devices, including phones, tablets, and computers. The company recently updated its app with new features to enhance the user experience.
How much does Sling TV cost a month?
|Plan Name||Price (per month)||Channels Count||Notable Features|
|Sling Orange||$40||31||One stream at a time|
|Sling Blue||$40||41||Different channel lineup|
|Orange & Blue||$55||48||All channels from both plans|
|$89.99 Plan||$89.99||–||Access to NBA, MLB and college network content|
What channels are included in the Sling packages?
- Sling Orange: This package offers 31 channels, including popular ones like ESPN, CNN, BBC America, Cartoon Network, and Comedy Central.
- Sling Blue: Sling Blue offers a different lineup of 41 channels compared to Sling Orange. Notable channels include Fox News, NBC, NFL Network, and Syfy.
- Orange & Blue: This combined plan includes all channels from both the Sling Orange and Sling Blue packages, totaling 48 channels.
There are also various add-on packages available, such as the Total TV Deal, which includes seven of Sling's extra channel packages: Sports, Comedy, Kids, News, Lifestyle, Hollywood, and more. In addition, there are sports extras available with channels like NBA TV, MLB Network, and NHL Network.
Please note that the exact channel offerings can change and it's best to check directly with Sling TV for the most current lineup.
What are the disadvantages of Sling TV?
Sling TV certainly has its merits, but like any streaming service, it's not without its drawbacks. Here are some of the key disadvantages:
- Limited Local Channels: Offerings for local programming are considerably less robust than other services, which may be a significant negative for people who enjoy local news and sports.
- Learning Curve: The channel bundles can be confusing for new users, especially with the distribution of channels between the Orange and Blue plans.
- Limited Cloud DVR: Unlike some competitors, Sling TV's cloud DVR capabilities are somewhat restricted.
- Fewer Channels Overall: While Sling TV offers a more streamlined lineup of pay-TV channels at a lower price, it has a lower channel count compared to other services like YouTube TV or DIRECTV.
- Limited Sports Channels: For sports enthusiasts, Sling TV may not be the best choice as it offers minimal sports channels.
- Navigational Challenges: Some users have found navigating live programming, and rewinding and fast forwarding, to be as bad (or worse) than cable, depending on the version of the Sling app.
Which is better: Hulu or Sling?
|Hulu + Live TV||Sling TV|
|Channel Count||75+||30-50 depending on package|
|On-demand Content||Extensive library including original series||Limited|
|Cloud DVR||Included in base price||Extra charge|
|Simultaneous Streams||2 (unlimited with upgrade)||1 for Orange, 3 for Blue, 4 for combined|
Hulu and Sling are both popular streaming services, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Here are some key points to consider:
- Price: Sling TV offers more affordable packages starting at $40 per month for either the Orange or Blue package, or $50 for both. Hulu + Live TV's pricing starts at $69.99 per month, which is significantly more expensive than Sling.
- Channel Lineup: Sling TV has a lower channel count but allows more customization with its add-on packages. On the other hand, Hulu offers more than 75 channels in its base package and includes access to Hulu's on-demand library.
- On-demand content: Hulu clearly has an advantage here as it comes with access to its extensive on-demand library that includes exclusive original series, movies, and documentaries.
- DVR: Both services offer cloud DVR, but Hulu includes it in the base price while Sling charges an additional fee.
- Simultaneous Streams: Hulu allows two simultaneous streams (or unlimited with an upgrade), while Sling allows one stream for the Orange plan, three for the Blue, and four for the combined package.
If you prioritize live TV and want to customize your channel lineup while saving money, Sling might be a better fit.
However, if you're looking for a comprehensive on-demand library along with live TV and don't mind paying a bit more, Hulu + Live TV could be the better choice.
Which is better: Peacock or Sling?
|Content Type||Primarily on-demand with focus on NBC content||Live TV with a variety of channels|
|Pricing||Offers a free tier. Premium tiers are generally less expensive||Packages start at $40 per month|
|Sports||Focus on Premier League games||Broader range of sports coverage|
|Local Channels||No local channels||Offers local network channels|
- Content Type: Peacock is primarily an on-demand platform with a focus on NBC content, movies, and original programming. Sling TV, on the other hand, is designed for viewers who enjoy live TV, offering dozens of channels.
- Pricing: Peacock offers a free tier and its most expensive package is still quite affordable compared to many streaming services. Sling TV's packages start at $40 per month.
- Sports: If you're a sports fan, specifically of Premier League games, you might find more value in Peacock. However, for a broader range of sports coverage, combining Sling TV with other services like Paramount+ can be a cost-effective solution.
- Local Channels: Sling TV offers local Peacock Network channels, but does not offer the original content from Peacock.
If you're a fan of live TV and want access to a variety of channels, Sling TV might be a better fit.
If you prefer on-demand content, particularly from NBC, and are looking for a more budget-friendly option, you might prefer Peacock.
The Pros and Cons of Sling TV
- Affordable Pricing: Offers a significantly cheaper rate compared to top competitors. For instance, Sling Blue only costs around $40 per month, which is far more affordable than the average cable bill.
- Variety of Channels: Provides a mix of news, sports, and entertainment networks.
- Add-on Packages: Allows users to customize their viewing experience with add-on packages for additional channels.
- Best Budget-Friendly Live TV Streaming Service: According to Reviews.org, Sling TV is considered the best budget-friendly live TV streaming service.
- Limited Local Channels: Lacks some local stations, which may be a significant downside for some viewers.
- Learning Curve and Confusing Channel Bundles: Some users have reported that the channel bundles can be confusing, and there is a learning curve to understanding the offerings.
- Need for Add-On Packages: While the base price is affordable, to get certain channels that are usually part of basic packages on other platforms, you might need to purchase add-on packages.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is Sling hard to cancel?
Sling TV is not hard to cancel.
Users can easily cancel their subscription at any time through their account settings. There are no complicated steps involved.
However, if there are any difficulties, users can also call Sling TV customer service for assistance.
Toll-free number: (888) 309-0838
2. Why is Sling losing subscribers?
Here are the top 5 reasons:
- Price Increase: Sling raised its base price for new customers, which may have deterred potential subscribers.
- Increased Competition: The video streaming market has become increasingly competitive, with many alternatives to choose from, which could lead to subscriber loss.
- Content Disputes: There have been instances where Sling TV customers lost access to popular channels due to disputes, such as the one with Disney that led to the loss of ESPN and other Disney-owned networks.
- User Interface Complaints: Some users have expressed dissatisfaction with Sling's user interface.
- Lack of Subscriber Growth: Sling TV seems to be content with its place in the world, meandering around 2.3 million subscribers for the past half-decade, which might not be appealing to new customers looking for a growing platform.
3. What is the sling controversy?
The Sling controversy revolves around a dispute between Dish Network (which owns Sling TV) and Disney. The crux of the matter was due to disagreements over carriage fees, leading to several channels owned by Disney, including ESPN, ABC, and FX, being pulled from Dish and Sling TV.
Dish blamed Disney for the situation, claiming that Disney demanded a $1 billion fee increase and “walked away from the negotiation table.” Meanwhile, Disney argued that they failed to renew their contractual agreement due to financial reasons. This led to a blackout of Disney's suite of 20 TV channels on Dish satellite and Sling TV.
The dispute was eventually resolved and Disney channels were restored on Sling TV. However, this incident may have contributed to some subscribers' decision to leave Sling TV, as they temporarily lost access to popular Disney-owned networks during the dispute.
- The Verge
- Hollywood Reporter
- Tom's Guide
- Digital Trends
4. Can I get local channels on Sling TV?
Yes, it is possible to get local channels on Sling TV. However, access to local channels such as FOX, ABC, and NBC can vary depending on your location. Sling TV streams FOX and NBC affiliate channels in some cities like Los Angeles, New York City, and Atlanta.
For the local channels not automatically available, you can use an AirTV device or a digital antenna to get all local broadcast channels. Once connected, you can stream all local channels, including CBS, PBS and The CW, to your Sling TV app or mobile device.