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Sling TV streaming review: Product, price and features

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You can customize the way you stream live TV at a reasonable price, but the commercials aren’t going anywhere.

Sling is a streaming service that allows you to stream live TV, movies, pay-per-view (PPV) — even a la carte viewing — in a way that fits your viewing habits. But while it offers thousands of channels, each of its three plans include the same ads you’d experience with a cable provider.

Details

Service typePay TV
Free trial7 days
Pricing starts at$30
Lock-in contractNo

Limited time promo

As of October 2019, Sling is offering a $10 discount on its services for the first month to new customers. After the first month, Sling charges your account for the standard price of whichever subscription you choose.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • 1,000+ channels to choose from
  • Pay-per-view and movies a la carte
  • No long-term contracts
  • Inexpensive add-ons
  • Spanish and International program options

Cons

  • No way to avoid commercials
  • Some channels — like NBC — available in select markets only
  • So many add-ons can mean paying more than typical cable costs

What features does Sling offer?

Unlike other streaming services, all plans start at $30 a month with customizable add-ons for offline and local viewing.

A la carte channels

Starting at $3 a month, Sling offers more than 15 channels to further customize your TV-watching experience. Rather than choose from its three base subscriptions, you handpick what you pay for.

Cloud DVR

For $5 a month more, you can record up to 50 hours of your favorite shows for later viewing, with the option to record multiple programs at once. Sling keeps your recordings for as long as you’re a customer and up to 30 days after you quit your service.

Local channels

Opt for an HD antenna sent to your home to watch ABC, Fox, CBS and other local channels. You need a base subscription to enjoy this add-on feature, but it can help you cut your cable cord. Local channels depends on your city.

What devices is Sling compatible with?

Sling TV is compatible with most devices and is working on including more. The app makes for an easy streaming transition from your phone to computer to TV.

  • Smart TVs
    • Fourth-generation Apple TV
    • Android TV
    • LG smart TVs
    • Samsung TV — models 2016 to 2019
    • Amazon Fire TV
    • Portal TV
  • Mobile devices
    • iOS
    • Android
  • Desktops and laptops
    • Mac OS
    • Amazon fire tablets
    • Windows 10
  • Other devices
    • AirTV
    • Roku
    • Oculus Go
    • Chromecast
    • Xbox one

How much does Sling cost?

Each of Sling’s two base plans cost $30 a month with the option to combine base plans to save $10 a month.

PlanPriceFeatures
Sling Orange$30 a month30+ channels that include ESPN, A&E and AMC
Sling Blue$30 a month40+ channels, plus NBC Regional Sports in select areas
Orange + Blue$45 a month50+ channels, including IFC, CNN, Viceland and Fuse

Further customize your lineup with Orange and Blue extras that focus on sports, comedy, kids and news at $5 to $10 more a month. Choose from 30 premium add-ons that include Showtime at $10 a month, Hallmark Movies at $6 a month and the Country Network at $3 a month.

Free trial

Sling offers a free 7-day trial on each of its plans. During the week, you have the ability to either cancel the service or continue with the everyday cost of an applicable service included in the next billing cycle. You agree to receive programming after you sign in to your account for the first time.

To watch for the full 7 days, you’ll need to hold off on canceling until the very end. Otherwise, you risk immediate cancellation of your viewing.

What can I watch with Sling?

Live TV streaming is the basis of Sling, but the programs you get to experience depend on the plan you choose, including:

  • WWE
  • NBA
  • College Football
  • Family Guy
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • The Walking Dead
  • Fixer Upper
  • Live PD
  • Midterm elections

A base subscription is no longer necessary for return Sling members to enjoy on-demand options like PPV and movies as of 2017. You can make one-time purchases without having to lock into a subscription. Unless you already have one — in which case, you can tack these purchases on to your next bill.

How much data does Sling use?

Like any streaming service, Sling can use a good chunk of data depending on how heavily you’re streaming.

A rule of thumb with Sling is that you have at least 3Mb per second to begin streaming video to smaller devices like smartphones and tablets. The bigger the device you’re using, the stronger your Internet speed must be.

For laptops and TVs, you should have at least 5.0Mb/s. If your subscription allows you to stream from multiple devices at the same time, expect a minimum 25Mb/s for the best picture quality.

Compare streaming services

Name Product Service type Pricing starts at Free trial 4K or UHD Number of devices Simultaneous streams
Hulu
On-demand streaming
$5.99
30 days
Yes
99
1
Disney+
On-demand streaming
$6.99
No
Yes
10
4
Amazon Prime
On-demand streaming
$8.99
30 days
Yes
99
2
Starz
On-demand streaming
$8.99
7 days
No
4
FuboTV
Pay TV
$54.99
7 days
Yes
2
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Compare up to 4 providers

If you’re looking to learn more about other streaming services, you can check out our Internet TV page and find the right service for you.

Frequently asked questions

Expert review

Kelly Waggoner

Review by


Kelly Waggoner is editor-in-chief at Finder US. She's worked with publishers, magazines and nonprofits throughout New York City, including ghostwriting a how-to on copyediting for the Dummies series. Between projects, she toys with words, flips through style guides and fantasizes about the serial comma's world domination.

Expert review

Sling TV offers a way for you to watch live TV without the strings, costs and long-term contracts of a traditional cable provider. Customize your entertainment through base subscriptions that start at $30 monthly and add-ons that range from $5 to $10 extra. Local TV watchers might want to pause, however: You’ll need a cable to pick up local channels like NBC and CBS.

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