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Sling TV Review 2021: Everything to know about the budget friendly live TV service

If you're looking for a streaming service, Sling TV may be the streamer for you. Here's what you should know about the service.

Sean Jackson
Man watching TV

What is Sling TV?

Sling TV is a live-streaming service that allows you to watch your favorite shows and movies live. It is an appealing choice for those looking for alternatives to traditional cable television thanks to its affordable price and its accessibility.

How does Sling TV work? Simple: You can download the app to watch content on your phone, stream from your device to your TV, or watch on your computer. The platform currently has more than two million subscribers

With these things in mind, is Sling TV good? This guide will examine what Sling TV is, its channel lineup, prices, packages, and much more to help you answer this question. 

Sling TV compared to other TV streaming services

A great starting point is to compare Sling TV streaming services to other live-streaming platforms. Doing this gives you an idea of how the service stacks up to its competitors while also helping you decide if it is the right fit for your household. To compare services, we took into account a variety of factors. However, for streaming quality, your internet connection will determine the quality of streaming you receive.  


Sling TVHulu + Live TVYouTube TVPhilo
Starting monthly price $35$65$65$20
Free trial length 7 days7 days7 days7 days
On-demand content? YesYesYesYes
Number of channels 30+ channels6585+64
DVR storage 50 hours50UnlimitedUnlimited
Streaming quality Up to 720pUp to 1080pUp to 1080pUp to 1080p for on-demand content

As you can see, Sling TV stacks up favorably with many of its live-streaming competitors. The only service that offers a better deal is Philo, as you can have access to more channels and unlimited recording space for $20 per month. However, Philo has limitations on its own, as it does not offer ESPN.

Moreover, Sling TV offers the same recording space as Hulu + Live TV, and with the Sling Orange & Blue package (more on that below), you receive close to the same number of channels (50+). Therefore, it makes Sling TV a great deal, depending on your viewing needs. 

How much does Sling TV cost?

An advantage of using Sling TV is its affordability, as it is much less expensive than other live-streaming services. It offers three packages: Sling Orange and Sling Blue for $35 each, or the combined Sling Orange & Blue package for $50 per month. 

With Sling Orange, you receive 30+ channels with a heavier focus on sports. Most notably, the plan comes with ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3. You also receive great family-friendly content with the Disney Channel and Nick Jr.

With Sling Blue, you receive 45+ channels, but it centers more on entertainment and news networks. This package includes Fox News, MSNBC, and NBC. Entertainment fans will enjoy TruTV, USA, and FX. The bundle also takes care of some sports fans by providing the NFL Network, Fox Sports 1, and the NBC Sports Network.

Unsure of which Sling TV streaming package to choose? You can combine both packages to receive the most options for $50 per month. And when you compare it to other live-streaming platforms like Hulu + Live TV, you still save money. 

Sling TV channels and add ons

Sling TV offers many of the popular channels you will find with other live-streaming services. You can watch your favorite shows and movies on AMC, watch Monday Night Football on ESPN, catch your beloved home-improvement shows on HGTV, and stay informed with news channels like CNN.

Moreover, Sling TV offers much in the way of add-ons to enhance your viewing experience. You can receive access to premium shows and movies on Showtime for $10 per month, Starz for $9 per month, and Epix for $5. The only drawbacks are Sling TV does not offer HBO or Cinemax at this time.

However, there are a plethora of other entertainment choices available. Sling TV offers entertainment bundles ranging from sports to kids programs to news to international packages. You can view the full list of Sling TV's entertainment bundles on its website.

Along with entertainment packages, you also can enhance your recording space. Each Sling TV package comes with 50 hours of DVR. It is a great starting point, but it might not accommodate all needs. In this case, you can upgrade to DVR Plus. With DVR Plus, you receive up to 200 hours of recording space for an extra $5 per month. 

Sling TV top channels compared

Sling TV does offer much in the way of affordability and choices. However, as this table attests, it is limited in its local channel offerings. 


Sling TVHulu + Live TVYouTube TVPhilo
ABC

CBS

Fox ✔*
NBC ✔*
PBS


CW


*in designated markets

Overall, Sling TV does not compare favorably to other live-streaming networks in this regard. As a way around this, you can buy an HD antenna to access every local channel, including PBS and The CW. Sling has the Bonus Locals Bundle, where you receive its AirTV2 (an antenna that uses your home's Wi-Fi to access local channels) and an HD antenna for $49. To take advantage of this bundle, you must prepay for three months of service. 

And once you buy the antenna, you will not have to pay for access to these channels. Therefore, even with the upfront costs, you save money in the long run, relative to other live-streaming services. 

Sling TV features

When you sign up for an account, you receive a wealth of unique features like:

DVR: Sling TV's DVR service is par for the course. It does allow you to record and pause live content. However, the recording space is limited relative to other live-streaming services like YouTube TV and Philo, where you receive unlimited recording space with each. With Sling, you receive access to 50 hours of recording space on each plan. You can boost your storage to 200 hours for only $5 more per month. 

Simultaneous streams: This is a vital consideration for households with multiple users who want to watch different things at the same time. With the Sling Orange package, you receive only one stream, while with Sling Blue, you receive three concurrent streams. And if you go with the Sling Orange and Blue package, you receive four streams at one time. 

Sports: The Sling Orange & Blue package includes NFL Network, ESPN, NBC Sports Networks, and Fox Sports One for $50 per month. And Sling TV also offers the Sports Extra package. With Sling Blue, the Sports Extra Package includes the Big Ten Network, Fox Sports 2, the NFL Red Zone channel, and more for $11 per month. With Sling Orange, you receive ESPNU, the NHL Network, the SEC Network, and more for $11 per month. With Sling Orange & Blue, you combine both sports extra packages to receive 20 sports channels for $15 per month. 

Sling TV supported devices

Sling TV is available on many devices. The one notable exception is Sling TV is not available on the Playstation 4 or 5 game consoles. Below is a list of all the supported devices right now, though this list is subject to change: 

  • Xbox X and Xbox S

  • iOS computers

  • Windows 10 computers

  • Google, Android, and Apple tablets and phones

  • Amazon Fire tablets

  • Smart TVs from brands like Vizio, LG, Samsung

  • Portal 

  • Oculus

  • Apple TV

  • Android TV

  • AirTV mini

  • Tivo Stream

  • Roku

  • Chromecast and TVs containing built-in Chromecasts

Is Sling TV worth it?

Sling TV is an affordable alternative to other live-streaming platforms. With Sling TV, you receive access to some of the most popular channels. You can also complement your viewing experience by adding from the many entertainment bundles the live-streaming service offers. 

You have seven days to try it for free, and if you like it, you can choose a package starting at $35 per month. If you are looking to save money while also having access to a wide array of entertainment options, Sling TV is a smart option.