Sling TV Reviews: Will You Need It or Leave It?

As the first streaming service of its kind, Sling TV offers the cheapest plans that anyone could ever have. It may not have the fanciest toys to make customers drool but for those seeking for a more affordable plan than DIRECTV NOW, Sling TV is an ideal choice.

It does have a number of ups as well as downs but cheapskates will find this just right for their money.

Does it have more than 60 channels at least? Sadly, it doesn’t – even in its most expensive plan.

Will this save you much more money on tv bills than you would expect? Yes. In fact, you’re paying at least just $25 a month for tv which leaves a lot of potential buyers with a big wow.

Quite frankly, it used to be the best in the platform but ever since DIRECTV saw this as a threatening competition and decided to make its own affordable tv streaming service but with more than what Sling TV has, they made DIRECTV NOW.

Youtube TV also saw this opportunity to create its own tv streaming service too and quite frankly, its services is a step-up over Sling TV.

But just because it has been overshadowed doesn’t mean it’s bad. It’s got a lot of hiccups, truth be told, but there is always going to be something good for the cost-efficient tv viewer.

This is our review for Sling TV.

Check out our other reviews on Sling TV’s competitions including Dish Network, DIRECTV and DIRECTV NOW.

If you need to know the best of the best, see our Top 5 Best TV Providers.

Without further ado, here are the Sling TV packages of plans and its prices:

Plans & Pricing

Let’s get this straight off the bat: There may be only 3 plans, with the last one, Orange+Blue, having barely more than 50 channels. They’re money savers, yes, but you’ll have to get a good grasp on what each plan does before you take any further actions.

Why? Because quite honestly, Sling TV may only have just 3 tv plans but they’re even more complicated to understand than any other top tv service provider plans in the market.

We did our best to comprehend what they do so you don’t have to do all the thinking by yourself. Let us handle the headaches so you do not need to.

Each plan has its own perks over the other. The major differences between them are the provided channels. Oddly enough, the orange and blue plans are vastly contradicting in terms of what shows they have to offer, hence why the 3rd plan combines both of them.

Both Orange and Blue have the same price due to their own perks over the other except for the fact that the latter has slightly more channels than Orange. “But why the same price,” you ask? Later on in the article, we’ll tell you the main reasons.

As for tv quality, it’s good enough. Nothing too spectacular though, but just right on the money. You pay what you get and you’re getting decent tv quality.

Oh, and they can be watched via HD too and even supports 4K if you happen to have a streaming media device like Apple TV, Android, TV, Amazon Fire TV, or Roku.

They claim to be the number one live tv streaming service in the country even though its competition is doing fairly better when it comes to additional perks. But it’s mostly the number one live tv streaming service due to being much more economical than the competition.

You won’t find any lower price than Sling TV, simple as that. It’s just that the major drawback here is the lack of channels.

To make up for the limited number of channels, Sling TV lets you customize your selection than just having premade packages. This is one of their major highlights and it just bothers us why other tv service providers won’t even do this for their customers.

Sling TV also lets you get to purchase other channel packages that offer the best shows for each niche: Kids, Lifestyle, Sports, News, Lifestyle, Premiums, Hollywood, Heartland, International, Espanol, and Comedy. We’ll get back to those later on in the article.

Does Sling TV offer any DVR? Upfront there is none UNLESS you prepay 2 months of Sling TV. They offer the Roku Express as a streaming device giveaway which does a fine job but not something to die for.

Unlike the others, Sling TV has its very own Cloud DVR wherein you can store over 50 hours of recorded shows and without commercials too. The best part here is that you only need to pay just $5 a month.

It does have its own app too so you can watch wherever and whenever inside the house but it’s mostly useless if you’re the whole family wanting to watch tv on separate devices.

That’s because Orange can only suffice for one streaming device while Blue gets two. And if you’re getting both, only one device can watch Orange shows whilst three others can watch shows that only Blue offers. We told you it’s confusing.

Want to know the best part about the costs? They’re as cheap as how they boast them to be.

As far as payments go, Sling TV is brutally honest with their prices. There is definitely no bull in their offers — no hidden fees, no price hikes, no unwanted channel overage bills, no contracts.

We give them a toast for being a much friendlier service for their consumers than some major services.

Is having more than at least 29 channels enough for an average tv viewer? That depends on you. Sling TV claims that other channels are useless therefore they’re only including the essentials.

Barebones? Not quite.

But economical tv viewing? Yes it is.

Now let’s get going with the 3 tv plans, starting with Orange

This is considered to be Sling TV’s baby plan, both figuratively and physically in terms of numbers. Starting at just an eye-pleasing $25 a month, you get more than 29 channels, most of which are composed of ESPN and Disney channels.

It’s basically the plan where the essential shows are — including the likes of CNN, BBC America, Food Network, Nickelodeon, TNT, and AMC which are also present in Sling TV Blue.

On the contrary, you won’t get to have channels for other general entertainment such as FX and FOX. So if you’re a fan of Archer more than sports or even Disney, you’d have second thoughts on Orange.

But why is this the same price as Blue, you ask? Besides capitalizing on sports, specifically with the ESPN channels, for some unusual reason, Orange has more preferred channels for us to watch despite having fewer channels but that’s just us.

This, however, is more inclined to the sports fans and Disney fanatics. You get a good number of ESPN channels: ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3.

As for Disney, you get both Disney Channel and Disney Junior right from the get-go. So if you’re a fan of SportsCenter, NBA Inside Stuff, Star vs The Forces of Evil, this is right on the money.

When it comes to simultaneous streaming, unfortunately, you can only have one device to do so. Not an ideal choice for multiple people in a household.

Other than those, it’s just an alright plan.

Now, moving on to Blue:

Having 42 channels and more, Sling TV Blue is the polar opposite of Orange. It does have some similar channels but most of it is what you wouldn’t find in the former plan. What’s more is that this also just costs $25 a month.

What’s mostly added here are general entertainment programs such as FX, FOX, and USA. It’s more of a TV series galore in Blue, which obviously caters to a more mature audience except for the addition of Cartoon Network in case junior wants to watch The Amazing World of Gumball.

What’s mainly lacking in Blue, however, is the sports channel.

There is simply no sports channel in sight here and if you’re a baller, you’d be banging your head on the wall or jonesing to watch at least one game of LA Lakers vs Golden State Warriors.

However, if you’re a fan of Family Guy, The Simpsons, Archer, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, this constitutes as the more ideal plan over Orange.

In terms of simultaneous streaming, you can do so with a maximum of 2 devices – great for when the kid wants to watch Ben 10 and you and your husband want to see the latest episode of The Walking Dead.

Nothing else that’s special here but a handful of decent channels for you to pick to keep you entertained.

But why go for only either one of them if you can just get them together?

You know what they say, “Why not both?” We cannot recommend anything else in this article except this one as this is the most ideal plan for everyone especially families under tight tv viewing budgets.

By only paying $40/mo, you’ll be saving 20% than buying two plans separately plus you get to stream in 4 devices simultaneously.

For real though, this one is a no-brainer since it combines all of Orange’s plans and everything that makes up Blue. This results in a total of more than 48 channels for you to choose from.

As for the simultaneous streaming, we did say you can do so to a maximum of 4 devices but listen up because it’s going to get a bit confusing first:

That’s 4 devices – 1 that can only watch shows provided by Orange while the other 3 can only watch channels from Blue. Why? Sling TV never said anything about it.

Do we wish they could have just combined them? We certainly do. Who doesn’t?

But that shouldn’t be a big issue here because at least with the combined packages of Orange and Blue, there’s enough variety for anyone in the family.

Sports, they got it. Highly-rated tv series, they have it.

The most appetizing recipes displayed, they provide it. The most creative animated shows around, they brought it.

$40/mo saves you $10 every month if you were to purchase Orange and Blue separately, but come on man, who would do that? That’s just unaesthetically pleasing.

But maybe you’re asking something else:

“Where are the movie channels?”

“Where are the other sports channels?”

“Why can’t my baby watch the latest Avengers animated show?”

Yes, we are fully aware that 48+ shows wouldn’t be enough for the tv savvy viewer with a cheapskate personality. Luckily, Sling TV has a ton of extra packages for you that are amazingly low as much as $5 a month.

Let’s take a deeper look at each of them.

Other Channels

Surprisingly enough, Sling TV is generous in giving out more extra channels depending on what you want. Compared to other tv service providers, we find Sling TV to be the most flexible in giving out custom selections for subscribers who want full control of the channels they only need.

Do you prefer more kids channels or maybe fashion and traveling? How about something for Dad who loves sports so much or just someone who only needs to watch movies on tv?

What about foreigners, do they get any extra channels too?

All these answers are brightly replied with a big Y E S.

Here are the extra channels in store for you.

It’s a good thing there’s plenty enough shows for children. If you happen to be in a household full of toddlers and pre-teens, this is certainly a good package to get for just $5 a month.

Channels include:

  • Disney Jr
  • Disney XD
  • Boomerang
  • Nicktoons
  • Teen Nick
  • Baby TV
  • Duck TV

Are ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3 not enough on Orange? Worry not as Sling TV has gathered the best sports channels just for you, including 1-sport focused networks all for only $5 a month:

  • NBA TV
  • SEC Network
  • SEC Network Plus
  • PAC-12
  • ESPN U
  • ESPN News
  • NHL Network
  • NFL Red Zone
  • Golf Channel
  • Stadium
  • Outside Television
  • be INSPORTS

Get ahead of everyone and be up to date about what’s happening both locally and globally with its sling of the best news channels if you’re already tired of seeing Anderson Cooper’s face on CNN over and over again all in just $5 every month:

  • BBC World News
  • The Blaze
  • HLN
  • W
  • FUSION
  • Euronews
  • NEWS 18
  • Russia Today
  • CGTN
  • MSNBC
  • CNBC
  • France 24
  • NDTV 24×7

This one is more focused on the people who love to watch the best culinary shows, the most intriguing reality shows, the most colorful fashion lineups, and the broadest travel channels. All for just $5 a month:

  • VH1
  • BET
  • The Cooking Channel
  • DIY Network
  • fyi,
  • The Hallmark Channel
  • Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
  • Hallmark Drama
  • OXYGEN
  • E!
  • WE tv
  • Lifetime Movies
  • Vibrant TV Network
  • Z Living
  • afro

If you’re looking to go big or go home (well, you’re technically at home though) with Emmy-award-winning TV series, Hollywood blockbusters, action-packed sports, critically-acclaimed documentary movie and series, and original films, Premium is the way to go.

Here is what’s in store for you:

  • HBO
  • SHOWTIME
  • STARZ
  • Cinemax
  • EPIX
  • Curiosity Stream
  • UP Faith & Family
  • Pantaya

When you can’t get enough of movies from both modern day masterpieces like La La Land, No Country for Old Men and The Hurt Locker to very old but gold films such as Singin’ in the Rain, Citizen Kane and Gone with the Wind, the Hollywood package is sure to entice you. Indie film loves will love this bundle too as these are all under $5 every month:

  • Fandor
  • REELZ
  • HDNET Movies
  • Sundance TV
  • Turner Classic Movies
  • CineMoi North America
  • The Film Detective

Do you love the outdoors? Maybe you’re into trekking, camping or living the rural lifestyle? For just $5 a month, you’ll get these exclusive channels tailored for you:

  • World Fishing Network
  • Sportsman Channel
  • RFD TV
  • Outdoor Channel
  • RIDE TV
  • PixL
  • The Cowboy Channel

With over an amazing 200 channels, Sling TV proudly presents its international package that will make you feel like you’re back in your homeland. It all starts at $5 a month for the following languages:

  • Arabic
  • Bangla
  • Bengali
  • Brazilian
  • Cantonese
  • French
  • German
  • Hindi
  • Italian
  • Kannada
  • Malayalam
  • Mandarin
  • Marathi
  • Polish
  • Punjabi
  • Taiwanese
  • Tamil
  • Telugu
  • Urdu
  • Vietnamese

On a separate basis, Sling TV has a more specialized package for its Spanish-speaking viewers. It’s muy caliente for just $5 per month.

  • Estrella TV
  • Azteca
  • bein Sports
  • bein Sports N
  • ESPN Deportes
  • Cine Latino
  • Cine Sony
  • History en Espanol
  • Passiones
  • INTI
  • BBC
  • VME Kids
  • Nuestra Tele Noticias
  • Baby TV en Espanol
  • Bloomberg en Espanol
  • ZEE Mundo
  • HOLA! TV

Fiddle your funny bone and have unlimited laughter with an array of fun channels full of the wackiest and hysterical shows you’ll ever find. Starting at just $5 per month:

  • MTV
  • MTV 2
  • Tru TV
  • Paramount Network
  • CMT
  • Logo
  • GSN
  • TV LAND
  • R E V O L T

All of these (except Premium) are just $5 a month? How generous of you, Sling TV.

“But wait a second, where are the local channels?”

Sadly, Sling TV doesn’t offer any local channels at all. The reason for that is to compensate for the cheap prices which are reasonable enough, however you can access local channels but via an HD antenna.

Now, onto the equipment

Equipment

We’ll be frank with you: there’s nothing much in the gear department except for a few honorable items that we need to discuss.

After all, if Sling TV added some free hardware in it, they’d close down in a jiffy. While they’re not the best, they certainly do make decent additions into the mix.

Cloud DVR

We’ve mentioned that a DVR doesn’t exist in Sling TV except for the streaming media device like Roku Express and Roku Ultra. What exists in the streaming service, however, is the Cloud DVR which is quite impressive on its own.

For a separate payment of $5 per month, you’ll get access to Sling TV’s cloud DVR that has a default 50 hours worth of storage. We wish we can expand that but at least it’s much better than DIRECTV NOW’s DVR with just 20 hours of storage (and that’s not even on HD too).

It’s a great addition to Sling TV for such an affordable price.

You can record multiple shows at once, you’ll be able to keep all the recordings as long as you are Sling TV’s subscriber, able to fast forward through commercials and record it anytime on any device.



It’s quite responsive too despite the fact that it’s cloud-based which makes this an amazing perk for having Sling TV.

Roku Express and Roku Ultra

Roku has always created great streaming media and now you can get the Roku Express absolutely free of charge, given that you will do the conditions:

  1. Subscribe to Sling TV
  2. Prepay for 2 months including the free trial. You must not do the free trial and then prepay 2 months after.

As for Roku Ultra, the conditions are the same except for an additional payment of $50 (original price is $99.99)

  1. Subscribe to Sling TV
  2. Prepay for 3 months including the  free trial. You must not do the free trial and then prepay 3 months after.

Roku Express does not have access to all the available TVs in the house, by the way. Just one. You will need a separate device for each TV; crazy, we know.

Roku Ultra, however, is available to all TVs in the household and can support up to 4k HD display.

Sling TV UI

Simply put it, the UI is much better-looking than, let’s say, DISH Network. We like the clean and clear look of the interface that is until you encounter the Library.

It can get overwhelming at times if you’re not used to it and you’ll have to organize the shows by yourself too.

As for its playback options, it’s just like DIRECTV NOW – it takes a lot of space on the screen and cannot be adjusted. It also tends to be delayed when you happen to be in multiple tabs browsing the net while streaming TV.

Video On Demand

You’ll be able to purchase and rent VOD too if you’re keen on watching new movie releases 4 months after showing on cinemas.

They cost around $4.99 to $5.99 to rent and you’ll be able to access them through the Cloud DVR VOD library.

HD Antenna (Optional)

Just because you Sling TV doesn’t have local channels doesn’t mean you won’t be able to watch them.

If you are in dire need to catch up on local weather, nearby news or binging on cheesy low-budget buy & sell car showroom ad, you can always purchase an HD antenna–perfectly legal and will get you hooked on your favorite local channel.

Antennae may sound like they’re the works of yesteryear but trust us when we say that the HD antenna works really well with Sling TV.

You can buy one through Amazon but we highly recommend getting the ClearStream Eclipse Antenna.

The Eclipse Antenna is the easiest HD antenna to install and it has a very large radius of up to 35 miles, meaning you’ll be able to reach far receptions of local channels.

It also has an easy-grip system so you can stick to anywhere in the house. Its design isn’t tacky too, therefore it won’t look out of place for any interior design.

If you so happen to require a stronger antenna, we recommend the ClearStream 2V Antenna which you can attach either indoor or outdoor.

It also has a 60-mile radius which is highly recommendable especially if you are from a rural area with a weak reception to connect to all nearby available local channels.

Customer Service

While Sling TV has been keeping the customer care on a low profile, known customers from forums have said that it’s just downright terrible.

It’s as bad as DISH Networks or worse, according to them and that’s some big yikes.

The only time their customer service is doing well is with their live chat. But as far as hotline and on-site visits go, it’s two thumbs down.

However, don’t let that get into you as this is already a given for any tv cable/streaming provider.

Is Sling TV good?

Through thick and thin and some mishaps here and there, Sling TV is, by all means, still a good tv streaming service to look forward too.

Based on the number of channels and its accessibility to other devices, it’s more in favor for one or two persons or a rather small family.

With its generous offerings of extra channel packages in affordable prices and essential plans that only show you what you need, Sling TV is certainly the most economical decision for the money-saving tv geek.

It may be infamous for its shortage of channels and customer care but with the extra channel options, easy-to-use Cloud DVR with a decent storage, HD support, and a chance to get yourself a Roku device for free, Sling TV truly is a budget-friendly tv streaming service provider.

PROS

  • The most affordable tv streaming service you’ll ever find
  • None of those hidden fees
  • Tax-inclusive prices
  • No contracts
  • No price hikes
  • Can be canceled anytime online
  • Very affordable extra channel packages for as low as $5 a month
  • Customers get full control by having custom selections of channels they only need
  • Free Roku Express for prepaying customers
  • Responsive Cloud DVR with 50 hours worth of storage
  • Access to Videos On Demand

CONS

  • Very small selection of channels from their plans
  • Sling TV Orange + Blue needs a bit of understanding before knowing how it really streams simultaneously with other devices
  • No available local channels
  • Bad customer service
  • Lack of bonus equipment
  • UI can get tedious at times especially its playback controls and delays easily when you’re multitasking on your internet browser

FAQs

Can I add more than just 48 channels for the Sling TV Orange + Blue?

Yes, Sling TV has a large number of extra channels for you to add to your already-established plan.

Choose from Kids, Lifestyle, Sports, News, Lifestyle, Premiums, Hollywood, Heartland, International, Espanol, and Comedy.

Each package only costs an additional $5 a month except Premiums.

Does the Cloud DVR have a replay option?

Fortunately, the Cloud DVR lets you be able to watch missed-out shows as far back as 3 days ago. It’s best that you utilize its record button as it can store up to 50 hours worth of shows.

Can I record Videos On Demand?

Sadly, you won’t be able to use the DVR to record VODs. You can only watch VODs based on your rental limit.

Does Sling TV work on the Xbox One?

Yes, Sling TV works very well on the Microsoft Xbox One. If you happen to own an Xbox One X, you’ll be able to watch your favorite shows in clear 4K Ultra HD display.

How do I get the Roku Express for free?

  1. Subscribe to Sling TV
  2. Prepay for 2 months including the free trial.

Take note that you must not do the free trial first and then prepay 2 months after. You need to pay before anything else.

Sources

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Sam Churchill
Sam Churchill
Sam Churchill is the founder and editorial in chief at Daily Wireless. He has spent more than 2 decades blogging about all forms of wireless communications.

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Sam Churchill
Sam Churchill is the founder and editorial in chief at Daily Wireless. He has spent more than 2 decades blogging about all forms of wireless communications.

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