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Review

We tested Sling TV and other live TV streaming services for more than 100 hours. Sling TV is compatible with Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, iPhone/iPad, Web Browsers, Android Phone/Tablet, Android TV, Xbox, Samsung Smart TV, LG Smart TV, and VIZIO Smart TV.


Features

50 hours Cloud DVR

For $5/month, you can include a cloud DVR with 50 hours of recording space. Although it’s not free, Sling TV had the most full-featured DVR of any of the streaming services.

You can record individual episodes, all episodes of a series, or only new episodes of a series. Unfortunately, you cannot record Disney or ESPN channels.

Up to 4 Devices

“Sling Orange” ($25) lets you stream on 1 device at a time. “Sling Blue” ($25) allows for 3 simultaneous streams (among TV devices, smartphones, tablets, and computers).

If you subscribe to both plans, you can stream on up to 4 devices for content that is offered on both plans.

On Demand

A majority of channels offer on demand content, but you can’t skip or fast-forward through the content.

Parental Controls

In Sling TV settings, you can restrict content playback based on content ratings.

AT&T TV NOW and Hulu Live TV also have parental control features.


International Channels Feature

Sling TV offers international content from Mexico, China, India, Brazil, and other countries, starting at $5/month.

NFL RedZone Feature

The Sports Extra ($10) add-on for “Sling Blue” includes NFL RedZone.

Sling TV
$25 – $40 sling.com
7-Day Free Trial

Compatible Devices

Sling TV is compatible with these devices:

Sling TV is not compatible with PlayStation or Nintendo.

  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Apple TV
  • Google Chromecast
  • Roku
  • Android TV
  • iPhone/iPad
    iOS 9+
  • Android Phone/Tablet
    4.4+
  • Web Browsers
  • Xbox
  • Samsung Smart TV
    2016+ Models
  • VIZIO Smart TV
    Those with Cast support
  • LG Smart TV
    WebOS 3.0+

  • PlayStation
  • Nintendo

TV App

On television devices, the Sling TV apps have a home screen that shows your favorite channels, saved recordings, and favorited/recent shows.

Fire TV and Roku devices have a standard channel guide, but we expect Sling will add it to other devices like Apple TV soon. When you select a channel, it shows what’s currently on and what’s upcoming.

While you are watching a show, you can swipe up to browse what’s on other channels.

Phone & Tablet Apps

The Sling TV smartphone and tablet apps are almost identical to the TV app.

Android has a standard channel guide, but we expect it to be added to iOS soon.

Computer

You can watch Sling TV on Mac or Windows computers with Chrome or by downloading the native Sling app.

Sling TV
$25 – $40 sling.com
7-Day Free Trial

Screenshots

Sling TV
$25 – $40 sling.com
7-Day Free Trial

Channels

Local Channels

“Sling Orange” ($25) doesn’t include any local channels.

“Sling Blue” ($25) includes local Fox and NBC channels in most major markets.

“Sling Orange + Blue” ($40) includes local Fox and NBC channels in most major markets.

Sling does not offer ABC, CBS, Telemundo, The CW, or Univision in any package.

To see the live local channels available in your area, check the Sling TV Channel Lookup tool.

If you need CBS, consider subscribing to CBS All Access ($5.99). It’s a monthly subscription directly from CBS, which includes live streaming and on demand access for many of its shows.

You can get free access to CW shows with The CW apps with no subscription needed.

Local Channel Restrictions

You can only access local channels and regional sports networks when you are in your home city. For example, if you live in San Francisco and travel to New York, you won’t be able to stream any local channels.


Top Cable Channels

“Sling Orange” includes 16 of the top 35 cable channels and “Sling Blue” includes 24 top cable. The combo package has 27 top cable.

A number of channels can be added with their “Comedy,” “Kids,” “Lifestyle,” and “News” Extra packs ($5 each). Sling also offers a bundle of all four extra packs for only $10.

The top 35 cable channels cable channels are listed below. For a list of channels in each plan and extra packs, look at Sling TV’s full channel lineup.


Sports Channels

National Sports Channels

Sling TV offers different national sports channels for in their plans. ESPN and ESPN2 are exclusive to “Sling Orange” and Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, and NBC Sports Network are exclusive to “Sling Blue”. Both plans include TBS and TNT.

If you subscribe to the “Sling Orange + Blue” combo plan, you will receive both sets of channels.

Regional Sports Networks (RSNs)

You will need to subscribe to “Sling Blue” to get access to regional sports networks (RSNs), which are generally from Fox and NBC/Comcast. Sling is currently in a dispute with Fox Sports, so Fox Sports RSNs are currently unavailable on the service.

RSNs in Other Markets

Pro Sports

“Sling Blue” includes NFL Network.

Sling TV also offers a “Sports Extra” pack that includes NBA TV and NHL Network. If you’re a “Sling Blue” subscriber, the “Sports Extra” package is an additional $5 because it also includes NFL RedZone.

College Sports

Sling TV does not include any college sports networks as part of their standard plans.

However, the “Sports Extra” add-on includes Pac-12 Network. “Sling Orange” subscribers with “Sports Extra” will also have access to ACC Network, ACC Network Extra, ESPNU, and SEC Network.

Sling does not offer Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, Fox College Sports, or Longhorn Network.

Other Sports Channels

The Sling TV “Sports Extra” pack offers channels like beIN Sports, ESPNEWS, Golf Channel, Olympic Channel, and Tennis Channel. The channels you receive in this add-on depends on whether you subscribe to “Sling Orange” or “Sling Blue.”


Premium Channels

You can add Showtime ($10) and Starz ($9) to any Sling TV plan.


Add-Ons

Sling TV
$25 – $40 sling.com
7-Day Free Trial

Tech Specs

  • High definition video is similar to other streaming services, but only offers 60 FPS on select channels
  • Live streaming works well, with occasional issues switching channels.
  • Live content is about 55 seconds behind cable TV, which is longest delay of any of the streaming services.
  • Long lag when switching channels, so don’t expect to channel surf.
4K
1080p
720p

720p HD

Streams are at least 720p and most are at 30 fps.

To reduce playback interruptions, Sling TV will adapt the stream quality to match your network connection.

30 FPS
60 FPS

30/60 FPS

Sling TV recently added 60 fps on most national sports channels, Showtime, and EPIX.

Stereo Sound

Stereo Sound

All live TV content has standard stereo audio. Some on demand content has Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround.

Streaming Reliability
2
 
 
 

On Demand Reliability
3
 
 

Reliability

Sling recommends at least 3 Mbps for mobile devices and 5 Mbps for television devices.

We rarely had issues once a stream was started, but we often had errors starting a live stream—requiring us to reboot the app. This issue would happen often when switching between channels.

Many users have complained have Sling TV’s performance on the Roku 2 and Roku Streaming Stick.

Do not expect Sling TV to work as consistently as your cable or satellite service.

55 sec
Live Delay

Live Delay

Live content is about 55 seconds behind cable TV, which is the longest delay of all the streaming services.

5.5 sec
Channel Switching

Channel Switching

It takes about 5.5 seconds to switch between channels, which is the slowest of any of the providers.

Sling TV
$25 – $40 sling.com
7-Day Free Trial

User Experience

  • Great channel guide, but it’s not available on the Apple TV or iOS apps.
  • Search results are poorly sorted.
  • While it’s not free, Sling has the most full-featured DVR.

Home Screen

Sling TV’s home screen includes horizontal lists of live channels, your recent recordings, shows you recently watched, and your favorited shows.

TV Guide

Sling TV has a standard channel guide on Fire TV, Roku, and Android devices. We expect the channel guide to be added on other platforms soon, because the browsing experience is much more cumbersome without it.

Search

Sling TV allows you to search for shows, channels, or people. Although search works fine for exact matches, it does a poor job sorting results.

For example, searching for “Bach…” returns many Diary of a Bachelor results before The Bachelor.

Show Details

The show details page shows all episodes that are available on demand, grouped by season. However, the details page isn’t as visual as some of the other streaming services.

Playback

Most live TV channels don’t allow you pause, rewind, or fast-forward; but some channels let you rewind to the beginning of a show if you start late.

For recorded content, you can skip forward by 30-second increments or you can scrub through the show timeline. While scrubbing, the current frame is shown, so it’s easy to to find the part you want to watch.

Sling TV
$25 – $40 sling.com
7-Day Free Trial