Sling TV (it's owned by satellite TV company Dish Network) is the longtime go-to for live streaming video in the U.S., and for good reason. First is that it's got the channels folks want. That's most important. But second is that it's long been a proponent of "a la carte" TV, in which you only pay for the channels you want.
Sling doesn't actually go that far. There are still plans and packages and add-ons and bundles. But it comes closer to a true a la carte system than anyone else, which gives its customers a better handle on how much they're spending every month.
Here's everything you need to know about Sling TV:
Pay for (mostly) what you want
Sling TV isn't quite true a la carte TV, but it's closer than anyone else, which lets you watch more and spend less.
What is Sling TV?
Here's the gist of Sling TV: There are two main tracks. Yes, you can call them plans, but it's almost easier to think of them the two main trunks of a rather large tree. They split off at first but also intermingle a bit.
Those two plans — tracks, whatever — are Sling Orange, and Sling Blue. You'll mostly find different channels in each, though there are a handful of common channels. You'll want to look through the each plan to see if one has more channels that you want than the other.
For instance, if all you care about is ESPN and ESPN 2, you can get those in the Sling Orange plan and not have to pay for anything else.
Customers will pick either Sling Orange or Sling Blue — each costs $20 a month the first month, and $30 a month after that. Or you can get both for $35 a month total the first month, and $45 a month for both after that.
From there, each track has seven additional "Extras" that add additional channels ad various pricing. There's where the faux a la carte feeling comes in. You're not locking yourself in to packages as big as AT&T TV Now or PlayStation Vue, but you're also not merely paying for the channels you know you want to watch. There will be some superfluous listings.
The one big strike against Sling TV is that its on-screen guide can be a little confusing.
How to subscribe to Sling TV
- In your favorite web browser, head on over to sling.com/signup
- Enter your email address
- Enter a unique, strong password.
- Choose whether you want Sling Orange, Sling Blue, or Both. 5. Scroll through the rest of the page for the Extras options, premiums, and international options.
- Click "Continue."
- Enter your billing information.
- Check out.
|Sling Orange ($30)||Sling Blue ($30)||Premium||Orange Extras||Blue Extras|
|BBC World News||x||x|
|beIN Sports Connect|
|ESPN Bases Loaded||x|
|ESPN Goal Line||x|
|Fox Sports Network|
|France 24 (English)||x|
|Free Speech TV||x||x|
|Game Show Network||x||x|
|Hallmark Movies & Mysteries||x||x|
|Hallmark Movies Now||x|
|Lion Mountain TV||x|
|MLB Strike Zone||x||x|
|Monsters & Nightmares||x|
|Nat Geo Wild||x||x|
|NBC Sports Network||x|
|Outside TV Features|
|PAC 12 Network||x||x|
|Showtime Family Zone||x|
|Starz Kids & Family||x|
|The Country Network Plus||x|
|The Cowboy Channel||x||x|
|The Film Detective||x||x|
|UP Faith & Family||x|
|Warriors & Gangsters||x|
|Willow Cricket HD|
|World Fishing Network||x|
|Z Living HD||X||x|
Sling Orange Extras
These are all of the channels available in the Extras on the Sling Orange Track. If you've got the Sling Orange plan, you can add on as many (or as few) of these as you like. All prices are monthly.
- Orange Sports Extra ($10 if you have either Sling Orange or Blue, $15 a month if you have both): beIN sports, ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Goal Line, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, MLB Network, MLB Strike Zone, NBA TV, NHL Network, Outside TV, PAC 12 Network, SEC Network, SEC+, Tennis Channel
- Orange Comedy Extra ($5): CMT, Game Show Network, Logo, MTV, MTV2, Paramount Network, Revolt TV, truTV, TV Land
- Orange Kids Extra ($5): BabyTV, Boomerang, Disney Junior, Disney XD, ducktv, Nick Jr., NickToons, TeenNick
- Orange News Extra ($5): BBC World News, CGTN, Euronews, Free Speech TV, Fusion, HLN, News18, Newsmax, RT America, SCI, TheBlaze, Weather Nation,
- Orange Lifestyle Extra ($5): Bet, Cooking Channel, DIY Network, FYI, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Drama, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Lifetime Movie Network, VH1, WE TV, Z Living HD
- Orange Hollywood Extra ($5): Cinemoi, HDNet Movies, REELZ, Sundance, TCM, The Film Detective,
- Orange Heartland Extra ($5): American Heroes, Destination America, Outdoor Channel, PixL, RFD-TV, Ride TV, Sportsman Channel, The Cowboy Channel.
Sling Blue Extras
These are all of the channels available in the Extras on the Sling Blue Track. If you've got the Sling Blue plan, you can add on as many (or as few) of these as you like. All prices are monthly.
- Blue Sports Extra ($10 if you have either Sling Orange or Blue, $15 a month if you have both): beIN Sports, Golf Channel, MLB Network, MLB Strike Zone, NBA TV, NFL RedZone, NHL Network, Olympic Channel, Outside TV, PAC-12 Network, Tennis Channel, World Fishing Network
- Blue Comedy Extra ($5): CMT, Game Show Network, Logo, MTV, MTV2, Revolt TV, TV Land
- Blue Kids Extra ($5): BabyTV, Boomerang, ducktv, NickToons, TeenNick
- Blue News Extra ($5): BBC World News, CGTN, CNBC, Euronews, France 24 (English), Free Speech TV, HLN, MSNBC, News18, Newsmax, NDTV 24x7, RT America, SCI, TheBlaze, Weather Nation
- Blue Lifestyle Extra ($5): Cooking Channel, DIY Network, FYI, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Drama, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Lifetime Movie Network, Oxygen, VH1, WE TV, Z Living HD
- Blue Hollywood Extra ($5): Cinemoi, HDNet Movies, REELZ, Sundance, TCM, The Film Detective,
- Blue Heartland Extra ($5): American Heroes, Destination America, Outdoor Channel, PixL, RFD-TV, Ride TV, Sportsman Channel, The Cowboy Channel, World Fishing Network, Nat Geo Wild
Premium channels on Sling
Sling also has a couple dozen "premium" channels to which you can subscribe individually. They are:
- CONtv ($5)
- CineFest ($5)
- CineMoi ($3)
- Comedy Dynamics ($5)
- CuriosityStream ($3)
- DOGTV ($5)
- DOX ($3)
- Docurama ($5)
- Dove Channel ($5)
- EPIX ($5)
- Echoboom Sports ($6)
- FlixLatino ($3)
- Genius Brands Network ($4)
- Grokker ($7)
- Hallmark Movies Now ($6)
- Here TV ($8)
- Hopster ($5)
- Lion Mountain TV ($3)
- Magnolia Selects ($5)
- Monsters and Nightmares ($3)
- Outside TV Features ($5)
- Pantaya ($6)
- STARZ ($9)
- Showtime ($10)
- Stingray Karaoke ($7)
- Stingray Qello ($8)
- The Country Network ($3)
- UP Faith & Family ($5)
- VSiN ($4)
- Warriors and Gangsters ($3)
Also, NBA League Pass is available for $28.99 a month, and NBA Team Pass is available for $17.99 a month.
International and Spanish-language plans on Sling
Sling TV also has a number of international options available.
Spanish-language options include:
- Best of Spanish TV ($5): UNIVERSO, Zee Familia, Discovery en Espanol, History en Español, Estrella TV, Azteca, beIN SPORTS en Español, beIN Sports Connect La Liga, Discovery Familia, beIN SPORTS CONNECT, Cinelatino, Cine Sony, Ingles Para Todos, Pasiones, INTI Network, Cbeebies, Vme Kids, PX Sports, NTN24, BabyTV Español, El Financiero Bloomberg TV, Zee Mundo, ¡HOLA! TV
- México ($5): Canal Once, CBTV Michoacán, Multimedios Televisión, AZ Clic, TeleFórmula, Milenio Televisión, AZ Cinema, Teleritmo, Video Rola, AZ Corazón
- Caribe ($5): WAPA America, CubaMax, Telemicro, TV Quisqueya, Dominican View, Supercanal Caribe, Teleuniverso, Cinelatino, Pasiones
- Sudamérica ($5): Caracol, Nuestra Tele, NTN24, RCN Novelas, TV Venezuela, EVTV, Ecuavisa Internacional, Telefe Internacional, Todo Noticias, El Trece Internacional, TyC Sports, Bolivia TV, Canal Sur, Estudio 5
- Centroamérica: Centroamerica TV, CB24, Tele El Salvador
- España ($5): TV Española Internacional, Antena 3, A3Cine
- Sling Deportes ($5): beIN SPORTS, TyC Sports, Nuestra Tele
Other international options on Sling TV include:
- Willow Cricket Mini ($5): Willow Cricket, Willow Extra
- Hindi Mini ($5): Aaj Tak, Zee Cinema, SAB TV, zoOm, Food Food, Times Now, News18, B4U Movies, B4U Music, Sony Mix, Sahara Samay
- Telugu Mini ($5): TV5 News, Zee Cinemalu, News18, zoOm, News18 North East, Desi Bonus, Zee Bihar Jharkhand
- Tamil Mini ($5): Jaya Max, Jaya Plus, JMovies, Raj Digital Plus, Raj News, Zee Tamil, News18, zoOm, News18 North East, Desi Bonus, Zee Bihar Jharkhand
- Chinese Mini ($5): CCTV-4, CGTN, China Movie Channel, CCTV-
- Entertainment, Hunan Satellite TV, Zhejiang TV, Dragon TV, ShenZhen Television, Jiangsu International Channel, Phoenix North America Chinese Channel, Phoenix InfoNews, Beijing TV
- Français Mini ($5): France 24, TV5 Monde Cinema, TiVi5Monde
- Deutsch Mini ($5): ProSieben
- Arabic Mini ($10): Arabica, BBC Arabic, Al Jazeera Mubasher, MBC Drama, Melody Classic, ART Cima, Melody Hits, MBC 3, MBC Wanasah, IQRAA TV, Noursat TV, Aghapy TV
- Italiano Mini ($5): TV2000 Italia, La7
- Polish Mini ($15): iTVN, PolSat1, Nature Vision HD
- Brazilian Mini ($15): TV Globo Internacional
- Sun TV Mini ($10): SUN TV
About Sling TV DVR
As of Dec. 23, 2019, Sling now offers 10 hours of DVR for free.
If you need more, you can pay $5 a month for the enhanced "Cloud DVR Plus." That'll get you 50 hours of recording capability. If you go over that, however, you'll be able to "protect" your recordings so that they won't completely disappear.
The majority of channels on Sling TV can now be recorded, with the exception of some digital offerings like ESPN3 or ACC Network Extra.
Does Sling TV stream in 4K?
Nope. Not yet.
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