I do love my television—it’s one of my favorite ways to relax after work each night. However, I don't pay for cable television—never have and I don’t ever plan to. Rather, I get my favorite programs through Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.
Now I have another option for expanding my nightly viewing options—and it still doesn’t require purchasing a cable or satellite subscription!
Sling TV is the newest entrant into the "alternatives to cable" marketplace, and it’s stacking up to be a good one. Learn what you need to know, how to sign up, and how you can save with Sling.
After you read this article—let us know how you feel about Sling TV in the poll below!
What is Sling TV?
In a nutshell, Sling is a "smart" channel service that offers you the "best of" cable and satellite television's most popular channels—without the cable prices. You can watch on any Sling-capable device (Sling requires the download of an app to work).
For $20 per month, no contract and no cancellation fees:
- You get these 12 live streaming channels: ESPN, ESPN2, CNN, ABC, TNT, TBS, HGTV, The Food Network, Disney Channel, ABC Family, Travel Channel, Adult Swim and Cartoon Network.
- You can also order videos on demand: However, this is for an extra fee, but you may find it’s cheaper to watch these programs under another subscription such as Netflix.
Once you purchase your basic package, you can also access add-on packages.
Check out this deal! Get a FREE Amazon Fire TV Stick when you pay for three months of Sling TV!
Available add-on packages for $5 per month:
- Kids Extra: Disney Junior, Disney XD, Boomerang, Duck TV, Baby TV.
- News & Info Extra: Cooking Channel, HLN, Bloomberg TV and DIY.
- Sports Extra: ESPN extras + more.
It’s important to know there are some differences between Sling and traditional cable.
- Sling relies on your Internet connection—so if you experience intermittent or slow signal, Sling is not for you.
- Sling only works on certain devices—right now those include iOS and Android devices, Roku devices, Streaming Stick PC and Mac. Full list of supported devices to come.
- Sling does have full-length commercials—and right now it’s not possible to skip them.
- Changing channels within Sling can cause buffering delays—around 2-5 seconds in most cases.
- Sling only allows pause/rewind/3–day watch on some channels—other channels air live and that’s it.
- Sling has no DVD or reminder service—you watch it when it airs, or (in some cases) for three days afterwards and then it's gone.
- Sling can only be watched on one device at a time—and attempts to access Sling TV on two devices simultaneously will cause a termination on the second device after about 20 seconds.
How Sling stacks up
Sling is making big news headlines for its status as the first Internet-delivered cable alternative with no hidden fees, no cancellation fees, no contracts and no hoops to jump through.
However, it’s unlikely—in its current infant form—to be a standalone form of television in any household.
Rather, Sling combines well with other similar Internet-based services (Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime) as a cheaper alternative to cable television.
Option 1: Stick with traditional cable television
To date, the average household pays around $90/month for cable television, but most households watch only a fraction of the hundreds of channels included in their plan.
Option 2: Skip the cable, and instead bundle your favorite cable alternatives together.
- Netflix: $10/month
- Hulu Plus: $8/month
- Amazon Prime: $8.25/month ($99/year)
- Sling TV: $20/month
- Your total monthly cost: $46.25
Choosing option 2 saves you $43.75 per month, which means $525 per year. And you still get the "best of" cable television with your Sling TV package.
- Sign up for your subscription on the Sling TV website and prepay three months of Sling TV service.
- After signing up, you’ll receive a promotion code that can be used for a free Amazon Fire TV Stick or $50 off Amazon Fire TV.
- Go to www.amazon.com/redeemslingtvoffer and add either product to your cart.
- Enter your unique promo code and continue checkout.
- When your device arrives, simply plug it in, connect to the Internet, and start enjoying instantly.