Alternatives to cable and satellite
TV and movie streaming services: Which is right for you?
Sling TV is a subscription based streaming service. I am going to be reviewing movie and TV streaming paid subscription services to give you guys an idea of what kinds of TV are out there and will also be reviewing free options too.
Alternatives to cable TV: Sling TV
What is Sling TV?
Sling TV is a streaming video television service that gives you 31 channels for just $20 a month. You can view Sling with your Roku device. It’s pricing packages are definitely less expensive than your more expensive cable TV package. (full channel listings below)
Cable TV over the internet at a fraction of the cost
No contract, no activation fee, and a 7-day free trial how can you lose?
Core packages: Pick the channels that interest you
(price is per month, channel list updated 3/13/17):
- Sling Orange ($20/mo): With the Orange package you get 30 channels with many of the major channels — ESPN, AMC, CNN, HGTV, Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, History Channel, Disney Channel, ESPN2, ESPN3, TNT, Food Network, TBS, BBC America, Freeform, IFC, A&E, El Rey, Viceland, Lifetime, Travel Channel, AXStv, Newsy, cheddar, Bloomberg Television, Local Now, Polaris+, Maker, Flama, and Galavision.
- Sling Blue ($25/mo) With Blue package you get 40 channels and includes Sling Orange (minus three ESPN channels, Disney Channel and Free Form) and adds Fox Select Markets, NBC Select Markets, Fox Sports Select Markets, NFL Network, FX, USA, Bravo, FS1, FS2, NBC SN, FXX, Syfy, Nick Jr., truTV, BET, National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, Univision and UniMás.
- Orange + Blue ($40/mo) you get both packages for a total of 50 channels.
There are different “Extras” packages that cost a little extra (price is per month):
Sports Extras ($10)
If you are a sports nut then you will want this “Extra” package. You get: NFL RedZone, NBA TV, ESPN SEC Network, SEC Network+, Pac-12, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, NHL Network, beIN SPORTS, Golf Channel, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Buzzer Beater, Campus Insiders, Outside Television, Motors TV North Am, and Univision Deportes
Kids Extras ($5)
If you have children then this definitely an add-on you want. You get: Disney Junior, Disney XD, Nick Jr., NickToons, Boomerang, BabyTV, TeenNick, Sling Kids, and ducktv.
Comedy Plus Extra ($5)
Comedy is your thing? With this add-on you get: MTV, Spike, MTV2, CMT< GSN, Logo, and TV Land
Lifestyle Plus Extra ($5)
VH-1, E!, Oxygen, Cooking Channel, DIY, FYI, Hallmark Channel, WE TV, Lifetime Movie Netowkr, Hallmark Movies &, Vibrant TV, Mysteries, and Z Living HD
Hollywood Extra ($5)
Love movies? Then this is for you. Epix, epix2, epix Hits, epix Drive-In, SundanceTV, Turner Classic Movies, and HDNet Movies
News Extras ($5)
CNBC, MSNBC, theblaze, BBC World News, HLNFusion, euronews, France 24, News18, NDTV 24×7, RT Network, and CCTV-News
Broadcast Extra ($5)
ABC, Univision, and UniMás
- World Cricket Extra ($5) – Willow, Willowxtra
Need HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, Starz?
- HBO is $15 a month
- Showtime is $10 a month (available as of April 2017)
- Cinemax is $10 a month
- Starz (includes Starz West, Edge, Comedy, Encore, and Kids & Family) is just $9 a month
International and Spanish language channels
Sling gives you a bunch of international and Spanish language channels too that you can add on. They have practically everything.
Take Sling TV With You
Anywhere you can get the internet you can get Sling TV
With the Sling App you can watch Sling on your Roku, laptop or desktop, tablet and smartphone. The only device you cannot get Sling on right now is The PlayStation video game console. This is because PlayStation offers their own TV streaming subscription service (I will be reviewing them soon too).
Sling TV is it right for you?
While cable brags about bringing you hundreds of different cable channels you should ask yourself, do you even watch all of them. Do you even watch half of them? On average a viewer only watches about a dozen or less of their favorite channels every week. So what are you really paying for?
SlingTV has the popular channels you would want
Even though with its most advanced package and add-on “Extras” you get about 50 to 60 channels. At least these channels are more focused on what you want and you are most likely to view them regularly.
Sling offers on demand content
In each channel Sling offers episodes that you can watch at anytime. You can also watch movies and programs they have on demand when it suits you.
Sports fan? SlingTV has you covered
With so many sports channels that Sling has added to their line up like: NFL Network, Fox Sports, NBC SN and more in their regular packages plus a sports package “Extra” add-on, you should be able to follow most of your sporting events with no problem.
No contracts and no commitments
One of the great things about SlingTV is that you can cancel at any time. So if you don’t like the service or find you can’t afford the service for a month or two you can shut the service off. Great for those on a limited budget.
An alternative to cable?
There are some drawbacks to Sling. It does not include local channels unless you are in select markets. With the Orange package you can only watch Sling on one device at a time. If you upgrade you can watch on up to three devices at a time though.
The streaming and delays problems
There are occasional delays and buffering, it happens if your internet speed isn’t fast enough. Since I started using the service it has gotten much better.
The menu could be improved
I do wish Sling would make a better channel menu. It’s alright but every time you want to change channels the current channel you are watching pauses and you can’t watch the it while you are selecting a new channel. Another problem I have with it is that if you aren’t pressing any buttons on the remote after a very short few seconds the menu disappears. It becomes annoying when are trying to read the titles or make a decision. Yet it does work.
For a limited time you can get a free Roku Express when you prepay for 2 months of service. Even if you find that Sling is not for you, you still get to keep the Roku Express. This is great if you have not purchased a Roku yet.
Best alternative to cable: Roku
With a new Roku you can get Sling TV and hundreds of more channels many of them for free.
Check out my round up of the latest Roku devices and see which device is right for you circumstances.
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