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Sling TV Adds More Channels and Movies... For More Money

The live TV streaming service now comes with add-on channels and movies-on-demand. But, with spotty reviews, is it worth the cost?
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Sling TV

Sling TV, Dish Network's web TV service, is offering more channels and is now available on more devices. This week, it announced a deal with Epix that will soon allow Sling to offer an optional bundle of four more channels and over 2,000 video-on-demand titles. According to a Sling TV press release, the new video-on-demand offerings will include both classic titles and newer movies like Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Star Trek: Into Darkness, and Wolf of Wall Street.

New Streaming Channels and Wide Compatibility

A price hasn't been announced yet, but Epix won't be included in the basic $20/month 11-channel package, which includes channels like ESPN, Food Network, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, CNN, and ABC Family, as well as the ability to rent movies for a fee, similar to Google Play or iTunes. Their three current add-on packages each cost an extra $5/month, and offer between four and nine channels.

At launch, Sling TV's services could be accessed on TVs via Roku Player, on Android or iOS phones and tablets, and Windows and Mac computers. They've added Amazon Fire TV streaming and claim the service is "coming soon" to Nexus Player and Xbox One. Sorry, Sony fans: there don't seem to be any near-term plans to bring it to PlayStation 3 or 4.

So, is the service worth it? Like so many things, it depends. The $20/month price tag is lower than almost any cable package, so some users could save by dropping their current TV plan and switching to Sling. In particular, it's a very cheap way for sports fans to access ESPN. Plus, initial reviews have been positive about the service's interface and ease-of-use.

Cost, Channel Selection, Internet Speeds Deter Some

But other users may find the service is missing their favorite channels. If you can't replace your TV package, there's no real cost savings here, so the mobile viewing options or ability to pause and rewind select channels would have to be quite appealing. (Pause and rewind options are missing from many of Sling's most popular channels, such as ESPN.)

Other reasons to hang back? You may not have an internet connection robust enough to support high-quality television streaming. You can probably let your experiences streaming video from other internet providers be your guide here. If you can stream a movie from Netflix or Amazon during peak hours without issues, you'll likely be okay. True picture quality elitists should probably take a pass entirely for now, as most reviews suggest that while the quality is good-to-excellent depending on your bandwidth, cable still retains a slight edge.

Restrictions on the service itself may frustrate others; although you can register many devices, you can only stream to one at a time. (So you can't turn on Food Network in the kitchen while the kids watch Disney in the den.)

Not sure if it's a good deal for you? Sling TV is currently offering a 7-day free trial. But if you're pretty sure it sounds like your kind of thing, signing up for three months can bag you $50 off an Amazon Fire TV Streaming Media Player or 50% off a Roku 3 Media Player.

Have you already tried Sling TV? If so, do you like it? If you haven't tried it, what do you feel the service is lacking? Let us know in the comments!


Contributing Writer

Formerly a content writer for DealNews, Erin Coduti now brings that experience to the blog team as a freelancer. Previously, she wrote for a television news station and a literary fan magazine.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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8 comments
rockonstones
Discovered that it would only work on one TV at time last night while trying to watch Duke-Carolina game. That kind of disappointing .
Dman6250
I think it really depends on ones individual situation as well as entertainment likes and dislikes. I cut the cord 2 years ago and purchased an antenna, a Roku 3, and a subscription to Amazon Prime. This setup has served me well over the past few years but there has always been this slight desire to be able to watch sports. When I saw this service I jumped on it, I purchased the 3 month and received the free Fire TV Stick and I now have my sports back. ESPN, ESPN2, and as of yesterday ESPN3 via the WatchESPN app. That said, for me this completes my entertainment package and I'm a happy camper.
johncrosier
The more and more I want to cut the cord the harder my cable company (Comcrooks..uh I mean Comcast) keeps balancing my bill so it's actually cheaper for me to have their basic HD tier package and the fastest internet for consumers. Internet alone would actually cost me more (about ($25/month more) than keeping the basic HD channel lineup. I have their Double-Play service, no landline phone. It's worth making the phone call if you rather keep your cable. Now you may not get the specific channels you desire so that's where price/variety/content comes into play.
TangledupnBigBlue
We tried Sling TV for 5 days --I agree w/ other reviewers -the only 1 tv at a time thing may ultimately kill Sling TY. We have no kids but my wife & I sometimes wish to watch different shows (that's 1 reason why we have more than 1 tv). I enjoyed getting ESPN & the SEC network but she would have to use the Roku or OTA on our other TV if she didn't want to watch sports. After the first night or 2 of playing with Sling TV we found we barely used it for the remainder of the trial period because of this limitation. We aren't going back to Satellite or cable & their crazy prices for 200 channels we don't watch but I'll just settle for streaming UK games over the internet for free unless/until something better comes along. If I can configure Kodi that help.
terryfrankjackson
We jumped on it and here our initial thoughts, having had it for 4 days now:
Pros:
1. Kids love it! My kids have gone through mostly everything
they could watch on Netflix, & for my teens being able
to watch ABC Family shows the night it airs is a blessing.

2. Parents like it. We missed Food Network,
we catch up on some of our missed favs.

3. It compliments what we have already.
We have Netflix, Hulu +, and Amazon.
It makes for a nice "4th channel" if you will in our setup.

Cons:
1. Limitation of one device at a time.
This will be the thing that will probably kill it
& the one we will be looking
at the hardest 6 mon. in on the service.
(we dropped Netflix in it's early days because of this).
So if they get it to allow up to say 4 devices at a time
( even if it raises the price by $5 - $10 for a whole house
sub) that is still a better deal than cable ANY DAY.

2. Content.
Base offering is nice, can't wait for AMC, would like to
see Lifetime or Bravo added.
Lindsay Sakraida (DealNews)
@jeffcdealnews Maybe they're trying to discourage using this outside of your home?
Jeffrey Contray (DealNews)
Another oddity -- its tied very closely to Amazon's Fire TV, and there's an Android app, but it's not available for the Amazon Fire tablet (or Kindle Fire tablet).
jmackinac
Here's my $.02. You buy a Roku and you subscribe to this, plus install your own HD Antenna to get your local stations. Is this good enough to drop your current cable provider? NO! It doesn't allow for the viewing of 2 SlingTV stations simultaneously on 2 different TV's. So you are out of luck because you don't get two "Licenses" with your $20 subscription cost. Me and my kids don't watch the same programming. Until you offer unlimited TV viewing under the same roof for the $20 subscription price, we ain't buyin' it.