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Update 3/26/15: Sling just added History, H2 and Lifetime (among others) to it’s lineup! ::happy dance::
Cord cutters rejoice! There is FINALLY an option for live TV other than the traditional cable and satellite providers. If you’ve been unhappy with paying too much for TV, Sling might be a great alternative for you. Here is my Sling TV Review.
A couple years ago, my husband and I decided to completely get rid of cable. It wasn’t easy but it also wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Netflix and Hulu Plus as well as a little known (among less geeky, techy people) service called PlayOn filled in for cable nicely. The downsides that led to us going back to cable were my love for HGTV (I need it in my life) and the lack of CBS shows available online since they refused to add their shows to Hulu Plus. Other negatives were not having access to our news channels and science/history channels but we could live without them.
We have been saying since then that a smart move for cable companies would be à la carte options for people like us, but it just doesn’t seem to be happening. As we watched our bill rise past $140/month (for 1 TV, DVR, HD service, the lowest cable package and no premium movie channels), we knew we were headed toward canceling cable again in favor of an internet only option where we would stream our content.
Then in January, DISH announced Sling TV at CES 2015 and it seemed everyone got excited! Sling TV is an app just like Netflix and Hulu Plus, meaning you can download to your smartphone or tablet as well as use it on select devices connected to your TV, including Amazon Fire Stick and Roku. The difference is that Sling TV is LIVE tv streaming to your devices. So right this minute, I’m watching what’s airing on HGTV on my TV through my Roku Streaming Stick. The best part is that this new service is $20/month! Seriously!
Channels available on Sling’s basic package for $20/month are: ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, El Rey, Maker, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, ABC Family, CNN, and Galavision.
And there are add-on packages like the Sports Extra, Kids Extra, and News & Info Extra for only $5/month each. So I added the Kids Extra which includes Disney Jr. (in HD! I only had it in SD in my old cable package, yuck!) to my account and now pay $25/month for a pretty sweet line up.
I got a better deal from Verizon FIOS for not completely canceling cable versus just having internet, so we have local channels and 75/75 internet plus HBO and Showtime (including their apps that I can use on the Roku and mobile devices!) for 2 years for $70/month. Plus $25/month and we’re now saving over $45/month and have access to more of the channels we wanted instead of a ton we didn’t.
Sling is just getting started too. They’re adding Epix and AMC in the near future and will be continuing to add more channels as time goes on. The interface is pretty and easy to use, just what most users are looking for. It translates well to different devices and I’ve had very little problems since I started using it. You can see individual channel lineups and scroll through the channels to see what’s on right now. The mobile app is even better with 10 second rewind, 30 second fast forward and the option to start an episode over if you’re on a channel that allows that (see below).
Looking for a downside? Unfortunately, not all of the channels on Sling have On Demand or even the capability to pause, rewind, or fast forward. HGTV has all of that so I can watch a marathon of Fixer Upper On Demand, or pause my live TV when I need to. But TNT and TBS don’t have any of those capabilities right now. So I miss out on watching Rizzoli & Isles unless I can catch it live. Big bummer. And we would love to see History, H2, Science, and all those good geeky channels added too. Also, and this could potentially be a deal breaker…you can only watch Sling on one device at a time at the moment. Not a big deal for us, but could be for others. I want to see Sling add options for this similar to Netflix and their tiered pricing for multiple devices.
Bottom line, this is worth it to me. I don’t have to pay to rent a DVR or cable box. I have Sling on my other TVs which have only been used for streaming and didn’t have cable anyway, so that’s even more value. I don’t have extra cables going to my TV anymore. For us, it’s just what we’ve been waiting for.
Right now, Sling has deals for new and existing subscribers: Get $50 off the newest Amazon Fire TV, 50% off a Roku 3 OR get a FREE Amazon Fire TV Stick or Roku Streaming Stick when you prepay for 3 months of Sling.
Will you #TakeBackTV and become a Sling subscriber?
This is not a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% my own.0