Sling TV is the grandfather of the streaming industry. Its roots lie in the ability to watch your cable feed from anywhere in the world — you'd literally plug your cable line into a Sling box, which would then spit out the feed online.
Today, however, it's a shiny, modern TV streaming service and one of the most popular in the United States.
One of the reasons for that is that the Sling TV base packages are among the most affordable — with a mix of channels that are as close to a la carte TV as you can get.
Sling TV's flexibility is both good and bad — the channel options are numerous, but you'll have to do a little homework to make sure you're getting the channels you want.
You'll also need to keep track of the Sling TV plan you're building because it's easy to rack up the costs and end up spending as much as you would with any of the other streaming services. Don't forget, although the Sling TV free trial has stopped, there's a great deal for new customers which means you can try it out for half the normal price ($17.50, instead of $35) for the first month.
Here's everything you need to know about Sling TV:
Sling TV channels: the Sling Orange and Sling Blue plans
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 as the two main trunks of a rather large tree. They split off at first but also intermingle a bit.
Those two Sling TV 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 each plan to see if one has more channels that you want than the other. For example, If all you care about is ESPN and ESPN2, you can get those in the Sling Orange plan and not have to pay for anything else.
- Sling Orange or Sling Blue: you can pick either the Sling Orange or Sling Blue plan (new customers pay $17.50 for the first month and $35 a month after that.)
- Sling Orange + Blue Bundle: you can choose to get both plans which cost $50 monthly (new customers get 50% off, so $25 for the first month and $50 a month after that.)
- Extras: each track has seven additional "Extras" that give you more channels, at various pricing points.
There's where the faux a la carte feeling comes in. You're not locking yourself into a package as big as AT&T TV Now, but you're also not just paying for the channels you know you want to watch. There will be some channels in the plan that you don't need.
Sling Orange channels
- There are fewer Sling Orange channels than in the Sling Blue plan. But, if you're focused on sports, this is probably where you'll want to start — Sling Orange is the plan that gets you ESPN.
- With Sling Orange you can only stream on a single device at a time. Like all of the Sling plans, it comes with a free 50-hour DVR.
- Here are all the channels you get with Sling Orange:
A&E, AMC, AXS TV, BBC America, BET, Bloomberg Television, Cartoon Network, Cheddar, CNN, Comedy Central, Comet, Disney Channel, Epix Drive-In, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, Food Network, Freeform, Fuse, HGTV, History, IFC, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime, Local Now, Motortrend, Newsy, Nick Jr., Stadium, TBS, TNT, Travel Channel, Viceland.
Sling Blue channels
- Sling Blue has around 12 extra channels (give or take) over Sling Orange. It has more news and entertainment options than sports channels
- With Sling Blue you also get to stream on up to three devices at once — useful if everyone in the house wants to watch something different .
- The Sling Blue channels in the base plan:
A&E, AMC, AXS TV, BBC America, BET, Bloomberg Television, Bravo, Cartoon Network, Cheddar, CNN, Comedy Central, Comet, Discovery, E!, EPIX Drive-In, Food Network, Fox, Fox News, FS1, Fuse, FX, HGTV, History, HLN, IFC, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime, Local Now, MSNBC, National Geographic, NBC, NBCSN, Newsy, NFL Network, Nick Jr., Stadium, SYFY, TBS, TLC, TNT, Travel Channel, TRU TV, USA, Viceland.
Sling Orange extras
If you've got the Sling Orange plan, you can add on as many (or as few) of these "extras" as you like. All prices are monthly.
- Orange Sports Extra ($11 if you have either Sling Orange or Blue, $15 a month if you have both): ACC Network, ACCNX, beIN sports, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, Longhorn Network, MLB Network, MLB Strike Zone, NBA TV, NHL Network, PAC 12 Network, SEC Network, SEC+, Tennis Channel
- Orange Comedy Extra ($6): CMT, feTV, Game Show Network, Laff, Logo, MTV, MTV2, Paramount Network, Revolt TV, truTV, TV Land
- Orange News Extra ($6): BBC World News, CGTN, Euronews, HLN, News18, Law & Crime, Newsmax, NewsNation, RT America, SCI, Weather Nation,
- Orange Lifestyle Extra ($6): Cooking Channel, DIY Network, FYI, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Drama, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Lifetime Movie Network, VH1, WE TV
- Orange Hollywood Extra ($6): Cinemoi, GRIT, HDNet Movies, H&I, REELZ, Sundance TV, TCM,
- Orange Heartland Extra ($6): American Heroes, Destination America, Great American Country, INSP, Outdoor Channel, PixL, Pursuit, RFD-TV, Ride TV, Sportsman Channel, The Cowboy Channel, World Fishing Network
- AMC+ ($7): AMC+, Shudder, Sundance Now, IFC Films Unlimited
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 ($11 if you have either Sling Orange or Blue, $15 a month if you have both): beIN Sports, FS2, Golf Channel, MLB Network, MLB Strike Zone, NBA TV, NFL RedZone, NHL Network, Olympic Channel, PAC-12 Network, Tennis Channel, Big Ten Network
- Blue Comedy Extra ($6): CMT, feTV, Game Show Network, Logo, MTV, MTV2, Paramount Network, Revolt TV, TV Land
- Blue Kids Extra ($6): BabyTV, Boomerang, ducktv, NickToons, TeenNick
- Blue News Extra ($6): BBC World News, CGTN, CNBC, Euronews, France 24 (English), Law &Crime, News18, Newsmax, NewsNation, NDTV 24x7, RT America, SCI, Weather Nation
- Blue Lifestyle Extra ($6): Cooking Channel, DIY Network, FYI, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Drama, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Lifetime Movie Network, Oxygen, VH1, WE TV
- Blue Hollywood Extra ($6): Cinemoi, FXX, FXM, GRIT, H&I, HDNet Movies, REELZ, Sundance TV, TCM
- Blue Heartland Extra ($6): American Heroes, Destination America, Great American Country, INSP, Outdoor Channel, PixL, Pursuit, RFD-TV, Ride TV, Sportsman Channel, The Cowboy Channel, World Fishing Network, Nat Geo Wild
Additional extras for both Orange and Blue packages include:
- The Total TV Deal ($21), which provides all extra channels and cloud DVR space
- 4 Extras Deal ($13), offering Kids Extra, News Extra, Lifestyle Extra and Comedy Extra for half the price of all four
- NBA League Pass ($28.99), allows you to watch every out-of-market game
- NBA Team Pass ($17.99), choose 1 out-of-market team to follow
- DVR Plus ($5) gives you up to 200 hours of DVR recording.
Premium channels on Sling TV
Sling also has a couple dozen "premium" channels which you can subscribe to individually. They are:
- all blk
- CONtv ($5)
- CineFest ($5)
- CineMoi ($3)
- Comedy Dynamics ($5)
- The Country Network Plus
- CuriosityStream ($3)
- DOGTV ($5)
- DOX ($3)
- Docurama ($5)
- Dove Channel ($5)
- EPIX ($5)
- FlixLatino ($3)
- Grokker ($7)
- Hallmark Movies Now ($6)
- Here TV ($8)
- Hopster ($5)
- Magellan TV
- Magnolia Selects ($5)
- Monsters and Nightmares ($3)
- Outside TV Features ($5)
- Pantaya ($6)
- STARZ ($9)
- Showtime ($10)
- Sony liv
- Stingray Karaoke ($7)
- Stingray Qello ($8)
- Sundance Now
- The Country Network ($3)
- True Royalty
- Tumblebooks TV
- UP Faith & Family ($5)
- VSiN ($4)
- Warriors and Gangsters ($3)
Spanish-language and International plans on Sling
Sling TV also has a number of international options available.
Spanish-language plans include:
- Best of Spanish TV ($10): UNIVERSO, Discovery en Espanol, History en Español, Estrella TV, Azteca, beIN SPORTS en Español, Discovery Familia, beIN SPORTS CONNECT, Cinelatino, Cine Sony, Pasiones, Vme Kids, PX Sports, NTN24, BabyTV Español, ¡HOLA! TV, Nat Geo Mundo, Tarima TV, Nuestra Vision, France 24 en Español, El Financiero Bloomberg TV
- México ($10): Canal Once, CBTV Michoacán, Multimedios Televisión, AZ Clic, TeleFórmula, Milenio Televisión, AZ Cinema, Teleritmo, Video Rola, AZ Corazón, Cinema Dinamita, Mexicanal
- Caribe ($10): WAPA America, CubaMax, Telemicro, TV Quisqueya, Dominican View, Supercanal Caribe, Teleuniverso, Cinelatino, Pasiones
- Sudamérica ($10): 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, A3 Series
- Centroamérica ($10): Centroamerica TV, Multimedios Costa Rica, Tele El Salvador
- España ($10): TV Española Internacional, Antena 3, A3Cine, A3 Series
- Sling Deportes ($5): beIN SPORTS, TyC Sports, Nuestra Tele
Other international TV packages on Sling TV include:
- South Asian: offering Voot, DESI Binge and Sony LIV on-demand services and a cricket channel, as well as packages in Hindi (opens in new tab), Urdu (opens in new tab), Bangla (opens in new tab), Punjabi (opens in new tab), Kannada (opens in new tab), Malayalam (opens in new tab), Marathi (opens in new tab), Tamil (opens in new tab), Telugu (opens in new tab)
- Middle Eastern: offering channels in Arabic (opens in new tab)
- European: offering French (opens in new tab), German (opens in new tab), Greek (opens in new tab), Italian (opens in new tab) and Polish (opens in new tab)
- South American: offering Brazilan (opens in new tab)
- East Asian: offering Cantonese (opens in new tab), Mandarin (opens in new tab) and Taiwanese (opens in new tab)
- International sports: offering world sports (opens in new tab) and cricket (opens in new tab)
About Sling TV DVR
Sling now offers 50 hours of DVR for free, whichever package you have.
If you need more, you can pay $5 a month for the enhanced "DVR Plus." That'll get you 200 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. (Anyone who previously got 10 hours free now has 50, and anyone who previously paid for 50 hours now has 200.)
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.
Does Sling have free movies and shows?
Sling TV offers 100 live channels and over 40,000 movies and shows for free (you'll get ads with these, obviously). The selection of free titles isn't super exciting (don't expect any recent hits) but if you're stuck for cash then you might find a reality TV show or older comedy to pass the time.
All you need to access the free content is to sign up for a free Sling TV account (opens in new tab).
How to subscribe to Sling TV
- Head on over to sling.com/signup (opens in new tab)
- 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.
Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for AndroidCentral.com and Mobile Nations and is the Dad part of Modern Dad.
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