More and more people are opting for satellite opinions. Who can blame them? “Cutting the cable” is more tempting than ever. The only hiccup is that viewers can miss out on exclusive programming and, more integrally, the curation TV channels offer. Sling TV brings an interesting solution to this quandary. Enjoy your old favorite channels in new way that is largely more affordable than the old formats generic cable offers.
How Sling TV Works
If anything, cable providers offer variety…but price comes with such variety. The bigger the package, the more channels. Premium TV channels like HBO and Showtime broke the mold a bit as subscribers could pick between one or several options. This was the beginning of “a la carte” programming -though the major appeal was superior original content, more recent movie releases, and commercial-free viewing. Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other current on-demand streamers operate within this format.
Sling TV, meanwhile, offers smaller and more affordable packages of regular programming -though HBO and its ilk also are available. Viewers can bypass the $30, $40, or $80 monthly fee of cable subscriptions while still enjoying channels within these brackets. “A la carte,” in Sling TV’s case, does necessarily mean pick and choose individual channels. Subscribers instead pick packages, with at most that apply to their tastes and viewing habits. Some of these channels, like HBO or Showtime, offer on-demand options while most do not.
What’s The Best Deal for Sling TV?
Get a Free Amazon Fire Stick when you prepay 2 months of Sling TV. Visit the promo sign up page to learn more. Like all offers, this deal will be running for a limited time only.
Channels and Prices
Sling TV currently offers two basic options: the Orange package and the Blue package. Some channels appear in both packages but both cater to all sorts of viewers.
Blue Package ($25): BET, Bravo, El Rey, Fox, Fox (local station)*, FS1, FS2, Fox Sports Networks**, FX, FXX****, National Geographic east, National Geographic west****, Nat Geo Wild****, NBC (local station)†, NBC Sports Regional Networks***, NBCSN, NFL Network, Nick Jr., Syfy, truTV, Univision, UniMas, and USA Network
Orange Package ($20): ACC ESPN Network Extra, Disney Channel, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, and Freeform
Both Packages: A&E, AMC, AXS TV, BBC America, Bloomberg, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Cheddar, CNN, Comedy Central, Epix Drive-In, Flama, Food Network, Galavisión, HGTV, History, IFC, Lifetime, Local Now, Newsy, TBS, TNT, Travel Channel, Tribeca Shortlist and Viceland
Additionally, subscribers can pick and choose from “Extras.” Such packages run from $5 to $10 extra and include a minimum of six channels, many of which are rarely available on generic cable until one hits 200+ channel subscriptions. The amount of channels really depend on the package. “Local” includes six channels, for instance, while “Sports” has 22 channels.
What Is Slingbox?
People who prefer DVR are also in luck -in a ways. A subscription service, Sling TV can just as easily operate from an Amazon Fire stick as a Roku or a TiVO. Slingbox is another alternative, though, that offers several advantages without necessarily hijacking any one pre-existing niche. Its major strength is variety and accessibility. Sling TV subscribers can live stream any of their content, or channels, for anywhere in the world. Direct TV, meanwhile, only offers away-streaming via wifi from under 20% of its channels.
Slingbox is a novel concept that will likely grow. People often like watching, and talking about, their favorite programming with their friends or family. Now they can watch the same Redbox rental a different continent in real time and talk about via Skype or phone. Aside from access, Slingbox’s major strength is probably enabling TV viewers to be more social with their friends or family.
Pros & Cons of Sling TV
Sling TV is a new way to operate *actual* TV programming. Just because it does things differently, though, does not mean it offers all the trimmings.
- 100% access to live channels from anyway and through any device
- Much more affordable pricing options
- Compatible with any streaming device like Roku, Amazon Fire, etc.
- Options for premium content
- Voluminous international options
- Support for DVR (with Slingbox)
- Ability to stream footage to anywhere in the world (with Slingbox)
- Umbrella channel packages are niche catchalls
- No ability to customize each channel package
- No built-in DVR
- No pay-per-view options
How Does Sling TV Compare To Other Streaming Services?
Sling TV obviously offers numerous benefits over generic cable. Its lack of DVR may perhaps be the only real detraction that keeps people from switching. How does it compare to other streaming services, though?
Yes, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and their ilk offer shows from the likes of History and TNT. None, though, include live streaming of channels themselves. Be that as it may, such steaming networks, arguably, offer more content for less as they have gigantic libraries to compensate for the lack of live programming. Hulu and other content providers also offer regular updates depending on when shows premier. However, these updates are *not* live and fans must wait until after the show premiers, sometimes as long as a 48 hours or a week. Streamers like Netflix, meanwhile, can wait upwards of a year before updating a TV show’s season. There is no such hangup with Sling TV.
Ultimately, the question is not really a matter of quality as much as preference. Sling TV, for the time being, is a superior solution for those that want to “cut the cord” but still enjoy live programming, from regular channels, and at an affordable rate. Everything else is extra. Options such as streaming what’s playing at home, though, can make the difference. Those that travel or prefer international fare will want to check out Sling TV in particular.
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