Sling TV is now live and indeed allows you to stream a package of major cable networks live over the internet. I previously wrote about Sling TV from Dish Network when it was announced in January at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show. Here is the base package that runs $20 a month:
- ESPN (live sports!)
- Food Network
- Travel Channel
- Cartoon Network
- Cartoon Network
- Disney Channel
- ABC Family
Sling TV and Amazon are running a limited-time promotion where if you commit to 3 month of Sling TV ($60 total), you can get either a Free Fire TV Stick (reg. $39) or $50 off a Amazon Fire TV ($99 regularly but $85 currently). You must redeem the promotional code June 5, 2015.
Alternatively, you can get a free Roku streaming stick (reg $49.99) or 50% off a Roku 3 box (reg $99.99) via this offer page.
If you sign up at Sling TV directly first, you can get a free 7-day trial to see how it works for you. If are then ready to commit, then I would sign up for this Amazon promo using a different e-mail address as it says “new customers only”.
First-take review on Sling.
- Quality isn’t bad; my internet is only 15 Mbps on a good day but we usually don’t have more than one thing streaming at any given time.
- I’ve had a couple of crashes while channel surfing. This is on the Mac OS X desktop app.
- You can’t choose to record every show for later viewing. It doesn’t work like a DVR. However, on select channels you can get limited replay of past episodes. From their site:
Sling TV includes a 3-day replay feature that allows you to watch shows that have aired in the past three days on the following channels: HGTV, DIY, Travel Channel, Cooking Channel, Food Network, Galavision, El Rey, Univision Deportes, Universal Sports, and beIN Sports and we expect this list to grow. Sling International customers can enjoy exclusive 8-day replay on all international channels.
- On the non-replay channels (including ESPN, ESPN2, ABC Family, TNT, TBS, Disney Channel), you can’t even pause a show for a few minutes and pass the commercials later, or have it blip back 10 seconds if you missed something. On the other channels listed above (Food Network, Travel Channel, etc), you can. I’ve had this feature for 10 years now since TiVo came out, which means I really haven’t really watched any commercials for a decade. Oh, the humanity!
- There are no contracts and you can cancel Sling TV online under your account details. It looks pretty easy to do, which means no Comcast cancellation nightmares, yay! Note there are no refunds on the Amazon offer above.