Sling TV Review + Free Amazon Fire TV Stick or Roku Stick Promo (Updated)

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slingfire

Updated review after 3 months of using Sling TV. Promo still live for a couple more weeks. Sling TV allows you to stream a package of major cable networks live over the internet. That means you can watch it on your smartphone, your home TV, or your laptop. No cable subscription required. Here are the channels included in the base package that runs $20 a month:

  • ESPN (live sports!)
  • ESPN2
  • CNN
  • Food Network
  • Travel Channel
  • HGTV
  • Cartoon Network
  • TNT
  • TBS
  • Cartoon Network
  • Disney Channel
  • ABC Family

Right now, if you commit to prepaying 3 months of Sling TV ($60 total), you can get any of the following deals:

That’s a $39 to $50 savings, depending on the deal, if you were looking for a modern streaming device. You must redeem the promotional code by June 5, 2015.

Alternatively, 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”.

My 3-month user review of 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. It looks especially crisp on my iPhone.
  • 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 shows 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 pause and blip backward. I was surprised how often I would try to click the pause button, with no response. Boo.
  • There is no contract and it is easy to cancel online under your account details. It just took a few clicks and 30 seconds. No calling in required at all, which means no Comcast cancellation nightmares. Note there are no refunds the 3-month prepay offer above. You can reinstate your account easily as well, similar to Netflix.

I did this free streaming stick promo, but after the 3-month comittment I cancelled my Sling subscription mostly due to the lack of DVR ability on all channels. I’ve had a TiVo since roughly 2005 and over the last 10 years, I have completely lifestyle-inflated myself such that I just can’t watch old-school TV anymore. It was too annoying not being able to pause a show, skip commercials, record a show, or blip backwards. I don’t watch that much TV, but when I do, I want it to be on my terms. (You may feel differently!) Now I primarily just stream kid stuff like Sesame Street via Amazon Prime Video.  

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.



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Comments

  1. Does it include access to iPad apps such as espn3?

  2. Can you pause things? For instance via my standard cable package, the Watch ESPN app doesn’t allow you to pause.

  3. You can only pause the replay channels noted above. No pausing for ESPN.

  4. Lack of blocking the advertisements is a deal breaker. You already pay for the service, plus view the advertisements, so the consumer is on the losing end of the stick. Hulu does the same, so annoying. I will happily pay few $ more for no advertisements.

    • Arturo Hernandez says:

      Dont say that, the ads are just few minutes in total. Ads are always part of our live on tv.

      Thank you Sling TV for everything 🙂

    • Majdio1 says:

      Actually, you can block advertisements for some stations if you choose to watch shows which have already aired. For example, if you are watching a show on HGTV you can watch a previous segment if you want. You can then freeze the show, fast forward it, whatever. At least I can. This works for many of the channels.

    • Majdio1 says:

      Hulu ads last a very short time compared to the shows when they air on television. Those are the ads that drive me nuts. I never have to watch more than 2 very short ads in Hulu during the commercial breaks.

  5. Actually I signed in Feb as early bird invite and tried it out and continued as of today. I like all the channels especially Food and Travel. Their quality is good and crashed few times but came just back up.

    Today I called and told them I am going to cancel and rejoin to get the Roku Stick. They cancelled and charged prorated and signed me up with the same email and shipping out the stick to me. So you don’t have to cancel and sign up using different email id. Just call them up.

  6. This is interesting. ESPN is the real breakthrough. I think with a good antenna (OTA HD local networks + PBS), Netflix, plus something like this and an a la carte streaming service such as Amazon or HBOGO it is really becoming easy to cancel cable.

  7. I’m hooked on Comcast for their Internet. Best speeds I can find for the price – I’m at 50M and need around there for work. I hate paying the monthly bill for Cable+Internet, but can’t find a way around that. Love the idea of Sling. But to move to Sling, I’d have to stop bundling and either go with Comcast for Internet only and lose out on the bundle discounts (pretty steep discount) or go with some sub-par Internet provider for cheaper rates but terrible quality. I can’t stand slow internet speeds.

    What do people do for internet if they move to Sling?

    • I personally use DSL, it is much easier now to find “naked” DSL without landline requirement.

      • Jonathan, can you elaborate on that? Also with the region you are in. My experience was vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. Like MJ said, without good internet, all the streaming option becomes moot point.

  8. What percentage of the $20 monthly fee do you think goes towards ESPN? I’m thinking ESPN accounts for more than 50% of the monthly fee and the other channels are simply thrown in at little additional cost. I like the fact that options such as this are popping up but actually think that ESPN has jumped the shark so I’m not interested in this particular offering. We have cut the cord though. Next mission: find out how to get local baseball games on TV. It’s my understanding that MLB’s online service is pretty strong on blackout enforcement.

    • So we have Century Link at 30 mbs that’s fast as we live less than a 100 yards from the main swich, We can get 1 Ota channel , but it is enough to use our Tivo with Amazon prim Netflix and Sling we have it about covered I am able to Sling and Netflix at the same time (2 diff TV’s LivIng on an island has its issues

  9. boomalog says:

    Thanks so much for posting this. The best deal is to use the credit to get the amazon fire tv. From there you can side load chrome, kodi (xmbc), etc!

  10. Sylvia @ Professional Girl says:

    I have XBMC and I feel like I have completely lifestyle-inflated myself in regards to watching TV too. It is way better, because with no commercials an hour show takes only 40 mins. I don’t think I can ever go back to watching regular tv.

  11. Do they have a HD box or something ?
    I have a 65 inch TV and the regular box wont be a good idea.

  12. As a big college football fan, this still doesn’t work for me. My team’s games are spread out on so many channels. It’s just too bad.

  13. Majdio1 says:

    They also offer HBO for an additional charge. We got rid of all our premoum channels through our cable service and saved a bundle. Having HBO through Sling is good enough. We don’t need to watch the endless repeats on the other channels. Yeah, there are also new series here and there but when the season ends it is back to the same repeats of old movies.

    And if we really, really want to watch a current season of something we can often sign up for a season on Amazon ( many shows appear there in the same week as they air on cable) and not deal with the frustration or cost of paying for what we DON’T want to watch,the rest fathe year. We can even binge watch a season after it airs, not having to wait a week to see the next episode.

  14. boomalog says:

    Where does it say when the promo credit expires? I can’t find it in the email from sling.

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