Looking for an alternative to cable television? DISH Network may have what you're looking for with the launch of Sling TV (opens in new tab). The over-the-top television service was first revealed during CES 2015 last month and has since made ripples in the cord cutting community. That's likely because the base service costs a mere $20 a month, and it does not require special equipment, set up fees, or a long term contract.
"There has been a remarkable expression of consumer interest since we first announced Sling TV one month ago," said Roger Lynch, CEO of Sling TV. "We believe Sling TV is a game-changing service that enhances the existing television landscape. Now underserved audiences have access to the best of live TV at an affordable price."
The $20 base plan consists of fifteen channels including TNT, TBS, the Food Network, ABC Family, CNN, The Disney Channel, The Travel Channel, ESPN, ESPN2, HGTV, Del Rey Network, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Galavision and Maker Studios.
Sling TV also provides three additional "Extra" packages for $5 per month each. Sports Extra adds nine channels to the Sling TV lineup; the News & Info Extra package adds four, and the Kids Extra adds five channels. These packages include Universal Sports, ESPNEWS, the Cooking Channel, the DIY Network, Bloomberg, Disney XD, Disney Junior, Boomerang and more.
"New movies and current shows are a big part of Sling TV. You can watch movies and shows both live and on-demand from our programming partners," the FAQ stated (opens in new tab). "We also include an extensive movie library where consumers can rent popular new release movies and classics."
The complete Sling TV lineup costs $35 per month for customers who want every channel. What's great about Sling TV is that it works on a large number of devices such as Roku players, Roku TV units, smartphones and tablets running Android or Apple's iOS, PCs, and Mac computers. Sling TV is also slated to arrive on Amazon's Fire TV Stick and Fire TV set-top box, webOS-based HDTVs, Samsung Smart TVs, Google's Nexus Player, the Xbox One console and other streaming devices.
Although Sling TV has an interesting lineup of TV channels, it's not exactly bursting at the seams. However, consumers truly wanting to ditch cable TV could switch to over-the-air digital TV for receiving local channels and then add the Sling TV library. The drawback is that consumers will likely need to purchase Roku hardware so their tablets, smartphones and computers aren't constantly tethered to the HDTV.
So is Sling TV a good investment? That depends on the customer's viewing habits. If they don't watch a lot of TV, this would be a good alternative to a hefty cable television bill. The kids package is packed with great channels, and parents won't have to worry about the young ones stumbling over inappropriate content on TV. The ability to watch Sling TV channels on any device is also a big plus.
Consumers wanting to see what Sling TV has to offer can sign up for a free 7-day trial (opens in new tab). They'll need a high-speed Internet connection, a 3G/4G connection for streaming on the go, and be a resident in the United States.